Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday! While today’s piece of gratitude may come as a shock to some of my readers, what I’m actually grateful for today is my sexuality. But, before I explain why, let me go back a little in time.
As a young teenager, I was mostly an average guy, living an average life, in an average middle-class family, residing in an average middle-class neighborhood with plenty of picket fences and other Caucasian families. My high school was filled with individuals who came from most of the same. To put it more bluntly, I lived in a bubble life that never had to deal with racism, discrimination, or anything of the sort.
But, by the time I reached the end of my high school years, I began to notice something was different with me. I was attracted more to guys than girls and thought something was wrong with me. And by no means was I grateful for that realization back then whatsoever.
When I finally emerged from the closet and accepted I was a gay male in a mostly heterosexual world, it wasn’t an easy transition, as my religious upbringing made sure to constantly provide reminders that I was a living abomination because of my sexuality. Several churches over the years in fact, would even confirm this by rejecting my petition for membership.
Yet, I pressed on and still sought out God and through that, I eventually found a blessing in disguise when it came to my sexuality. I discovered that my sexuality made me far more able to relate to those who have had to deal with racism and discrimination their entire lives. In other words, my sexuality opened up a pathway in my heart for greater compassion and understanding to those who had lived their entire lives feeling separate more than equal from the rest of society.
Over the years, while I continued to struggle at times with the religious views on homosexuality, I came to acceptance that God made me this way for a reason. Not as punishment. Not as a curse. And not as a means to become celibate for the rest of my life either. But rather, as a gift to help me relate more to a vast array of God’s children who were never part of that “average” type of existence and weren’t able to fit in so easily in this world because of it.
You see it’s my sexuality that’s helped me to understand much of the oppression black people have had to go through. It’s my sexuality that helped me to understand the same with people from other races as well. Essentially, it’s my sexuality that helped me to embrace diversity rather than the white privilege I was born into.
Overall, being a gay male in a world that’s mostly straight has ultimately helped me to see things through a clearer set of eyes, ones that have shown me how to unconditionally love, accept, and understand a lot better, those in society who too have felt ostracized and treated differently because of some part of themselves that couldn’t be changed and was not the societal norm.
This is why I’m so grateful today for my sexuality, because with the spiritual journey I’m on, being able to relate on a heart level to as many people from as many different backgrounds as I can, is extremely important to me, as I know it was for Christ as well long ago…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson