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Stolen Fatherhood

May 2014 marks approximately two years since I publicly came out of the closet and began to live my authentic, God-given life as a gay man.  The past two years have been tumultuous and peaceful at the same time.  As I reflect over the past two years, I can report some good progress as well as some not-so-good progress.  Progress isn’t always positive, but its progress nonetheless.

My relationship with my three siblings is nonexistent. My relationship with the “church” is just about nonexistent. Strange being that I committed my entire life to church ministry at one time.  Let me be clear… when you “cross” the “church,” there is no longer mercy and grace.  That is replaced with judgement and “loving the sinner and HATING the sin.” [my emphasis on hating]  Ironic that the “cross” teaches just the opposite of that.  I have severed ties with people who continue to propagate that homosexuality is a choice and that I am less-than.  I will not tolerate that type of bigotry from a Facebook friend or a personal friend.  If you don’t stand against it, you stand for it by default.

I can get along just fine without that garbage.  Believe as you wish, but when you publicly align yourself with people and “ministries” who pretend to be an authority on a subject that they know nothing about, I take it as a personal slam and disrespect toward me, my children and those in my “community.” I will rise up and defend.  On a brighter note, my relationship with my parents is positively progressing.  In my ever so humble opinion, I would not say that they “support” me, I do know that they love and respect me. I intentionally keep that relationship as “surface” as possible.  I am simply not ready, nor do I see the need to go deeper at this point.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again…  my parents did the BEST with what they had, and when they knew better, they did better.  I am in a happy place with them.

My former wife and I continue our great friendship.  After all, she is the only woman who I have ever loved.  July 18th will always have a special place on my calendar.  She is the one who had to bear my “coming out” all alone.  She and I have been through a lot over the past 17 years and I could not ask for a better friend.  She is magnificent!  I am ever indebted to her for all that she means to me and for all that she is

Today I decided to meet my daughters at school for lunch.  The are 8 and 11 respectively.  I did not announce that I would be joining them, so it was a surprise for them.  It made my heart so happy that they ran up to me with a huge hug and a kiss… ON THE LIPS too!  They are not shy about how much they love their daddy.  Upon leaving the school for lunch, I began to reflect.  This is only the second time that I have joined them for lunch.  It made me sad.

It made me sad because living in the closet robbed me of my role as a father.  How is that?  I’m so glad that you asked. For the first 9 years of being a father I felt completely undeserving.  I was ashamed of who I was and was certain that if my children knew who I truly was, that they too would be ashamed of me.  I was deeply fearful that if their friends and parents caught on to the fact that their father was gay that my children would be rejected by their friends and parents.  So, I stayed away.  I stayed away from birthday parties, school events and other social events.  I knew that I had some “gay” behaviors and eventually people would become suspect of me and my sexual orientation. A was called gay, faggot, queer and princess to my face and behind my back all my life.  So being deemed a gay father would just be too much.  All I wanted to do was protect myself and my children from having as “sissy” father.  I wanted my kids to be able to say, “My dad is bigger than your dad” and “My dad can kick your dads butt.”  You know how it goes when you’re in school. It just never worked out like that for me. I felt inadequate because I wasn’t “manly” enough.

So when they ran to me in the lunch room today and jumped into my arms and gave me a big, juicy, sloppy wet kiss, I learned a powerful lesson.  They don’t give a crap that their daddy is attracted to men.  They don’t care that their dad is gay.  What they care about is that I show up.  That I love them unconditionally.  That I hug them and hold them when they are in need.  That I’m real, honest, authentic and loving.  My oldest even proudly introduced me to her classmate whose parents are a same-sex couple. It helped to heal my heart just a little bit more.

So no more hiding from the other parents, I am worthy to be called father, daddy and parent.  Those stolen years are in the past!  NO MORE!  I am SUPER-DAD…  and if you don’t believe me, just ask my two daughters.

Now I’m going out to buy me a cape, spandex and sneakers.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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The day I prayed for Lust

I promised myself that when I started this blog that I would write honestly and vulnerable.  I am keeping with my commitment so far and today will be no different.  The title of this post is obviously going to get my readers to really tune in.  That is intentional.  Thank you for reading.

