I Just wanted to be a normal guy … was that so much to ask? Authors name withheld

Special Note from DYPAlthough homosexuality is not a lifestyle approved or accepted in the bible, this is not a license to judge or discriminate against someone that chooses it.  Judgment, hate, anger, and violence towards anyone- homosexual or not will guarantee our own harsh judgment in the eyes of God.  The inner working of every human being is so complex, that only God can be the true evaluator of each of us.  Treat all people with the love of Christ and compassion, try your hardest every day to be an example for Christ, and leave all judgment to God- the only One that really can see into the hearts of people.  All men and women carry some kind of sin, every single human being that walks the planet is unworthy of God’s Kingdom without Christ, and DYP implores you to look within yourself as we also do (rather than looking at everyone else), identify your own sins whatever they may be, and make the choice to transform your life for Christ today.  If you are confused about anything in your life, turn to God for the answers- not friends or even relatives.  Find people that have a strong relationship with God, and pray that God can give you some answers through them too.  Remember, God has specific answers for each of our lives- he is just waiting on us to seek them.  This is a great true story, written by the teen that experienced these feelings.  Like everyone, this teen had choices to make- and you may or may not be surprised with the outcome.  Please take a read.~ DYP”

The Story: My friend Jason* stood on the far edge of the driveway and fired off a fade–away jump shot. Swoosh. The ball only caught net and bounced on the pavement. I grabbed it to pass to him when he said, “Hey, did I tell ya I had a girlfriend?”

“What?” I said dropping the ball. “Yeah, I asked Crystal out last week, and now we’re sort of boyfriend and girlfriend.”

“Oh,” was all I could say. I tried to act as if Jason having a girlfriend was no big deal to me. But it was a big deal! I hated the idea that he would be spending more time with someone else.

This wasn’t the first time I’d felt left out or even jealous of friends’ girlfriends. It was our freshman year of high school and most of my guy friends were now dating. The guys I’d grown up with were suddenly spending their time with girls. But I wanted them to hang out with me. I wanted to be as close to them as their girlfriends were.

These feelings drove me crazy. But it wasn’t just loneliness. I also realized I liked hugging my guy friends and stuff like that. I didn’t want to have sex with them or anything, but I did think a lot about spending time with them. I constantly thought, Something is wrong here. Finally, one night I got on my knees and prayed, “God, am I gay?”

I paid careful attention to what people said about homosexuality. I heard stories that many gay people come from dysfunctional homes or were sexually molested as children. I didn’t fit the mold, so maybe I wasn’t gay. But then why didn’t I want a girlfriend? Why did I want my guy friends to like me more than they liked their girlfriends?

I went to books for help. I hoped that I’d find something I could relate to. All the fiction I read talked about celebrating your homosexuality, but I sure didn’t want to celebrate how I felt. Meanwhile, the non–fiction I read didn’t tell me what I wanted to know: how to be a normal guy.

One Sunday, my pastor talked about how homosexuality wasn’t God’s plan. I looked up verses about it and memorized them. I knew my pastor and the Bible were right, but that didn’t take away my confused feelings. I really did think about my guy friends a lot. I was so scared. I thought, There is no way God would make me like this, would he?

I guess I thought God would flash an answer in the sky or something. But he didn’t, and I just kept wrestling with the uncertainty about what I was feeling. I didn’t want to be homosexual. I was a Christian and knew this was wrong. I feared what my Christian friends and family would think. I felt alone. I couldn’t tell my parents—I didn’t want to disappoint them. I couldn’t tell my youth pastor because I was afraid he might tell my youth group friends and make me a laughingstock. I didn’t tell anyone. Praying to God helped, but I wanted more than anything to have someone who’d understand me.

I felt like I was keeping a secret bomb inside me that would go off at anytime.

About a year after Jason told me about his first girlfriend, we were talking after band practice one night about girls.

“You play the drums,” Jason told me, “The girls are totally into you.”

“I don’t know what the big deal is,” I told him, “I have plenty of time to worry about girls when I’m older.”

“You don’t know what you’re missing.”

“What am I missing?” I laughed.

“Once you have sex with a girl, you’ll know.”

“You’ve had sex?” I asked, shocked.

He nodded proudly.

I told him how I felt about premarital sex as a Christian, but I was too emotional to make any sense. I was hurt because he was also a Christian. I couldn’t understand how someone who claimed to follow Christ could think sex before marriage was OK.

A couple of months later on a band trip, I shared a hotel room with four of my guy friends. While I pretended to be asleep, the guys talked about how many times they’d had sex. I know most of it was probably exaggerated, but it hurt me to hear these guys talking so openly about what they did with girls.

I was full of thoughts and emotions. It seemed every guy I knew not only liked girls, but was also having sex with them. This bothered me not only because I knew it was wrong, but because I could not understand the pleasure sex with girls gave them. And I kept thinking about how odd it was that many Christians would be more likely to condemn me for wrestling with gay feelings and not acting out on them, than my friends who were actually committing sexual sin. I was very confused.

The summer of my junior year, I went camping with my friend Ryan. We shared one tent, and his parents shared the other.

On the second night, we started talking about friendship and loneliness. I asked him if he thought two guys could love each other but not be homosexuals. He said yes. He started telling me how he didn’t like girls and he felt alone because of this.

I asked: “Do you want a hug?” We embraced for a long time. I felt the way I imagined my guy friends felt when they hugged their girlfriends, and I liked the way I felt.

The hug didn’t go any further than that, but I still knew it was wrong to feel what I felt for Ryan that night. For three years I had suspected and denied that I was gay, but when we hugged I not only suspected I was gay, I really believed it.

Not long after this campout, Ryan’s dad got a job in another state, and they moved. It happened so quickly that we didn’t even have time to exchange addresses. It scares me now to think about what would have happened between us if Ryan wouldn’t have moved. But at the time, all I felt was that without Ryan around, I was once again alone.

I never did see an answer from God written in the sky. Or wake up and suddenly feel differently. There was no big moment where I stopped being attracted to guys. But as I grew in my faith, I realized that my life was slowly becoming different. Christ has changed and strengthened me. After high school, I stopped denying that I struggle with gay feelings. Instead, God showed me I needed to quit worrying about attaching a label to myself. I learned to just admit my weaknesses and deal with them—like Christians need to do with any temptations against God’s Word. Because of the strength God gives me against my temptations, I am confident I will never have a homosexual relationship. I don’t put myself in situations that tempt me. I have surrounded myself with close friends who are strong Christians. I have an accountability friend who I am very open with about any urges or thoughts that find their way into my mind.

I can’t say I never have gay feelings anymore, but now I don’t feel so alone. I have Christians around me who can help me. And that may be the biggest thing I’ve learned. In high school I was so concerned with myself that I failed to be there for friends and provide a good witness for Christ. But now, I have learned to show others the one thing that’s changed me even in this struggle: God’s love and support.