Monday, August 9, 2010

A Book-Review Epiphany


The other day when Amy and I were driving home from Delaware, we were listening to an episode of Studio 360, a podcast about creativity and pop culture. We were on Lincoln Drive, alongside the Wissahickon, almost home, listening to an interview with James Hannaham, author of God Says No, a novel about a preacher’s attempt to become ex-gay.

To illustrate the story, they played some audio of a southern church ceremony wherein the congregation was working together to “cast out the homosexual demon” from some poor churchgoer. They were talking o the demon, calling it names, trying to draw it out. A woman explained that homosexuals were welcome to come to their church, as long as they submit to this process.

As that little vignette sunk in, we were on the last curve of Lincoln drive before home. As we turned up toward Germantown, I had an epiphany.

All these past 5 years, ever since I re-came out as bi, I’ve been thinking there’d be some moment where I’d come to some magical conclusion, some magical point where my love for Amy would cause me to turn into a lesbian, shut off the desire for men. I’d been half-hoping that I could configure my life, my self, my thinking in the right way, that I would come to peace and not be bi anymore.

But that idea is as ludicrous and dehumanizing as trying to call out some gay demon. That moment is never going to come. I’m going to be like this my whole life.

People have always found some way or another to encourage me to overcome my attraction to men. They give me meaningful glares whenever Amy is particularly awesome, as if I don’t know. As if I haven’t walked around all these years feeling like I don’t deserve her.

I can see, too, that people feel like I would be emotionally safer to be around if I was not sort of available. I wish I could feel as self-righteously angry about that as I do about homophobia.

How am I almost 36 years old and just now coming to terms with my sexuality? Where do I go from here? I think this epiphany is a good start.

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