Who You Dream Of, Are You Gay?

I remember the day Richard walked onto our school bus. He was cute, trying to be funny, wanting to be liked. I had seen him and his family moving in across the street. His mom, Ginger, looked like a man and there was another lady who lived with them, she was blond. Over time Richard and I became friends. From age 12 until I was 17 and moved away, Richard, his mom and her girlfriend, lived across the street. My mom became like a mother to one of Ginger's long time girlfriends, and to this day they are usually a part of gatherings and parties at my sisters house, which is still in our old neighborhood. 

Richard and I were typical neighbors, friends, and enemies sometime but mostly friends I think. He was a fun kid. He used to come over and we would lie on my bed listening to Eddie Murphy stand up and laughing.

There was that one time though, when him and his friend Pat snuck up on the pool at my friend Robin's house. Her, Kay and I were skinny-dipping, actually, I don't think Kay ever got naked, I think it was just Robin and I but anyway, we put our bathing suits on a raft in the pool. It was well into the night so we felt we were safe, no one would see us, our entire neighborhood was asleep, and even if the close by neighbors awoke and looked our way, we felt we were still safe as long as our nakedness stayed under the water.

We didn't see or hear Pat and Richard walk up and crouch behind the back of Robin's house, watching us. We were too busy laughing and acting silly. We were swimming naked, it was a dangerous adventure and it made us giggle.

We heard a noise, we screamed knowing that sound was made by a person, somewhere in the dark, watching us.

I darted toward the raft, it was there but our bathing suits were gone!

By this time Robin had already sprinted out of the pool and into her house, I was heading up the latter but Kay, fully clothed in her one-piece bathing suit, pushed me aside and sprinted to the door. I was next, running in all my 15 year old naked awkward glory, to the door. I slip on the door mat, one of those fake grass door mats, my right shin met the daggers of the fake grass, scratching across my leg as I fell on it.

Yes, I was running naked, slipped on a doormat and fell to the ground. You're picturing it much better then it actually was, it was awful, awkward is an understatement to the 100th degree. Seinfeld’s episode about "Bad Naked" may be closer to how awful it was.

Stinking Richard!!

He scared the crap out of us, he saw us naked and made us run naked and made me fall naked!

When Kay, Robin and I were naked I never once thought I was turned on by them. Although I had done some physical things with my girlfriends when I was younger, we used to play husband and wife. But we were 9 maybe 10 or 12years old, we weren't developed sexual beings in full swing yet, it wasn't innocent but it was, if that makes any sense. 

I believe that for those of us who are middle aged now, we were allowed only one option, the question of sexual orientation wasn't in the forefront as we made our way through adolescence, it wasn't always in our faces, but as individuals we did sometime wonder, search, explore who we were in various ways.

As Richard and I grew older we were occasionally attracted to each other, we made out a few times. His family always fascinated me but they were also just another family on the street. Richard wasn't the son of the gay lady, to me he was just Richard. We never talked about his mom and her girlfriend’s relationship.  My generation was much more likely to just not talk about homosexuality. I had a gay uncle and we just didn't talk about it but he knew without question that he was not free to be himself around anyone.

As far as Christianity and homosexuality was concerned, that has always been a done deal. There was no debate, the bible was clear we thought, if you were gay you were demon possessed, choosing to live in sin, or corrupted by some childhood physical abuse. Today though we have learned there are varying interpretations to sacred scriptures we used so freely to condemn homosexuals. We started to ask, "Are people born that way?" Religious leaders and scientist started to research orientation and choice in sexuality.

Evangeline and I were discussing gay stuff the other day (no, she's not gay :-) She asked how I thought someone knew if they were gay or not. I answered in my limited wisdom that I felt like we know by who we dream of. If we ask ourselves what our version of a perfect world would look like, where who we are with is accepted by family, friends, God, everyone, who we dream of partnering with long term, if we could dream without any preimposed limitations, whom do we see ourselves growing old with? To me, that says a lot about who you are sexually.

But, yes, I'll admit, I'm a middle-aged woman who was raised with lesbians as family friends so maybe my perspective is different. I'm sure that's why I'm open to the idea of Christian Homosexuals where others feel sure that is the one sin you can't die with. Gluttons, liars, people eaten up with pride and anger, all can die and go to heaven as long as they "lived" morally, but if a gay person who loved like Mother Theresa were to die, they would go to hell. I don't believe that is scriptural.  Sex outside of marriage is a sin according to the bible I believe in, but is a married homosexual couple in sin? If they are, is that the one unpardonable sin?

I know that's a whole other can of worms, gay marriage, but I think these are conversations we need to have with each other and with our children. Open, love filled conversations we need to have. I've talked to several gay friends because I want to hear their perspective, I don't know their struggles but I want to be an ally for equal treatment and respect. I want to understand no matter if I agree with everything they say or not.

We are all sexual beings, as our teenagers make mistakes, make memories, do things they will regret, and things they will cherish forever, I want mine to be able to talk to me and know I've been there too. It's awkward, it's bad naked, but it's life and I feel we are better off if we take our middle aged wisdom and knowledge into the conversation without taking our middle aged judgements with us. I can honestly say that having kissed a girl in the fifth grade didn't make me any more or less a lesbian, I don't think I've ever seriously doubted my sexual orientation, but for our kids who might not be sure or might be sure but it's not what they know we would want, well I pray if that happens with my kids that I can be open minded and full of love and understanding, grace over judgement, walking with them through the hard times and praying for God to meet them where ever they are.

I am strong, I am able
I spill milk on your table
Then I cry like a baby
Just to see if you save me

I am sweet, I am ugly
I am mean if you love me
I try hard just to please you
When I say I don't need you

I dress up with a conscience
When I think you'll be watching
I say all the right things
I don't know what I mean

Am I, am I getting through
Am I, am I getting through

I am ignorant and rude
I am fashionably crude
And sometimes when it's quiet
I'm an Angel in white

When I pose in the mirror
I want everyone near me
I am scared that I'm weird
I'm afraid, I am queer

I am lovely and weak
I am foul when I speak
I am strange when I'm kind
I am frying my mind

Am I, am I getting through
Am I, am I getting through
I don't care, I don't care

Jesus loves me I know
For my mom told me so
I'm a loser at love
I'm a flower in the mud

Am I, am I getting through
Am I, am I getting through
Am I, am I getting through


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