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Asked and Answered

16 Jul

In my first post I stated that some family and friends “have left the building” and that upset some folks just as I figured it would.

Hey… traffic is slow during rush hour and we all know it but we can’t stop going to work.  We have to plod through it and keep our sanity and do what we are committed to do for our employers.  (My employer just happens to be my soon to be former wife.)  So there…you just got to experience one of my analogies first-hand.

I knew some would be upset, angry, mad, confused or even down right ticked off, but I will not stop blogging.  I have grown more in the past 24 hours than I have in the past several months.  I believe that some people have a less-than-stellar view of me because in the past I have failed to properly deal with my feelings, emotions and behaviors.  I have sat down when I should have been standing (and vice versa), I have been quiet when I should have been outspoken (and vice versa),  and I have been weak when I should have been strong (and vice versa) .  I have said things to others that I should have said directly to the offending person.  NO MORE.  I won’t be a pacifist any longer.  If  I am wrong, I will admit it and move forward, if I feel used, I will tell you.  If you ask me how I’m doing, I will tell you the truth.  If you ask me to like something and I don’t I will say so.  I WILL BE HONEST.  No frills, no side-stepping and I expect the exact same from you please.  That is not a ticket for either of us to be unkind, rude or condescending to each other.  There should never be con descent in speaking the truth.  And while I’m talking about this folks, please remember that all truth does NOT have to be spoken.  If you know something about someone and telling them would NOT bring healing or restoration, then please keep a lock on it.  If you must tell someone, please call a  random phone number in another country speak your gossip then hang up.  There you’ve got it off your chest.

So now… let me address those that have “left the building.”  Some have left the building because I am gay, but in full disclosure, others left the building before that time (and this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back) because of past events or how I presented myself in the past.  I have not always been who I am becoming today.  You see, concealing who you really are for nearly 43 years causes some severe character and behavioral flaws. Those flaws present themselves in various forms both physical, spiritual and behavioral. I’m not a Doctor or Social Worker.  I told you…  I’m barely street smart.  I always tease my former wife that while she graduated Cum Laud, I on the other had graduated “thank-da-Lawd.”  I don’t even know if I spelled that right.  I’m a low “C” student which makes me a little shy of average.  Hey… but I’m darn funny.  I am well aware that I struggle with self-worth, acceptance, fear, shame and many other things that make me want to withdraw and be alone.  I find it difficult to be in places where I am not in control and I will usually overcompensate for my weaknesses to take charge and this can make people uncomfortable from time to time.  I’m learning to be more sensitive in that area.  Wow did I just admit to being sensitive maybe?

I do not know what all my flaws are and how they have been manifested in the past, but those of you who have “left the building”  sure do. You have been quick to point them out to me or share them with others.  I’m not angry… just stating the obvious.  I likely gave you reason to be unhappy with me.  You have asked me to “own up to it.” and I get that.  But what exactly does “owning up to it” change?  How does owning up to it bring forgiveness and healing?  Do you want a winner and a looser, a right and a wrong?  Wouldn’t you just rather me work on my flaws and become a better person?  But please… don’t be bitchy with me because your flaws are different from mine.  You have contributed to my frustration and craziness and I have contributed to yours.  If you want a reset button to erase all of your past indiscretions, (and trust me… I love reset buttons) then you are REQUIRED to offer that same ‘reset’ to everyone around you.  If not, you speak in hypocrisy.  You know nothing about someone until you have walked in their shoes and lived in their home and worked at their work.  Treat others like you wish to be treated.  Lets practice mercy, grace and forgiveness.   And no… I will not subject myself or my three ladies to any event or gathering where those of you seek to point out our flaws and stand in judgement of the way that we choose to navigate our life.  It is my responsibility to protect and shield those three ladies and that is what I will do even if it means foregoing “tradition.”  Because when it’s all over here on this earth and I’m on my way to heaven, It will be those three ladies who knew exactly who I am and what I lived for.  I made them promise to cremate me and go on a cruise to dump my ashes.  Fish Food!

We have a duty as friends and family to protect and serve those we love.  You cannot serve  and protect someone who you do not believe in or that you believe you are better than.  If we say we live a cup-half-full life but treat others like they don’t even deserve a cup, then same on us all.

