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Visitor's essay

One woman's experience with
homosexuality & acceptance of diversity

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I am a heterosexual woman -- although I've had my moments of being attracted to females, just not acted upon, except once. I must commend you on your stance of not only religious tolerance, but homosexual tolerance as well. My ex-husband is gay (perhaps bi-sexual but I don't think so ultimately since he has such contempt for women) and so are several of my family members (cousin, nephew, ex-sister in law, and future father-in-law who was once bisexual/straight). I have gone through quite an ordeal in my short life. I'm in my mid-30s with three kids and have come out stronger and far more tolerant in the end. My stance was once a form of tolerance, then hatred (which is simply fear manifested), and now I'll be first in line to promote gay marriage in our society, a far cry from the so-called "tolerance" I once had. What in the world happened to make me this way?!

Strangely enough, my background is from a fundamentalist Christian background (my dad's side) and my mom's side was both nonreligious, and Native American's who converted to Christianity. My grandfather on my dad's side left the old order Mennonites of Pennsylvania to become a spirit-filled Pentecostal preacher (although he still believed in women not cutting their hair, sex was ONLY for when you wanted children, and that you would become crippled if you masturbated!). His son, my dad, left that religion and became "non-denominational Christian" and writes Biblical studies and is a minister. Because of my own experiences in the more earth-friendly, psychic, and UFOlogical realm I moved out of that domain (although I hold some basic Christian beliefs which I can't seem to fully let go of because I still see some universal "truth" behind them) and have touched bases with Buddhist, Wicca, Atheist, Agnostic, Kabbalistic, and even New Age and other beliefs. I still hold views between them all and feel that science and spirituality are synonymous (when taken in the right context). I don't think that after one has had complete paradigm shifts, and even a complete loss of belief (at one time), that one can ever spring forward as being the same person within, having evolved into a much higher realm of thinking, feeling, and understanding. The same holds true for having gone through so much concerning homosexuality. Let me explain...

I am balanced-brained, a sort of male-female androgyne. I was born a female (completely) but was a tomboy and "think" like a guy (male-dominance in thinking style, minus math) so there's a balance between the two within me. However, some key things that occurred in my life shaped my sexuality. As a 3 yr old my favorite person on earth was my aunt although I had my daddy wrapped around my little finger. At around age 8 my brother tried to get me to perform oral sex on him, and I wound up blocking some of that memory until about 4 yrs ago when I confronted him about it. When he asked the 2nd time (probably within a couple of weeks of the first time) I told him no and that I would "tell on him," so he never brought it up again. I didn't realize though that the impact had been made in my psyche and would take into my 30's before I could get over it, or that his combative and domineering ways would cause a lot of depression into my adulthood concerning guilt and oppression. At age 9 I had my first "love" attraction to a skinny little man who I found out later was "gay." I didn't care what they called him, or that "he liked men the way most men like women," only that I adored him, and boy could he sing! Nothing ever came of that, obviously. In 5th grade my science teacher reminded me of my aunt and I found I was attracted to her in a puppy-like crush kind of way (they had a similar appearance), although I felt "weird" about that and did not explore it further.

By age 12 I was involved with some friends (female) in exploring the body via imaginative sexual games, mostly innocent, but with questionably lesbian overtones, including gentle sadomasochistic tendencies. Around that time I had my first real boyfriend, and many to follow, I broke up with them all (except one who dumped me, which I was later glad for since he turned out to be a loser too). I enjoyed the thought of a guy having and showing his "feminine side" without losing his masculinity. None that I met fit the bill. By age 13 I was kidnapped off my bike by a drunken stranger and raped at knifepoint. I got home safe, but never rode my bike again. By age 15 I had a crush on a 21 yr old man who was anything but responsible or educated. Popping out a baby by age 16 I was glad to be a mother (even if basically single), and was glad my "childhood" was over so I could go on with my life as an adult. I married another man (13 yrs my senior) until our 5 yr marriage ended due to extreme psychological issues on his part (undiagnosed and un-medicated until after the fact).

My next marriage was with a man who was "once gay" but said his Bible Belt Christian background showed him it was "wrong" and that he believed in monogamy, and had indeed divorced his ex-wife because she cheated on him (prior to giving in fully to the gay lifestyle). 1 yr into the marriage I got pregnant, and 1 week after the baby was born he cheated on me with the 17 yr old neighbor boy! I actually found out from the lips of his lover 6 mos after the fact. I was in shock at first, and then devastated. I plunged into turmoil and a personal "hell" that would last years, despite some small relief I got from fundamentalist Christian organizations and people such as Focus on the Family. But all those hopes faded quickly as pornography (Playgirl, rather than Playboy) intruded into the home, and wicked backbiting and tongue-lashing ensued from my husband towards me, and mostly behind my back, as he continued some sort of relationship with his former lover. I don't think he cheated on me (physically) again due to his own guilt, but I felt the sting of his spearpointed words as they stabbed my heart over and over for years to come.

