Let’s Talk About The Importance Of Sex

Most people don’t normally like to talk about sex. It’s generally a topic that’s avoided unless it’s between close friends or two people having an intimate relationship. When I was active in my sex and love addiction though, I used to talk about it all the time to just about everyone I came around. Thankfully, my recovery from that addiction has changed that and I’m much more reserved these days in discussing anything related to it. But there is one area that I’d like to discuss openly with everyone who reads this and it deals with the level of importance that is placed on sex in a relationship.

Many years ago, I met someone from New Jersey who I found extremely attractive. We hit it off in conversation and in chemistry, and I thought the two of us were a good match for a long-term relationship. After two solid weeks of going out on some dates and developing a few romantic feelings, I ran into a wall with that relationship. On one particular evening during a romantic moment, this person attempted to force sex between us. When I stated that I was old-fashioned and wanted to date for a longer period of time, his response was that he wasn’t interested in dating anymore. He said he wanted to have sex because it was one of the most important parts of a relationship. He told me it wouldn’t be worth it to keep dating if the sex between us wasn’t that good. I was dumbfounded at his response and I promptly ended our dating shortly thereafter.

He’s not the first person I’ve met who has felt this way either. I’ve met many other men, especially in the gay community, who feel that sex is the most important part of a relationship. At one point in time, during my sex and love addiction based years, I probably felt the same. Thankfully, that’s quite far from the truth for me now.

While my partner might not be that happy in me stating this, I find it totally acceptable to go weeks without engaging in sex these days. No, that doesn’t mean that I’m a cold fish during all those weeks. In fact, I’m actually quite playful, very touchy feely, and enjoy a good cuddle at the end of every day. To me, those elements are far more important than engaging in sex for however long it lasts.

Some of you reading this may be thinking that maybe my current partner isn’t satisfying me, and that’s why I feel this way. That’s far from the real truth to be honest with all of you. Coming from a person who once lived for almost two decades in a sex and love addiction, there used to be a constant effort to try to top each previous sexual experience. It led me to finding boredom in sex because of that addiction and I starting going to extremes just to experience a high with it. I’m grateful these days that behavior is not active in my life anymore. And while I do enjoy the sexual intimacy with my partner when it happens, it’s not something that I desire to place a huge emphasis on anymore.

What I find most important in my relationship now is growing a spiritual connection between the two of us. That involves me being honest in everything, openly communicating my feelings, showing my daily affection, and offering my love and support to my partner when he needs it. While I do treasure those times I’m sexually intimate with my partner, the bottom line is that I’m not living my life anymore thinking about having to engage in it regularly with him. They say that men think about having sex at least every seven seconds, but I can safely say that I don’t fit into that mold anymore and I’m convinced it has something to do with my priorities these days.

The biggest priority in my life for far too many years was to find my next sexual conquest. Today, my biggest priorities are to grow closer to my Higher Power, to practice the 12-Steps daily, and to show my unconditional love to each and every individual. Having sex isn’t one of those priorities anymore and I can see so clearly today that it’s just one small facet of a healthy relationship.

If sex is still one of your number one priorities in life, you may want to look at why that is. Truthfully, there are a lot of things in life far more enjoyable than any of the sex I’ve ever had in my entire life with anyone. Also, a healthy relationship can actually exist when sex is not the top priority, or even one near the top. There are many people in this world that can’t have sex for various health reasons, and they too have found great happiness in other ways in their relationships. While sex can be wonderful, fun, and important, try to remember that it’s not what truly cements a long lasting relationship together. It’s the unconditional love that does…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

In And Out Of The Closet

It really is sometimes quite difficult being gay and in a same-sex relationship, even in this day and age. Even though there are a lot more laws in place to protect people like me, even though a bunch of states have legalized marriage, and even though there are many more supporters of gay rights, I still have a lot of fear about what it means to me to be fully out of the closet.

I believe that coming out of the closet will look and feel different for each and every individual who ends up going through this process. Initially, when I did so, it came in the form of a declaration to my family that I was attracted more to a man than a woman. But over the years since then I have come to feel that there are many more stages to this process, some of which I know I went through, and some of which I know I still haven’t.

When this process began as I told my parents I was attracted to men, I had to overcome an incredible amount of fear to do so. My biggest worry back then was their rejection. I’ve seen over the years how many other mothers and fathers completely disowned their children because of their sexual preference and thankfully I never had to go through that. My father completely accepted me when I told him, and while my mother never totally embraced that part of me, she did do her best to continue loving me as her only son.

As the years went on after this initial coming out process, I would go through the various other stages of stepping out of that closet. Some of that would include going to a gay bar, joining a gay bowling league, going on a gay date, and getting into a gay relationship. Each of those actions involved me walking through additional fear and taking several more steps outside of that closet. But the biggest challenge to my coming out process began when I tried to intermix with other heterosexual people as a homosexual. That’s when the rejections began popping up everywhere.

There were multiple “not welcomed” stamps given to me from various churches. There were many “I can’t be your friend” stamps handed to me by people I thought were close. There were even jobs that let me go because of my sexuality preference. Each of these things led me in the complete opposite direction of where I was headed with my sexuality and soon I found myself going back into that closet.

First I started saying I was bi-sexual because I saw how that seemed to gain more acceptance by society. Next, I started dating women again even though I felt little to no connection with them. Then I began going to the same type of churches that had denied me entrance as a member. And finally, I began hanging out with those very people who felt begin gay was a sin.

I thank God that I eventually woke up and saw what I was doing to myself. I realized I had almost fully denied who I was. That’s when I began to start my coming out process all over again by taking a few steps out of the closet once again. I walked away from those people who were around me that had racism towards gay people. I avoided those churches and places of employment that held very right wing stances towards homosexuals. And I began surrounding myself with all those who were in support and love of all walks of life including gay people such as me.

Over the past two years since then, life has definitely changed for me. I’m not afraid anymore to be in a relationship with a gay man. I don’t let others try to convince me that being gay is a sin because it’s not; only man ever said it was. And I embrace everyone equally as I would want the same of myself. In other words, I practice what I preach. Unfortunately there are still two obstacles I face to walking fully out of that closet and they deal with public affection and telling brand new friends about my sexual preference.

With public affection, it’s still rare to see two men walking around holding hands or even kissing in most places in this world. Often when it does happen, it’s only in very “gay-based” areas or it’s received with jeers and taunts or even a bashing. My fear of this leads me to withhold my love and affection for my partner, even if a romantic moment should strike me when we’re out and about. Thus, on some level, I’m still in the closet with who I am because of this.

In regards to the new friends who enter my life, especially in the recovery from addictions world, I have occasionally found myself talking in third person terms about my partner using words such as “they, them, or their” instead of him or he. When I share at meetings, I usually don’t discuss anything about my personal relationship either. Most of this stems from the massive loss of friendships I’ve had over the years with people who haven’t been able to accept me for who I am. Thus here too, I’m still in the closet with who I am.

So on some level I know I’ve been in and out of the closet for years and I truly hope to one day be able to walk away from it for good. I pray for a world that doesn’t allow religious views to lead everyone to believe that being gay is wrong and a sin. I pray for a world that doesn’t look down upon two men or two women walking hand in hand together. And I pray for a world that becomes filled with a lot more love and light so that all of us who are gay can step fully out of that closet once and for all. Until then, I will continue to do my best to overcome my fears and strive for a life where I don’t find myself stepping in and out of the closet anymore.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Front-Page Treatment Of Gay Divorces

USA Today had an article on the front-page of its website the other day that was titled “First openly gay Episcopal bishop divorces husband.” After reading the first few lines of it, I began to wonder why a gay couple divorcing should even be front-page news.

Prior to gay marriage ever being legal in any of the United States, there was an average of 2 heterosexual divorces per minute when calculated out over the entire year. Rarely, if ever, did a single one of them receive front-page news unless it dealt with a famous person or couple. But here was a homosexual couple getting just that, and it’s not the first that I’ve seen in recent years. Some of the original same-sex marriages in various states where it became legal have also gone through divorce and they too made front-page headlines when it happened. So why have these very few gay divorces ended up receiving front-page treatment when the excessively large amount of heterosexual ones that are occurring every few minutes don’t?

Well in the case of the gay bishop, Gene Robinson, his original notoriety came from being the first openly gay man to be elected as a leader in the Episcopal Church in 2003. His election ending up causing a divide within the Episcopal community and resulted in formation of the Anglican Church. I remember celebrating his appointment after reading the front-page news all the years ago that covered this event. I saw it as a step forward in achieving full equality for the gay community. But zoom forward to over a decade later and now the news is focusing in on a sad time for the same man. His divorce from his partner only adds to a growing stereotype that gay marriages don’t last and this is the precise reason why many of the news outlets cover these types of divorces.

Case in point, as I mentioned already, there have been several divorces by some of those couples that fought for gay marriage rights in various states. And just as Robinson’s divorce landed front-page news, so too has each of these. The main picture that’s being painted with this is that same-sex couples aren’t strong and healthy and any of their marriages won’t last.

