I am often asked why I don’t refer to myself as gay. It is simply a matter of personal preference. But I have a few reasons. When I hear the phrase “I’m gay,” I think of a couple of things:
#1) You are attracted to the same gender.
#2) You associate with/relate well to and prefer to be with people who feel the same way.
#3) You are supportive of a gay lifestyle and most likely want to have one yourself.
Now I know that there are people who don’t think this way, but I think most people do. Look up the definition of the word gay. Most definitions today will only briefly reference the original definition, which referred to being carefree, happy, or bright and showy. Most definitions today talk about a lifestyle and attractions. We hear about gay rights and gay pride and gay marriage. I believe that most people will agree that what comes to mind is a homosexual relationship. That is just what the word gay means these days.
To be honest, that’s ok. I’m not all that terribly attached to the word. I don’t mind if it means that. But I do mind being called that. You see, I don’t see myself as gay. I don’t want what gay people want, I don’t think and say what they think and say, I don’t do what they do0. I don’t see myself as a gay man.
I do see myself as a son of God. I see myself as an imperfect human struggling to qualify for the forgiveness of my Savior. I see myself as a man who happens to be attracted to other men, but that is just a part of me. It is not my life and my identity.
The only reason I use it in the title of my blog is because it is something that many people can see on sight and understand. If you notice, the rest of the time I talk about my same sex attraction, or my attractions. But not “me”. It isn’t me.
I don’t mean to disrespect those who are gay. I have many gay friends. Some are in committed gay relationships, some are in between such relationships, and others are just enjoying dating and meeting like minded people. I love and respect them and don’t push my views on them, but our views are different. I think this is why even the Prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles refer to members who have these feelings as those who feel attracted to the same gender. I feel that they see a distinction; that there is a difference between feelings and actions.
I live my life very differently from my gay friends. I want to do so. I believe firmly that I have the opportunity to become like my Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. Sometimes people tell me that I am being untrue to who I am and that I should just be happy with who I am. But why? Why be content with who I am when I could be more? I have the chance to grow and constantly better myself. I believe that I am living in a way that allows me to be close to the Holy Spirit, and that companionship brings me great joy and happiness.
Don’t think that I don’t like who I am and that I just want to be un-gay. I am very happy with who I am! Honestly…I’m pretty great, and my friends will tell you that I know it. Those who know me know that I love who I am and that I am grateful for even my feelings of same gender attraction. They have taught me so much about life and how to be a good person. I don’t reject it. Rather, I use it to help motivate me to be closer to my God.
As I say on my about page, I don’t think I will have these feelings for forever, so why live like I will now? Nothing can compare to feeling close to the Spirit and its source. It may mean a live of self denial, but self denial brings discipline and strength, and that I welcome wholeheartedly. So no, I am not gay, and I love every minute of it.