My So Called Life - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Embrace life -- both the sweet days and the bitter...embrace the joy and the sadness...the successes and the defeats -- for all of these things, both good and bad, have made you who you are.

Friday, July 22, 2005

My Struggle - Homosexuality vs. Christianity, The Beginning Of It All

One of my best friends Samuel always asks me the same question whenever we discuss the struggle many gay men face: the struggle between Homosexuality vs. Christianity.

The Question: Why do you not seem conflicted by the struggle?

I guess to give an accurate reflection on this I would need to go back many, many years. I have not really gone into great detail about this struggle with anyone. As my friend Samuel can tell you, I am a deeply private person who internalizes almost everything. I think long before I speak and even longer before I share my innermost feelings. So here goes.

I did not grow up in a Christian home. Enough said. Both of my parents grew up going to church but we did not past the age of 5 or so. Insert here my entire elementary, middle school, and high school years with no exposure to church. I graduate high school and I am off to Baylor University (Baptist capitol of the world!).

Why Baylor?...Definitely not b/c of the Baptists...b/c of their educational programs.

So I arrive at Baylor, the largest Baptist University, at the age of 18 having never really stepped foot inside a church in 13 years. I make friends with everyone on the hall of my dorm, and in particular two young gentleman whose names shall not be mentioned. I befriend these guys and grow closer as the months progress.

Fast forward to November. I still have not attended church, but everyone I know does. Not a shocker at Baylor, right? So one Sunday I attend with one of the afore mentioned gentleman to a nice conservative church called Woodway Baptist. The service is nice enough, but it doesn't necessarily hit me. What does hit me is the sincerity of my friend who took me.

Skip forward two weeks. It is now November 15, 1996. It is about 10:30 or so at night and the two guys I made mention of before ask me if I want to go to a late night Whataburger run with them. I say yes of course! (Love me some Whataburger!) We are in the drive thru line when the guy who is driving starts talking to our other friend about his uncle who is not a Christian but is very sick. My friend who is driving says that he is very worried about his uncle b/c his uncle is not "saved".

I looked at him (I was sitting in the front passenger seat) and I asked my friend if he was worried about me. Never before had one word hit me so deep to the core of my being. In that brief moment, the world around me literally froze (I am not kidding!) and all I heard was his answer:

Yes.

For some reason I just went silent. I couldn't speak. I had never been that affected by church or anything else. I leaned my head up against the passenger window and rested there all the way back to the dorm.

We parked, and began walking to the dorm, but I lagged behind. One of my friends walked ahead and the other one (the driver checked on me!) He then said that if I ever needed to talk about anything I could always come to his room. I said thanks!

I caught up with the lead guy and walked up to the back door of the dorm and slid my ID card into the little card reader to unlock the door. I held the door open and allowed my two friends to walk in ahead of me.

As the door slammed shut behind me my life changed forever...

7 Comments:

  • At 11:58 PM, Blogger Hannibal said…

    I just came across your blog while googling and I would like to say you have such a neat blog! I was really touched by its content cos I found that you are a sincere and frank guy. Your story about Homosexuality vs. Christanity caught my attention too. It just reminded me of a similar story I read in The Advocate magazine by George Michael who said that the last time he stepped into a church for something other than a wedding or a funeral.Anyways,as Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. "Dr. Seuss", a former member of Goldstein's Dartmouth Fraternity said" Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"!

     
  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger Matthew said…

    Hannibal -

    Thank you for your comment - very well said and posted - I love that quote as well - one of my favorites - always good to meet another well spoken blogger.

    Matt

     
  • At 1:23 AM, Anonymous sam said…

    Can't wait to hear the rest of this one. I don't know anyone who hasn't been in a similar situation and I'm always fascinated by how differently we all can seem to handle it.

     
  • At 2:46 AM, Blogger Hannibal said…

    It's my pleasure :)

     
  • At 2:48 AM, Blogger Hannibal said…

    By the way I like your sense of humor:)

     
  • At 3:45 AM, Blogger Scotty said…

    Awesome start...can't wait to hear the rest and we will defintiely wai tto come to Atlanta after you are there! I am sure we would all ahve a grweat great time.

     
  • At 4:22 AM, Blogger purpletwinkie said…

    Great entry Matt. I can't wait for the next installment!

    Have a good weekend. Hope the interview went well on Friday!

     

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