Growing up SSA (gay), I always wanted to be a man. But the question is: what is a man?
I had some pretty skewed ideas of what that meant. A man played football. A man lost his virginity (by a girl) when he was 15. A man was macho, and treated girls like dirt. A man never showed his feelings. A man was rugged. A man labored hard. A man hunted.
I was none of those things. I hated spots. Was never with a woman till I was 26 (and then only going through the motions). I was effeminate and sensitive to girls. I could always express my emotions to girls (never guys). I had soft hands and hated to get dirty. I preferred drawing and took drafting and couldn’t swing a hammer. I didn’t kill my meat; I bought it in a supermarket.
So what was I? Everyone else seemed to know I was queer before I even knew what that meant. I tried to fit in, even laughing at all the AIDS jokes an how all gays wore dresses. Then much to my horror, I began realizing I was the very thing I had been laughing about, and it wasn’t funny.
I put on a dress because that is what I thought I was supposed to do. I never played sports (couldn’t even sink a ball in pool). I was lonely and had no attraction to women, so I went out with guys. What was I supposed to do? Pretend I was straight? Be like one of them? That is exactly what I did.
But what did it get me? Yes I could pour concrete. Yes I could frame a house. Yes I could shingle a roof, do electrical work, plumb a house. It didn’t make me straight. Neither did being with a woman, or being a father. I couldn’t teach my sons to catch a ball, but I could play dress up with my daughter and teach her how to apply makeup. What was I?
I taught my sons how to be with one woman, and to love her and only her, even when times get rough. Thanks to Paul trying to rape me, I was able to teach my daughter that a man never forces himself and how to defend herself. I taught all of the kids it is not necessarily the woman’s job to do housework. We hung sheetrock and baked bread. I taught the boys it is okay to cry when someone breaks their heart. I haven’t told them I am SSA (gay), nor do I plan to, because I don’t want to go into someone else’s idea of what that means.
What is a man? A man is one who loves God. God never asked me to be straight. He just asked me to keep His commandments and love Him. I have taught my children this. I sure hope they turn out better than I did.