Every action you take touches someone, in some way.
Timing Is Everything
A Gay Opinion 9/05/00
by R.A. Melos
In an episode of the original Twilight Zone, Rod Sterling describes a malcontent as someone born either too early or too late in the century. If I am at all a malcontent it is because I was born too early in my own time.
When I see the teenagers of today coming out of the closet and accepting themselves for themselves at a young age, I feel pangs of jealousy. My life, I think, would have been so different if I had been out as a teenager. But when these thoughts cross my mind, something will happen to put things more into perspective for me.
The latest occurrence to bring things into perspective for me happened over the Labor Day weekend. I was on line clearing out some old e-mails when I received an Instant Message. The rectangular box appeared in the upper left hand corner of my monitor and I opened it.
The message, as it turned out, was from a teenager who wanted to know if he could ask me a question. I replied yes, bracing myself for some practical joke or worse. His question, awkwardly built up to with a pause and explanation of his seeing my on-line profile, was "Are you gay?"
I replied with a yes. Since he read my profile he already knew the answer to my question, but I felt he was trying to build up to something more. He responded with the words, "I'll pray for you."
Now I had my own question, as I considered the possibility of some religious nut offering to save me. "Why?" I inquired. I saw no reason to need prayers, but I was curious, as I wasn't getting the feeling he was just some punk kid trawling the web looking for homosexuals to insult.
"Because, you won't get into Heaven," was he reply.
As a pagan the concept of Heaven differs greatly from the Heaven taught to me during my Christian childhood in the Methodist Church Sunday School. The Heaven they taught of was a world beyond imagination, with streets of gold and all my family waiting there for me. The place I have come to believe in is not called Heaven, but Summerland. I've also heard it referred to in song as Gloryland and Beullahland, but I like thinking of it as Summerland.
Summerland is a place where all the energy of the universe, the spiritual energy which makes up everything around us, as well as us, flows from and returns to in a tidal motion. The returning energy is revitalized and then returned to reform in the physical plane.
It is from where we are born, and where we return to upon our death to await rebirth. For me, Summerland is a weigh station, not a final destination. The Heaven I was taught to believe in is a very complicated place with a hierarchy of angels, some called Seraphim and Cherubim, and the Christian Heaven has a place called Purgatory where souls go before being judged worthy of Heaven, and if the soul isn't worthy then it goes to Hell for eternity.
Summerland, on the other hand, is a place where the soul-energy goes to rest and recharge before reincarnation into another life time. It, for me, is the place where we go to study the lessons of our previous lives, to rejuvenate by joining with the full body of universal energy, and revitalize the soul-energy before starting another lesson.
My response to my young Internet friend's comment about my not getting into Heaven because I'm gay was to tell him I don't believe in a Heaven or a God who discriminates against people based on sexual orientation. The deities I believe in love and accept everyone as they are, and would not discriminate against me, since they created me.
I was asked if I would answer another question. I gave an affirmative reply. The next question was "Were you born that way?" "That way" meaning "gay".
I answered yes. Later on that night I thought about this question, and wondered why it is assumed everyone is born heterosexual and that homosexuality must be chosen? Not everyone is blond or has blue eyes, so why should their only be one sexual orientation?
I now have the urge to ask a straight man if he was born "that way," just to see the puzzlement on his face as he ponders a question to which he never before gave thought. Hopefully the comprehension of what is totally natural to him being completely foreign to me will clear up some of the misguided confusion he is subjected to as part of the societal brainwashing we all undergo from birth on.
The question my young Internet explorer asked was posed in all seriousness, and my answers were given with the same respect.
He then asked me if I have ever "dated" a woman? Possibly he was looking for some bad experience in my life which would have turned me gay, but there were none.
I replied that I have never found women sexually attractive.
This replied was followed by another question. "Is it hard to find another gay man?" I replied no, it's hard to find the right man. I think this response may have throw him, and it got me thinking about other misconceptions heterosexual society teaches the youth of today. After all, isn't heterosexuality all about sex and nothing more? Aren't all straight men willing, able and wanting to have sex with EVERY woman they see?
The way many straight men act you would think, as I thought while growing up in a heterosexual society, that straight men should want to have sex with absolutely every woman they lay eyes on.
Obviously I am wrong in this thinking, as I, a gay male, do not have the urge to engage in sexual activities with every man I see, despite how some gay men may act.
Although looking at this question and my response from another angle I can see my own past and how I knew, at a young age, I was gay because I didn't find every woman I saw sexually attractive. Nor could I relate to the concept of women as sex objects, since my natural born instincts guided me to see men in this light.
I don't know if I helped this Internet explorer with his quest for a better understanding of homosexuals, but it did help to get me thinking about myself and the present.
His initial offer of a prayer is a response to societal conditioning, and my not accepting that conditioning by not believing in the same form of Heaven or God he has been taught to believe in opens up a whole new world to him and to others who are questioning societies teachings.
His questions also got me to thinking about being a malcontent. If I were a teenager in today's society, under the assumption I would still have been born gay, would I do anything different with my life?
I got the impression from this young man society has changed very little in 20 years, in small town USA. While some of the teenagers of today are braver and bolder than I was at that age, society is still misguiding and confusing for young people.
I don't know if I would come out any earlier than I did, or if society would be any more nurturing than it currently seems to be where self-acceptance and self-truth and honesty are concerned, but I get the feeling it isn't.
Perhaps by my reaching for my own level of self-acceptance when society would prefer me not to accept my natural born instincts, I am rebelling against years of careful zombification of my true self. I make waves in the gene pool, and show others like myself I am not a societal puppet staying within the lines, but an individual who makes a contribution to change the world for the better by encouraging honesty and truth to self and society.
By my not accepting or pursuing a life of lies and illusions, taking a wife and fathering children in an attempt to blend into society, I am setting an example for others to be themselves, to love as they feel is natural for them, and to accept themselves as they are without the need to blend in and fade away.
When I view things from that perspective, I realize I'm not a malcontent. I was born at precisely the right time.