What is a man?

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.


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