What’s disappointing is that there are plenty of gay marriages that have endured quite happily for years and years and are still together, but none of them have received any front-page news. The news also hasn’t covered the vast majority of the 2,400 heterosexual divorces that occur per day. So what’s the message that’s really being portrayed when the media shows another same-sex marriage is ending in divorce? It’s that a gay marriage isn’t that strong and won’t last unlike a heterosexual marriage. And although that’s a completely false representation of the real truth, it’s what people will believe.

It’s truly sad to say but people believe everything they read in those news headlines and all it does it polarize us all even more to opposite corners. The real truth is NOT that gay marriages are weak, it’s that ALL marriages BOTH gay and straight, are falling apart these days. Close to 50 percent of all marriages are ending in today’s day and age. That’s the real data and it’s not just about homosexual couples, it’s about heterosexual ones too. It has to make people wonder what the foundation was in of all of these divorcing relationships. I know it has at least in my case and I definitely know that when I get married, that my Higher Power will be at the center of it and not my ego and selfish desires.

Regardless, I pray that the media will stop covering these same-sex divorces because it’s only going to end up separating people in society with opposing opinions about equality and gay marriage. As an alternative, why not focus on all the happy marriages that have lasted for years and years, both gay and straight? Why not start covering the reasons why they have lasted so long? If we do, then maybe then we all might stop caring about whether gay marriage is right or wrong and instead place the focus on having better long lasting relationships…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

It’s Not A Choice!

One of the first things I generally hear from those who hold an anti-homosexual stance in life is that it’s a choice people make to be gay. Sadly, there is a world of ignorance surrounding this stance.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that there are some people out there in this world who are truly bi-sexual. For them it really can be a choice on which sex they choose to be with. I must admit that if I were bi-sexual, I would probably choose to be with a woman because of the wide prejudice that still exists toward gay people.

Secondly, I also need to state that there are some individuals who do engage in homosexual relationships and behaviors because of deep-seated mental and emotional issues and traumas. I have seen this especially with those who have endured incest, molestation, and rape during there adolescent years. I once knew of a man who was extremely attracted to women, except a priest molested him very early on in life. While he did his best to maintain his marriage and raise a family of several children, a part of him continued to relive that molestation by re-creating the same experience with other men secretly throughout life. But there are plenty of other individuals in this world who are just like me, that were born with an attraction to the same sex and where it’s actually not a choice.

The earliest memory I have of my homosexuality was when I was walking around my Kindergarten class at five years old and shouting “I love boys” over and over again. While I can’t remember for the love of God why I was motivated to do that, I can still clearly see myself doing it. Not too long after that, in third grade, I remember a time when another class came into my own to watch a presentation. During it, I stared at another boy from that class almost the entire time. By the time I hit the fifth grade, I had met my father’s best friend whom he played racquetball with regularly. During the summers, we attended pool parties at his house and I found myself on one of those occasions changing in the same room as him. While I remember looking at him and being nervous he would catch me staring, I really didn’t want to look away.

Eventually, I hit puberty and began to pay even more attention to the guys I found attractive. I did my best to fit in with everyone else though because I saw in society that a man was supposed to be with a woman. So I began doing just that by causally going out on a movie date with a girl my own age. Unbeknownst to her, I was more interested though in spending time with an adult male diving coach on my swim team. I spent many occasions after practice talking to and admiring him. Unfortunately, the same man took advantage of me one day when we were alone by molesting me. This regrettably became my first same sex experience which did nothing but drive me further into the closet with an unhealthy idea of what intimacy was all about.

After an unsuccessful attempt to come out to my parents towards the end of high school, I went on to date many other women because that is what I was told I was supposed to do. I forced myself to be intimate with women and never felt much of a connection with any of them. In many ways, the sexual intimacy I had with a woman felt no different than when I was molested. It was rather empty and void of any real loving connection. Thankfully, I met someone in college who also was struggling with his sexuality. My relationship with him began to help me see I wasn’t so abnormal.

When I finally got sober from alcohol and drugs, I went into therapy to discuss my sexuality because I wanted to figure out whom I really was inside. I joined a gay bowling league and went to various gay-based social outings and through them I met my first partner. It was then I fully came out of the closet and accepted that my being gay was truly not a choice.

Being gay was something that was a part of me from as early on as I can remember. It was something that I avoided for years and years because of the people in society who held those anti-gay stances. Thankfully, I’m not afraid anymore to be open about my sexuality. I believe that God created me this way, not to maintain a vow of celibacy, but to be with one man who I can love with all my heart, mind, and soul. I accept who I am now and I know it’s not a choice. I’m just grateful I’m able to understand this today.

I want to finish this entry by stating something I’ve come learn from not only myself, but from many other gay people as well. If we truly had a choice in life, why would we want to choose to be gay when there is still so much persecution of us, where we still have to hide who we are more than not, and where we still have to fight to get equal rights? But alas, it’s not a choice; it’s just who we are and how God made us. I’m thankful I can accept that today, and I hope someday you will too…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Vladimir Putin, Homosexuality, And The 2014 Sochi Winter Games

With the 2014 Winter Olympics set to begin in Sochi, Russia on February 7th, 2014, some fears have arisen lately surrounding all the gay athletes and fans planning on attending the games. Those fears are solely due to the fact that Russia currently has an extremely anti-homosexual stance in its country.

Much of the those fears have been linked to a law that was passed last year in Russia that outlawed any “propaganda” of “non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. The sad thing about this is that with the vague way this law was written, it potentially can affect any public display of homosexuality, including a symbol that represents gay pride, such as a rainbow pin.

In fact, this new law was put to the test only a week ago by a Russian citizen named Pavel Lebedev, who tried to open up a rainbow flag during a segment of the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh. The Olympic security personnel quickly wrestled him to the ground and detained him until the police arrived, where he was promptly arrested.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, went on record recently defending the actions coming from his country’s new law. He proudly noted that Russia had more births than deaths in the past year since the anti-gay propaganda law was passed, as compared to the previous two decades there. However, in the midst of his comments supporting the anti-gay law, he urged that it would still be safe for all gay athletes and fans to attend the games as long as they stayed away from minors. He clarified this by saying that he feels homosexuality and pedophilia are linked, suggesting that gays are more likely to abuse children.

What’s ironic in his statement is that I’ve had personal experience with someone who felt the very same way towards me. A long time ago when my sister came to stay at my former bed and breakfast with her sons, we had to separate them in different rooms at night due to their adolescent fighting. Sometime during the night, my sister’s husband called and proceeded to scream at her when he learned that one of his sons was sharing a bed with me for the night. He told her in rage that all gays were pedophiles and wanted his son out of the bed immediately that he was sharing with me.

First and foremost, I want to personally note how repulsed I was, and still am, at the idea of ever sexually abusing anyone. Having been a former molestation victim myself, I would never want to put anyone through the pain and angst I had to go through to heal from that tragedy. Second, and just as important, there have been many independent studies in the United States that have shown that the majority of pedophiles are actually heterosexual males.

Regardless, it saddens me that my sister’s husband and people like Putin, hold such negative views towards gay people inside. It’s truly disappointing to see how this anti-gay stance is still shared by so many others in this world today.

All of this reminds me of what women, black people, and other minorities have had to face throughout history in just about every corner of the planet. I believe the source of all this racism has always been fear. People are so afraid of change and they do everything they can to try to keep things the way they are. In our country, white people were so afraid that black people would lash out and try to take control over them, that they in turn viscously oppressed them to prevent that from happening. Today, countries like Russia, and many who claim their Christian seem to be doing the very same thing, but it’s now towards gay men and women.

Can you imagine how different this world might be today towards homosexuals if Jesus had blessed a same-sex relationship by saying it was acceptable in the eyes of God as long as they fully dedicated their love to each other? Alas, that’s not the case though; at least it’s not something that’s depicted in the Bible we read today. And unfortunately, there are too many political and religious leaders who take the few passages that do exist in the Bible and interpret them as they see fit to state that God frowns on homosexuality. They bash gay people by linking us to sex offenders and telling us how we’re comparable to acts of bestiality.

But what those gay bashers don’t realize in all their hate is that it’s changing the hearts of many others to start embracing gay people. It’s also causing people to have more compassion for all the minorities of this world who have gone through or are still going through their own struggles for true acceptance and equality.

So, hopefully one day, there will be a lot more love and light on this planet where all racism and discrimination will completely disappear. And hopefully one day, no matter what your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, and sexual orientation is, that all will treat you equally and fairly.

Until then, I pray for people like the gay athletes and gay fans who are heading to Sochi in a few weeks. May God protect each of you and may you all be surrounded with love and light.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

I’m thankful that my country has a day like today to remember one of my greatest spiritual heroes, Martin Luther King, Jr.

