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Well-meaning people often respond inappropriately when someone “comes out” as gay, fearing judgement that they aren’t loving—or are haters/ignorant.
Our greatest joys come via relationships. For decades, I dreamed of deep, lasting human connection, only to experience repeated disappointment. Somewhere in my twenties, I concluded that I’d have to wait for heaven to enjoy that kind of bonding with others (especially men). I used to think God wanted me to avoid men. But God is more generous than we often give Him credit for; today, I feel my relationships are more profound, stable, and rewarding than I had dreamed possible, and perhaps more than most people do. Turns out, I only had to let go of the poor ways of relating and leave behind the unhelpful ideas that I’d clung to. I’d like to share with you how you might have this contentment as well.
More than a third of Americans say they are chronically lonely. Achieving lasting, happy relationships is a challenge for just about anyone; for LGBTQIA people, it can seem impossible.
People often see only binary options, including in relationships; gay culture has generally viewed (nonfamilial) same-sex relationships as being either superficial or sexual. Simplistic views reduce our available options and minimize our chances for deep connection.
Yet, there are infinite ways to relate as humans, let alone as LGBTQIA individuals. There may be better ways to love and be loved, regardless of orientation, than the standard ways the world often signals. I’m convinced that God made all men—heterosexual and gay—with the capacity to love each other intensely and lastingly. I believe women enjoy this same blessing.
I’m not typically someone who publishes intimate details of my life, but I feel that what I’ve learned is too important not to share. I’ve found some scriptural keys to healing relationships and creating deep lasting same-sex bonds. Many of the points I make in this book may surprise you. Most of my words are directed to people with same-sex attraction—this term is used here, instead of “gay,” to include people, like me, who are also attracted to the opposite sex (bisexual, biromantic, or bi).
Has anything taken God by Surprise? God doesn't simply tolerate queerness, it is—expressed attentively—part of His plan for our happiness. God can help us fulfill our needs while honoring His will. As needs are met, generous feelings replace discouragement, isolation, even addiction.
Is someone you love struggling with their faith over LGBTQIA questions or conflicts? Are you? This book offers perspective and insights that can bolster confidence in God’s tender provision for every soul. God loves every individual. There are divine purposes and plans for all our differences. As we begin to see as God sees, we gain appreciation for ourselves and others—perhaps especially because of our differences.
“I hope all who feel attraction to their own sex—or any isolating difference—can learn its positive purpose and its most fulfilling expressions. I hope we find gratitude for the enrichment that differences can bring, and that each person can feel self-love, God’s love, and profound love with others. If you truly believe God has always known all things, you will grasp that there is a benefit in everything.”
Well-meaning people often respond inappropriately when someone “comes out” as gay, fearing judgement that they aren’t loving—or are haters/ignorant. But ignorance is the reality; how can anyone expect non-gay people to comprehend what they have never experienced?
Likewise, though intentions may be benevolent, encouraging paths one cannot possibly know are/aren’t healthful isn’t loving or informed. Perhaps non-gay people feel badly (maybe they presume that being gay can’t be as fulfilling as being straight or that God has no plans for the happiness of gays) —hoping that fulfillment will come to gays who try to make their relationships function like straight pairings. I can’t condemn someone for hoping something good for others; but I can clarify—as a bi person—that God not only loves queer people as he loves all people, he has plans to bless us as much as any other person (and not just in the next life).
While gays may not experience relating joys the same way as non-gay people, God has provided enormously satisfying bonds among people of the same sex, connections that can last forever and are in some ways, I feel, superior to what straight couples experience—if we honor God’s guidance on relating. What I’ve discovered (as if it were a secret) was widely understood 150 years ago, before the invention of the constricting term “homosexual” (more in the book).
Some parents want to be dragon-like in defending their gay kids (the sentiment is understandable). “Christ-like” might provide more helpful imagery and help us maintain an open mind—and have more influence with our children, long-term. Rather than emulate shame—or pride—perhaps peace and trust in God should be our outlook (and something we can model for others).
If you hear a statement on LGBTQIA issues that rubs you the wrong way, perhaps the best thing to say to your LGBTQIA child is, “I love you, and I know that God does too.” More help here.
SOME QUESTIONS I ADDRESS IN THE BOOK:
Are LGBTQIA people and those who never desire a heterosexual union consigned to misery by God or the Church of Jesus Christ? Are gays condemned to never have a “soulmate”? If the person closest to you in life and in eternity is the same sex as you, will that bar you from eternal joy? (Not at all!)
SOME KEY POINTS FROM THE BOOK:
· I believe that relationships (plural) can be eternal and the source of our greatest joys. Yet, we need God’s help for long-term relationship bliss (regardless of sexual orientation).
· Awareness of options increases power/satisfaction. By presenting multiple paths, I don’t mean to imply that each is equally desirable—or that all are harmless.
· Sexual orientation is not contagious, a defect, a sin, a mortal choice, or an act of rebellion. We can exert influence over feelings, but often, we simply feel what we feel.
· God loves LGBTQIA persons! While this may not mean acceptance of gay sex as a positive expression of gayness, God has always known what we would feel and experience. His plan has always been that we could benefit from all of it.
· People attracted to their own sex will likely remain so attracted, at least while in mortality, for wonderful purposes.
