It’s been the best of time, it’s the worst of times. Dickens couldn’t have summed my life up any better. This is the tale of two lifestyles, if you dare. A roller coaster ride it’s truly been. Ive always been one to follow my heart and my feelings and lately I feel I’ve been call to do what it is I’m doing now. Coming out.
I’ve constantly pushed my friends and strangers who read my writings and social network posts to live truthfully, honestly, authentically, and with love and compassion and I feel the world needs a little bit more authenticity. I need it from myself. So this is me practicing what I preach. Hopefully the few pages of this post inspires someone to live a more authentic life as well, or at least not want to kill themselves for being different.
This moment has been 11 years in the making. Five of those years spent trying to gain an understanding of who I really was, and the other six spent growing into it. Now that I am 25 years old, I feel I have learned enough to finally express what had initially plagued me my entire adult life, but would turn out to be nothing more than a tremendous blessing.
I’ve been a lot of things and done a lot of things in my life. Brother, son, student, athlete, fraternity boy, writer, comedian, actor, and dare I say, I’ve done these things while remaining quite handsomely charming and humble. Almost all of them make me extremely proud of who I am and what I have become. But most of my teen and adult life there was one thing that I wasn’t so proud of. In fact I spent many years painfully ashamed of it. That thing being the fact that I am bisexual.
From the time I began to develop a sexuality up until the age of about 20, my life felt like oil in a world made of water. The two don’t mix very well if at all. Couple that with the fact that the religion I was brought up in wasn’t very gay friendly, I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I felt like God had made a mistake. Because I knew I had not chosen the things I felt on the inside. I had always been attracted to girls but around the age of 14 I noticed things I had never felt before. I noticed that I was also attracted to other boys. I can say that now but at the time I didn’t really understand what it was. Being that homosexuality isn’t openly discussed in the black family home as easily as other communities and when it is, it’s not usually in a good way.
Being a young teen I was deathly afraid to mention my feelings to anyone, given the fact I was the basketball player who spent most of his time around other boys all the time. I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable nor did I want to face the possible rejection and ridicule that would come along with thinking you might be anything other than straight. I knew I couldn’t be gay because I knew I was attracted to girls sexually but I knew there was more to me than I could understand at the time.
For many years I lived in an internal hell, because I believed that’s where I would end up for feeling the way I felt. I tried suppressing my feelings or pretending they weren’t real or weren’t there and maybe I could pray them away. 10 years later, not the case. The first adult I ever confided in about my feelings was a pastor at a church retreat I went to when I was 19 and I remember him telling me that I wasn’t gay or bisexual, but that it was because my father wasn’t in my life and it caused me to seek his love from other men. Not surprising that would be his response since he himself is a “reformed” gay who was cured by God. Well that made me feel good for about a week but I knew it wasn’t true. It was actually complete bull. But at 19 you don’t know that yet.
As I got older leading up toward college I became more fearful because I just wanted the feelings to go away so God would love me. Needless to say they didn’t. For the first two years of college I was at mental warfare with myself, to the point where it drove me away from church and God. I couldn’t imagine how God would make me this way and then reject me. I couldn’t listen to preachers tell me I was going to hell any longer for something I couldn’t control. Finally, around the time of my 20th birthday I said that I would no longer go against the grain of who I felt I was (at least internally and privately) because it was killing me inside. I finally accepted me for me. And for the first time in a long time I felt good. I felt really good. I had reached a point where I felt if God didn’t need me I didn’t need God (At the time…Me and God are cool now).
My freshman year of college I met one half of my best friends, a beautiful girl by the name of Sacha. I didn’t know she was gay when I met her, I was just a college basketball player who wanted to be friends with hot girls. Though I waited until I graduated college to tell her I wish I hadn’t. It probably would have helped me a lot. She has been nothing but instrumental in the maintenance of my sanity for the past four years of our eight year friendship. I also met my second best friend Rosa through her as well and they have been nothing short of angels from heaven in my life.
After spending so many years in spiritual turmoil, even spending some time not believing in a God at all, I saw Michael Beckwith on Oprah. He was talking about God in a way I had never heard before. The God he talked about loved me. It was as if everything he was saying was being downloaded into my soul and my spirit had begun to awaken again. I found my way into a place that was more conducive to my spiritual growth.
I was still a little skeptical because in my 23 years of life to that point, I had never heard anyone talk about God, love, and homosexuality in the same sentence without mentioning hell or repentance. I had to know where he spoke or taught and Sacha had been going there for a while and took me to Agape. This was nothing short of divine intervention, the true nature of what “God” really is, calling me to where I belonged.