While I never was alive to experience any of King’s nonviolence movement, I was able to study his life extensively through minority relations’ liberal arts minor during my college days. Having lived to be just 39 years old when his life was tragically taken, Martin Luther King, Jr. made an incredible impact upon not only our country but also this world with such a short lifespan.

King believed in pacifism, which was no different than the views of many of my other spiritual heroes throughout time who include Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Jesus to name a few. Pacifism is the belief that all disputes should be settled through peaceful means and that violence should never be involved. Hence the reason for the nonviolence protests that Martin Luther King. Jr. led in his adult life to establish equal rights for black men and women in our country.

Probably the most famous of those was the one that first gained him national recognition, the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955. It started on December 1st, 1965 when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. Because of this incident, King led a full-fledged bus boycott for the next 385 days until the United States District Court ruled in Browder v. Gayle that racial segregation would be illegal on Montgomery public buses. During the days of the protests that led up to the ruling, King’s house was bombed, he was arrested, and publicly humiliated and taunted, but not once did he ever lash out at anyone. Instead, King lived by his faith in God, which helped him to endure peacefully, the entire backlash that constantly came at him and his followers.

I was able to see from an even greater perspective, how great of a spiritual man King was when I watched the entire 14-hour “Eyes On The Prize” documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. During it, I saw real footage of the many sit-ins he led throughout the South at places where segregation still thrived. Some of the images in this documentary haunt me to this day of what so many racist white people did towards King and all his followers. It baffles me to understand how these racist white people justified their beatings of all those innocent black men and women. I was shocked every time I saw the firemen turn their hoses onto those peacefully protesting and knock them to the ground. Truthfully, I was horrified to see all this racist behavior that also included the spitting on, the throwing of objects at, and the other constant public humiliation tactics towards black men and women who were just trying to gain equal rights. But even with the amount of hateful acts King and his followers endured on their quest, they remained nonviolent.

He even successfully organized a peaceful march on Washington D.C. on August 28th, 1963 with somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 people. During it, he gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech that was focused on gaining equal jobs and freedom as well as the end to all oppression and segregation for black people.

One of the biggest triumphs that King’s march on Washington and nonviolence movement achieved was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed discrimination in all places of public accommodation, including restaurants and lunch counters, motels and hotels, gas stations, theaters, and sports arenas. It also led to the eventual desegregation in public schools. But sadly, Martin Luther King, Jr. never got to fully see the success of all his nonviolent efforts. At 6:01pm on April 4th, 1968, his life was taken by an assassination, that to this day still has many conspiracy theorists questioning if the true person responsible for his death was ever caught.

All conspiracy theories aside, King’s legacy led many others to pick up where he left off and continue the quest for full equality of black men and women in the United States. Soon after his death, Congress did pass the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly known now as the Fair Housing Act. It prohibited discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions on the basis of race, religion, or national origin.

I’m so grateful for what Martin Luther King, Jr. did to achieve equality in this country. On some level, I believe his efforts have even led to the peaceful movements taking place today for equal rights for gay men and women. Unfortunately, I have had to endure my own experiences of being on the receiving end of hate by those who don’t approve of homosexuality and same-sex relationships. Through it all though, I don’t lash out, nor do I get angry anymore. I’ve learned that below all their hate is simply fear, the fear of change and of the fear of the unknown. It was the same fears back when King was alive and it’s still the same fears now.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a man I will forever respect and love. He stood tall because God was constantly trying to guide his way and he achieved something through nonviolent means that forever changed our country for the better. I’m thankful to Ronald Reagan for eventually signing a bill that created a federal holiday to honor this man. It continues to be observed every year on the third Monday of each January and is called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

So with today being that day, my only hope in this entry is that I was able to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with enough love and light to show how spiritually great the man was. I’m thankful for everything he did so peacefully that helped countless people in our country to gain equality. It’s my hope and prayer that his legacy will continue into eternity guiding our masses towards living peacefully to achieve equality for all.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Gay Deception Of Married Men

There is a lot of deception going on out there in this world. It happens every day all around us on so many levels. It may even be happening to you right now as we speak. But most recently, it happened to a very close friend of mine and it truly broke his heart.

It’s been almost 20 years now that I’ve known this friend. We met in college around my junior year and he became the first person in my life to help me understand my sexuality a lot better. Ironically though, I came out of the closet before him. Over the years that followed that, I have watched my connection with this friend wax and wane. Much of that was due to my own addictions that I lived in, but somehow our friendship was able to survive through it all.

I would call this friend more of an introvert than an extrovert due to his shy and reserved personality. And part of me has wondered if that’s why he frequently had trouble meeting someone that he could spend his life with. Five years ago though, all that changed for him when he finally met someone special. I was initially very happy for him because my friend’s track record with those he previously dated wasn’t very good. Many of those he ended up with just seemed to use and abuse him on some level. I was glad to hear that wasn’t the case though with this older man.

But as my friend’s relationship with this man began to develop, I really began to question that man’s authenticity. They had strange communication between the two of them, as they never talked on the phone. Yet they communicated via multiple e-mails every single day without ever missing a single beat. My friend was also never asked by this man to come visit his home. It would only ever be infrequent trips to my friend’s house as based upon this man’s rare availability. All of that raised a lot of red flags within me and I constantly expressed my concern about it to my friend again and again. I finally had to come to a level of acceptance because it wasn’t my relationship and if it was working for my friend, then so be it. But deep down I felt sad as I knew my friend had the same concerns as me about his relationship, except he was too afraid to rock the boat.

For someone like him, who had such terrible experiences in all his previous relationships, the idea of potentially losing the good he had was too difficult for him to ponder. So he stayed uncomfortably comfortable and treasured what little moments he together with this man. For all the time they did get together, they were a couple who did many activities together including camping, apple picking and much more. My friend even introduced him to his parents, which was a huge thing for him to do. Overall, they shared a tremendous amount of love, fun, and laughter together but their lack of communication always made me question it’s legitimacy.

One day I started praying for my friend because of my doubts about his relationship. I began asking God to guide him to seek the real truth about the man he was dating. While I didn’t know what that real truth was, my motivation to pray was that I knew my friend wanted more but didn’t know how to ask for it. Thankfully though, just before Thanksgiving, that prayer was answered when my friend found the motivation and courage to seek that truth by doing some Internet research. Unfortunately, while he was hoping to find out nothing, what he did find out what much more than he bargained for.

The long and short of it was that this man he was dating was actually married to a woman for over 30 years, had a completely different name, was ten years older than he had claimed, had two fully grown children, and didn’t even live in the area he stated he was from. On some level, I know this is partially my friend’s fault for letting the deception go on for years, especially knowing he always had his own doubts about it. But, what concerns me the most about what happened is how many people got hurt in the selfish actions of this man’s deception.

First there was my friend who got hurt as he had fallen in love with this man and it broke his heart to find out the truth. Then there’s the wife who currently has no idea what’s really going on. I can only imagine her pain that will come on the day when she finds out the real truth about her husband. Then there’s everyone else this man is deceiving including his children, friends, and anyone else he might be sleeping around with.

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident either. There are so many websites out there that allow married men to live a life of deception like this. I should know because I used to peruse a few of those sites back in the days where I met too many of them. They were constantly wanting to have flings on the side while their wives were out for the evening or out of town for a few days. Or they just wanted to come over to my house while they lied to their wife about some obligation they had to keep. None of them ever went as far as saying they were gay either. It was always that they were bi-sexual or just curious and exploring. And none of them felt they were cheating either because they claimed they weren’t being sexual with a woman. In their minds, being with man was just a cheap sexual act for their own quick gratification. And I made the mistake of giving into another man’s deception like this and spent two years of my life getting sick and toxic because of it.

I’m grateful I have no desire to ever partake in something like that ever again. It’s my hope that my friend will feel the same as me now given he knows the real truth about his relationship. The sad thing is that sometimes people still go back to those toxic relationships, even knowing this, because they are too afraid to be totally alone. I’m not sure what’s going to happen from here for my friend but I pray for his strength to fully let this man go for good. My friend deserves so much better in his life and frankly, doing anything with this man now would only be helping to continue that man’s deception.

I honestly don’t know why there are such a growing number of married men out there who are choosing to deceive their wives by sleeping around with other men. The only thing I do know is that it’s selfish, self-centered, toxic, and unspiritual to do so. It also creates a lot more darkness in this world through each lie these married men tell to get what they want. Hopefully one day, all of this gay deception by married men will be fully exposed so that they can know the true pain they are causing the world in doing it…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty

It’s been awhile now since I wrote about anything that specifically dealt with the spiritual side of sexuality. That all began to change though when I caught wind of the news about the words Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame shared in his interview for a GQ article.

In it, he shared:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” 

He went on further to say:

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and wrong… Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself, it’s not right.”