· Like our need for oxygen, Same-sex emotional needs are God-given and ongoing. They must not be ignored. God can help us fill needs healthfully—but He won’t remove them.
· Emotional connection is a need. As good as it is, sexual euphoria is not love and doesn't satisfy true need. Confusing transitory euphoria for love is almost a guarantee that a person will fall out of “love” due to the fleeting nature of euphoria.
· Sex in itself isn’t bad—but inappropriate sex, heterosexual or otherwise, disconnects us from the joy of union (and can be torture to escape; wanting more always leads to wanting more).
· Emotional needs can manifest as sexual desire, like feeling hungry when you’re dehydrated. By neglecting true emotional connection, the feeling of neediness persists, regardless of how much sex one has. Meeting emotional needs healthfully can illuminate true needs, open previously unimagined relational possibilities, and might also reduce compulsive behavior.
· True authenticity is rooted in seeing self and others as divine. Most people prefer to feel loving to being loved; giving love is deeply fulfilling.
· Most choices, even mistakes, are not sins. Competing desires can help us learn who we are, what we value, and what we are capable of. Individual worth doesn’t change.
· The surest way to reduce options is to reject any constraint. Principles and boundaries can increase options, while having all you want can lead to bondage.
· The libido can be an indicator of how well or how poorly we are meeting emotional needs. You can work with your libido instead of battling it or being its slave. When emotional needs are met the libido becomes very calm.
· In discussing options for LGBTQIA people, I’m not speaking of learning to live with the next best thing—nor with sexual infidelity by a partner—but of a path to lasting fulfillment and true intimacy. I'm not giving nice ideas, but KEYS to lasting fulfilling same-sex relations.
· Your most rewarding relationships may not be the one(s) you’re currently pursuing, or the ones you think you’re missing. They might result from the loss of relations/expectations previously held as important. Seeing abundant options might require modification to current notions.
· CLOSE BEYOND IMAGINATION
· IS IT ALL ABOUT SEX?
· FREEDOM & OPTIONS—BEYOND EITHER/OR
· IS FLUIDITY REAL?—ARE FEELINGS ETERNAL?
· IS MIXED-ORIENTATION MARRIAGE A HAPPY OPTION FOR SOME ATTRACTED TO THEIR OWN SEX?
· BEYOND GRIEF—WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE SUPPORT?
· THE BEST NEWS— HOW TO CREATE DEEP SAME-SEX CONNECTION
· THE KEY TO LASTING SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS
· AUTHENTIC IDENTITY—THE KEY TO HAPPINESS
· HOW TO NOT MISS OUT
· WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT ATTRACTION TO ONE’S OWN SEX?
These principles apply to heterosexuals, married people, singles, women, and men. I hope you’ll discover all the insights that I share in the book! GET IT ON AMAZON
He encontrado que dicha es relaciones profundas que duran. La necesidad que Dios nos dio a todos es conexión profunda con los de nuestro propio sexo. Pero esa conexión es único a la que existe entre los hombres y las mujeres — y no tiene nada que ver con el sexo. El sexo es una distracción de la verdadera manera de relatar con los del mismo sexo y destruye lo puede durar de la relación entre los hombres o de entre las mujeres.
Yo he conocido a parejas gay — unidos felizmente por décadas — pero lo lograron al dejar al / al no tener sexo. Son las únicas parejas que conozco de gente del mismo sexo que son felices en una unión monógama y realmente duradera (y yo he conocido a muchas parejas.) Si antes han sido sexuales juntos, aun puedan reparar a la conexión.
La euforia del sexo no es amor (aunque muchos de nosotros lo confundimos con amor.) La euforia / el gusto no es conexión — y nunca dura. Al confundir a algo tan temporal como la euforia con el amor garantiza que uno dejará de estar enamorado por un largo tiempo.
Lo que tú y yo necesitamos es amor y conexión verdadera y duradera con los de nuestro propio sexo (no importa si uno es casado / atraído al sexo opuesto.) La mejor manera de recibir lo que realmente necesitamos de los de nuestro propio sexo (aun hasta superar a la adicción) es disfrutarse de toda afección y conexión — sin confundir a nuestra atracción con un deseo de relacionarse con ellos sexualmente.
Sé que Dios ha dado a ciertas personas una atracción a gente del mismo sexo de uno. Sé que él ama a los gayes y tiene maravillosos propósitos en esa atracción. Pero tenemos que dar oído a lo que Dios nos ha dicho en cuanto a esas relaciones (y no tan solo a los mandamientos de “¡NO!”): Escudríñense en la biblia las relaciones entre el rey David y Jonatán o las relaciones entre Cristo y Juan en amado. (También sé que todos estaremos dichosamente conformes con como estaremos en las eternidades).
Desde que he estado conectando y abrazando a los varones en mi vida sin buscar al sexo (y lo hacemos por largos tiempos:) mis relaciones han sido más profundas y duraderas y — aun con un libido robusto — mis deseos para el sexo después de sostenerme con / agarrar a mis amados casi no existen. Desde que he disfrutado de conexión verdadera y duradera con los de mi sexo, ni he pensado en masturbarme (por muchos años.) No es cosa de resistir o esforzarme; no se me ocurre. Me siento recontento.