Coming Out: “Am I, or Am I Not?”

This is the first of the poems I wrote as a way to figure out my sexuality. A warning, I am not a great poet, but it does represent my feelings at the time before I came out even to myself.

Am I, or Am I Not?

I love to look,
I love to watch
But it is forbidden.
I have never acted.
Acting would mean banishment
A loss of all that I know and love
I would feel so safe, but
Yet I would feel such danger.
The eminent danger of a slow agonizing death.

What should I do?
I leave that to God.
Yet he forbids it most according to St. Paul.
I have acted in the opposite,
But that too is sin.

What can I do?
No one can answer.
I live a lie, but both must not be an option.
The curves, the beauty, the caress.

Am I acting or another?
Which can it be?
Who can I trust?
Only intoxication allows trust.
The agony of decision.
To forever e damned by what
I love for who I love.

Oh, how I ache.
Praying for an answer
I already know
Praying for forgiveness of urges
Prayers to move toward the light.

What shall I do?
I love all
I fear all
This cannot be
Though it is
Purification, meditation, prayer,
Purity, harmony, peace,
Hypocrisy, prudence, piety.

The church is the one true love
That beckons without remorse.
Can I follow that path and not be a heretic?
I doubt it,
I don’t know.
Where are the answers?
Where is the happiness?
God, please, guide me.
Show me the righteous way.

As I was unpacking after my move to my new house, I found a sort of diary that I wrote several years ago. Inside were three poems that I wrote about my feelings concerning coming out. A commenter on Cocks, Asses, and More the other day said that he would like to hear more about me and my coming out. I responded that I planned on doing that on this blog. When I began writing these blog posts, I was originally going to give an introduction to one of those poems, but it grew more into a personal history of my struggle with my sexuality. Also, I decided to let the words speak for themselves. So these four or five coming out posts will not contain any pictures or images (at least that is the plan at this point).

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Coming Out: “Am I, or Am I Not?”

  • crotchdiver

    Our angst as men can never be surmounted. We strive forward in an effort for validation that our inner convictions are true. And, in the process, we discover our true selves and our true meaning.[Whoa. That was profound – even for me. LOL]

  • JoeBlow

    I completely agree, crotchdiver. Life is a journey of discovery, if it isn't then one is not living life to the fullest.

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