Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prayers for Abelard

“Before you echo Amen in your home or place of worship, think and remember, A child is listening.”
- Mary Griffith

We had a DVR malfunction when Prayers for Bobby was on the first time, I set our DVR to record it; however, when we sat down to watch it, we discovered that we had the last hour of Prayers for Bobby and the first hour of whatever show followed it.

The other day I was vegging in front of the TV watching Reba on Lifetime when a commercial came on for Prayers for Bobby that was being rebroadcast later that evening. I immediately set our DVR to record it - this time checking to make sure it was actually recording the beginning.

Tonight, everyone else was away and I was home alone - so I watched Prayers for Bobby for the first time; and, I was bawling by the closing credits. I'm kinda glad I had the house to myself as it might have freaked out the family to see their stalwart unemotional dad crying over a TV show. Now I have to do something about my red eyes before they return.

But, for a brief two hours - I allowed myself to be who I really am. I took down the facade I carry with me.

I'm gay! I'm married, I have children and even grandchildren - but I prefer men to women.

I must confess that some days I hate being gay. Not that I have anything against gay folks - it's just so damn inconvenient for a person in my position. Why can't I be like normal husbands and fathers?

Why are men so beautiful to me?

I prefer hearing men sing. I love the male voice. I especially love hearing men's choirs. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to have the full version of Handle's Messiah. After doing some research, I settled on a version produced by the Society of Ancient Music which produced a recording as it would likely have been performed at the time of Handle - with an all male chorus.

As an amateur photographer, I prefer taking pictures of men. When I take my camera to an event, when I'm later viewing the pictures, the number of pictures of men always outnumbers those of women. With women, I feel like I always have to take pictures that are flattering where as with men it doesn't matter - I can be more dramatic with men, even emphasizing their less than perfect features rather than trying to hide them.

When I'm checking out in the grocery store - if there are two lines of equal length, I'll more than likely take the one with the male checker over the female checker.

I've always had this weird fascination with men performing traditionally female roles. For example, male nurses intrigue me. When my children were in high school, at marching band competitions I was always fascinated when a band had a boy color guard. I've always been captivated by male flute players. However, men dressing and/or acting like women does not appeal to me.

If a couple walks into the room and you later ask me to describe them. More than likely I'll be able to describe the man in much greater detail than the woman.

Call me sexist, but I've always been intimidated by women in positions of power. For example, at work, I'm always more intimidated by female managers than I am by the male managers. Although, I don't have any problem working with women as peers and often enjoy talking to them more than with my male coworkers.

I've never been comfortable around teenage girls. This started way back when I was a boy teenager; and, it hasn't gotten any easier as I've aged. This is after having growing up with older sisters, living through the teenage years for two daughters, and working with the youth at church for most of my adult life. I've always gotten along better with the young men than with the young women - teenage girls scare me.

I like men; and, it's not just a sexual thing. There is just something about men, how they sound, how they look, how they feel, how they smell, etc. - that fundamentally appeals to all of my senses at a primordial level.

But . . . I'm married to a woman. And I never want to do anything to hurt her in any way.

Such is the life of Abelard. Forever yearning for something he can never have.

The family has returned - so excuse me while I wipe my red eyes, put my facade back on, and go downstairs.


Frank Lee Scarlet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Glad you had a chance to get in touch with your real self. :-)
I can *really* relate with what you said. It reminds me of a time when I was visiting a different Sunday School, I went to a class that happened to be comprised of (very nice) young ladies. Next I went to the Priests' Qrm. meeting, and the difference was incredible. Like you, it wasn't a sexual thing, it was how I feel in different energies. Like you, I gravitate to male looks, male friends, male voices, male energy.

MoHoHawaii said...

I also liked the book Prayers for Bobby. You really get a deeper sense of Mary Griffith's psychology, and Bobby is a richer character in the book.

As for your attraction to male images, voices and store clerks... yup, sounds normal to me. They say when you stop looking it means you're dead. Anyway, like the rest of us, it sounds like you're definitely playing on the G-team.

A memory just came back to me as I read your blog post...

I remember an early crush on my swimming teacher, a very handsome and fit 25 year old guy. I might have been 10 at the time. One day he needed a ride home from the pool. I had my bike with me. His house was on my way home, so he rode my bike and had me sit on the handle bar. I nearly fainted from excitement as his powerful legs pushed the pedals. I had no idea what was going on, except that I wanted him and felt giddy at his strength and virile beauty. He got off at his house and that was that. I never missed a swimming lesson, but unfortunately he never needed a ride again. I am an enthusiastic swimmer to this day.


(We don't let 10 year olds ride their bike unaccompanied several miles away from home to get to their swimming lessons anymore. It's kind of a pity. I loved the freedom I had as a child.)

drakames said...

I bawled like a baby through Prayers for Bobby too, but I really liked it. I'm glad you got to see it.

And don't worry about being uncomfortable around teenage girls. Even though I'm a girl, and a girl who likes girls at that, they scare me too.

Over the Rainbow said...

It's funny, I'm straight, but I prefer being around girls than boys. I am sexually attracted to boys, I think they are hot, but I am terrified of straight males. I'd take teenage girls any day :P

I'm sorry you feel as though you have to wear a mask, I wish our world was in a different place where no one had to hide any good part of themselves. I'm glad you had a chance to fully embrace yourself tonight- even if it only lasted through the movie.

Hang in there. You touch and help many lives and I know your family and the Lord all have deep love for you.

Philip said...

Maybe I am reading something more into your post then is there...

Are you also talking about the mental contradiction that all gay married men seem to be in?

Maybe contradiction is not the right word but my English fails me.

I feel like my entire adult life has been defined by that contradiction.

I made a decision when I was 18, before I knew all that I know now, that forever impacted my life and that of my wife's.

I can't be gay -or- married because I can't stop being gay.

I can't be gay -and- married because my wife can't share me with another.

So I put limits on how gay I can be for the sake of my marriage.

I bounce back and forth depending on the demands my psyche makes on me.

When the demand is not strong, I am more married than gay.

When the demand is strong, I am more gay than married.

But I am always gay -but- married or married -but- gay.

It is a balancing act.

The irony is that allowing myself to be somewhat gay saved my marriage.

At least now I have some peace.

I had no peace at all the first few years of my marriage.

I did not allow myself to be gay at all and that almost destroyed me and by extention my marriage.


Beck said...

Oh the facade building we do! :(