I read a great post on a message board about sexuality and desire. It explained a lot to me in such a way that it touched me deeply. The writer talks about realizing what her true identity is and listening to it. So many of us polish ourselves up so much to hide our “flaws” for the world around us that we forget what we originally looked like.
When we start to feel the facade crumble, that’s when the introspection begins. Sex is driven by desires deep within, so it comes as no surprise that those feelings should stir up more than you bargain for.
Here is Amy’s Awakening:
Figuring out I was gay was most obviously manifested in sex. Sex and sexual attraction are tangible, can be quantified. This manifested in in ways that I had never reacted to men. I had desire. I had lust. My whole life I thought I was broken, not capable of that fairy tale love. Truth be told, I thought everyone who said they felt that way was full of it. I thought they were projecting, listening to stories about how love should be and pretending that they felt that way too. I thought that secretly they were either delusional or liars. Lots of people convince themselves of things that are not so because those imaginary realities are better than the real one.
So when I found myself feeling like every love song ever written was written for me, I realized something was different and that I was going to have to re-evaluate things. What I didn’t know at the time, was that it was just the tip of the iceberg. For me, figuring out I was gay was like coming home. Something had always been slightly off with me my whole life. I had everything I could want, an excellent career, successful, a nice H, and there was still this feeling… This knowledge that I was somehow removed from everything in my world. I could get lost in things, absorbed by a project or problem, but when it was solved I was back to distance from Earth. And I thought that was the superior place to be. I thought that people who were “in love” were really just weak. I was not so silly as them and would never do the strange things that they did.
But it turned out that when I was able to see myself clearly, I could see how sad I had been. I could see how I had never allowed myself to feel the closeness that I was in fact capable. I had made sure to position myself with people who could never hurt me emotionally. Sure they could hurt me, but I didn’t have that deep vulnerability. In exchange, I didn’t get to be loved because I never let anyone know the real me. And I don’t mean the idea of a gay me, but instead that raw internal me that is the guts of my soul. Because convincing myself and in turn everyone else that I was someone I’m not also prevented me from the most important relationship in my life- the one I have with myself.
At the same time, I was finding that I liked being loved. And even more I liked loving someone in a way that I had never done before. I had had lots of friends that I loved dearly. In fact I loved my H dearly. But it’s not the same. Denying myself the opportunity to flirt, to be infatuated, to fall in love had been like denying my brain oxygen my whole life. And you can bet that when I finally got to breathe I felt joy surge through me.
It was like the beginning of the Wizard of Oz. My life had been in black and white and it never occurred to me that there was even such a thing as color. Until I wound up in Oz. I realized that living with my H had not only denied me the opportunity to pursue love, but it had also done the same to him. He was with a wife who loved him but would never WANT him. A woman who was nice to him but who would never plan a vacation just looking forward to the private time to explore him. I liked him, but he would never get to come home to a wife who wanted to rip his clothes off. A wife who would never swoon when he walked in a room or whose heart would quicken at the sound of his voice.
Our whole marriage he tried so hard to be the perfect husband, so that I would want him. I loved him, but I never could force my heart to skip a beat. I liked his company, but the lack of it never impacted my soul. It isn’t about not having someone to really love, because I could be single. It was about the idea that I would never have that opportunity. And neither would he. As much as I didn’t have many complaints in our marriage, I couldn’t live like that.
Being gay for me isn’t just about who I sleep with. It was about how I see myself, where I fit in the world, who I actually am. It’s about understanding that I really am different than most people, and celebrating that difference. And being ok, more than ok, at peace with that difference. It’s about identifying with a unique group of people, sort of in the same way I feel a connection to other people who do what I do for a living, or maybe who are the same unique religion or who love the same sports team even though it’s across the country. There is something special about finding the things about yourself that are very precious and unusual, and something about discovering others who share that with you.
But to answer your question, being gay really doesn’t have much to do with who I sleep with. Sure, it affects who I’m attracted to and who I will be able to love fully, but it’s really about the ability to love myself. Being gay is not about who I sleep with, it’s about who I am. Who I am in the universe, who I am in the world, and who I am in my own eyes. And it’s a beautiful thing. -Amy