I was talking to one of my friends who is gay the other day. I told him about this blog, and about why I needed to obfuscate my identity. I mentioned my thoughts on being trapped in between two worlds, one that one is trying to escape, the other in which one longs to be.
I explained to him the difficulty of not wanting to let it be known that one has made the transition from gay to straight. I compared it to the recovering alcoholic. (again, friends, its an analogy and should only be taken as far as intended.) Society is proud of those who have made the choice to stop an activity over which they feel they have no control. At the same time however, we hang it over their heads for the rest of their lives. They are always a “recovering alcoholic.”
When one is injured, and recovers, the recovery gets the injured individual back to the state they were in before they were injured. If the recovery is protracted, the original state is achieved more slowly. If the recovery never ends, there is no opportunity for growth. Similarly, if society views the man who has decided to forswear sex with men as a recovering homosexual, that person never gets back to the point they started at, much less progress beyond it.
My friend asked why I would want to associate myself with those who would not accept me as I am. I explained that it is not about acceptance. I don’t know if I explained it well, but the association I have with the church is not about finding people who will tell me that I am good the way I am. I am in the church for a couple reasons. One is that I believe it to be the true church of God.
The other reason I want to associate with those in the church is that they stretch me to be better. They offer encouragement to become a better person. If they were satisfied with who I am right now, they would give me no reason to improve.
In the end, I don’t want to be accepted. Embraced, absolutely. Challenged, definitely. Loved, without a doubt. Accepted, no thanks.