I was brought up as a young Catholic boy in the 80’s. The school I went to was really good and the education that I received … well, I can’t actually grumble at it. The headmaster at my old High School is now working his way up in the Parliamentary ladder of the Department of Education so they must have been doing something right at the establishments that I learned in.
What they really failed on though was sex.
I wasn’t raised a Catholic, though. I try to talk to my Mum about my experiences in Elementary where we sang and read verses from the Bible. I try to help her understand that we were taught it as truth, rather than a denomination of a religion that a certain amount of people believe in. She can’t get her head around it. See, in my understanding, to have true freedom of choice—free will as God states—is to make your own choices as to what you want to believe in. I wasn’t given a choice. I was told this is real and you need to believe it or you’ll go to hell.
For me this was counterproductive. Being a young Asperger’s boy that took the world a bit more literally than he should have, I started to see the world in black or white, good or bad, rather than several shades of light grey. To me I was going to hell. I tried to be good, but there were times when I really just couldn’t help give into my desires, needs, and wants and strayed from the path of righteousness.
I was a very sexually active child, a lot of that I can attribute to the sexual abuse that I encountered as three-year-old, not parental, but from an older child who obviously was struggling with her own issues. Nevertheless it made me aware of sexual reproductivity years before I should have been. And that sent me on a downward spiral of sexual escapades with boys and girls probably a bit earlier than the occasion should have presented itself with me.
And, a lot of that came out at School; the rumours, the laughing, the jokes and the talking to by teachers. You see, when an adult speaks to you as a child you take it as a truth, you automatically slip into the auto-accept mode because adults are far more versed in life than you are, especially teachers. It hadn’t dawned on me at the time that everyone was fighting their own internal battle and that perhaps what they were telling me wasn’t the soundest of advice.
Nevertheless, from about the age of eleven I felt dirty, broken, and sexually defunct. Sex had already become a seedy, secretive, and depraved act that one does behind closed doors. The adults in my life had locked those doors and thrown away the keys for many years for me. I felt shame. Toxic shame.
I was broken.
I started to reinvent myself at about the age of twenty-six. It was about the time when the LGBT crowd was gaining momentum and I had realised that being homosexual or bisexual as a man and an adult was an extremely freeing experience. I had realised that I spent most of my youth and young adult-hood hiding away from who I was. The adult men and women in my life had firmly told me what was in their mind completely wrong, sexually depraved, and unforgivable, but in essence they were trying to make sense of it all as we tried to shed those firm Victorian and stringently religious values.
I started to educate myself. I started to explore again. I began to learn what made me tick as a human being.
A great starting point for me sexually was that the world was starting to relax on its previously homophobic views. Gay people were being celebrated in the media, and there were day long beautiful parades for LGBT fans.
A HUGE part of coming to terms with my sexuality was forgiving myself for what happened in the past. I was a kid, I knew nothing. I was repeating what happened to me, and I couldn’t be blamed for that. I lacked the proper understanding, emotions, or ethical values of what it meant to be sexual with others; only that it felt nice.
And that was pivotal. You see, I began to explore again.
Turns out I’m firmly heterosexual. Men just don’t do anything for me. But I had to give it a try before I closed myself off to that route. I didn’t want to get married then thirty years down the line realise I’m homosexual and run off with some bloke called John.
That DOES happen.
And because I’ve explored, had fun, and came to a firm conclusion of what I am and where I came from, I’m completely comfortable in my own skin.
I know there’s a feminine part to me that’s emotional, bursts into tears when I watch the beginning of ‘UP’ or feels extra vulnerable when opening up my thoughts and feelings to my wife,
But that’s me. That’s normal.
I feel comfortable with my own sexuality. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m manlier than anyone else, or rugged, or more handsome, or have the best muscles.
I have nothing to prove.
I am me.
And I think men in general get this wrong. We spend too much time focused on the sexuality of others; who has the prettiest girl, who walks like a woman, who needs to man up, who is stuck in the friendzone, who has the biggest dick.
NONE of that matters really, none.
And if you find yourself laughing and pointing at other men then you may want to ask yourself why you’re doing that.
What are you trying to distract others from? What are you so scared that people will find out about you?
Change comes from within, friend.
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