Being a gay male myself and currently in a monogamous relationship with a partner who I love dearly, it saddens me to see someone take a whole group of people in this world and denounce them so openly, especially given the fame he has gained. Of course Phil is entitled to free speech and I know there are probably many more who feel the same way as him out there in this world. But it’s really not him, or anyone else that so openly denounces homosexuality, that bothers me. It’s how they all don’t realize what they’re saying is the exact opposite of what being a true Christian means.

Jesus Christ walked this Earth and practiced offering love and light to everyone. Not once does the Bible ever recollect anything about Jesus denouncing two men or two women for being together in a loving relationship with each other.

Too many Christians continue to take a text written 2000 years ago and use it as a weapon against a whole set of people on this Earth who have souls just like them. They share their opinions, and not facts, based upon those writings in the Bible to say who is or isn’t going to Heaven and who is or isn’t going to Hell. The reality is that they aren’t God, Jesus, the Disciples, or anyone else from that time. They aren’t all-knowing or all-seeing. They have their opinions that are solely being based in their minds as facts because of what they read in the Bible.

Phil Robertson is an example of this. While he is entitled to his free speech, he’s not practicing spreading the love and light that Jesus once tried to spread on this Earth through the comments he said in that GQ article. What’s even harder to swallow is all the thousands of comments I’ve already seen written online in response to A&E’s decision to place the man on hiatus from Duck Dynasty. Many of those people are claiming themselves to be Christians like Phil, except they are spewing hate, anger, rage, spite, malice, and other things that are more bestowed from those living in darkness.

It’s not my place to tell Phil Robertson how he should feel. He feels as he does and interprets the Bible from his own viewpoint. But I can understand why A&E placed him on hiatus from appearing on Duck Dynasty. In today’s day and age, a bad public image for a person of fame, or any company that represents that person, can end up destroying both’s reputation. I’m sure that A&E is afraid of losing viewers and offending any of those that are either gay or support gay rights who might either watch Duck Dynasty or other programs on their network.

Regardless of everything I just said, I do want to say that I have never have watched Duck Dynasty nor have I ever been into hunting. But my deepest truth about all of this controversy is the following. If I had been watching the show and then caught wind of Phil Robertson’s words speaking out against homosexuality, I wouldn’t be watching it anymore. It’s as simple as that for me these days when it comes to anyone or anything that speaks out so negatively against the whole gay community. Speaking out against anyone with such slander is not walking in the footsteps of Christ nor is it spreading any love and light on this planet. It’s only creating more darkness instead.

I spent many years not understanding why God had me be born gay if it was such a sin. Thankfully that changed when God helped me to see that being promiscuous with my sexuality was the actual sin, but loving one man with all my heart, mind, and soul was not. Unfortunately, people like Phil Robertson, and the others in this world who feel as he does about gay people, might not ever understand this. Hopefully though, one day they will.

But like everything else, such as when the CEO of Chick-Fil-A went through this very same issue quite recently, this Duck Dynasty issue will eventually blow over too. And when it does, another incident in similar nature will sadly just take its place. This will happen over and over and over again until people like Phil Robertson begin to take a different look at homosexuality. You see, it’s on the day when EVERYONE can start realizing that two men or two women loving each other unconditionally is acceptable and blessed in the eyes of God, that we’ll all be a lot more loving as Jesus Christ once was.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater” – Part III

As I continue to heal and work on practicing forgiveness with my partner over his infidelity, I have been thinking a lot about the other party involved in his indiscretion. Through several of our discussions, my partner told me that he had informed those he was about to cheat with that he was in a relationship and monogamous. Now I know it might seem ludicrous that my partner said those words prior to committing the act of cheating, but I believe there was a spiritual reason for him saying those words in those moments. Nevertheless, it was the actions of the other party upon them hearing those words that reminded me so much of my past.

Many years ago when I met a man through the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was single and felt a pretty serious attraction to him. Within a short period of time of getting to know him, he informed me he had been married for a very long time but also was extremely attracted to me. He also told me that he had committed many acts of indiscretion on the side with other men while his wife was oblivious to it all. In that moment, a person living with spiritual love and light in their lives and following a higher calling, would have taken a much higher road than the one I took. But sadly, I wasn’t filled back then with much love and light in my life nor was I allowing myself to heed any type of higher calling. The result was me beginning a serious engagement in regular sexual relations with this married man, which was no different than those who participated in my partner’s infidelity.

I want to provide you with a simple fact about infidelity. Whether it’s the one doing the act of cheating or the one on the sexual receiving end of it, there is no love and light involved in the act for either. It’s just pure lust. I remember those moments quite clearly still to this day when that man from the AA meeting looked at me and said he was married. I know I had a tremendous amount of lust in my eyes then and it didn’t matter to me that he was saying those words. Today, I am convinced that him telling me his marital status was his soul’s last ditch attempt to prevent the act from occurring. But neither of us were living with much love and light in our lives so the inevitable happened between us.

Most people on the sexual receiving end of those that are cheating often tell themselves that it’s ok to be engaging in the act solely because their ego tells them it’s ok. Back when that married man told me he wanted to be with me sexually, I allowed my ego to tell me just that because I was single. I also made the excuse in my brain that it was the married man who was making the poor decision and not me. The reality was that we both were but this wouldn’t be true for me today. If I were single right now and someone I found extremely attractive approached me with a desire to be with me sexually and told me beforehand that they weren’t single, I wouldn’t do anything with them. That’s only because I am living by a higher calling now and am not willing to engage in any lustrous behavior. I know now that doing so would compromise my spiritual position in life and only add more darkness to that other person engaging in it with me.

I feel sad for the couple my partner engaged in this sexual connection with because it’s clear to me that they are living in the same darkness like I once was. They ignored my partner’s last ditch attempt at maintaining his monogamy and proceeded to use him sexually for their own self gratification. There was no love involved in what happened in this indiscretion and while my partner is now living with shame and guilt because of it, they have moved on to anyone else willing to be an orifice for their sexual satisfaction.

While I know my partner did try to make that last ditch attempt at stopping himself from going through his act of cheating, it was already too late for him at that point as his lust and ego had full control. For those on the sexual receiving end of it, they too had the ability to stop it from ever happening, but they didn’t because their lust and ego had just as much of control over them as well. I know all too well what that feels like and what it did to me in the long run when I kept doing it. I also realize now how I was just as much of a sick person as that married man from AA I once was regularly being sexual with.

The bottom line for all those who are on the sexual receiving end of those that are cheating on their partners is that they are no different than the ones doing the cheating. They have every ability to stop it and yet they don’t because their lust and ego drives them to keep doing it. The only solution I have ever found to preventing myself from either cheating or being on the sexual receiving end of someone cheating is to draw closer to my Higher Power. Through that, I have been able to see the ugliness that comes from those types of low vibration sexual acts where very little love and light, if any at all, is ever present in them.

I pray that my partner truly realizes just how much he allowed himself to be used by that other party who engaged in the indiscretion with him. For that other party’s sake, I also pray that they may one day realize how spiritually sick they are. I was once both in their shoes as well as my partner’s and it’s a very dark place to be in. Thankfully, my Higher Power has completely freed me from having the desire for any of that behavior. And I know that as long as I keep that connection close to my Higher Power, I’ll never go back to those dark lustrous and ego based actions ever again…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater??? – Part II

It’s been almost a week now since I discovered my partner cheated on me and only a few days since I wrote about it in here where I came to the conclusion that I needed to give my partner a second chance. While I’ve had a little more time to clear my head and have really tried to start moving on from this, I’m finding doing so is proving to be extremely difficult. Having felt betrayed and my trust broken by him, has left me feeling like a wounded bird who keeps re-injuring itself over and over again through its own actions.

One may think, how is that actually possible?

In my case, it comes down to one simple thing. I have been spending vast amounts of time interrogating my partner about every littlest detail of this whole infidelity experience from the beginning of how it started to the end of when I caught him. What I am beginning to realize though in doing this is that it’s not only causing me more pain each time I do so, it’s also causing him more of that as well. And while my ego seems to get some sense of satisfaction out of that, my spirit has been showing me that neither of us are ever going to heal and move on from this if I keep doing that behavior.

The simple fact is that this infidelity experience occurred, but it’s now done and over with…hopefully and God willing. Rehashing any of the minute details of the whole thing has been doing nothing more than raising my anxiety, causing me to feel sick to my stomach, and reliving it over and over again. I’m not sure if it would ever even be possible to grasp why my partner did this as there are any number of reasons as to why he was led to doing it. I’m not him, I don’t have his thinking processes, nor the old tapes that play in his brain. So none of his explanations that he might offer me, nor having him tell me any more details of the experience, will help me in the least bit. Instead, it just makes me more frustrated and more angry to where I lash back out again at him.

While my ego might like the lashing bit because it wants my partner to know the pain I feel, my spirit does not. Doing so is not practicing forgiveness and beginning the movement towards healing and acceptance. It seems as if each time I probe my partner for more and more data trying to wrap my brain around what happened, I grow more sad, frustrated, and angry. In turn, he goes into deeper levels of guilt and shame and having any more of those feelings is not going to help him heal from this either. Thankfully, he’s taken some steps to find a therapist to help in his own process of healing as I know my partner feels terrible about what he’s done. If I’m truly going to practice forgiveness, I must, at all costs, drop my interrogation and berating to allow him to heal.

