I’ve spent my whole life knowing that I was different and that I would never fit in. It wasn’t until third grade, when a classmate called me “gay,” that I began to question whether or not something was wrong with me. This “gay” label started a pattern in my life of questioning, believing I was broken, and constantly feeling on the outside of masculinity. With a flare for the dramatic and a love of all things Disney, Broadway, and glitter, I felt there was no place for my version of masculinity and even began to question whether I should have been a woman. I stuffed away my emotions and ignored my heart.
Eventually though, I felt like I had no choice but to accept this identity that others had placed on me and began to own a gay identity. So, I turned my back on my convictions and began to explore whether this gay identity fit me. After a long time of venturing down this road, I never found the fulfillment I was looking for in men. I realized how miserable I’d become and how much of myself I’d lost.
I decided that something had to change and began the journey of rediscovering who I was. I discovered that I didn’t have to be gay to be fully me—glitter and all. I eventually found a Christian community where I could be authentic and be open about my struggle so that I could discover for myself the truth about who I was, who God was, and how I wanted to live.
Through open and honest conversations with a few trusted people, I experienced acceptance in my expression of masculinity. If that had not been available to me, I would have been completely alone in the journey. I also realized that God was so much better and kinder than I’d ever known.
Today, I’m more freely myself than I ever imagined possible! Being me, fully male and fully alive, is how I find joy and happiness. The gay identity I once explored had only limited my ability to fully express myself. Now I feel comfortable in who I am as a man. I have been on a beautiful journey to rediscover the unique aspects of my identity and personality that are part of my expression of masculinity. I can be creative, love Broadway, and have emotions, and none of this makes me any less of a man. I have more hope and vision for my life than I’ve ever had.