I’m not looking for a theological debate of any sort.  I’m not a good debater.  However, as with each post, I get one or two of the religious-ish that wish to either correct, implore, inform, scold or debate me.  It’s like asking me how I feel…  The answer is neither right or wrong.  I am who I am and feel what I feel.  So pretty please save your self-righteous quips, quotes and other forms of your opinion for someone else.  I have no shortage of opinions.  Just ask my co-workers and daughters.

There IS a reason that I write this blog.  Some of you don’t see it and the fact that I claim that I have an actual reason shocks some of you.  Oh well… I don’t write to impress you or seek your approval.  As a matter of fact, I don’t even write to change your mind or your belief structure.  If somehow you change your mind, even just a teeny bit, then it is not me who changed your mind, but you yourself.

I DO write to share my journey and experience because I KNOW that I am NOT alone.  The words I write are helping others in some form or fashion and that makes it worth the pain of revisiting my wounds and insecurities each time I blog.

I’m so glad that I got that out-of-the-way.  Now let’s get back to the topic at hand.  My desire for lust.  Let me first give you my working definition of lust so that we are all singing from the same sheet of music.

In Old English (and several related Germanic languages), “lust” referred generally to desire, appetite, or pleasure. The sense of “to have a strong sexual desire (for or after)” is first seen in biblical use in the 1520s.

Today, the meaning of the word still has differing meanings as shown in the Merriam-Webster definition. Lust is:

  1. a: pleasure, delight b: personal inclination: wish
  2. intense or unbridled sexual desire: lasciviousness
  3. a: intense longing: craving, a lust to succeed b: enthusiasm, eagerness, admired his lust for life.

My working definition of lust for this particular post is a combination of all three of the above.  Let me explain.

Several days ago, I happened to be with my former wife.  We are great friends.  Actually I’ve never had a better friend. She was about to go somewhere and as usual she was all dolled up.  I honestly think that she was going grocery shopping.  She stepped outside and posed the cutest pose ever and declared, “I’m foxy and ya know it!”  Our two daughters were playing in the driveway agreed and I confirmed that she did look quite “foxy.”  We all had a great laugh and she went on her way.

As she went on her way, I stared at her until I could no longer see her.  I then looked at my two daughters who are as “foxy” as their mother and got all teared up.  I actually turned away so that they wouldn’t notice.  My heart began to hurt.

I looked up at the sky (because I have been taught that God is up there somewhere) and I literally prayed that God would give me lust for my former wife.  I know a beautiful woman when I see one,  I understand beauty.  What gay man doesn’t? Right?  This was different.  It struck a chord that I didn’t want struck.  I have been making such great progress in accepting my authentic self as a gay man. However…

I wanted to feel for her what in my head and heart I feel for men.  I wanted to feel Lust for her… Pleasure, delight, intense longing, craving…  and I’d be an absolute liar if I didn’t admit that I asked him to give me sexual lust for her.  How is that for vulnerable?  It’s almost embarrassing to admit.  But in fact it is true.  I literally found a quiet place to cry (again) for a while.  I’m always looking for a good reason to cry.  🙂

Well that’s odd Chet!  You “come out” as a gay man.  You divorce your wife of 14 years 3 months and 1 day, because you are not sexually attracted to women and now you pray for God to help you lust after her?   You are quite diabolical… and weird.  Thanks for that, Captain Obvious.

Well, I’m glad you noticed and finally spoke up.  I was wondering if you were alive.

Let me now share why I shared all of the above.  Let’s first go back to the statement that I made earlier about not writing to change your mind, but writing more for those who share my struggle and situation.  There are men and women alike who need a common bond to realize that they are not alone. Listen to me sir and ma’am.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  There is a LARGE community of Formerly Married Gay and Lesbians who are here to stand and cry and grow with you.

