The only thing worse than guilt is self-betrayal…
Someone once told me never to feel guilty about something you shouldn’t be sorry for. I wish I learned this when I was a teenager, hell, even in my early twenties. Homosexual guilt is something most gay guys are trained to not only inflict upon themselves, but many expect it to happen. Guilt can poison our minds like a plague if we let it. Unlike other forms of guilt, we can’t apologize or seek reprisal. We have to learn to let it go.
I remember being a young child at church. I used to love sitting on the aisle seats because my grandmother was the piano player on stage. Some Sundays, I’d sneak up behind the stage to sit by her on the bench. During these years I began to realize how different I was from the other boys. Girls weren’t the first people I’d look at. I was more prone to boy watching. My grandmother must have known it too because one morning she leaned towards me and said, “You shouldn’t be looking at him like that… Look at Kimberly over there. Doesn’t she look pretty in her nice pink dress?”
From that moment I associated looking at boys as wrong and immoral, and doing so was disappointing my grandmother, upsetting my family, the congregation, my friends, and God. I felt guilty about being a homosexual because throughout my life I’d been given subtle hints to try and steer me in the right direction. Even though deep in my heart I knew they were wrong, I still succumbed to the pressure because when you’re a child, how the hell do you know what’s right or wrong?
The vast majority of adult gay males who experience homosexual guilt have a singular incident in their childhood that becomes an associated link. We link our present thoughts and future actions to that one memory, which might be a collection of memories. No matter how hard we try and break free of it, unless we force ourselves to make sense of it and/or have compassion for the people involved, the guilt will hover over us like a dark cloud.
With so much LGBT support coming from nearly every corner of the country, it’s starting to become easier to accept our true identities. But just because your friends might be okay with your homosexuality, doesn’t mean you are yet. Self-acceptance is a much harder journey than that of being accepted by others, you know. It takes courage to face peril despite the fear. A man who can do that can do anything.
Guilt is stemmed from regret. You might regret yelling at your roommate, regret misinforming a friend about information, or regret doing something conniving to someone you hate. All these things create guilt. In other words, it’s the result of acting against your conscience or being different from the rest of your peers. You feel bad about something so you have no other option but to punish yourself. Guilt is self-punishment.
But homosexuality is nothing to feel bad about. You’ve done nothing wrong nor deserve to apologize for it. It doesn’t matter that a few people in your life might have different viewpoints, but you must understand they’re the ones with the issue. Not you. Everyone sees life through the realm of their own experience and you’re never going to change that. The only thing you can do is live your life the only way you know how: your way. Everyone else has to be responsible for their thoughts, so let them deal with it.
The only thing worse than guilt is self-betrayal. The longer you feel bad about being yourself the more you’ll start convincing yourself that you, the person, don’t deserve to be happy. It’s not enough to be strong; you need to have the balls to discover your voice in a room full of screaming monkeys. You’re stronger than you think.