Monday, October 03, 2005

My escape from the straight lifestyle

One of the things that bothers me about many ex-gay testimonies is that they often talk about how horrible the "gay lifestyle" is, and how shallow and drug-, alcohol-, and sex-filled it is. I guess they never consider the fact that there are queer folks who don't live like that.

I was amused recently by the realization that most ex-gays' characterizations of the "gay lifestyle" fairly accurately describe my former "straight lifestyle." In the years prior to my coming out, I had a drinking problem, slept with people I didn't know, and used drugs when I partied with friends.

Oddly enough, since coming out in 1994, I've been celibate and alcohol-free and drug-free. Guess I won't be recruiting anyone into this fantastic party-like gay lifestyle with my story, will I?

While I admit that I might be one of the few people on the earth to have not had a sexual relationship after coming out (and one of the fewer still who might admit such a thing), I know I am not alone. And while most other gays and lesbians might not share my story, I know there are many out there who live pretty typical (probably boring) lives. I know I'm not alone in waiting for the right one. I'm also not alone in deciding to get my act together and quit drinking and start living in a healthy way. Straight and gay folks alike do this all the time.

What I'd like to see are ex-gays taking personal responsibility for the choices they made when they identified as gay, instead of trying to paint the entire gay community (whatever that is) as a degenerate bunch of shallow, alcoholic, sex-crazed drug addicts.

But perhaps I can turn this into a new career opportunity. I think I'll start touring around the country telling people how dangerous and damaging the straight lifestyle is, and how I found hope, healing, sobriety, and health in the gay lifestyle.

For the record, here is a snapshot of my gay lifestyle (don't read if you are the squeamish kind!): Alarm clock goes off. Take a shower. Dress. Feed the cats. Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Feed the cats. Eat. Play with the cats. Spend time on the computer. Talk to friends on the phone. Water plants. Read e-mail. Do dishes. Undress. Go to bed. Sleep. Repeat with minor modifications.

Pretty harrowing, isn't it? Almost makes you feel kinda dirty just reading the nitty gritty details...

8 comments:

  1. Whoa, girl, you are some depraved! ;-) And don't think I don't know that by "feed the cats" you really are alluding to some wild pussy-fest!

    Anyway, I think it is really important to get your head screwed on properly (no pun intended) while coming out, before you go bounding off into a sexual relationship. That is a pretty big revelation to deal with, and while you are going through all that, it would be too easy to start a relationship that isn't healthy or well-timed or whatever. Things happen when they do for a reason--it'll happen eventually. Hell, I was almost 30 before I lost my virginity, and never regretted that I waited that long to give it away.

    Kudos, ya party animal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh dear! You lead such a scandalous lifestyle now!!! Spending time on the computer of all things!! :) I'm very interested to read more of your blog, girl!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey I take offence - just because I'm straight doesn't mean I'm a degenerate, sex-crazed drug addict ;)!

    So true and very witty! I'm really enjoying your blog!

    CA

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anne...yes, I wear the "depraved" label proudly. ;)

    Actually, what you write is the reason, among others, that I didn't get in a relationship right away after I came out. I was also quitting drinking and dealing with too much other stuff. Now I am much more stable and healthy and, yes, have my head screwed on gay, finally! I am finding myself becoming more open to the possibility of a relationship now although I'm happy being single, too. Thanks for your thoughts!

    Katie, I know you are just as scandalous as I am, aren't you? Good to see you here. :)

    And contemplative activist - I know you from Peterson's blog. I have read your blog as well, and enjoyed it. I really enjoyed your "sexy" post the other day and found myself nodding quite a bit in agreement! Thanks for the commment. And I hope you understand that I still love you (in Christ, of course) even if you are a degenerate, sex-crazed drug addict straight! There's hope for healing - just remember that! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. >>What I'd like to see are ex-gays taking personal responsibility for the choices they made when they identified as gay, instead of trying to paint the entire gay community (whatever that is) as a degenerate bunch of shallow, alcoholic, sex-crazed drug addicts.<<

    Yeah, no kidding. Of course, you and I know one ex-gay who isn't like that, but he is the exception to the rule (not to mention thoroughly apolitical). The rest of them seem more interested in scaring gay teenagers straight (pun intended) and pushing the ex-gay political agenda than they are in the truth.

    I like your blog, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey E, I sure agree with you about that one person we know. I'm glad you like my blog. I am really enjoying yours too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for sharing your ex-exgay experiences. We seem to have similarities in our stories. I confessed my same-sex attractions in 1995 and joined an ex-gay ministry. After two years, I realized that I felt even worse about myself and that I wasn't changing or improving in any way. I eventually got out of the ex-gay lifestyle and progressed out of Christian fundamentalism.

    I relate to your statement, "While I admit that I might be one of the few people on the earth to have not had a sexual relationship after coming out..., I know I am not alone. ..." I went into the ex-gay program without having had any type of gay relationship. Even after leaving the ex-gay experience, my gay relationships have been few. I sometimes feel silly having struggled so much with my sexuality and yet ultimately having a boring sex(less) life. Ironically, the slut period in my life was during my ex-gay years when I felt I had nothing to lose since I was 'sexually broken'.

    I like your idea: "I think I'll start touring around the country telling people how dangerous and damaging the straight lifestyle is, and how I found hope, healing, sobriety, and health in the gay lifestyle..." Instead of the 'straight lifestyle' you should call it the 'ex-gay' or 'closeted' lifestyle.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Norm and thanks for your great comments. I absolutely agree with what you've said!

    ReplyDelete