Our relationship went downhill as did our sex life, even after a miscarriage (I prayed and cried out to God because I was 'not ready' to give birth to another baby that might be "gay" like his/her father, and within 1 wk it self-aborted as a "false pregnancy") and the arrival of another baby (girl this time) who came 2 yrs after the first baby (who is quite masculine actually). 6 yrs into the marriage I left him, completely broken with a part of me as "dead," and wasn't sure why I let him back in my life a few months later (hope?). Nearly 10 years into the marriage, I declined all faith in God and felt utterly confused, with nothing holding on but a single threat of false hope that would obviously never come to fruition, so I asked my gay husband if he wanted to divorce and he admitted he did. He left, and I started my life anew, absolutely having been stricken with fear, hatred, deep hurt, feelings of betrayal, neglect, and extreme poverty (as a means of control?) all those years. The Christian idealistic & patriarchal "man wears the pants" view was suspended in me and taken over by a strong feminist reality. I doubted that a truly masculine (heterosexual) and loyal man with a gentle and sweet feminine side could even exist in the world, and thought that "all men were liars and pigs." I was then shown both a beautiful physical and transcendent love by one of my dearest friends in the world, along with her precious husband. Everything started changing.

After that I saw a website of a Jewish gay man who wanted to have a relationship with another gay man AND a woman who was attracted to gay men. I thought, "Is this me? Is my problem.... that I'm attracted to gay men?" This guy explained his religious viewpoint on homosexuality in a brand new way from what I had grown up with. But even after only a couple of email conversations with him it was clear that I was not desiring a gay man at all, nor a gay woman, but I took a deep look at the Bible and what it (and Judaism) had to say, and what it didn't say, and realized that the only way I could truly overcome all of those repressed, and equally outwardly expressed feelings of disgust concerning homosexuality was to embrace it rather than reject it. Not that I had to live that lifestyle, just that I had to LOVE those who did.

Within months my life was self-correcting, and I was given two dreams... one which absolutely broke my depression overnight, and a prophetic dream (I'm inclined to those on occasion) where the husband & lover side of "God" came to me and said, "Sharon, you are so beautiful. I love you so much!" and planted a passionate kiss on my lips. I woke up, still within the dream, and "met" the man whose spirit I recognized as that of God in the first part of the dream. I woke up (for real this time) and realized that there was indeed someone out there for me, but I did not know who, or when I would meet him. Within 3 months I met him on the phone, and everything in the dream has since come true. He went through very similar parallels in his life as I have, and found out, when his parents separated and divorced when he was nearly 20 (he dropped out of college and went to a psychiatrist because it bothered him so much), that his father was bi-sexual. In fact, his father is homosexual and has remained that way ever since. My boyfriend is very heterosexual (and a cross-dresser on occasion, which is often misunderstood as being 'gay'... almost all cross-dressers are in fact heterosexual! Just like I dressed as a "tomboy" as a teenager to express my masculine side, so do cross-dressers to express their feminine side) and adores the feminine principle without being gay, which suits me fine. I am again patriarchal and he is matriarchal (he had a strong mother) so all in all we are even/equal... the perfect relationship to hold each other up and honor one another! But we are both tolerant (because of what we had been through, and healed from) of the gay lifestyle and you will even find us at Gay Pride parades, and voting for gay rights, etc. One of my best friends is bi-sexual, as are many others I know (including gay/lesbian friends and family). I did not plan any of it this way, but for whatever reason, I've been surrounded by this in my life, at one time or another, and it has indeed shaped me into a new person. Now I am far more self-accepting of my own masculine side, as well as the male and female aspects of others.

I'm now personally in favor of gay marriages because the "being gay is a choice" is pure bunk... it is genetic, period! Convincing gay people that being in a straight/heterosexual relationship is the only "right" way will more oft than not, produce a disjointed and dysfunctional family unit which ultimately ends in doom, one way or another, dragging countless victims (often children) in its wake along with it. We are now working on telling the children of my ex-husband's true lifestyle and sexual orientation in the basis of truth, rather than deceit, and are incorporating the love and tolerance that should go with it. Organized religion (not all of them), and especially fundamentalist Christian views tend to abhor homosexuality and use scriptural-induced guilt to try to change the sexual orientation of the homosexual (not a prejudice, but a known and voiced stance taken by fundamentalists). This is why I must mention this here. If God is LOVE then where is the love in such intolerance and outright hatred? Where is the forgiveness of Jesus (or Buddha, or whoever you choose) that the masses of self-proclaimed homophobic people claim to possess? Regardless, I too was once a victim of my beliefs (as many still are regardless of what religion they come out of), having once thought and been imposed upon to think that a gay man/woman could become straight "if he/she chose to" or that it "wasn't right" or "was sinful" and that one would "go to hell" if not doing what the church system told you to believe and how to behave. I'm here to say that "hell" is a state of being, and that "heaven" is as well, and that what "spirit" (love/hate, etc.) we live out of determines the next step in (or out of) this life. It is a daily and ever-present and personal choice.

Now, because I could forgive, and choose the way of love and acceptance, I am finally and truly FREE. Not only that, but I am HAPPY (joyful peace) and THANKFUL (worship) and IN AWE (ascendant worship) of such an extreme diversity within the global human population. For me, this is God's creation (not just ours), and diversity is His/Her choice for and within the people. We are not many races, but one people/race ultimately. We ALL hold male and female traits within us, period. Some are more androgynous, or reverse-wired than others. This is true whether it is right-handedness or left-handedness, or being right brained vs. left brained, etc. that is the topic. Love through tolerance, and understanding, is a fundamental element to spiritual growth.... otherwise we wallow in selfishness, fear-based thinking, and pure and outright hatred (prejudice) against our fellow man/woman. As one who is no longer a Biblical literalist, but has been through "hell" and and gone to "heaven," I absolutely choose the latter!

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Originally posted: 2005-JUN-13
Latest update: 2005-JUN-13
Author: Anonymous

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