Friday, November 17, 2006

The Great Lie!

I've been doing some thinking. I know, it's a dangerous thing to do. But, thanks to L questioning me, I've had to. I've been wondering if I am being suckered into a belief in the great lie that gayness is interconnected to other aspects of one's personality than just an attraction and desire for the same sex.

I believe the purpose for this life is to "prove us herewith" and to DO the best we can with the talents / blessings / trials / characteristics / traits we've been given while here on earth AND in the Spirit World to come. The ultimate goal is to become like God through change (repentance) and in DOING / LIVING. I do not believe that we can "work out our salvation" and "perfect ourselves" into the Celestial Kingdom. I don't believe that is the task at hand. I am imperfect. I fall short all the time. I'm as stained as if you dumped blue paint all over me! I strongly believe, however, that we are to DO what we CAN with what we've been GIVEN, and that Christ will make up the difference of any shortcomings and imperfections and blue paint stains (for they will certainly be there) as we accept Him and allow Him to do His part.

So the task: doing what I can with what I've been given. Be a good laborer in the vineyard! Be a good steward of my "talents"! These talents include our core unique personality, our essence of our being, which includes personality traits, strengths and weaknesses, gender etc. These things were a part of who we were in the pre-existence and remain with us through this earthly life. We aren't all the same, just as the laborers worked various lengths of time, just as the talents weren't distributed by the master equally. Life isn't fair! (Just ask my disabled sister who has lived with major physical disabilities for the majority of her life). That is inherent in the plan! We don't get an equal shot. Our experiences are unique. Our reactions and lessons learned from these experiences are also unique. Thus, no one can judge but One. So, I should stop whining about what I've been given or not given, the challenges and struggles, the successes and joys before me. I shouldn't worry about what is fair! Or "Why me?" I need to do what I can with what I've been given.

I believe also that we have been foreordained, called, if you will, to do specific things. Whether we do them is still up to us and the choices we make.

So, is being "gay" a calling? Maybe. Maybe not. I think it's just a trait that one can look upon as positive or negative just like any other trait. Is it a god-like trait? No, not as I understand God. So should I banish it from who I am? I don't know that I can and I don't know that I should. If it is something that I can't control, if it is something that I did not choose, then I think it is unique, similar to other traits of my physical and mental abilities that make up who I am.

But, I feel (I don't know) that all of my traits, physical and mental, spiritual and social, creative and emotional abilities that make the person I call Beck are interconnected. I am a spiritually sensitive person. I am a compassionate person. I am a highly creative person. I am a very touchy-feely personal person. I am a passionate person. I am an easy-to-anger person. I am a quick-to-love person. I am a hard-working person. I am a selfish person. I am a self-made person. I am an over-reactive person. I am a gay person!

Now, can a person who is all of the above be so and not be gay? Of course! Can a person who is gay be a list of other characteristics? Of course! I understand that not only gays are sensitive, passionate, touchy-feely and creative. Millions of straights are, too. But the uniqueness is still there. My combination of who I am, what I am, and how I deal with those traits with the experiences I have are uniquely combined together. If you take my passion for creating and building away, I'm no longer the same person and maybe I become disengaged in other aspects of my relationships as well. Maybe that's a good thing, I don't know. If you take my over-reactive personality away, I'm no longer the same person and maybe it affects not being passionate. And if I'm not passionate, then I might as well give up!

So, if "being gay" simply means one has a personality trait of "liking guys" just as one has other traits (i.e. easy-to-anger, sensitive to the spirit, creative, judgmental, passionate, selfish), and if such traits or characteristics are not locked into the make-up of a person (that a person can change from being easy-to-anger to card-carrying temper-management expert by becoming more Godlike, or being less-enamored with athletic good-looking guys and more attracted to good looking women, then why not go for the change? I don't buy that argument. I think who we are is more interconnected. That's why there is the sentiment that I will stop being me if I can't be me. I won't be true to myself.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for improvement, magnifying our talents, overcoming our trials and all that good stuff - for that is the point of this life - TO DO WHAT I CAN. But I shouldn't try to be who I'm not. I shouldn't try to be a pretender and say that I've changed something that is simply what it is. I'm to the point in this discussion that I don't really care about the reasons why one may be gay. The "why" doesn't matter to me. Maybe it should. Maybe if it did, and a cure could be found for this "disease" or "defect", I'd be more interested in the "why". But for now, after 3 decades of being a struggler, I'm tired of caring about the "why". I'm more at the point of accepting that what is, is. It has taken me an awfully long time to get to this point.

I am Beck. All that makes me who I am is as much a part of me as my height and weight is part of my physical stature. Everything is connected. I can dye my hair green. I can seek therapy and convince myself that I am no longer homosexual. But my hair color is still light brown, though it may appear green to everyone else and I am still gay though I appear heterosexual to everyone else.

My efforts to "embrace" my gayness means: I am seeking to be happy to be me, all of me, and I'm striving to be the best "me" that I can be (working on changing / repenting of those things that need improvement), doing the best I can. As much as I desire a relationship with a guy, as much as I crave to be held by a guy and truly loved by a special guy, as much as my natural tendencies are toward other guys, I am choosing to follow a different path (as fatiguing as that is at times - and believe me I'm getting tired of the daily fight), not because I want to cut off those feelings, but because I have even stronger feelings for my family, my marriage and the joys and experiences that come from this life I'm living. If I were to cut off those feelings, I'm not sure I would be the same person!!! That may be a fallacy in my logic, but it is how it feels, nonetheless. I welcome contrasting points of view to help me see the errors of my ways!!! If you made it this far through this nonsense, then you owe me feedback!!!