Second, the frustration and anger that I feel because yet there are still people in my life who believe that somehow I “CHOSE” to be gay.  That I am rebelling against God, the church and religion.  They express sorrow for me, my former wife and my children.  I don’t want or need your sorrow.  I NEED your understanding.  They talk “shit” and judge. Talk about ignorant.  Yet they do NOTHING but speak ABOUT me and not TO me. Pretending that they have all the answers because they know “what the Bible says.”  Come all you who will… walk in my shoes for a week.  It’s easy to play Monday-morning-quarterback, (or whatever the hell that reference is) when you don’t even know where the darn locker room is.  Oops… I’m gonna take a hit for that.  Leave it to a gay may to bring up the locker room… geez

Third, the guilt, shame and pain that I live with and process on a daily basis.  Could I have prayed harder as a child, teen, adult to be straight. Could I have done more “guy” things to be straight.  Could I have taken some “get straight” classes to be straight.  Should I have just killed myself as I had planned and plotted several times.

That is why I prayed that God would grant me lust for my former wife.  I would have my “normal” life back.  I would forgo the lack of friends, the lack of family ties, the fear of spending holidays alone or without my children, the stares, the whispers, the judgement and the gossip.

For all these things I prayed for LUST.

You see, I don’t have that kind of “feeling” for females.  I notice beauty, I notice glamour and I even notice boobs, (yep I just said boobs)  but the desire to have a sexual relationship with a female simply does not exist in my human make up.  It never has and I denied and hid it as long as I could.

I knew that “coming out” had its price.  I wasn’t sure that I had enough money to ride that train.  Sometimes I feel bankrupt, homeless, useless, ashamed of and abandoned.  As one family member wrote to me in a letter… “You didn’t lose your integrity, you willingly threw it out of the window.”  Yep I feel that way sometimes too… and thanks for the love. Glad to see that your life is in perfect order or at least “better” than mine.  (Insert Sarcasm)

For the first time I don’t even know how to end this blog post.  I always like to end on a “happily ever after” note but I just don’t know how to do that today.  I’ll bounce back, I always do.  Some of you will post words of encouragement and it will make me feel good.  Some of you will confirm in your mind that I’m nuts and have fallen away from God and will likely burn in hell.  I’m OK with that too.  I don’t need your permission to be me.  I have heard it said that you can never appreciate the light without experiencing the darkness.  Damn its dark up in here!

So I’ll just sit in the dark for a bit.

-Chet

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Let me clarify.

I have not personally posted since June.  There is a good reason for that. I don’t really know what that reason is, but I I’m confident that its a good one.

At the time of this writing it is 1 AM and I will be boarding a plane to Maui in less than 8 hours. This means that I  must be ready to head to Sky Harbor International Airport by 5:45 AM. I am posting from smart phone so you will just have to tolerate my bad grammar and punctuation.

Why are you up at 1 AM?  I’m so glad you asked. There are several reasons.

The first is that I get very anxious before I travel. I love to travel, but it makes me anxious that I may forget something. Being A.D.D. just adds to my anxiety.

The second is that my adrenaline is so high right now. I was laying on the couch with my youngest daughter and was dozing off when I was awakened by a scorpion crawling on my bare naked leg. I flicked it off of me before it stung me and I couldn’t find it. I spent over an hour and tore the family room apart until I found that sukka and killed it.

So now that the Scorpion is dead and my daughter’s are safely tucked into bed, I have watched house wives of New Jersey and now I’m listening to Dr. Phil as I write this. I’m still wide awake.

There is likely a third reason that that I cannot sleep which is much deeper than I will likely go into now.

I am a bit sad and disappointed.  I have been trying to strengthen my relationship with someone.  Since accepting that I am a gay Christian almost two years ago our relationship has become vulnerable and fragile to say the least.

In my attempt to strengthen this relationship, I asked them to join me in reading a book that would give us both a new perspective on being gay and being Christian. Something I have struggled with my whole life.

Sadly they showed little interest in joining me in learning more about what the Bible has to say about being gay. The lack of interest and their disposition took me off guard and quite honestly hurt my spirit.