I know there’s a part of my partner that has been wounded ever since his childhood when he molested at around the same age that I was. Like it did for me for years and years, I believe being molested has prevented him from ever being able to fully receive unconditional love from anyone. While it will be his therapist’s job to help him figure this out, I can see clearly how my partner was trying to self-sabotage the deep intimacy and closeness we had been experiencing prior to his indiscretion because it was totally foreign to him.

The bottom line is that if I want my partner or myself to heal and move on from this experience, I need to let it go. That means not talking about it and rehashing all of its details. That means not berating my partner when I feel some of the pain surface from within me about it. That means waiting patiently for him to share with me anything that may come up during his own healing process. And that means going to my Higher Power through prayer and meditation to trust that I will heal from it as well.

I think it’s a normal reaction to want to know every little detail on a partner’s indiscretion, especially when so much love and trust is broken from it. I also believe it’s a normal reaction to lash out at the partner who cheated because of feeling betrayed. But to become a spiritual person filled with love and light and to give my partner a second chance, I know I must let all of those behaviors go and trust that God will guide the two of us through our own healing processes in our own way.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Chasing and Running Away And Pushing and Pulling Behaviors

An interesting thing I’ve learned from being in intimate relationships over the years is that I once lived in a constant pattern of chasing after someone and then running away from them once I knew I had caught them. Within this constant pattern was a set of unhealthy behaviors that consisted of me doing nothing more than continuously pushing the person away that I loved and then pulling them back over and over again.

For the longest time, I liked the chase of trying to court a new person and develop an intimate relationship with them, much more so than the long-term relationship part which came later. I really enjoyed meeting someone new and giving them all that gushiness and touchy-feely stuff while trying to sweep them off their feet. I was quite fond of all that romance, candles, special dinners for two and all those other things that come when one is courting another. But unfortunately, when a day came where it appeared I had finally caught the other person, where they began to show how much they loved me unconditionally, I had the tendency to run in the opposite direction.

I started noticing this pattern primarily in my previous relationship to the one I’m in now. It commenced in the same way all my others had begun by me showering a man I was chasing after with much love and affection. Initially he played hard to get and I got a high off of each moment he succumbed to my romantic advances. This, by the way, is what I am referring to when I speak of that pulling behavior and I continued it until the day came when he began to express all that same gushiness and touchy-feely stuff back at me on a regular basis. It was then that I started feeling extremely uncomfortable and no longer had the desire to pull him in closer to me. Instead, I felt like doing the exact opposite, so I began pushing him back and running away.

What I mean by pushing him back and running away is that I stopped doing all those things that led to that man falling in love with me in the first place. Instead of sitting next to him on a couch and holding hands while watching television or movies, I’d sit on the floor or in another chair on the other side of the room. I stopped winking at him at all those odd moments I used to do and didn’t stare at him with those longingly gazes anymore either. I no longer wanted to cuddle real close in bed during any part of the night and instead started keeping my space. All in all, I essentially started halting all of my romantic courting behaviors and began to feel irritated at each of his loving advances. I’d tell him that I was feeling smothered and needed some space, which of course led to many arguments. During them, I projected my own fears and insecurities onto him until he got so frustrated he began to pull away. At that precise moment, when he created more distance, the chase was back on and I started trying to pull him back in again.

Round and round this went until I finally realized just how crazy this behavior was. After much therapeutic work surrounding this, I discovered I really didn’t know how to be on the receiving end of unconditional love. In each of my intimate relationships, I had no problem chasing after another man, showering them with affection, and doing my best to love them unconditionally. But as soon as they became smitten with me and started loving me the same in return, I would freak out. The biggest discovery though was the realization that all of that chasing and running away and pushing and pulling stemmed back to me being molested around the age of 12.

Sadly, my being molested became the first intimate experience I had with anyone in life. While I had been attracted to that adult male in his 40’s prior to his molestation of me, the ramifications of that experience led me to not being able to receive unconditional love. You see, that man did not truly love me. He was a sick man who used me and it established a pattern that created an extremely uncomfortable feeling within me anytime someone who truly loved me, started being touchy-feely and giving me all that gushiness. Those things did nothing more then trigger the pain I got from being molested.

So as I grew older, I went from relationship to relationship chasing after men I was attracted to. I’d shower them with my love and affection and did everything I could to pull them in. But as soon as they began loving me deeply, I started to run away by pushing them back on a daily basis. And all of that was due to never healing from that molestation because each man that tried to love me only reminded me of that molester when they touched me even though they weren’t that sick man.

Thankfully, my Higher Power has helped me to find the healing I needed to work through all of this. I learned I had to walk through those fears of intimacy by allowing a loving partner to do things such as touch me, hold me, cuddle with me, clasp my hand within his, and gaze at me longingly, even when I wanted to run away. The more I forced myself through those uncomfortable moments, the easier it became to allowing them to happen. And the more I allowed them to happen, the more I became able to receive unconditional love. And the more I became able to receive unconditional love, the more I stopped wanting to push and pull or chase and run away from that loving partner. And the more I stopped wanting to push and pull or chase and run away from a loving partner, the more I actually became happy in being in a long-term relationship.

So if you happen to be someone like I once was, who likes the chase but runs away after you catch the person or who does a lot of pushing and pulling to the person you love, I encourage you to take a moment, breathe, and realize you probably don’t know how to truly receive unconditional love or deep intimacy. If you really want to have a long-lasting relationship, you’ll need to start walking through any fear that arises during intimate moments coming from your partner. You will find in doing so, that it will get easier and easier, until you no longer are afraid of receiving the love you so deserve…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater??? – Part I

I debated for quite awhile on whether I wanted to write about the topic of infidelity. But after much dilemma I felt it was for the best. This is not an easy subject for me to be writing about at the present time solely for the fact that I’m still in the thick of dealing with it. But as with all my writings, I am finding it’s healing to do so. So I would like to apologize to all of you in advance of reading this in entirety, only because its length is beyond my normal entries. I pray and hope for all those out there who have either considered cheating on their partners or done so already in their lives, as well as for all those who have been a victim of it, that my words may be healing on some level…

A few days ago, if you were to ask me how my relationship was going with my partner, I would have said that everything was amazing and I meant it. It had been over two years since we first met online and twenty months since we officially became a monogamous couple, or at least from what I had believed to be so. We rarely had any heated discussions and if we did, we always worked through them in a timely fashion and with a lot of love. While I believe there is always room for growth in every department of a relationship, including sexual intimacy, neither of us rarely had any serious complaints with each other. But all of that came crashing down in my world in a fraction of a moment, when my partner’s phone innocently beeped somewhere around 2am early Monday morning.

I was seven days into one of my ongoing trips back and forth between my home in Massachusetts and his in Ohio. He had retired early due to his work schedule the next day, while I remained awake and ironically had been writing an entry in here about embracing my inner child through my watching of cartoons. By the time I had completed that article it was just about 2am. It was then I went into his office to spend the normal few minutes it takes for me to write in my grateful God journal, which I do at the end of each night prior to going to bed. While I sat there in his desk chair writing down the fourth thing I was grateful for on that day, I heard a strange beep from behind me and noticed his cell phone was flashing. I thought it odd given how late it was, so I took a closer look. On its screen was a strange message from a number with no identification other than its digits. While I am unable to recollect its exact words at the moment, it was from someone who appeared irritated that my partner hadn’t gotten back to them and wondered if his partner (meaning me) was still in town. Immediately my heart started racing as I got a bad vibe from the message. Up until that point, there had been a high level of trust established between my partner and I where it was ok for us to answer each other’s phones or messages. But what I found out next in doing so, changed all of that.

In the course of a few minutes, this person provided hard to refute evidence that my partner had cheated on me with him only weeks prior when I had been at my home in Massachusetts. At first I thought it was a joke or that the person had texted the wrong number. But when they provided my partner’s name and a picture that was taken by me during a wonderful day we had spent together only a few weeks prior, my heart sank. Suddenly, I noticed I was shaking with anxiety, which I haven’t felt at any point or on any level since my relationship began almost two years earlier. I immediately went into the bedroom and woke up my partner to have a discussion, where I proceeded to watch the scenes of so many movies I’ve watched play out. First came the major denial by my partner of who this person was. Next came the pieces of information he kept changing during the conversation. And lastly, the truth began pouring out slowly by surely after almost two hours had passed with him giving more and more denials.

