I’m From Bellingham, WA.

by jordan

I was raised in the burbs of Minneapolis, MN. I knew I was “gay” (we didn’t have that word back in the early 60s), when I was 8-10 years old. Feeling different than the other guys was unsettling, and at times torturous. School playground time was hardly play, more like emotional pressure to fit in, look like I was fitting in, try to “be” like the other guys. I never really loved myself or felt loved until I had a profound religious experience at age 19. Somehow knowing that God saw me as special and believing I could change who I was attracted to, boosted my confidence to live out my aspirations.

Long story, short…I married, raised 4 kids, threw myself into missionary work, church work, personal work. Divorced after 29 yrs when I came out to myself, my family and friends. I loved my life, my wife, my kids, the many, many friends I had gathered over the years. Standing up for what was true inside and being it on the outside was both glorious, thrilling and devastating.

I seemed to keep my wits and moved forward, committed to stay healthy emotionally, spiritually and physically in the midst of incredible pain, confusion, distress. I never regretted my decision to come out. I began to recover memories and sifted through the years of my life I had seemingly lost in denial, deception and shame. It’s all good. The “worst” can be redeemed and the story of our lives can have purpose and meaning. We all did our best with what we had to work with.

My life is so different from what I once imagined it would be. I am regaining ground with my grown kids. My ex-wife is married again. I am learning how to love and share my life in a deep and satisfying way…from the inside-out, not from some external projection of what someone else expects or needs from me. I truly love my life finally, and love myself. The journey has been worth all the struggle.

5 Comments:

  1. I’m so happy for you! I was married for 11 years before I came out. My ex-husband and I are still friends. Our kids live with me and my wife now. And I was raised an evangelical pastor’s daughter, so I understand the spiritual struggle you have had. My wife and kids and I attend a UCC church now which is open and affirming. Anyway, thanks for sharing!!! Hugs!

  2. Great story, really touching like most stories in this beautiful beautiful site. Your words, they resonate.

  3. Darrell Johnson

    Thanks for sharing. I’m still in the midst of my “midlife crisis” of sexuality and identity: I remain married (15 yrs this week) to a wonderful woman, we have two delightful sons ages 7 and 9, and my heart aches for living in a congruent way with my attractions to men. I don’t know what I’ll end up doing – all of my friends and my parents know about my ‘struggle’, but to fully come out and leave my wife seems more devastating than glorious or thrilling at this point. I’m afraid I’ll end up acting out sexually and my hand will be forced, thus self-sabotaging my carefully constructed life. Along with all this (and to really amp up the crisis!), my faith in God, a mainstay my whole life (and one main reason I married and have tried to live a straight life) has foundered, and I’m not sure it’ll ever come back. I love God; I’m just no longer sure I believe in Him, which I know makes absolutely no logical sense.

  4. Darrell Johnson- Just wanted to tell you to do SOMETHING- ANYTHING to bring in some breath pf fresh air that may help you get the answers. A Holiday on your own to another place or country? A few weeks to a month? Sometimes we need to be in a different place to get to a different place in our minds…

  5. Jordan (originator of this post)

    This is Jordan (Grant), the originator of the post…just an update. I’ve moved back to Minneapolis, where I was raised…enjoying a life, free, happy, new and fresh, and feeling the support of new friends in the GLBT communities. It really does get better, through hell AND high water ;)

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