I'm not good at debate (pretty obvious, huh?) I'm weak at presenting logical arguments (you can say that again!). I'm not an attorney (thank God for that one!). As I've reread this, this post makes no sense. It doesn't say what I want to portray. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I can't change who I am - but I can change and control what I do with who I am. In my mind, that is the purpose of my life.

I guess I have bought into the great lie!


Foxx said...

The Great Lie: "gayness is interconnected to other aspects of one's personality than just an attraction and desire for the same sex."

I believe what you've called the great lie, not because I read it somewhere or was preached it; but because I felt it deeply within as I initially came out to myself and realized that I was attracted to men, and all along homosexual. It was one of those moments where everything you can recall seems to fall into its right place.

Only after I knew that I hadn't changed an ounce with regard to my sexuality, and that I likely never would, did I notice that other people felt the same way.

I think that sexuality is an integral part of humanity. Without it, there would be no humanity. ;) You can no more separate it from yourself than you can deny your preference for milk vs. dark chocolate.

Sexual behavior can be contained and separated from your lifestyle, of course -- we all choose the things that we do, whether on a conscious or subconscious level. Even choosing to do nothing is still a decision.

I think the great lie is that behavior is judged by God more harshly than the intent of your heart. Behavior (the outward appearance) is how man judges, but the Lord looks on the heart.

-L- said...

It's, perhaps, a little dramatic to call it "The Great Lie!" complete with exclamation and capitalization, but I suppose on further reflection, I agree with the drama. It is great, it is a lie and I am emphatic about it.

Changing your orientation is not removing your sexuality, Foxx.

And changing your hair color by dying it is not the same as it changing to gray all on its own as you grow old.

Change, my friends, is inevitable. And for those who believe the Brethren, a change to your sexual orientation is inevitable as well (eventually). I can't imagine losing any part of my character or personality that is wholesome or unique in that change. But I will lose the part that is incompatible with becoming like God. And that's all I'll lose if I pay attention. Nobody can rip my sensitivity or artistic sense from me... nobody will make me less affectionate or soft-spoken. And who would even want to? God? Is anyone saying that? Who?

I'm not debating really, just sharing. When I say sexual orientation is contingent only on who you're attracted to (not personality traits or character), I'm not trying to use tricky words... I'm just stating what seems to me best described as incontrovertible fact.

Kim Mack said...

Ok, here's feedback cuz you asked for it. :) I think you're awesome ... and changing things related to our orientation only improves upon us, does not diminish us. I'm a much better person these days than I was back when I was living that great lie ...


Chris said...

If the great lie is that gayness is interconnected to other aspects of one's personality than just an attraction and desire for the same sex, then the great lie must also encompass the idea that straightness is interconnected to other aspects of one's personality than just an attraction and desire for the opposite sex.

Sexuality is what it is. I would think that married gay men would know as well as anyone that sexuality is about much more than who you want to have sex with.

Scot said...

If you made it this far through this nonsense, then you owe me feedback!!!

A blog trap! ;-)

I think much of our understanding of homosexuality does show what causes men to be attracted to men also “feminizes” our personalities in other ways. It is valid to worry removing the cause of a persons gayness would change them in other fundamental ways. At least, Evergreen seems to think the two are tied :-).

But, as with all human traits, there’s a distribution; and in that way I agree with L. The only thing that defines anyone’s orientation is the focus of their attraction. Some gays are, in fact, quite masculine, and yet still have that one female part of them. But that’s not to say, for others, much of who they are is tied to their orientation. Even still, to alter a person’s orientation alone would alter them in a profound way. As Chris wrote, that alone is about far more than sex (just ask any woman :-)).

But, regardless, I’m all for improvement too. Who isn’t? I’m all for overcoming parts of us that get in the way of the right path. It’s just that one man’s curse can be another’s blessing, and some of what I had to overcome is what others don’t want to live without, and probably shouldn’t.

Nobody can rip my sensitivity or artistic sense from me

A stroke might :-). Or did you ever read about that guy, Gage, (railroad worker?) who got a bar through his head? He survived to be a very different person, quite an inconsiderate jerk IIRC.

Kengo Biddles said...

There's a lot of opinions, Beck, but I think what matters most is what you work out between yourself and God.

-L- said...

Old Phineas Gage is an interesting case all right. And if I end up with a piece of rebar through my skull, perhaps I'll lose both my sensitivity AND my sexual orientation. But that's not what I meant, as you know!

And Chris, while I completely agree that sexuality is about much more than who you are attracted to, I don't consider it an all or nothing package. If you change one part of the situation (i.e. who you are attracted to), it doesn't necessarily mean that the entire world comes crumbling down leaving a shambles of a broken man. Nobody has said anything that convinces me that the other aspects of your sexuality and personality can be entirely preserved.

And while Evergreen does try to change sexuality indirectly, it doesn't do so by removing desirable parts of your personality, it does so by removing self-doubt and insecurities. Since I don't think anybody here puts much stock in what they think, I won't even comment on that!

It all comes down to heresay, though, as nobody here has changed their sexual orientation. I understand the intuition that I think we all have that we can't be different than we are and somehow still be us. But, it's just not true. We're perpetually different from ourselves as time goes on, and that's just life.

Beck said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I find such strength in your support and insights! Though we aren't all on the same path, there is a common theme of respect and combined strength. I feel it and am grateful for it!

More to come...

Kengo Biddles said...

Beck, you and Elbow have the most ecclectic pictures on your blog. Where do you get them?

Beck said...

KB: What do you mean? That's me right after a fight with my wife where she had had it with me and my ranting and angst and dropped a bucket of blue paint over my head!

Seriously, I'm trying to outdo Elbow, but his recent "heart" photo tops them all... can't even hold a candle to that one for "ecclectic"!:)

Beck said...

KB: P.S. the recent ocean photos are my own handiwork. The rest are typically from a simple search on "google image"...