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Archive for March, 2019


So Here We Are

Monday, March 25th, 2019


SoHereWeAreTextMy heart has been heavy the last couple of days. I’m overwhelmed with the number of LBGTQ people who are suffering with the effects of PTSD in their current life.


I began to evaluate my own life while talking with my husband, Larry, last night. Damn, just the trauma alone of growing up as a gay boy in this culture is traumatic enough then when you add to it, life events, family struggles, painful relationships, loss, grief, identity struggles, and on and on, it’s really tough.


The effects that all of that has on us is incalculable. I look back and see so many ways in which I have been wounded and the ways that I have endured things that were really tough for me, I can see the rejection I’ve felt that seems to continue in many ways. I’ve hungered for some relief but it just keeps going.


And yet, AND YET,

These life circumstances make us into who we are, trauma and all. There are some people who surround us who actually see through our pain into the beautiful people that we are in our colorful ways! They see our introspection as insight for their own lives. They see the unique views of life that we bring to the table as a challenge to their own process of development. They see our tears, often invisible, as a tenderizer for their own rocky parts. They love us just because, because of who we are and how our lives bring something unique and incredible to their own.


There are those who don’t get it. For whatever reason they don’t see through our lives into their own. That’s okay. Nothing we can do will change that. But I recognize that I MUST look around me to see the crowd that is closest to me, who love me, who appreciate not only my pain, but my impact on their life.


Phew, trauma? Yes. PTSD? Yes. But here we are, here I am.


Some reflections I’ve collected from a FaceBook Post:


I try not to dwell too much on what I have been through, but instead try to find ways to be an example or offer a hand up to those who are struggling with their gayness.


While things have gotten somewhat better for our youth since my years growing up gay in the 60s/70s, there are Still Parents throwing their children out the door and onto the streets as well as Bigots attacking LGBTQ folk for sport.


I am thankful you talk about your experiences. So much of our history is lost.


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John, thank you so much for posting this. Yes, so much pain and sorrow and shame — and agree with Kevin, the consequences of my pain and suffering had devastating effects on my relationships. I had no idea how to communicate, how to deal with conflict resolution, how to dream. I am writing my story and this has been profound — facing the process of healing. I’ve also created a workbook based on Ezekiel 34 that has also brought so much healing into my heart and mind.


One thing that continues to haunt me is the underlying feeling of guilt… and I know it is just a side effect of the misinterpretation of Gen 3, the Fall, and being told over and over again and being JUDGED by media, family, society, church that I am different, wrong, perverted, odd, and I need to change, to dress more feminine, etc. etc. I participated in the judging and misinterpretation too as I was a ex gay leader as well. I so wish I knew then what I know now. What a heavy responsibility leaders have… to make sure they are a true shepherd and not a wolf.


I am so sorry for the pain I may have caused anyone by not having the attitude of compassion and love… but one of conforming to a false religious experience. My heart needed to soften and my mind needed to be renewed. It is my mission and passion to unravel the lies I was told and present the beauty of the metaphoric truth of Scripture –which is GOOD NEWS and brings peace and compassion and inclusion. If anyone is interested in this healing tool, connect with me and I’ll send you a free PDF.


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The evidence of the neurosis among gay men is all around our community. When you begin to demean and diminish the character of a young boy at an early age, it has to have a life-long effect. And it does. It not only damages the person, but it negatively effects every other person in his life.


We struggle with our relationships because of the emotional damage inflicted on us by parents, religious leaders, educators, classmates, coworkers and society in general…and then they openly critique and criticize the social symptoms of that damage.


We as a community are also guilty of inflicting damage when we treat each other like hunks of flesh rather than persons. When muscular bodies and substantial genitals become the measure of a man…we have joined the ranks of the “damagers”.


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John, what’s worse is that there really has never been enough research on PTSD in rural gay youth. Why? Because it’s a largely inaccessible population (at least it was when the research was most needed). The military has helped strengthen PTSD research, because we have access to that adult population… but gay kids living in Paris, Texas? Nope. Not so much.


As an aside: I’d also like to see more resiliency research on gay youth from backwoods Texas, etc. My unofficial hypothesis is that one reason gay folks are often successful, genuine, and kind, is because of the traumatic experience coupled with the resiliency that the trauma solidified. Great great post my friend!


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Thankful we are friends. Thankful you show me grace when I don’t always understand because I traveled another road. Thankful you make the effort to understand my journey, too.