It shocked me that someone can take such a hard position on something and not consider ALL valid scriptural documentation that would strengthen a relationship. So I’m bummed and sincerely have no idea how to move forward.

So the title of my blog so far has had little to do my writing, so let me tie this up.

Some people take the position that my “gayness” is “tolerable” IF I remain in a heterosexual marriage, if I DON’T “practice” my “lifestyle” and if I Dont “act” gay in public. Really… Listen to that and tell me that it doesn’t sound ridiculous. Well it does to me.

So here Is my clarification just in case you or I may have missed something along the way.

I AM A GAY MAN.
I am attracted physically to men.
I am attracted sexually to men.
I date men.
I am NOT a heterosexual.

I am a gay man.
I was previously married to a woman.
I am a father of two daughters.
I am now divorced.

I am a gay man.
I am still someones son.
I am still a father to my daughters.
I am still GREAT friends with my former wife.

I am a gay man.
I am a Christian.
I will not go back into a closet.

So therefore, you may personally deny that I am gay and live a gay “lifestyle” but I no longer deny any of it.

The year is 2013 and there is so much credible BIBLICAL proof that being gay is not only normal, but affirmed by scripture. It is public information that a simple Google search will lead you to vieiws on both sides of the debate.

Ignoring the available information to protect your position and opinion will NOT go away.

Your mind is like a parachute… It works best when its open.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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HUGE step forward.

Posted to FB by my friend.  I Concur.

Filled with hope today. . . the Church just took a gigantic, courageous step forward! Exodus International, a Christian ministry to Gays and Homosexuals that for over 30 years has worked to help people “overcome” their homosexuality, has had a change of heart. The ministry will shut down, and the president, Alan Chambers, offered an apology on the website that included this: “It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the Church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt,” said Chambers. “Today it is as if I’ve just woken up to a greater sense of how painful it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry church. . . “More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives.” Proud of you, Alan Chambers.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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“The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality” on YouTube

 
 

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Yes… I’m being selfish

Today I am being selfish.  For all of my life, fathers day has been about my father and my grandfathers.  Even after I became a father 10 years ago, I accepted no praise or honor for being a father.  It was even uncomfortable to hear others wish me a “happy fathers day.”   I guess it has been said that we only accept the love and appreciation that we believe that we deserve.  I did not feel deserving, in fact…  I sort of felt guilty for being a father because I always knew that I was gay  …and gay people surely cannot be GOOD or GOOD ENOUGH parents right?   Well enough of that!

I may not be perfect, but I’m a damn good dad.  Just ask my girls who are now 7 1/2 and 10 1/2 respectively.  Today I choose not to belittle myself and believe that I am undeserving of a day of celebration.  I earned this and I deserve to be treated with a little kindness and admiration today.  Unlike the letter that I received from someone telling me what an unkind, selfish, mean, nasty, hateful wretch that I am, but proceeded to declare that they were “all about family.”

I guess we attempt to portray onto others what we truly think or believe about ourselves.  I tore the letter into hundreds of pieces and trashed it.  I didn’t even share it with the other person that was attacked in the writing.  It will never be read again nor given any credibility.  It was total bull poops.  100% chicken poo.  Believing anything in that letter would be like going to a bankrupt, drunk bum on the corner and asking him for financial advice right? It’s a ridiculous premise at best.

So today I worked on a project with my daughters because that’s how we communicate best.  It’s a great time of bonding and teaching about life in general.  My two girls will surely know how to caulk and paint anything when we are done.  Yeah Ba-by!  Das what I’m talkin’ ’bout now.

We talked about why we don’t “hang-out” with our family any longer.  Oh, Now that’s a tough one.  To be honest I don’t know the real answer to that ladies.  “Is it because you’re gay dad?”  I’m not sure ladies…the reason keeps changing as the months go on.  “Then why?”  Well daddy got a letter today giving multiple reasons why, but It really came down to the fact that daddy wasn’t always the best brother and son when he was trying so hard to not be gay… daddy was living a real big fat lie.  “Well no one is perfect dad.”  I know that ladies but the person who wrote it thinks that they are.  “But’s that’s not Christian daddy!”  I know ladies, which is why we no longer identify with Christians.  “Well what are we?”  We are humans who believe that God is Love and therefore we will love.  We are God’s children.  “Even the people who don’t love us?”  Yes ladies.  But we don’t have to allow those who are unkind to be in our life.  So we just agreed to not give it credibility by “talking” about it anymore.

