From last September:
I’m not quite ready to take on “Why did I forsake gay identity?” yet. I’ve been putting off thinking about how to articulate the answer to that question for years because I’ve always suspected that it would be really tough to do, and it sure is. I’m basically trying to translate intuitions and hunches and gut feelings into coherent reasons and principles. Which is probably as futile an endeavor as it sounds, but I’m gonna try anyway!
The next post (tomorrow morning) will begin a series on why I ditched my gay identity which will probably span seven or so (!) posts.
This has been a tough and prickly issue for me. So tough that the only way to work up the nerve to make myself write about it has been to resolve not to write any other posts until I do so. It’s that tough…
…partly because it involves taking a pre-established side in an existing controversy. If you haven’t noticed yet, I prefer to sidestep the traditional partisan divides in what I write. I like being slippery, tough to peg. Well, no matter how hard I try to qualify or soften it, there’s nothing slippery or maverick about my stance here. My position, at least regarding myself and my own life, is textbook exgay. All the edginess I can muster is to say that perhaps my experience shouldn’t be generalized. Wow. Way to color outside the lines, DM.
…partly because it’s so intensely personal. I don’t intend to do much wallowing-in-the-past in this series, but since my decision emerged from some heavy-duty spiritual struggle, thinking about why I did what I did involves reliving some of the ugly parts of my life, even if I mercifully opt to spare you the details. (How low would you have to sink before you would sign yourself up for a humiliating residential program?) And even if I could have made the decision in happier circumstances, the very nature of the choice has a kind of existential terribleness about it.
…partly because my abandoning of gay identity has been a rather partial and incomplete process, and one I’m not in a huge hurry to finish. I’m sure through this filter of plain text I come across as a paragon of straightness, but few who have actually met me in person take me seriously when I profess to have given up “gay identification.” Suppressed chuckles are not uncommon. As one friend retorted after I tried to explain why I no longer identified as gay, “Well, you’re queer enough.” Even my husband, when talking to me about gay-related issues, refers to the LGB community as “you people.” None of that bothers me; in fact, I not-so-secretly relish it. But it does make me feel awkward writing this stuff–who am I to talk about giving up gay identity?
…and partly because I don’t really have clear answers. As I said in the quote above, the decision was not an overtly intellectual one. I gave up my gay identity because it felt like what I had to do. In trying to write about it, I first hoped that once I really buckled down and thought it through, the rationality of it all would become obvious to me. That didn’t quite happen. Part of me wants to wait until I attain greater clarity of vision on the subject before posting anything. But the other comment threads have proven so helpful to me that I think I’m better off thrashing blindly in the presence of others than holing up inside my head trying to figure it all out on my own.
So, here we go.
Comment replies on previous threads will be my next priority once I get this new series of posts a little bit underway. For those who don’t keep on top of the comments, I note that Jon Trott of BlueChristian.com and JPUSA (yay!) and Ron Belgau have reopened discussion on the Irresistible Force/Immovable Object thread, and I’ll be diving in shortly. Not-so-new Reader, you’re going to have to wait a little while for my verdict on birth control. That’ll feel like a cakewalk after this.