What a gift to be given. I want to be careful not to squander such a gift for us. Gilda Radner said it best—
While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die—whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness.
I’m writing you from our 52nd year of life. Yes, we make it into our fifties and while I know we never thought we would make it this far, stranger things have occurred and I am betting we still have a lot of life ahead. I know early on we wanted the gay part of you to die. I know we wanted the agony of being different to be erased from our self, and the teasing and the torment from other kids to stop. The feelings for men—the desire, the love, and the touch from men—I know we wanted it all to go away. Maybe then we’d fit in? Maybe then we’d be happy. But what a tragedy if being gay was taken from us! It’s a part of our story and a defining part of our soul. I have peeled back some memories from when we were first discovering who we were and wanted to help move us forward into a better and brighter life filled with more joy and less pain.
I remember singing in musical chorus our senior year in the class production of Pippin. During a rehearsal of the opening song Mrs. Pantlind, the director, called us out in front of everyone and said, “Watch David’s expression – you all need to believe the music and create the energy just like him. This is the start of the show and the audience needs to feel the excitement for what’s ahead.” We felt that song deep inside and knew it revealed who we were created to be and who we were becoming—
We've got magic to do... Just for you
We've got miracle plays to play
We've got parts to perform... Hearts to warm
Kings and things to take by storm
As we go along our way
While on stage we knew that part of that deeper magic was being gay. We discovered whom we could really be – a person filled with magic. We fell in love the summer after on a trip to Europe with our classmates and he traveled along. We were closer to him than we thought possible to any person. We ached when we were apart from him; you and he both said, “Love ya” often, but that love never crossed the line. It never felt the touch at a time in our life when others were adding touch to their feelings. And with such fear, we cowered from the expression; we did not want to risk being turned away.
That would not be the first time. Even today we still have the challenge of sharing the love with touch and vulnerability. You see, we’ve tried to live the life of others—the life Mom and Dad wanted for us and not the life that God gave us. God wept for our tragedy, but Mom and Dad just didn’t know better. They are profoundly better than their faith. They love us and that love will never go away even when they won’t embrace us as a gay son. But today, I can say that they will embrace us still as their son. Much will hurt, sting, cause rifts, even bring loads of silence, but stand steadfast. Being a gay man is God’s gift in the man you are created to be. So let me share some of the deeper magic you’ll discover ahead. Watch for it and be ready to grab hold.
Love will happen with women even when desire for sex won’t enter so don’t be afraid to cry, hug, laugh, or be a true friend to the women in your life. Sex will happen with men even when love won’t be a part of the equation. You’ll appreciate it and be able to tell the difference between body response and heart response. The cancer journeys—all five—have nothing to do with our being gay. However, accepting our sexuality will heal something inside that may help our physical, mental, and spiritual health for years to come. Our debt is purely a security blanket for being gay. As long as we kept buying things, we thought that hole would be filled. Trust the magic of others and when we feel at our weakest, reach out. They will catch us. When being a bear (yes we are a bear!), be more Yogi than Grizzly. Humor is better than anger in any situation. Therapy heals and rebuilds life. Always run towards healing. Always share our story. Keep faith at the core of who we are. It’s not the surface truth that will be revealed; it’s the deeper magic beyond all surfaces that will provide the true gift of life. Keep feeding your soul. Cherish friendships and let others in. Simply trust. Actively trust. Grandmothers are to love and our grandmother loved and knew us before we knew ourselves. Let our heart be broken because it will be broken. Just know a seed has been planted – and for once we will let it take root.
Sing! Laugh! Love and look at us as the beautiful and magical person that God created. Naked – there are no flaws – it’s when we start covering up that we become flawed. Every decade will be better than the last; that I can promise us. We have every chance to not be much afraid because we’ve got magic to do—a deeper magic than I can put into words.
Love to you,