From this point forward, you will never hear me speak of parents or siblings.  I have none.  I will never measure up or be good enough.  I will never be “straight” enough.  I will never be right enough.  I will never be forgiven enough.  I will never be honest enough.  I will never be worthy enough.  I will never be kind enough.  I will never be “man” enough.  I will never be “christian” enough.  I will never be ANYTHING enough…  So moving right along..  We choose to connect with and speak of the people in our lives that have become chosen family.  Those that believe that we are “enough.”  Just like God does.   It makes for a much more peaceful life.

So Happy Fathers Day to all of our Chosen Family.  I’d like to keep chatting, but I have to finish that project with my girls and be the dad that I know that I am.  I.   AM.   DAD.   ENOUGH!!! 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Nuff Said…

image

Nuff Said…

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year?  What in the world?  I know right… “lemme ‘splain ya”

Happy New Year

This month marks one year that I made a conscious choice to make public that I am in fact a gay Christian.  For all of my life I have fought and battled with being gay.   I was baptized Catholic and converted to being Pentecostal around the age of 11. Speaking in tongues, lifting hands, casting out demons and spirits…  I was even told by many that being gay was a spirit of darkness sent by the devil himself.  You see… being gay was in no way, shape or form accepted, affirmed or tolerated in my world.  I believed that I had somehow failed my God and that I was being punished.  Punished from what?  Hell, I don’t know… That was part of my disconnect.  I could not for the life of me figure out what I had done so wrong that this God of the universe hated me so much that he would torment me with such guilt, shame, depression, constant thoughts of suicide and anger.

I did all that I knew to do to make the gay go away,  I tried to sleep it away, pray it away, become a minister it away, marry it away, have children it away…  you get the picture.  Amidst all my tryings and longing to be “set free” from this alleged sin, the desire grew stronger and stronger. “It” was not going away.

The rest of my story is told throughout this blog. Take some time to read previous blogs and please, please, please share it with others.  The good the bad and the ugly.  I’d like to report that “all is well” and that everything worked out OK.  While I will not discredit the good that has come from my journey, the not so good is ever-present.

Most of my former friends are no more they left the building.  I did not say all… I said most.  My immediate family which includes my two daughters and my former wife is being strengthened every day.  I am more connected to my daughters than I have ever dreamed of. They are both aware that their dad is gay and have not skipped a beat when it comes to love and affection. My former wife deserves a medal of honor for the way that she chose to navigate with me and my daughters even when she had a “right” to behave and act differently.  I know that when my day is bad… really bad, that somehow Christa will see the good in me and encourage me to keep going.  I pray often for her future husband and step-father to my daughters. She is the best friend that I never had.

The relationship with my siblings and parents…  this will get me into trouble… I have no relationship with my siblings and that causes my relationship with my parents to be awkward at best.  In full disclosure, some would claim that my broken relationship has nothing to do with me being gay, but there is no other source of the discord.  I confessed and owned in a previous blog, in person and in private letters that I was not always the best brother and son because I was hiding a big fat secret and I was so afraid that I would be found out.  A secret that was destroying me and those closest to me. I somehow wish there was something that I could do to magically make this situation better.  The truth be know, it will never be better as long as religion is a factor.  I did not say God…  I said religion… let me make that clearer… this will not get better as long as a denomination is involved.  God is God…  Denominations are divisive. I never realized how judgemental, unkind and ungodly I was until I left the god of the “church/denomination” and embraced the God of the universe,  God the creator, the God of Love and Peace.

