Thursday, October 21, 2010

I wonder if this is how homosexuals feel

I hate labels.  I hate labeling myself, but it’s usually the easiest way for people to get pretty close to my views, so for the sake of argument, we’ll call me a liberal atheist.  This is, for all practical purposes, my current location on a long road I started down about ten years ago.  I doubt this journey is done yet.  The truth is, I’m pretty sure I’ve always been this way, I just didn’t admit it to myself for a long time.  Being liberal or atheist is somewhat of a frowned upon thing here in the middle of Jesus central. 

So it’s a little lonely out here.  My wife is a bit of an over-zealous Christian (it’s the source of most of my daily drama), all my friends, most of whom are smart people, deny the fact of evolution, worship a non-existent god, and vote Republican. 

After years of denying who I really am, I did a lot of soul searching over the past 2-3 years, and finally just admitted it. 

Now I don’t seem to have a lot of friends.  Just today, the one friend who seemed to more or less share my views told me that she found Jesus.  In fairness, she’s had some rather harsh personal problems lately, and skepticism doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort during times of emotional distress. 

I suppose if the opposite were true, if I were a Christian in a land of Atheists, I could spend this time pretending God was here with me and telling him all my problems.  I suppose I could just construct an invisible friend too.

So I started wondering, when somebody realizes they’re gay, they probably have a hard time finding someone to share this with.  Parents and friends aren’t usually very receptive to that kind of news.  It’s probably pretty lonely.  I find it hard to believe that anybody chooses to be gay.  Seriously, who would consciously choose the pain that comes along with it?  The only choice is the one to stop lying to yourself and be honest about who you are.

That’s what I did.  Yea me!  The rewards of being true to myself are a little underwhelming.  Thanks for listening, my five or so readers.  I appreciate the sympathetic ear.


  1. It's more important to be true to yourself than to worry about what others think. If you've lost friends because you're being genuine, they really weren't friends anyways.

    For anyone who is different, for being gay, atheist in Jesus-land, or just being any kind of weirdo minority anywhere, building a social support structure is harder. It can be lonely. The alternative, surrounding yourself with people who don't accept you for you, is worse. There's about a million things that are destructive about choosing to invest friendship in someone like that.

    The rewards for having even one friend who accepts you for you are limitless.

    Be patient. If you are putting yourself out there you will find people who will accept you. They won't necessarily be atheist liberals either, they'll just be good, accepting, open-minded people. Keep in mind that someone finding religion or voting for someone different doesn't mean you're unable to be friends. It's people who do AND are also close-minded and hateful.

    I for example am not an atheist, and we get on fine. :)

    That being said, if you really want to find people who share a particular interest with you, find a group/class/activity. Yes, there are even atheist groups out there. Use the internet,, the cork board at your local coffee shop, etc. Just because it's hard, doesn't mean you can't build a new social support structure around the new genuine Taco. :)

  2. Hi Cowboy, Sorry that you feel lonely out there. My only suggestion is to perhaps not bring up those topics that people in "Jesus Central" are so sensitive to. I mean, I'm sure that it bothers you when people make comments about atheist and how "atheists hate God". In all fairness, how do you think they feel when you say that God is "non-existent". In most cases, people are born and raised into religion and educated or not, by you saying that what they've believed in their entire lives does not exist, how would you expect them to respond? I mean you have only come to your realization in the past 2-3 years and even you get offended when people judge you.

    On another note, your comparison to homosexuality and how homosexuals must feel I do agree with and feel bad for anyone without a support system and for feeling completely alone because society has not caught up with the times. Though I don't necessarily believe that gay men and women choose to be gay, I'm not sure what you mean by the pain that homosexuality involves. Homosexuals both male and female do not experience more pain than heterosexuals do except if what I'm sure you mean is in a sexual content but even then they actually enjoy that act and some even crave it.

    I enjoy reading your post, thank you for posting frequently and I look forward to reading more.

  3. I probably should have been clearer, It's not that I don't have any friends, I just don't seem to have any very close ones and certainly none that share these rather important facets of my life that need some kind of outlet (e.g. a friend to discuss with).

    Ironically, the person who seems to understand this the best is my wife. She's feeling some alienation, but really for the opposite reasons (going crazy fundamentalist). At least it's something in common anyway.

    I've thought about finding some groups, but it gets a little weird. Statements like "I'll be out, I met a girl on the internet and we're going to meet at a coffee shop and talk for a while" have a way of not going over well with spouses, even when innocent.

    Anyway, I'm working on it. Life continues to insist on being weird...

  4. @lilmanfatty

    Trust me, I know how they feel. That doesn't excuse attacking science, attempting to end the separation of church and state, or the rather ignorant claims of what Atheism is. Ten years ago, I was right there with them, being one of the worst, but I got better. Honestly, I have no problem if people want to believe in a supreme power, but what they do in that being's name is often not ok. I don't generally go around randomly attacking people's faith, but I do fight back. That said, the point is that I'm apparently on the losing side of the fight, and there aren't a lot of reinforcements. My wife and I agreed a long time ago that in matters of religion I would defer to her, but when that started involving banning all holidays and teaching the children creationism, I had to draw a line.

    Around friends I usually don't bring up these topics. That's sortof the problem.

    I also disagree that that homosexuals don't have a harder time of it than heterosexuals. You don't usually hear about heterosexuals coming out of the closet or having to confront their father because they realized they were straight. I'm talking about the emotional pain and feelings of alienation and prejudice. I wouldn't know much about the other.

  5. I got you now Cowboy. You're right, there is a lot of pain involved with emotions.