Grieving For My Gay Son

November 2009, just after Thanksgiving, my son, Austin, confided in me and his father that he was struggling with attraction to men. Austin was 1,400 miles away at college and my first inclination was to buy a one-way ticket for him back home so we could "fix" this issue in person. So began a journey that I never imagined we'd face. "Not our son," I thought, he was a Christian, serving in ministry since junior high, he had girls he was interested in and we were good—not perfect—parents.

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Outcasts Are The New In-Crowd

Growing up, we somehow believe that "fitting in" is what leads to our success in life. However, as they get older, the lucky few recognize the paradox of life: The people on the outside are often the influencers. This week, I had the pleasure of dropping by the Board Blazers blog to speak to The Outcast.

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Am I Happy?

This past weekend my parents visited me for a week. I’m fortunate enough to have a strong relationship with my parents. In fact, even as I processed my sexuality for the past eight years, they’ve loved me unconditionally throughout it all. 

See, they maintain the position of sexuality that asks celibacy of gay individuals, but they’ve come so intimately familiar with the gay/Christian dilemma because of my life. Their sensitivity and heart for gay issues has dramatically grown. They’ve deeply sought to understand my life and they continue to love me as if nothing had changed.

They value my relationship with my partner, because they know I value it. They see that my partner is an important part of my life and so they support us accordingly. When I’m being stubborn or insecure in this relationship, they’re some of the first people to hold me accountable. They offer advice and nearly demand that I continue to be the man they’ve raised in my relationship—regardless of the nature of my relationship.

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The Truth Is

For most of my life, I’ve been living in two spheres, but I had never been living in them in a manner that was cohesive and authentic. For anyone familiar with trying to be two things at once, you may characterize this as an “identity crisis.” You know the type: that crying in the corner, I’m not sure if I just soiled myself-type of crisis. My fear in finally doing this is that people, on both sides, may not appreciate what they see. And so begins the conversation.

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