Unconditional Love

    May 2000

    Christian Boylove Lives
    Telling My Pastor
    By Mark
    Edited by Heather Elizabeth Peterson

    The posts in this section are reprinted from the Christian Boylove Forum with permission of their author. For an index to these posts, click here.

    HONESTY IN THE CHURCH

    Submitted by Mark on January 3, 1999

    "I myself left the church I was attending because I would sit there on a Sunday and know that if the people there knew everything there is to know about me, they would not want me there sitting next to them or their children. I did not dare 'come out' to them because I feared (and rightly so) their reaction. And then, after a while, I just couldn't stand being there any more because I wanted so badly to be totally honest and up front with my brothers and sisters in the Lord."

    I know exactly how you feel! I have felt this way so many times, but have not yet stopped attending church. I now go to a church where that sense of judgment is not present, but I still know that they would have trouble accepting a boylover. Anyway, these feelings are what are driving me to want to come out to my pastor.

    Here's what I really wish I could say at church:

    "Hi. I'd like to be part of your church. I dedicated my life to Jesus when I was 18, and I have grown closer to him over the last couple years, as he has helped me deal with something difficult that made me think God rejected me. But now I know better. I have experienced his grace. I know he loves me and accepts me, and I want to share that message of love, grace, and acceptance with others. But I believe in honesty, and I can't worship with people I can't be honest with. The difficulty I had was due to the fact that I'm emotionally and sexually attracted to boys in the way that most men are attracted to women. I have never and will never abuse a boy, and I am committed to loving people, including boys, in ways that won't harm them. I know God accepts me. If you can't, that's your problem, and I'll find a church where they will."

    I wonder what would happen if I said this.

    UPDATE

    Submitted by Mark on February 21, 1999

    To all the new people, here's a warm welcome! I'm glad you're all here, and hope you will find it an encouraging and supportive place. Please keep posting!

    To all the old people, sorry I haven't posted for such a long time. Things continue to be so busy with church and school, that it seems I just have enough time to get here twice a week, and read, but not post. I am now helping with four extracurricular activities at school, volunteering at a thrift shop, and church activities seem to be increasing. Maybe it's good for me. It keeps me from getting too lonely or frustrated with being a boylover. Here's an update on some things.

    My neighbor boy and his mother are back together at home, but things are sometimes still stressful, the mother told me today. (They were separated for two months after the boy made threats against his.) The boy gave his mother some roses for Valentine's Day, and that was very meaningful to her. I spent time with her today talking, and the three of us prayed together. I also spent time doing some music with the boy one evening last week, and that seemed to help him. He still doesn't open up much to me, but his mother says he comes home encouraged from our time together.

    I am now aware of two boys at church who are in need of a father figure. They are both 9 years old. One lives with his mother who has been separated from his father for 3 years since he began seeing another woman. The boy is very affectionate. He and his mother come to church sporadically. I got to know them both yesterday when a group from church went bowling. The other boy also lives with his mother, but she never comes to church. His father left the family soon after he was born, and his step-father was on drugs and alcohol and committed suicide about 4 years ago. It's this step-father's mother (the boy's step-grandmother) who brings him to church since she has taken him in as her grandson. She is a very faithful Christian and is very open to homosexuality. She is very concerned about the how the mother is raising the boy. Since she is not a judgemental person, I take her concern seriously. I really want to help either of these boys if it is possible, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Right now I just try to befriend the boys and their mother and grandmother.

    My weekly meetings with my pastor continue. He is the only person in my regular life that knows I am homosexual, but I haven't come out to him as a boylover. I'm still wondering if I should. He is very accepting of homosexuality (even of committed sexual relationships), and I am certain he would still be accepting of me if I told him I was a boylover. But I worry that he would prevent my having a non-sexual relationship with a boy. If I were to have such a relationship, he would be face the dilemma of whether he could trust me, or would need to "protect" the children of the congregation by telling the parent (or step-grandparent) about my orientation (or require that I do). He is not a rash person, and is very open to new ideas. He constantly talks about how we need to question our every belief and preconception. I have told him that I am celibate and intend to stay that way. I feel there is a lot of trust between us, but in his position as pastor, he may feel he still can't take the risk of trusting me if I come out fully. I just don't know. I have given him some materials about homosexuality and theology I got from a boylover I met in person last Saturday. They are very relevant to things he and I have been discussing, and one of them mentions boylove. I will see if and how he responds to that.

    May the Lord guide us all. Harry, I will especially remember you in my prayers.

    I JUST CAME OUT TO MY PASTOR

    Submitted by Mark on April 21, 1999

    After months of agonizing over whether I should do it, I finally did. I had told my pastor a while ago that I am homosexual, but only tonight told him I'm a boylover. In fact, I just got home from our 2½ hour meeting. He reacted completely calmly and rationally, actually, as if it were no big deal. He did say he was nervous with the term "boylover," but only "because I'm unfamiliar with it," as he put it. He had no problem understanding that I have just as much control over my sexuality as any straight person, in fact, he assumed it. Knowing I'm a teacher, he did mention that everyone (regardless of orientation) should be careful not to put oneself in a position where one could be accused (even falsely) of improper behavior. I told him about the Christian Boylove Forum and gave him a copy of Heather's article "Not an Oxymoron." 