I really wanted to believe my partner’s innocence when he sat there and said things to me like “I swear to God on my parent’s graves” or “That’s the truth, I promise”. But I realize that his fear had gotten the best of him already on what he had done from the moment I showed him his cell phone. The long and short of it is that my partner had cheated on me back in the middle of October when I had been home for several weeks taking care of some personal matters. I learned his indiscretion had begun back in September, weirdly enough on 9/11, when he had been cleaning his filing cabinet out. There he supposedly had found a piece of paper with a name and number on it of someone from a previous fling before we had ever met. He had texted that person to see if they remembered him and his slippery slope to infidelity began at that precise moment.

While I am still struggling to understand how such an amazing relationship could have something like this happen to it, I’m working more on coming to acceptance that it happened. The five stages of grief seem to be applying in that process as I am still floating in between all of them trying to arrive to that stage of acceptance. The truth is, I’m still in shock over the matter because my partner is someone who constantly spoke with passion about his disapproval of those who cheated on their partners. My brain is having a very hard time wrapping itself around that fact and the idea that he went as far as he did in his indiscretion. All of it has left me in a difficult spot filled with so much confusion. To get through this, I have been having to look in the mirror and see how my own past was filled with similar behaviors. Some say karma’s a bitch and maybe indeed it is. Maybe I just needed to feel what it felt like to be on the receiving end of this. In all actuality, I am just as guilty in many of my past relationships of similar behaviors to my partner’s infidelity.

While I never fully went into any type of sexual relations with anyone in this lifetime while being monogamous with another, I believe I once walked time and time again, a tightrope of what monogamy really entails. I used to maintain many friends I secretly lusted after and wanted to sleep with. I also used to look at porn for hours on end fantasizing about images of people I’d never meet. I even went as far as having sexual chats on the computer or on the phone with people where I claimed things like I was lonely or that my partner wasn’t giving me what I needed. I often played this sympathy card because deep down I was so insecure that no matter how much love any of my partner’s ever gave me, it was never able to fill that bottomless pit of despair I felt from within me. And when I wasn’t playing that sympathy card, I was making crazy excuses to myself as to why it was ok for me to be doing what I was doing. All in all, when it comes right down to it, any form of lustrous behavior or actual infidelity by a person in a committed relationship does nothing more than cause a destructive path for everyone involved.

It hurts the person doing it because of the guilt it creates within their soul and the poison that guilt manifest itself into for all the unspoken time it’s hidden away. It hurts the person they’re doing it with because of their involvement in sexual behaviors that are dark and not filled any love and light. But most importantly, it definitely hurts the other partner they’re cheating on so profoundly, especially if that other partner has been doing everything they can to love and support them and their relationship.

The simple fact is that any form of infidelity, whether it is acted upon or walked dangerously closed towards, only ends up bringing more darkness upon one’s soul and this world. It breaks down all trust and communication previously established in a healthy relationship. And it also creates an incredible amount of doubt, insecurity, and feelings of betrayal. And no matter what the reason why anyone ever does this, it all boils down to their selfishness and self-centeredness. Usually the person doing it wants to boost their ego and create a feeling of being more desired. But the reality behind it is that the person is really just unhappy with themselves or their life in some way. And while it may be their hope that playing the field while in their committed relationship will bring them what’s lacking from within themselves or their life, it ends up only creating more heartache and pain for them as it has for my partner.

I honestly can’t say I know where our relationship is going to head from here because of all of this. But I can say that I have already forgiven him and I do feel that my spirit and the God of my understanding wants me to give him a second chance. At the present moment, I have begun the process of doing so, as I truly believe in the saying to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The fact is I never used to practice that in all my previous relationships, but through God’s guidance, I am desperately trying to do so now.

Will my partner prove the saying true that “Once a cheater, always a cheater” I don’t know? I know that I have proved that saying wrong, as even through the greatest temptations I’ve faced lately, I have remained faithful to this relationship and plan on continuing to do so. So for my partner’s sake, I hope he can prove it wrong as well and I pray as well that he’ll receive spiritual guidance as he begins his own healing process on accepting what he has done and the ramifications it’s had on his soul, and my own. In the meantime, I will remain as devoted and loving to my partner as I have since the day I knew I had fallen in love with him, because truly, that’s what I believe God would want of me…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Who’s The Male And Who’s The Female In Your Gay Relationship?”

In every same sex relationship there are, of course, two people of the same sex. So that’s either two males or two females right?! My asking this may sound rather funny to you right now, but for whatever the reason, it always seems as if heterosexual people want to know who plays the female in a same sex relationship and who plays the male.

From an outside perspective, it may appear that same sex relationships always have one partner being more masculine and one more feminine. But there is a problem in saying this though and that’s because it’s technically a judgment. And why is that a judgment? Well who makes the determination of what traits are considered masculine and what’s considered feminine? It’s not as if there is a manual out there that defines this. Instead, it’s society that does.

Throughout history, a woman was usually the person who did the cooking and the cleaning. They also took care of the kids, if there were some, and any other day to day household duties. The males, on the other hand, were considered the breadwinners and left each day to go earn the wages necessary to support the family. But as everyone can see, this has changed tremendously in these last few decades. In fact the roles are now becoming more equally shared with both the men and the women in those relationships each having a paid job as well as helping out doing the household chores. This same shift has occurred in the workforce where jobs that were once held primarily by men are now becoming equally shared with women such as in something like construction. There’s also been a shift with those who watch sports, such as baseball and football, where it once was mostly men, but now women have just as much of a love for them. The list goes on and on of how the lines are much more blurred now with the roles for a man or a woman. But sadly, in the case of same sex relationships, too many people still want to define who’s playing those roles.

Take for example two males in a same sex relationship where one of them is staying at home and working around the house, doing the cleaning, and preparing the meals, does that make them the female role? Society would have the tendency to say yes. But the reality is that this labeling of who’s the male role and who’s the female role in same sex relationships is a lot more about three very specific traits. They deal with a person’s voice, their appearance, and their desires sexually in bed.

In regards to one’s voice, many people would assume today that if a woman has a deep voice, that she’s probably a lesbian. If the woman is indeed a lesbian and in a same sex relationship, it’s further assumed that she’s playing the male role. On the other hand, if the man has a higher pitched voice, many would assume today that he’s probably gay. And if that man is indeed gay and in a same sex relationship, it’s also further assumed that he’s playing the female role.

In regards to one’s appearance, many people will also make the assumption today that if a woman cuts her hair short and wears jeans, that she’s probably a lesbian. And like before, if that woman is indeed a lesbian and in a same sex relationship, it’s also assumed that she’s playing the male role. No different is the view on a man who wears brightly colored and loud looking clothes, or walks with a “swish”, where it’s assumed that he’s probably gay. If that man is indeed gay and in a same sex relationship, it’s just as much assumed that he’s playing the female role.

In regards to one’s desires sexually in bed, there is this concept of who plays the “top” and who plays the “bottom” in a same sex relationship. The “top” is usually considered the dominant role and the assumption is made that it’s masculine for that reason. The “bottom” is usually considered the passive role and the assumption is made that it’s feminine for that reason.

There’s a common thread amongst each of these three traits. They are all based on assumptions and an assumption is nothing more than a judgment. There are no hard core truths or facts which indicate a person’s masculinity or femininity based upon the level of their voice, the way they look, or what their desires are sexually in bed. Unfortunately, it is simply just society that creates this.

The real truth is this. Every single human being has both a feminine side and a masculine side regardless of whatever their sexual preference is. While a person may allow one of those sides to become more pronounced than the other, that doesn’t necessarily make them gay or lesbian nor does it mandate them to be living in a more masculine or feminine based way. Saying so is truly just placing judgments and only adding more to the polarization that same sex relationships receive.

Personally, it’s my hope that God will start leading everyone away from trying to define things like this. There are so many more important things to focus on right now that have greater relevance with homosexuals and same sex relationships. Equal rights, gay marriage, and bullying are just a few examples. Maybe if people stop focusing in on things like who’s the masculine one and who’s the feminine one in a same sex relationship, they’ll start placing more energy towards what’s really important in life.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

A Causal Gay Friend’s Dating Woes…

Just the other day, an adult gay male whom I know relatively well, started up a conversation with me about his dating woes. His main frustration stemmed from a first date experience he had with another man a few evenings prior. As he described that evening, I could tell his main angst was over the fact that he had engaged in sex at the end of that date and the other person hadn’t contacted him back since. Sadly, his story is not unlike so many others that happen in the gay community.

Too many gay men feel it’s important to explore the sexual realm with a potential suitor prior to really getting to know anything else about them. They repeat this behavior over and over again without ever finding any real deep connection with another male. I inquired on why the adult male I was talking with has the tendency to sleep so quickly with anyone he goes out on a date with and his answer only confirmed what I already knew. The sex, how good the other man is in bed, and their endowment were all at the top of his requirements list for a future partner. When I suggested that he might have better success in his quest to find a partner by going out with someone for a few months prior to ever engaging in sex, he scoffed at the idea. He responded to my suggestion by saying it wouldn’t be worth it if the day came to have sex with the person and they were terrible in bed or had a tiny apparatus.

