Friday, November 14, 2014

Am I Gay?

     It has been a year since I choose to "Come out of the closet", so to speak, with my Blog and support group called JADE.  It has been a wonderful year and, oh my, how much I have learned.  I have to come to understand myself more and realized some things about myself that I didn't know.  This past year I have developed some amazing friendships that I am certain will last forever.   And, yes, these friendships are with men.  

    One of the interesting side effects of “coming out” and making a stand about the importance of "healthy male relationships", is that many of the first responses my wife and I have received is that I must be gay.  In fact, many have stated that they always new I was gay.  It totally amazes me how quickly we are to judge without knowing the truth.   One of the main reasons I have decided to open up is to fight the judgments many have about male relationships, by telling the truth about them.

    So, the question of the day is "Am I Gay"?   Years ago as a young man, I was confronted head on with that question.   From family that could not understand me, to a small-town attitude about “girly-boys”, it was a constant part of my life.  One word that I hate is “faggot” - the most used nickname for me in the small town where I grew up.  I was told so often that I was a faggot or gay that I sometimes wondered if I was.  I did like so-called girly things.  I played with dolls, liked to dress up, wrote poems, planted flowers, hated sports, and loved cleaning house.  So by all appearances, I was gay.  Can you imagine the personal struggle?  Well, I decided long ago that I was not gay; meaning, I had no desire to have a sexual relationship with another man.   I have never had that desire and still don't.  But, let me clarify something.  I do enjoy a great, emotional, healthy relationship with other men.  

    Yes, I am effeminate.  Yes, I cry at chick-flicks.  Yes, I love to bake, and write, and even dress flamboyant from time to time.  I don’t enjoy sports, hunting, and other manly things.  So, if you look at it like that, I must be gay.  All of you who thought so, congratulations!  You are right.  I am gay.  But, if you look at what the real meaning of “gay” is, I am not gay.  To me, the real definition of a gay man is one who desires a sexual relationship with another man and acts out on that desire.  So, by that definition, so sorry, I am not gay.  

    I do not desire and have never had the desire to have a sexual relationship with another man.  At the same time, I do desire to have deep, meaningful, healthy relationships with many, wonderful men who have the same values I have.  To me, a healthy relationship with another man i has four aspects: spiritual, emotional, social, and physical.  

     A spiritual connection means that we are on the same page.  I am a follower of Jesus Christ and live by His teachings.   He has taught that we can love another man deeply and completely without having a sexual relationship.  In fact, I strongly believe that when we establish relationships on principles of true, Christ-like love, there is eternal increase - meaning that friendship develops and becomes deeper and sweeter as time goes by.

     An emotional connection means that we are able to meet one another’s emotional needs.  A healthy emotional relationship is one that builds and lifts, offers positive support, values who we are, and helps up become the best we can become. Men need the emotional support of other men.  Men are men, and pretty much think alike, and have the need to share this life-experience together.  The right emotional support can lift and help us through this life’s challenges.  

     A social connection means sharing healthy life activities together.  It can be anything from sports to cooking, or just hanging out doing positive things.  We are social people and we crave the social interaction with others.  When we interact socially, we learn and grow and become the men God intended us to become.  Men need strong social relationships with other men.  

     A physical connection means sharing a strong, physical bond.  When I say, “physical connection”, I do not mean sex.  Men, some more than others, need a healthy, physical relationship with other men; from working side-by-side, to pats on the back, and good healthy hugs.  I believe that when we hug, our spirits can communicate, and we can become closer.  In todays world they teach us that physical bonding must include sex.  I totally disagree.  I believe that men need healthy contact with other men.  

     Think what you will, but I strongly believe in healthy male relationships.  I strongly believe that, next to the relationship I have with my wife and family, the most important relationships I can have are the ones I have with other men.  Those close spiritual, emotional, social, and physical relationships that I enjoy have brought me peace and comfort, and have taught me to be more Christ like in my association with others.  

   You may still think I am gay, but truth be told, I am really just a big, tenderhearted man that loves everyone and has no problem  expressing it by word or deed.


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  1. I love you, Chef Brad! You are my favorite! I really enjoyed your post today. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and ideas.

  2. I think you are great no matter what- you are a fabulous guy,Brad! Men do need healthy relationships with other men. It should be a red flag to a woman if a man is not capable of having friendships with other men. In fact, it is frequently a red flag symptom of emotional problems and/or addictions. Men need friendship just like women do!

  3. You are a big, tenderhearted man that does love everyone and I am so glad that you do not have a problem expressing it. You have blessed our lives so very much. You have taught us how to bake bread along with stories about life that I will always remember. When things get tough for me, I remember your story about you making soup and taking it to your neighbors when you were going through some hard times. Moral to the story is that when you are down serving others helps lift your spirits. You have touched more lives than you will ever know. I grew up in a household where my dad and brother could cook as good or better than my mom. I always helped with the yard and wanted to be a mechanic like my dad. There was no such thing as man's work or woman's work in our household. It is so unfair that women can where jeans and a mans tee shirt, go hunting, operate a saw...and people do not make judgements. Articles everywhere state how important girlfriends are are to women (and they are). So why should a man be denied male friendship? The thought of anyone hurting your feelings makes me want to punch the person who did. Oh...that is not something a woman should want to do. You are the best and the world is such a better place because of you. We need passionate people and you will never know how many lives you have touched!!! Just keep being you. You are loved.