Joshua S.

February 1999

tired of feeling

The following paragraphs are kind of revised version of things I have said in the past, but with extra emphasis on things and more up to date information.

For 18 years, I have grown up in a very religiously oriented family. Through people I looked up to and admired, I came to the realization that Catholicism was very hostile towards homosexuality. As a 13 year old I had to face the frustration of knowing that my religion and family frowned upon something I could not control. I believe everyone has a purpose, and at that time I was being taught that the aim of homosexuals was to sin, terrorize the world, and eventually die without the forgiveness of God. I eventually questioned everything I stood for as well as the familiar disciplines I once drew strength from. I was a new kid in school without friends, without anyone to confide in, and without any self worth to go on. I prayed every day for God to forgive me. I felt that he was punishing me for something I did wrong, and I hoped that someday he would realize my true remorse and make me like everyone else. As years went by, I knew at some point I would have to accept the fact that I was bisexual, but I still thought I could fight it or at least live without anyone knowing. As much as I tried to deny it, I had no choice but to be who I was in the end.

I was very reserved as a child, and I never said more than required. I imprisoned my emotions and isolated myself from reality. I wasn't strong enough to understand anything about myself, and I felt that it was better to hide myself then to put my family and friends through the shame I carried alone inside me. I went through so many emotions that soon enough I started to not make sense of anything. I believed that being overweight might of had something to do with my sexuality, so I became Anorexic and eventually Bulimic hoping that I could starve away my fat and my frustrations. I knew in my heart that this would not change who I was inside, and so I used hate as my will power to lose more weight. My family was obviously concerned about my sudden weight loss, and I ended up seeing professional help. They thought that putting me on medication and talking about my problems was what I needed. To some degree being able to say things I never imagined speaking out loud was such a liberation to me. The medication on the other hand greatly bothered me, and it gave me the general feeling of not caring at all. I stopped taking the medication, and I tried to tell my doctor I was bisexual. It didn't go over so well, and so I stopped going to him for help. The thought that someone knew about me was like having so much pain lifted from me. I knew from then on that I was not going to hide about who I was anymore. Now if only God could understand.

Throughout the past year, I pondered my spirituality, self-acceptance, and what God wanted from me. I researched biblical text, read books, and consulted a priest, and yet I still felt more confused. I came to the conclusion that God's supposed theories about homosexuality were just views of ignorance and the unwilling behavior to change. I realized this when I found out that those who condemned homosexuality where the ones that were beside me telling me that they loved me. Even though they comfortably accepted the fact of who I was, I still had so much built up animosity for myself. I needed more, and so I kept searching for my own explanation. I realized that God was not a book written centuries ago nor was it the feelings and opinions of people who actually had the intelligence and love to realize how far to take biblical entries. I realized God did not hate, narrow-minded people did.

The senseless murder of Matthew Shepard last year was a hate crime against something as meaningless as sexuality. He was an aspiring young man with so much to offer, but because of two men and their adolescent brain capacity, he was just another tragedy on the 6 o'clock news. I never would have imagined I would have been so deeply moved by some unknown person to me that lived in Wyoming, but I was. His brutal death did not make me afraid nor ashamed of who I was. It gave me the strength to fight for what is right in life, and not to allow others to silence my words. I wonder what he thought lying there alone and dying. How could humanity be so callous? Matthew Shepard is a reminder to all of us that we must educate everyone not only about sexuality, but disease, understanding, and violence. Our words can make a difference.

Through 5 years of questioning myself, God, and everything around me, I have been able to understand so much about life. I feel i'm capable of helping so many people around me who feel like I did, lost and alone. I have helped my friends, family, and acquaintences by just allowing them to ask questions about being bisexual. They help me as much as I help them. Finally I have accepted myself and the love that God has for me. If there was ever a purpose for God making me this way, it is for me to express myself and allow others to view and experience me. I know now that blaming my problems and sadness on being bisexual was childish and ignorant. I hope only now that I can find it in my heart to try and have fun. I spend a lot of time wondering if I could ever really love someone. I have messed up a lot of relationships with girls that I have liked including the girl who I believe I really did love. I find myself having crushes on straight guys all the time, and eventually falling into a depression over my stupidity. I haven't met a gay/bi male before as far as I know, and when I get the chance I hide. I'm not sure what is wrong with me, but it feels wonderful to know that people like me for who I am even when I don't. Thank you for reading.

Joshua S.

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