It really is sad that this gay man, and so many others, feel this way. Most of them end up remaining single and go from one sexual experience to another never finding any real deep connection or love. What none of them realize is that true longevity in relationships comes from getting to know someone first and developing a friendship with them prior to entering that sexual realm. In regards to those people who insist on entering the sexual realm so quickly, most are only interested in the high that comes from the sex and usually aren’t looking to pursue a deep relationship. The people my casual gay friend is looking for who want to create a deep, long lasting relationship are most often the ones who abstain from sex in the early stages of dating. So in other words, my friend is only going to keep finding the same people much like himself who are out there going on a few dates with someone, having sex, and then quickly moving on to another.

Thankfully, none of that behavior was ever my style, but on the rare occasion I ever let it be, I always felt so dirty inside afterwards, so eventually I stopped doing that completely. God has helped me to see over the years that true love and happy relationships aren’t based around great sex. While sex of course is a wonderful way to express love in a deep connection, without the love it’s nothing but a friction based action between two people and a feeling of temporary pleasure.

My relationship with my partner today is not one based on sex. It didn’t begin based around sex and in fact, sex never even happened until over three months had passed with me getting to know him better. I feel sad for my casual friend who is so blind right now to seeing the cause of his dating woes is actually himself. If he could just change his priorities and start working on getting to know someone for awhile, he may find himself one day falling naturally in love just like I did with my partner. Until then, the tragic truth is that he will probably just keep going from one bad dating experience to another where the best thing that happens in any of them is a few moments of enjoying sexual lust.

I am grateful that God has shown me the best recipe for finding a successful relationship and it’s rather simple. If you meet someone you like, try dating them platonically for awhile. You may actually find out you really don’t like them before ever even engaging in sex with them. Or even better, you may find out as time passes, that the two of you are falling deeply in love. And if that starts to happen, the best part about it is that any sexual intimacy that occurs now is only going to bond your souls that much closer together. At least in that case, neither of you will be off and running anymore to another bad date with nothing to show for it but some potential good sex.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“35 And Younger”

I’m always amazed how I usually seem to meet people at social gatherings who remind me so much of myself, either from my past or present. I had the pleasure of meeting one of them this past Saturday at a get together that was based around a meditation class I had taught earlier in the evening. During the potluck meal that followed afterwards, I got to know this 58 year old gentleman who said during one of our conversations, he only dated men that were 35 years old and younger. What I found ironic about his statement, is how much it reminded me of something I might have once said when I had a set of requirements for someone I would date.

For the longest time, I had a list of “things” that a person had to meet before I would even consider going out on a date with them, let alone making them a partner one day. While one of those was never an age requirement (other than over 18 of course), the list was quite specific about many other things such as a person’s religious background, their dimensions, their amount of body and facial hair, their financial status, whether they suffered from various addictions, and how masculine they were, just to name a few. To put it quite simply, this list did nothing more than prevent me in many, many ways from ever being opened to whomever the Universe could have been trying to send my way. What happened instead is that I ignored person after person who made an attempt to contact my personal ads as soon as I saw specific criteria that didn’t match my list. And I spent many years single because of this. Interestingly enough, when I did meet those few people who met most of that criteria on my list, we were never a good match for each other.

When I finally let go of that list and all the criteria on it, I essentially made the statement to the Universe that I was open to whomever would be considered a good mate for me. And shortly after that, my partner Chris appeared in my life. During our first conversation online, he said something had strongly compelled him to respond to my personal ad when he was perusing through some of the dating sites on the Internet. We’ve been together now for 18 months and in all honesty, it’s been the best relationship I have ever had.

In regards to my new friend’s “35 and younger” criteria that he spoke of often the other night, what I really saw in our conversation was a mirror reflecting back onto myself. This mirror reminded me of all those days where I thought many of my own criteria were so important for me to finding that perfect partner. But what I truly realized after so many years of holding onto my list of requirements for that future partner, is that it only blocked me from ever being able to meet someone like Chris, who honestly didn’t even fit some of them.

While I tried to explain this to my “35 and younger” friend the other night, he ended up maintaining his resistance for the entire evening to ever dating any man who was even just a few years older than that. Hopefully one day, he and all others who continue to hold onto some type of criteria for a potential partner, will realize the following truth my Higher Power helped me to see….The only thing that criteria is ever going to do is blind them from seeing a person the Universe knows they are meant to be with.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

A Drama Queen

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but as I wrote yesterday’s entry, I thought of a label that many people still use, especially in the gay community, which once fit me very well. It’s a term that is most often used to characterize those who respond to any of their life’s situations with complete melodrama. And regrettably, I must admit this was definitely me for many years as I played the role of being a “Drama Queen” very well.

According to what I read online, the term “Drama Queen” actually originated in the late 70’s and was used back then to describe the women who appeared in those overly dramatic soap operas. But somewhere along the way, drag queens (men who dress up as women) began to use the term with each other when one of them would get excessively reactive in a very dramatic way about something trivial they were going through. Ironically, it’s now become so widely used that I’ve even heard my 11 year old nephews use it with each other.

Unfortunately, for the longest time, I really was that drama queen. I had deep insecurities of feeling inadequate and unimportant so I always strived to be the center of everyone’s attention around me. This often led to me blowing just about everything out of proportion that happened to me. Thankfully when any of these meltdowns happened, I was never unreasonably animated with my hands or abundantly flamboyant in my speech like the performing drag queens usually are on stage. But the truth still remains that something as insignificant as spilling food on my shirt during a meal with others often became something I’d obsess and talk about incessantly until someone else forced a change in conversation.

I still remember many of my friends calling me a drag queen over the years where I usually just laughed it off and said something rhetorical back to them. But deep down I knew they were right and it was becoming harder and harder to deny that truth. Every time I showed up at a recovery meeting, had a social engagement with any friend, or went on a date, I took something that was going on in my life and spent the entire time talking about it. It really does boil down to the fact that in my childhood home, I was rarely the center of attention and my parents hardly ever listened with open ears to any of my troubles in life. As I grew older, this insecurity was a huge catalyst to dramatizing everything I went through so that I could garner some attention in my life for once. Albeit extremely unhealthy in how I went about doing it, becoming that drama queen achieved the attention my ego desperately sought day in and day out. Eventually though, everyone grew tired of my drama du jour and no longer found it funny to call me that drama queen. Instead, they started keeping their distance because my time with them was never about anything they were going through, it was always about some silly thing in my life that I was blowing out of proportion.

I’m grateful to say that my 4th Step work in AA has helped me to see this character defect very clearly now. And since becoming aware of it, I’ve made a concerted effort to shed that drama queen image by working on healing the sources of all of my insecurities. The more I’ve worked on healing those sources of all my insecurities, the more I’ve moved away from wanting to be the center of attention everywhere I went. And the more I’ve moved away form wanting to be the center of attention everywhere I went, the more I’ve wanted to listen to what others have going on in their lives when I’m with them. And the more I’ve wanted to listen to what others have going on in their lives when I’m with them, the more I’ve stopped focusing on all of those trivial things in my life that I always blew out of proportion. And the more I’ve stopped focusing on all of those trivial things in my life that I always blew out of proportion, the more I’m realizing I’m not being much of a drama queen anymore…

Thank God for that!!!

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Stepping Out Of Those Boxes…

There was a time I considered myself a very staunch Christian who refused to be open to anything but the Bible and the Trinity. I lived in a box and anything that approached my box, but wasn’t already in it, I dismissed as blasphemy. Over time though, I came to learn that for as long as I stay in any type of box, my spirituality couldn’t grow beyond the walls of it.

The first time I started looking outside my initial Christian box in life was completely due to my sexuality. Up until the age of 23, I was basically asexual. While I had many thoughts about same-sex relations since puberty, I never acted upon any of them and instead drank and drugged those feelings away. That all began to change when I fell in love with one of my best male friends during my senior year of college. The difficulty that I faced with that was knowing the seven passages that existed between the Old and New Testament which spoke against homosexuality. Eventually I quit drinking and drugging because I honestly thought they were causing me to have those same sex feelings. Early on in sobriety, I spent quite a bit of time focusing on my sexuality because I was under such duress over it. After much deliberation, I came to the acceptance that I was born gay. The problem I still faced with that though, was knowing where Christianity stood on this subject.

Initially, I had one foot in a box and one foot out of it as I lived a double life. I went to a very right wing Christian church that was extremely family oriented. At the same time I fell for a man during my first year of sobriety who became my first long term monogamous relationship. I became very conflicted because of this. On the one hand, most gay people I was meeting had rejected God because of what Christians were constantly saying about them. But on the other hand, I loved reading and studying the Bible and felt that God loved me just as I was. When I finally decided to step fully outside of that first box I had created around me, I outed myself to that church I was going to. Sadly, they didn’t accept me so I put myself into another box, one that rejected God, like so many other gay people have done for the same reason.