So after one year of being “out,” I am at a place where I am ok being gay.  I am ok being a gay dad, a gay christian a gay brother, a gay son, a gay friend and any other gay that you can fill in the blank with.  I no longer believe that God hates me.  As a matter of fact, I believe that He loves me more today that I have accepted that it is HE who allowed me to be gay. God Loves Me While I no longer attend “church” I do not have ill feelings or thoughts against those who do.  I am not yet in a place where I can embrace how a person or christian may respond to me or my daughters if they found out that I was gay.  I’m just not ready to sit in the pew again and be told who God is and how I should worship Him.  These are things that we must seek God directly for.  Never again will you hear me say “the Bible says” until I am certain by my own research and seeking.

Since this is my blog and I can say whatever I want to, I will share this “revelation” of sorts that I shared with a great christian friend of mine.  If homosexuality was so forbidden, so sinful, so awful  so important, so conflicting, so ungodly… then why is it that JESUS HIMSELF never spoke a word about it?  Slow down and think about it.  Breath and ask questions… allow yourself to think and process…  He said not one word about it. Reading what Jesus Said He remained silent on the topic. Let me say that more clearly… He kept his mouth shut.  He spoke often about loving others, accepting others, he ate with sinners, loved the unlovable… but NEVER spoke a jot or tiddle about homosexuality.  Never did he “heal” someone from this  awful “disease.”  Then why do his followers choose this mountain to stand on and scream “but the Bible Says….”  Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give resources to the poor, but not once did he say ‘Heal the homo’s” or “shun the sissies  or “lash out at the lesbo’s”  think about it.  He did not say for God so loved the Heterosexuals that He gave…  He said that God loved the WORLD… Humanity, Mankind.  

And if you don’t believe in God…   Then I respect and love you nonetheless.

Now go love your neighbor!

Chet

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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The Face Of Greatness – Guest Blogger: Janelle Norton

After a recent post here on my blog, I received a very kind reply from my new friend Janelle Norton.  What she had to say to me is posted in the comment section of the post entitled:  “I’m a PMGF.”  What she replied changed my perspective so deeply, that I wanted to hear more from her.  I therefore asked her to be my guest on my blog.
Here is a link to her blog if you’d like to read and know more about her:  http://onemomentnortonfamily.blogspot.com/
Janelle Norton
Chet,   I just wanted to say a few things before you read what I wrote. I am so appreciative of the chance to share the voice in my mind with you.  Its stories like you that remind me of who I am supposed to be.  This past week, in a neighboring community, we had a very young kid (13)  bring a gun into his junior high.  He walked into the bathroom and committed suicide.  I have been nothing but broken-hearted over this. There are so many people who just want to feel love and accepted, to feel like their life has a purpose without feeling judgement.  I wrote this with him on my mind and with words from your blog in mind. 
    I grew up in church Chet.  (John and Star were my youth pastors, and wonderful amazing people.  Probably some of the best, down to earth, real “Christians” I have ever met.)  However, when I was about 20 I hit a “rough” patch in my life.  Started questioning everything. You know what happened?  Every single Christian friend “disappeared”.  Not one stuck with me, not one held my hand, or walked me through the rough times.  I ended up having a baby out-of-wedlock when I was 23 with my boyfriend  (I married my baby daddy a while later and we had two more kiddos and NONE of this I regret). I still have not found my way back to “church”  not sure if  I ever will, I have felt for a very long time that I “did not fit the pew” as one of your friends stated on your blog said.  I have gone through many years of soul-searching and figuring out who I am and what is expected of us a people, not necessarily as Christians.  We may not agree on everything (I hold very few conservative view points) but one thing I can tell you for sure is you will keep changing Chet.  
    I have over the years changed my opinion and have changed my world view, I do believe my view is evolving all the time.  I see the world so differently but I believe for the better.  I wouldn’t change anything I walked through. Those rough times, those hard times where I felt so lonely remind me of who I am supposed to be.  I hope what I wrote is okay.  So here goes…
The Face of Greatness
Great explorers of man-kind have always looked to the sky, to the wind, to the horizon and held a belief that there was so much more than they could see.  The great risk takers, looked at the world as they knew it and said there has to be more.  There has to be more than that this tiny street I live on, there has to be more than what I can see.  It really was not that long ago that people thought the world was flat, or that women were witches and burned at the stake, or that women held no place in society other than to birth children, or that people of “color”did not deserve the most simplest of what life had to offer.
 
