It’s great having roommates who know I am gay and I can talk to about what I’m going through. It’s even great to be able to talk to them about the cute guy I saw and to know that it doesn’t bother them. I am very lucky to have the guys I do as roommates. During our conversations, I have mentioned to them some of my struggles, and they have surprisingly been able to relate. The more we talk, the more I realize that just because my attraction is to guys, doesn’t mean that straight guys don’t have the same problems with their attraction to women. This has led me to do a lot more pondering on whether or not being gay has it’s own set of unique problems that no one else experiences.
The more pondering I do, the more I realize that what I thought was unique to being gay is shared by most men to some degree or another. For example, I have a hard time seeing a good looking guy walk down the street shirtless and not wanting to stare. My straight friends have a hard time seeing a shirtless girl walking down the street and not stare. I tell my roommates about this guy that was flirting with me, and how good it made me feel, and they understand because it’s the same when a girl flirts with them. I talk about my desire to be with a man, and it sucks not being able to be with them because we aren’t married. They agree because they have some friends that they wouldn’t mind being with but can’t because they are not married. This is not to say that there isn’t some struggle that is unique to being gay, but there are more similarities than there are differences.
So if we are all so common, why is it hard for others to understand? Why is it that some of my straight friends think I am some odd, perverted person because I am attracted to men? Well, I honestly believe it is because they don’t fully understand what it means to be gay. Let’s start with the basics here.
- I am a man, and I have all the same body parts that other men have. We don’t all look exactly the same, but very similar.
- I am attracted to other people, so are straight men. I just happen to be attracted to other men.
- I have emotional needs just like every other man I know. I am finding a healthy way to fill that need, just like straight men.
- I express my emotions when I feel it right. I don’t know many straight men that aren’t willing to express their emotions at one point or another. I even know a few who cry.
- I watch porn and masturbate. I know many straight men that do that too. I’ve been to support groups for my addiction to porn and masturbation, and there are at least as many straight men as gay men.
- I want to be married. So do most straight men. I can choose to marry a guy or a girl depending on what I think is best for me. I believe the option to marry a guy or a girl is also available to straight men, it’s just easier and more culturally accepted for them to marry a girl they are attracted to.
- I am a Child of God. I really don’t think God chooses His love based on sexual orientation.
- I struggle with dating, and run into issues with dating. I don’t know many guys who date girls and don’t have an issue at some point. If they don’t, I commend them.
The list could go on and on, but the truth of the matter is, whether you are gay or straight, you are still human, and as such we all face the same problems and dilemmas in our lives. Just because my attraction is toward the same sex, doesn’t mean I am different. My attraction to men is only a small part of who I am. It may be a central part of my being, but it does not completely define who I am. I still wake up in the morning with a need to eat, a desire to shower and dress in clean clothes, and I put my pants on one leg at a time.
I challenge anyone who is even the slightest bit homophobic to educate themselves on what being gay is. Find someone who is gay and try to be their friend. Ask me any question you want, and I will answer it to the best of my ability. Before you jump to any conclusion about me or anyone else, I just ask that you get to know and find out about something before making a decision on it. You might be surprised to learn that a close relative, a best friend, your good neighbor, or someone else you have known your whole life is actually gay. We are not all that different, we still are human beings, and we are all Children of God.