I will not participate in conversations where we go through each others trash container to see who has more trash or whose trash is trashier.  …But you said this and she said that and we heard and you heard that he said that she said that you said that I said… blah blah blah.  And to top it all off, I have messages, emails and text messages to prove that your flaws are much worse than mine.  REALLY?  REALLY?  We humans all seem to hear exactly what we want to hear until we get busted for saying something we shouldn’t have.  Why is it that we wish to “catch” someone doing something wrong instead of something right.  It’s called human nature or selfishness… take your pick, the result is the same… DIVISION.  Are you the type that complains fervently about poor service but fail to give praise when you have good service? C’mon be brutally honest with yourself.  Next time you are at a restaurant and you get good (not Perfect) service, ask for the waiter/server to come over with his/her manager and publicly in front of their boss praise them.  You will feel great and so will the server.  And don’t forget to leave an extra tip.

Finally I’d like to address this statement:  “But you have changed so drastically… It’s like you are a whole different person…  You are not who you used to be”…YES I HAVE!…   yes I am, and no I’m not,  and if we are alive, we should be looking for opportunities of growth and change too.   I have accepted that I am flawed but being gay is not one of them.  In fact this post have very little to do with Why I Am gay.  I still don’t know the answer to that question any more that you know the answer to the question of why you have the color eyes that you do.  You just do…  It’s how God made you.

So you asked and I answered and you probably don’t even remember your original question.  I do.  “Why don’t you just own it?”  I have and I will own “it” whatever “it” is, but I will not let “it” define my future.  Please don’t let the past rule your future.  Stop looking for someone to blame… someone to be right and someone to be wrong.  It’s so unbecoming.  I have a question…  Why don’t YOU own it?  Own what?…  I’m so glad you asked.  Own your future, own your today!  Commit to look past petty flaws. Love, support and protect those around you.  For some of us, the damage is done and it is irreparable, but yet do not let that define you as you move forward with new relationships and friendships commit to seek the good and let it cover the bad.  Do not give yourself an excuse to be judgmental and combative. You will be happier and you’ll have more friends.

I am thankful to the over 300 people who read my first post.  I am shocked and elated.  I had no idea I could write.  Please don’t cherry-pick my blog.  Don’t read it if you are just looking for fodder to make yourself feel better about your past or my past.  Today is a new day for me.  Today I choose to hit my reset button and in good measure, you get to as well.  No judgement, nothing held back.  Past is past and the future is now.  I’ll be clear, this does not give everyone a pass to be in your circle of trust,  it’s a commitment to practice kindness, mercy and forgiveness and not judgement going forward.  Some relationships are not recoverable but it doesn’t have to be combative any longer either.

I just had the loveliest conversation with my sweet mother.  We laughed, we loved, we shared and we cried.  But most of all we communicated. I sense a new relationship of love and support growing.  I’ll blog about that next time

Mercy, Grace and LOVE.

RESET!!!

Chet

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18 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

18 responses to “Asked and Answered

  1. Cheryl Milazzo

    July 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Don’t worry… I had family ” who was never in the building”!! LOL. We support you!!

     
  2. Blaine

    July 16, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    🙂 So cool to hear about your convo with your mom!

     
  3. julorama67

    July 17, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    I am loving your Blog!!! I keep thinking about metal being made stronger when it is honed in a hot fire. That metal is you going through this journey and being made stronger in Christ. I pray that your honesty about your journey will help other Gay Christians in their journey. Blessings to you my Brother!!!

     
  4. Judi Staggers

    July 17, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    Thanks for sharing your heart <3. Favorite part is your conversation with your SWEET MOM. I LOVE YOU BROTHER

     
  5. Why Am I Gay?

    July 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    She is the BEST-est!

     
  6. Why Am I Gay?

    July 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    I’m doing my best to be real and help others to be real as well. Thanks for your support. LOVE ya!

     
  7. Why Am I Gay?

    July 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Yeah! That lady is amazing.

     
  8. Why Am I Gay?

    July 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    (((Hugs)))

     
  9. Julie P Hahn

    July 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Just know I am enjoying your blog! I am inspired to be more than yesterday and to stop judging people when I really don’t know what they are really dealing with. Thank you Cuz!! Love you!

     
  10. Why Am I Gay?

    July 17, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Its a tough lesson to learn and we are never too old to stop being unkind. Not everyone will be nice, but that shouldn’t make me mean. I cannot give someone else control of my today. It’s mine that God gave to me and I’m gonna share it. Wish we were all wiser when we were young. lol. Say hello to everyone at the class reunion if you go. I won’t be able to make it. (((Hug))) Is that gay or what? lol

     
  11. Connie Lambert

    July 17, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Consider yourself lucky to have emptied some of the building. You now have room for those to trulywant to be there. Love you.

     
  12. Why Am I Gay?

    July 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    I never looked at it in that light. I love it. You make me smile each time I see you.

     
  13. Jeff

    July 17, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Hello Chet!

