Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blessing and curse

I often think to myself having been born in the mid 70's was both a blessing and a curse.

Think about it; what event in the last 15 years has had the most profound affect on the closeted homosexual? What has allowed us to investigate a curiosity that until that point had no avenue for investigation? I am obviously talking about the Internet. With a click of the mouse all of a sudden there were anonymous chat rooms where I was able to talk to other gay men and express to them something I could never share with anyone before. I was able to look at stimulating pictures that I could never have seen elsewhere. Nothing before the Internet revolution had stirred up that yearning and desire in me to figure out what my innermost needs and desires are.

Here's the point though. The Internet had it's awakening in the mid to late 90's. I discovered the internet a year into my marriage with my wife while expecting our first child. Blessing - I was married and expecting. Curse - I was married and expecting. Blessing - I was deep in and had to play the hand I was dealt. There was no easy out so I was forced to fight the battle of my urges in what I considered a torahdike way. Curse - I was deep in. I couldn't walk, I couldn't pursue my roaring gay cry for male connection and intimacy. If Hashem had me conceived by my parents just a couple years later and certainly 5 to 10 years later, it would have been a different ball game.

Even though I grew up with an attraction to boys, I was always able to tell myself that when I got married things would change. It's a phase... I'm in yeshiva, it's like a jail, I'm institutionalized. The second I get out of this mess of public showers and mikvas and into the hands of a beautiful woman all this will change. I will forget about my attractions to my friends in shiur and at camp. That would all be history. I had that conversation with myself thousands of times as a teenager into my early 20's and up until the night of my chuppah. One thing is for certain, given access to what the Internet provides, I would have thought twice. I would have had a stimulation that couldn't have easily been argued against. Could I say I never would have married? I don't know. The argument certainly wouldn't have been so simple.

Blessing and curse.

Introduction...

I am a frum, gay & married male who feels compelled to share. Let me get this out of the way, when I say I am gay,  I will qualify it by saying that I have never once in my life had a gay relationship or even a gay encounter. I am gay in so far as I am attracted to and in need of intimacy with a man. This is a deep rooted need for male intimacy and not a raw need for gay relations.

I know that there are people that will criticize me for one, two or all three of being frum, gay & married. There will be valid points to your criticism. That said; you are not going to find me being an apologist for any of them. As you will see, life took me to where I am today. Where I go from here is another question that has yet to be answered.

I will talk about my background in future posts but for a short intro; I grew up in your typical baal habatish household. I am the second of 5 children. I went through your standard yeshivish yeshiva's, got married and went to kollel for 2 years. I am now a successful business man, well respected for torah, tzedaka and chesed within the community in which I live. I am straight acting and could be sitting next to you at the yeshiva dinner, I could be your shul's favorite chazan and our kids can be best friends. I could be a mispallel in your shul listening to the Rov talk about the perverts and mishkav zochornicks supporting gay marriage.

I am writing this blog for a few reasons. I have been living in solitude with this secret for many years. It can sometimes be the epitome of loneliness. The burden of shouldering this on my own is overwhelming. You can tell people about a disease you have. You can tell them about business challenges or even marital issues you might be having. As a frum man, you can not turn to your friends during leining or at the shul kiddush and say, "I am in terrible pain. I am trying to balance this whole gay thing and my frumkeit, any ideas...? Pass the kishka...". Who is there for me to turn too? Should I tell my wife? My close friends? My chavrusa? I reiterate, I am lonely and in pain. I am convinced there are other people like me out there. I want them to know that they are not alone. I want to have the opportunity to hear from them and share my experience with them.

I hope that if you are reading this you can have an open mind, an open heart and display what  klal yisroel is know as; rachmanim.

I look forward to a continued conversation.