 The thought of something new, something new being acceptable is hard to comprehend.  Hence, why life has constantly been a battle, a battle between what you feel and what I feel, between what this country wants and what that country wants.  What this group of people believes is acceptable and what the other groups believes is not.  Putting it simply: I am right, you are wrong.
 
We live in age and in an era where voices, opinions, media are pushed in our faces as we are driving down the road, blaring through our radios, and popping up on our phones.  It’s easy to adopt view points to take them on as our own when you surround yourself with a constant barrage of “people” telling you: THIS IS WHO YOU ARE, THIS IS WHO YOU MUST BE.  There comes a point in time, where we must all choose, choose to put down the outside voices and close our eyes and listen.  Listen to the quiet and listen to the peacefulness, listen to that quiet little voice reminding you of why you are here.
 
We are here to still notice the horizon, to still look out at the stars and wonder, to walk outside and feel the wind blowing through the air and think, What am I?  Who am I?  We are all human beings who at the core want love and acceptance.  It’s not my place, it’s not my job to tell you who you need to be or what road you should choose.  My path is my own,  your path is yours.  The difference being what will I choose to do?  Will I be the person who lives unfulfilled?  Will I be the person that holds onto to selfishness, anger, and hatred? Or will I be the person to forgive? Will I be the person who will go the way of the great explorers and risk takers?  It is time for all of us, as the human race, as fellow citizens, as neighbors to stand up and look to the sky and regain that courageous spirit, the spirit of love and kindness.
 
There is not one of my neighbors who does not deserve love, mercy, compassion.  It is MY job as a person to look to my left and to look to my right and say who am I?  I am no better than the next.  I believe that humility sparks change, that love sparks change, that compassion sparks change.  Look at any great leader and you will find those qualities, you will see those qualities before you see anything else.  The face of greatness takes a moment, takes a breath and does not rise up in hate but in love and respect.
 
The bottom line is, it comes down to your choice on your behavior.  You have been made you for a reason, you were born with your first and last name for something specific, you have been born with the endless possibilities of greatness. You have the capability to see, to hear, to feel.  You have the capability of change, to spark change, to create change.  You were not born to hate, to judge, to dictate to another what they should be.  You control you,  you set your course, you decide if you are going to pack it in or if you will put on that face of greatness that you were meant to.
 
The face of greatness, is to have the expectation of ourselves to rise to the occasion.  You can be the person, you can be the one, you can be the risk taker, the great explorer of the unknown and the uncharted territories.  You can be the one to start progress, to kick-start a change.  The face of greatness. I believe you have what it takes.  I am talking to you… the mother, the father, the preacher, the teacher, the liberal, the conservative.  This is my message and what I believe is a requirement for all of us: Take a risk to be the face of greatness and love your neighbor as your self.
 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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I am a PMGF.

ImageOver the past several weeks, I have been stuck between the past, present and future.  You see… Being a gay man who was married for 14 1/2 years has put me in a category of society of which very little is known.  I have found myself angry, frustrated, mad, depressed, hopeless, sad, confused, bewildered and guilt-ridden.

Because I love my former wife and my two daughters so deeply, I still find myself upset that I am gay.  I want my family back, I want my house back, I want the dog, the cat… Ummm ok… maybe not the cat.  I don’t like cats.  I want to go places together and be recognized not as Chet, but as Chet who is married to Christa, his beautiful wife with two sweet girls that live in lovely suburbia in a beautiful home with beautiful wreath on the door,  a pool and great neighbors.  I MISS THAT… (and yes… I’m yelling).

