I’m going to stop identifying as gay for a while. No, this does not mean I am straight. It doesn’t mean I’m bisexual, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I am NOT gay. What it does mean is that I am unsure of a lot of things in my life right now, and am questioning my sexuality. This also does not mean that I am going to stop going to the LGBT center, or delight in having life changing conversations about sexuality and all the ramifications thereof with Megan in the hallway between our rooms. It does not mean that I will fight any less hard for the LGBT rights and it does not mean that I will not go to the ballot box and vote down amendment one. It DOES mean that, for me, right now, identifying as gay man gives me more pain than happiness in my life. I am 100% secure in my male gender identity, and everything else by which I identify. In fact, the only identity about which I am insecure is my sexual identity.
There is so much that gives me joy in life right now. I love my friends, my family, going to basketball games, the band, hanging out with Round Table, etc. I am so excited to start my classes for second semester, so thrilled to learn more about engineering and get back into the Perkins grind. The only real source of anguish in my life right now is in my sexuality. I have yet to have any type of meaningful, loving romantic relationship with a man or a woman, and this lack of experience only heightens my insecurity. I am aware of the pettiness of this statement, but the lack of romantic love in my life hinders my ability to embrace all the love that is around me. This may not make sense to every reader, but in identifying as gay, I feel an inherent pressure to find a partner, a boyfriend, a lover. Because I have so many issues with my own sexuality identity at the moment, engaging in one of the aforementioned relationships wouldn’t be fair for my future partner, and wouldn’t be healthy for me. I have a lot to figure out before I am ready to accept romantic love into my life. And while I figure all of that out, I am going to stop identifying as gay so that I do not feel the pressure to find a partner, and so that I can fully embrace the love of my friends and family.
Now, I know that not identifying as gay might hinder the movement towards LGBT equality. Having one less member of the community who is secure and actively fighting for Our rights might hinder progress. I may be the only LGBT identified individual that any number of my friends know, and by no longer identifying as gay, I am severing any ties that these friends have to the LGBT community. I am aware that not identifying as gay is inherently selfish, which is why I intend to get my identity sorted out with haste. By taking this (hopefully) shortened leave, I can come back a healthier and stronger member of the community. I give a lot of myself to a lot of different people and different groups and communities, and this is going to be the first holistically selfish thing I have done in a while. For that I hope you readers can forgive me.
I don't want this to sound like I am throwing myself a pity party. I am consciously thankful for all of the blessings and people I have in my life. I am simply trying to step back, get some perspective, and resolve an issue in my life that is causing me pain. My purpose in sharing this with you all is to convey that someone like me, who has been out for a while, still can have questions about his sexuality. I hope that knowing you are not alone in your process of questioning gives you some sort of comfort.