    It was a good meeting, and we hugged before we left the church. Right now I'm not sure how I feel I guess I'm a little scared since I have given out information over which I no longer have control. I do trust him, but I also gave him permission to tell his wife if he feels he needs to. I also gave him the phone number of the pastor of a good friend of mine who is also out as a boylover. 

    MY SUMMER (or, Summer Camps ROCK, Part 2)

    Submitted by Mark on August 29, 1999

    Hello everybody! I know I have really been derelict about posting here. CBF is a great place, but I have been so busy in real life, away from home most of the summer.

    Like Rolf, I had a great summer at camp. Actually, I spend it at two very different camps. The first one was an academic summer program for gifted students where I have taught for a long time. I had a great group of kids. At the end of the first day of class, several thanked me for what I had taught them. Some of them routinely stayed after class to talk more about things we had done or ideas they had. It was a joy to teach them. 

    In addition, I made it a priority this year to get to know the kids informally. I often ate meals with them (instead of with other teachers), and got much more involved in recreational activities with them than I had in previous years. Previously my paranoid side caused me to fear it would look strange if I did this, even though there were always a few other teachers who did. Anyway, I found it to be tremendously fulfilling, as I established relationships with a few middle school boys. Yes, I must admit, a couple were very nice and incredibly attractive. One of them was very touchy and one day gave me hug. Another male teacher, who is known for being a bit wacky, at one point pulled him onto his lap, wrapped his arms around him, and playfully said "I wuv you!" (The boy enjoyed it.) Hmmm.

    My second camp was a church camp. The really great part is that my pastor, who knows I am a boylover, still recommended me to the staff coordinator to be a counselor. I was there two weeks. The first week was with 7th and 8th graders. They had enough counselors in the cabins, so I stayed in my own room in the lodge. As a result, I didn't really get to know any of the kids as closely as I had hoped.

    The second week was better. This time I was in a cabin with another counselor (high school age) and 5 boys. (They always put two counselors in a cabin.) The campers were 5th and 6th graders. My pastor was also there as a counselor, in another cabin. 

    A 10-year-old boy named Eddie was in my cabin. His story is significant. Every couple months he comes to my church, when his step-grandmother L. brings him. His home background is not good, according to L. His father abandoned the family, then his mother became addicted to drugs. She married L.'s son, who was also addicted and committed suicide. Eddie's mother got off drugs, but has had live-in boyfriends since. L. continues to keep in touch with Eddie's mom and to care for Eddie as her own grandson, keeping him on some weekends, and bringing him to church. According to L., Eddie's mom doesn't bother to get him involved in things, and tries to get him out of the house when possible so she can spend time with her boyfriend. L. said that one time when she picked up Eddie for the weekend, he started crying and said "Mom doesn't love me." L. said that she and her husband think a lot of me, and that Eddie needs a good male role model. The thing that has prevented me from taking the initiative to do things with Eddie and establish a relationship with him is not knowing his mother.

    In my discussions with my pastor about boylove, I had told him a couple months ago how boylovers often have young friends, and that I was interested in a possible relationship with Eddie. Then, three weeks ago, on the Sunday when the 5th and 6th grade camp was supposed to start, L. happened to bring Eddie to church. My pastor suggested that L. enroll him at camp, which L. did, and we placed him in my cabin. I enjoyed getting to know him, although I had to mildly discipline him a couple times. He was very touchy and I enjoyed this (by the way, I am not sexually attracted to him). Actually I really enjoyed being a counselor with all the boys in my cabin. We had evening devotionals and talked about how Jesus wants us to live. One boy said he grew spiritually during that week, coming to feel closer to God and learning more about himself. At the end of camp (two weeks ago), I met Eddie's mother when she came to pick him up. She actually seemed quite loving with Eddie, stroking his hair and kissing him. Since then I have not seen Eddie or his mother.

    I learned something about myself that week: that I feel tremendously fulfilled interacting with boys closely in a non-academic setting, and that I do not feel in any way sexually frustrated being so close to them (in spite of the fact that one of them was very attractive to me). If I could do this more often, I would feel tremendously satisfied continuing as a celibate boylover. Also, it was wonderful that I could be honest with my pastor about my orientation, and that he still completely trusted me with boys.

    After camp was over, a boylover friend of mine visited me for a week. I showed him several local attractions, and we talked a lot about boylove. We met with my pastor twice. We also went to a gay book store and I bought a copy of "Prayers for Bobby." I highly recommend it. It's the true story of a young gay man who was raised in a homophobic fundamentalist church and family who made him feel evil and perverted. When he was 20 he committed suicide. His mother went through 3 years of searching and eventually took responsibility for his suicide. She completely changed her attitude about gays and has became an advocate for them.

    Well, summer's over for me as school started this past week, so I'm back in the daily routine. I hope all is well with everyone here. If and when it's not, let's remember God's love for us and keep supporting each other!

    Mark

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