I’m pretty sure that just about everyone who is or has for any length of time been attracted to their own sex has thought of it at least once as a curse. For the first several years after I realized I was exclusively attracted to men, I thought it was pretty much the worst thing that could happen to me. I looked at my friends, my family, my church leaders and thought, “What could they be dealing with that is half has painful and hopeless as this?” Other times, I found myself somewhat proud of it because I thought that God must think that I had some deep inner strength to have laid such a difficult test in front of me.
While it was hard coming to the realization of what I was feeling and struggling with the fear and the shame of it as a young teen, I still had so much hope that God would rescue me from it. I looked at it as some kind of loyalty test and if I just trusted Him and was faithful, that He would make it all go away. Part of me thought that I could fix myself through sheer strength of will. Wherever I was at, though, I never followed the train of thought that would lead me to think about what my future would be like if I was never freed from these bonds.
As I became a young adult, I began to realize that my attractions might never change, but I told myself that didn’t matter. If it was in God’s will, I would find a woman to marry and it would all work out somehow. However, with each passing year, it looked less and less likely. The time in my mid twenties was probably the bleakest in this sense because I had lost almost all hope in the future I had dreamed of. I tried to imagine that I could live a happy single celibate life, but the more I thought about it, the less it seemed possible. Too many nights alone, too many deep thoughts and feelings left unverbalized, not nearly enough hugs and cuddling (Side note: I think the last time I cuddled with someone was probably with my mom and long enough ago that I can’t really recall it with any clarity. This action that so many people take for granted is something I look at with mixed feelings of longing and a curiosity for something that feels a bit alien to me).
However, very recently, I feel like I’ve begun to come out the other side. I still doubt that I will ever marry, but it no longer feels like a death sentence. I also still have doubts that I’ll develop deep lasting friendships that will endure for even significant portions of my life, but I understand that I can make it without that. I’m filled with an unnamed hope in something I can’t see or even really imagine, but I’m excited to see what lies ahead and I believe that God will provide who and what it will take to get me there.