As a child, I watched a lot of television. I mainly consumed a regular fare of sitcoms—shows like Full House and Growing Pains. At the time, I probably would have said I liked them because they are funny. Now, I recognize I was drawn to them because they were consistent. Not just consistent in the time they ran each week, but regular in format and character. After just a few episodes, I knew what to expect. I took comfort in their consistency because I couldn’t make sense of the world around me or within me.
At the age of ten, I discovered a growing physical attraction to my male classmates. I didn’t use the word gay or homosexual then because I didn’t know what those words meant. Yet, somehow I knew what I was feeling wasn’t “normal” or “right”. I tried to ignore it and mostly succeeded by immersing myself in my studies and even more television.
The weird thing about television is the more you watch the more you start to believe the characters you see there are your friends. They accept you, share their stories, and don’t ask about things that confuse you (like your sexuality). I had a lot of “friends” but grew increasingly disconnected from others and myself.
But this sort of thing can’t go on forever. We grow up. I headed out into the world and quickly discovered I had no idea how to connect with other people. I longed for connection, but couldn’t make lasting, meaningful relationships with the consistency I saw on television.
Somewhere in my teen years I also became a Christian. I suppose as a way to try to find some connection. I did find some in my church youth group and then later at the Christian college I attended. But it was generally a loose sort of connection because I didn’t understand then that stronger ties come when we risk sharing ourselves.
So, here I am attempting to share myself with you, risking talking about my sexuality and my faith—sharing stories (even incomplete stories) that aren’t wrapped up in 30 minutes. But blogs aren’t fertile ground for stories. Like television, they’re one-sided. You’re reading this, but what chance do I have to get to know you?
Then I was reminded that blogs have an added feature when compared to television—that little comment area you see below. That opened up my imagination. Of course, I wish we could rename that area “connection” because I don’t want your comments. Comments are easy; they are drive by shootings. Building good connections takes work and vulnerability.Comments are easy; they are drive by shootings. Building good connections takes work and vulnerability.
Thus, I’m sharing stories here on the condition that you feel welcome to share yours. Through the church we are one body and I’d like to know how it’s going in your neck of the woods. We’re going to be connected for eternity after all, so let’s get started knowing each other now. Hello . . .