I came out to my family and school friends at 17. They affirmed me as being gay and said that they had known this for years. I had only ever been same-sex attracted so of course believed that I was born gay.
A huge weight lifted from my shoulders as I publicly shared how I had been born gay. I noticed that my self-harming and suicidal feelings reduced significantly overnight as I did this. I began to taste freedom.
When aged 18, I moved from the country to a city university. I was the first person ever to come out publicly. I was affectionately known as the "college queer", and saw it as my duty to establish a lesbian and gay group.
I was very promiscuous at first as was everyone I knew in the gay community. Then, without searching, I met my Mr Right. He had been in the military, externally exemplified manhood and ticked all my boxes. I was loud and effeminate and yet he said that I ticked all of his boxes too. We were committed to one another and were monogamous throughout our long-term relationship.
A year after we started dating, a fellow student approached me at university and asked me if I wanted more love in my life. “Yes,” I replied. “Who doesn’t?” This man was deeply spiritual and I soon found myself under his instruction. He taught me to pray and to reflect more deeply on my life.
My reflective life demanded that I ask deeper questions about myself and the world around me. I began to experience increasing peace within myself. My boyfriend saw this and also wanted more peace. We both began to daily reflect and pray. Almost overnight many gay men and women began to hail us as a model gay couple. Life couldn't get better – or so I believed.
Months later, as my reflective life significantly deepened, I felt an increasing unease with this model gay relationship. I was beginning to see that men were still a mystery for both me and for my boyfriend and that neither of us had “demystified” men. This was a painful place to be in. I came to see that we were both in different ways at war with our souls, with our identities and with other men.
I then chose to completely reject the damaging label of ‘gay’ and walked away from the gay community. I then chose to visit a professional therapist who helped me to deal with such a dramatic social change in my life. What then transpired shocked me to the very core.
Through deep daily reflection and accompanied by an insightful and spiritual therapist, I came face-to-face with crippling inner wounds I had never previously seen but had pushed deep into my unconscious. I suddenly found myself facing traumas from having been abandoned at birth, from having been fostered and adopted, from years of childhood sexual abuse, from a deep rooted distrust of men and a crippling fear of women.
I learnt to face my pain and shame. I learnt what it meant to forgive, to ask for forgiveness, to exchange "my truth and feelings" for "the Truth and reality about my biology and Natural Law". As my soul slowly healed, I learnt precariously to trust men and women and so the man hidden deep within me that I'd never experienced before began to rise.
As a result of my heart now learning to trust and to deeply engage non-erotically with other men, my erotic preoccupation with everything masculine lessened. Not only this, but my sexual compulsivity lessened. So did my anxiety levels. My self-harming completely stopped. My addictions to alcohol, to work, to performing, to pornography began to fall away. I was no longer at war with being male and I began to love being in my own body, something I had rarely if ever previously experienced as a result of so much childhood sexual abuse and rape. From this place of healing, I went in search of a new “mystery”. Understandably, I began to discover this mystery in the complementarity of woman. I married and became a dad, which was everything I had been told was impossible and which I had never expected or sought after.
Today, I am very far from perfect. Regrettably, my marriage ended in divorce after ten years. And yet the growing peace and dignity I experience today is beyond words. I experience inner freedom more deeply than ever before, and certainly more than when I was a gay man and activist.
It would be selfish, foolish, and deeply unloving of me not to want others to experience this same freedom and fulfillment in life.