    I hope this is not too forward of me but, I could not resist writing you a message after reading your blog. Let me introduce myself; my name is Jeff. I was born and raised in a very large, and very mormon family. I also had the fortune of picking the gay card at birth and am still waiting for my refund on life. Unfortunately, it is looking more and more like the check was lost in the male (Freudian slips are fun!).

    Like yourself, I have spent countless nights praying to whoever was listening to take away this vast weight I had been carrying on my shoulders. I certainly didn’t ask for it, at least I don’t remember thinking I could really go for a healthy dose of depression, self loathing, and disappointment for myself and loved ones. Why wasn’t it going away? Night after night sobbing into a pillow, wrestling with my demons, and not seeing any hope. Luckily, I never seriously entertained the idea of ending my life, but sometimes I feel like that would have been comparable to what I experienced. You see, I just stopped living. My way of dealing with my “little problem” was simply just not dealing with it, or anything for that matter. I locked myself in my room for years. I existed. That’s about as far as it went. Existence. I pushed away my family, my friends, my happiness, my life. If I didn’t do anything, then technically, it wouldn’t be an issue right?!

    After about a half decade of that bright spot in my life. I could not do it any more. I was at the proverbial fork in the road. I had a few choices ahead of me, I could continue existing and wallowing in my despair, I could suppress what I was feeling and pretend like it was not real and try to build a life around that, or I could call a duck a duck and play the cards I was dealt. I decided to take door number three.

    As with many people in my position or similar circumstances, I made some poor, irrational choices. After living my life according to how I was told it should be lived, it was my time to do what I wanted. I made some pretty bad judgment calls to say the least. But you know what? I was making choices! I was doing something rather than rotting in my room. While I certainly wish some of those choices had panned out differently, and more importantly the consequences for those choices, I will not regret them. They saved my life. As with all experiences in life, I learned from them, and I like to believe that I grew from them. I am a different person, with flaws yes, but for the first time in my life I know who I am and I am OK with it.

    Your story really strikes home to me. Your story is door number two in my fork in the road. My heart breaks for you and your family. I am in awe with how you have handled it. Your love and devotion to your soon to be “former wife” is truly inspiring. I hope with all of my being that you both are able to move past this and find true happiness.

    Along my journey I was lucky enough to come across a friend of yours, Jarod Beaman. He has helped me in so many ways come to terms with who I am. I am deeply indebted to him for that. I also owe his family more then I will ever be able to repay. His sisters Amber and Heather, were the first people in my entire life who made me feel like I wasn’t different. They accepted me for who I was. For the first time, I started seeing myself as Jeff, and not Jeff who is gay. For my entire life, I have always subconsciously tacked that little addition on when thinking about myself. What a difference that has made for me. While my sexuality is a part of me, it does not define me.

    I know in your blog you express your faith and I admire you for that. I struggled for along time with the teachings that I had been raised with. Ultimately, I decided that I could not believe in a religion that did not support me for who I am and how [God, Jehova, Allah, Yahweh, Zeus, the Universe, take your pick and insert here] made me. I don’t pretend to know what will happen to me in the afterlife, or even if there is an afterlife. All I, or anyone can do is live life to how they see fit. I strive to be a good person, helping others, and showing love and compassion whenever possible. If that is not enough to save my soul, then so be it. Luckily religion is evolving, or interpretation of scripture is changing. Along with public perception of our “little problem”, homosexuality and religion are becoming not so polarized. Hopefully in time it will not be seen as a one or the other type of thing. I applaud you for staying true to who you are and what you believe to be true.

    I want you to know Chet that you are an amazing person. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Your story has truly touched me. Your bravery for what you have done and how far you have come is inspirational. I thank you for sharing your journey. I hope you don’t mind if I continue to hijack Jarod’s facebook to follow your blog. I feel a little like I have invaded on such an intimate and personal thing and I don’t even know you. I apologize if I have overstepped my bounds.

    Much love and support,

    Jeff

     
  14. Why Am I Gay?

    July 17, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Jeff. I too stand in awe of you and your bravery to share your story. It is men like you who inspire me to live alive. Keep following and please share this blog on your FB wall. I would like to use your story in an upcoming blog.

     
  15. Jeff

    July 17, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    I would be honored if you choose to use my story. The only way to make things better for everyone is sharing our stories and educating others.

     
  16. Why Am I Gay?

    July 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Thx. Remember to share the blog on yours and jarods wall. Thx.

     
  17. Nedra Perez

    July 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I’am so sorry for everything u been through carrying this burden alone I am fine with this it dosen’t change the wonderful person you are I support what ever makes u happy love you always aunt Nedra

     
  18. Why Am I Gay?

    July 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Aunt Nedra,
    Pain is part of growth. I’ve learned to embrace it and grow.
    Thx.

     

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