Whatever uninformed, small-hearted, hateful, self-serving person that continues to tell me and any other “different” person that we CHOSE this… it is at times like this that I’d like to punch you in the neck for your insensitivity and downright stupidity. Image You sicken me with your bible thumping hateful opinions and misinterpretations of what Jesus really said… and somehow you simply forgot that you wear a rubber band bracelet with WWJD on it…  Take off your false advertising bracelets and your bumper stickers while you are at it.  You shame the God that you claim to represent.  (Wow glad I got that off my chest)

While some may debate me on this next issue, I would say that my life as a gay man who is formerly married is MUCH different from someone who has been gay their whole life or one who never married and had children.  I unequivocally accept that I am gay, but I am deeply struggling internally and externally with overcoming the guilt that I live with.  The guilt that overcomes me that I cannot explain at times. It is debilitating at times.  There are still days (while they may now be fewer) that I wish I had just gone through my plan of suicide. Everyone would be OK by now.  Instead I live daily with the wreckage that I have left behind.  (not reality, but somewhere in my mind.)

At the time of this writing, I am still not in relationship with my siblings and my relationship with my parents is cordial at best, but we may be making progress.  I’m told that this blog is in-part “responsible” for that separation. This simply adds another layer of complication and guilt that causes me physical sickness, emotional sadness and lots of tears.  I lost the support of my wife’s family through the divorce and I loss the support of my own family through years of hiding, guilt and shame and now being authentic.  In my mind, it will NEVER end and I need to somehow adjust… or “un-choose” my “lifestyle.”  Either way, I loose the real me.

So in response to my self-claim of “PMGF” (Previously Married Gay Father), I have taken to the internet to find as many PMGF’s as possible.  I have searched chat sites and other resources to locate those men, lest I go on feeling all alone and lest they go on feeling all alone.  In two weeks I have located and contacted 10 fathers in my area alone who are PMGF.  There are thousands more that I need to connect with.  Most are not blessed to have the support of their former wife or children as I am, but many have the support of their families, but somehow we usually feel alone.  Carrying guilt and shame of “destroying” our family for our “choice” of “lifestyle.”   So we will somehow, someway unite to support each other through what we feel is suffering in silence.  Another discovery is that MOST of these men are of Christian and/or religious faith and conservative politics and “values.”

Many of us (PMGF) wish to keep our faith and conservatism but feel that we must embrace the values bestowed  upon us by those non-faith and liberal gay community if we wish to be fully embraced by them.  So now we have the difficulty of hiding in our former life and again hiding in our “new” life. Over the past few months, I have personally been shamed by several in the gay community that simply cannot understand or respect my conservative and religious values. It has put me in a place of withdrawal.  So I’m attempting to be Rosa Parks, I will sit in the seat that I “chose” and I will practice my faith and conservatism.

I still continue to attend church (non-denom) with my former wife and children where on occasion I have to sit through a talk about my sinful “choice” and “lifestyle.”  I further have to re-educate my children on occasion when they tell me that their (church) teacher told them that they must love sinners and hate the sin of people who are gay.  However this is something that I have “chosen” to deal with as the education of my children is my responsibility and not that of a minister, pastor, deacon or teacher.  I do this in spite of the fact that I want to spit in the face of the “church” as a whole.  I gather myself and realize that most people in my church are OK with me being gay even though the “church” says differently.

So what about me being stuck between my past, present and future.  I am frustrated with myself about past of not being authentic and causing so much carnage.  I am stuck in my present because I am learning to navigate by my gauges only… the sky is foggy and unclear and I can barely see in front of my face. I’m stuck in my future because I simply don’t have a plan of where I am going yet.  I am simply circling around in my vessel trusting that I will not run out of fuel before the fog burns off and I can see clearly again and guide this vessel to safety.

namasteHuge, Mad respect to each of you who have reconsidered your belief system to show love and respect to Me, Christa and my girls.  To the rest of you… time is ticking and you are loosing valuable time with Me, Christa and my girls as you stand firm in your judgment, shame and hate.  It will not be long before the girls will be graduates and brides, and you will have missed it all.  All because their father is “different.”    The God in Me, Honors the God in you.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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