I spent awhile in that second box until I discovered the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Washington, D.C. There I saw many gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people following the Christian religion. Everyone always seemed so happy at those services I went to there. I began to get to know many of the attendees quite well, each who had good hearts and souls, and formed several close friendships because of it. I started having trouble understanding how God could send any of them to hell, as that is what many Christians had told me where I would go if I continued “practicing” being gay. I began to stop buying into the idea that God put millions of people on this earth to have these feelings only to want them to be celibate for their entire life or to force themselves to be with the opposite sex and be miserable. I also started to accept that while the Bible might have been inspired by God, it was also written by men (who were human and flawed like we all are) thousands of years ago in a time where things were very different. Some Christians would say that statement alone is blasphemy. I realize today that when I used to say that, it was only because I was in fear that maybe my truths weren’t the only truths, so that became my defense mechanism. In a short time after all this, I left that second box completely and began to question everything.

I started meeting wonderful Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and many other people who practiced religions other than Christianity. Sadly, most of the Christians I knew at the time told me that God would never allow any of those people into Heaven because they weren’t accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I couldn’t buy into the idea that God would deny admission into Heaven all those millions and millions of people that were created by God just because they weren’t practicing one specific religion.

Today, through much research, meditation, prayer, and life lessons, I’ve come to a place where I can’t live in a box anymore that accepts any of those crazy notions. I’ve learned too much and have seen that there is a little bit of truth to everything out there but just as much misconceptions and lies surrounding it all as well. I still love the Christian religion, the Bible, and the Trinity. But I also love just as much studying Gautama Buddha and the Buddhism religion, Muhammad and the Muslim religion, anything to do with Hinduism, Wicca, or any other religion for that matter. I come to fully accept not only my homosexuality as God given, but also things such as karma, reincarnation, psychics, mediums, tarot cards, astrology, and numerology, solely because I’m no longer living in any box. All of these things can have inherent good in them if they are practiced that way. And I don’t believe that anyone who practices any of these things with unconditional love in their hearts is going to be denied admission into Heaven or sent to some type of hell.

Regardless, I once lived in several boxes that I didn’t want to see out of and I stayed in them with others who believed exactly as I believed. My spirituality and my understanding of life weren’t able to grow beyond the walls of those boxes as a result. By permanently stepping out of all of those boxes, I was able to start accepting everyone from all walks of life and have been able to see how we all are connected. While remaining in a box might have once felt safe to me, especially when so many others were there with me, staying in them prevented me from ever coming to believe in one very important truth.

God is love and loves everyone equally. Regardless of what one’s sexual preference is (whether they are practicing it or not), or what one’s religion is, or what one’s belief systems are, I believe that all that matters to God is to make sure we practice them with love and light, not just towards ourselves, but also towards each other, just like I’m sure God does with all of us…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Heterosexual Men Who Engage In Homosexual Behaviors

Many years ago, when I was single, I began to come across all too often, men who claimed they were heterosexual, yet they regularly engaged in homosexual behaviors.

The first time I came across this was when I placed a personal ad out on some Internet dating website. I can still remember a response I got from this one man who told me his wife was going to be out of town for a few days and was willing to fly me out to where he lived to keep him company during that time. He even went so far as saying she travelled often and he’d be willing to pay for me to come out there on a regular basis. At first I thought this was just an internet sham, but I learned pretty quickly it wasn’t. Within a short period of time, for whatever reasons I don’t know, more of these types of men continued to respond to my personal ad. Some were married to women, some were dating women, and some were just plain single. But with each of them, they maintained the belief they were mostly heterosexual. Many went on to say that while they weren’t gay, they still enjoyed the occasional comfort of being with a man sexually. Some said they were bi-sexual but mostly straight. And others were actually honest and said they were essentially hiding out in their heterosexual marriages or relationships out of fear.

I found I was more inquisitive with the men who were married or dating a woman, as compared to the rest who were completely single. It wasn’t until many years later, when I began to treat my sex and love addiction, that I learned the reason for this was due to the “high” I was getting out of the act of chasing after someone already involved with someone else, especially with a woman. Most of those “involved” people always had very interesting comments when I brought up the subject of infidelity to them. There were those who said it wasn’t cheating because they weren’t sleeping around with any other woman. Others said they had an agreement with their wife or girlfriend, which I found usually wasn’t true. And some even went so far as saying their wife or girlfriend didn’t please them sexually anymore and that they found a man could do it better.

For a long time, I really thought all of this was bogus because those conversations only ever happened online and I never met any of those people in person. But all of that changed when I met a man in AA back in 2009 who was actively married to a woman at that point in time for around 30 years. And like so many of those online conversations had played out, this man truly claimed he was heterosexual yet he enjoyed engaging in gay sex. And unfortunately, I took the bait and succumbed to my first sexual relationship with someone like this. More often than not, it was one sided with me being the one to do the pleasing, which I found out later is a ploy that many heterosexual men do to maintain somewhere in their brains that they are still straight. There were a few other men from my past that I pursued very similar to this and through those toxic connections and from other research I did in recovery meetings, I learned that there really are not any black and white answers as to why heterosexual men engage in homosexual behaviors. For some it stemmed back to a molestation that affected their attractions in life and kept them re-enacting it over and over again. Others learned to like sex no matter who it was with. And of course there were those who were just afraid to admit they were “homosexual” or “gay”, so they stayed in their heterosexual relationships in fear but acted out on the side.

Regardless of what the reasons really are for each man who claims they are heterosexual but still engages in homosexual behaviors probably doesn’t matter. I believe what really matters is the pain and hurt these men are causing their wives, girlfriends, the single gay men they pursue, and even themselves. Wives give up years of their lives in marriage to these men who are doing nothing more than cheating on them. Girlfriends are often just puppets to keep up an illusion for these men. Openly gay men like myself who become involved with men like this often get hurt because of the many false promises made by these men that never come to fruition. And worst of all, they hurt themselves deep in their hearts and souls through all their deceptive acts as they continue to maintain their “heterosexuality” while sleeping with other men.

Thankfully God has helped me to figure out and accept who I am today, which is homosexual. There was a time though that I was just like many of those men I described above and that was only because of my inner fears, but God helped me to overcome them. And while that is just my story, there are many other men out there in this world who are still writing their own story in the sexuality department.

If you are a man who considers yourself heterosexual on any level but at the same time, is perusing any type of sex from another man online, at bookstores, at rest stops, parks, bars, or any other venue, it might be best for you to do what I did. Instead of continuing to hurt others, including yourself, seek support to figure out who you really are and ask God for guidance to get you there. In doing so, you will be able to come to your own inner truth on what your sexuality really is. And whether you find its heterosexual or homosexual doesn’t really matter, it’s your coming to acceptance in life of whatever it is, that does.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Pope Francis And Gay Marriage

“When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers.

These are the lines that were spoken by Pope Francis about a week ago that have generated many news headlines and talk around the world since. I first heard about this at a barbecue I was at the same day they were spoken by him. My friend asked me “Did you hear what the Pope said about gay marriage?” Of course I thought at first she was going to tell me a joke as it had the rhyme of one so I promptly replied with a “no” and a smile. But when she responded with a statement that it was all over the news and told me “the Pope is supposedly approving of it now”, I began to think she wasn’t trying to just get a laugh out of me. So I called my partner to ask the validity of such a statement and he too said something similar.

What’s ironic in all of this buzz that stemmed from the Pope’s words is that I don’t believe anything has changed at all with the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality. What I see instead was a very smart political statement and move made by the Pope that removed some of the strict judgments that have often come from previous Pope’s and the Catholic Church itself. If I was to make a venture on what Pope Francis was really saying, it is very different than what the rest of the world, like my friend and my partner were telling me. Looking at his words more closely, it appears to me that he is following in the footsteps that many political leaders of the world have already taken. I believe what everyone, including the Pope, is starting to say is to let gay people be gay people, allow them to have their gay marriages and sexual relations with each other, but if they choose to walk on the path that Christ walked in serving God, than that’s where things might have to change in those people’s lives.

To put it even more bluntly, I believe the Pope and many other leaders who have followed a stance like this really feel that being gay is still a sin, against God’s wishes, amoral, and completely wrong in God’s eyes. Across the world there have already been cardinals and bishops and leaders of the Catholic Church that have clarified their own viewpoints since the Pope’s comments emerged. Each have said adamantly that same sexual relations is still a sin. So while much of the world is moving away from chastising those that are openly gay and are working on equal rights on every platform for them, many still have hearts that are remaining resistant to the idea that God created people just like me, a homosexual.

In a nutshell, while I’m glad that Pope Francis is at least taking a less dagger throwing stance towards gay people than his predecessors did, I feel in my heart that if I was to have a private conversation with him about my homosexuality and the fact that I’m on a path to seek a deeper relationship with God, that he would tell me that I need to become celibate. Many people I have met over the past few years who have said they accept my sexuality, have told me in conversation that it’s not their place to judge me. But when I have pursued it further with them, they’ve admitted their belief that it’s still a choice and a sin. Those conversations usually end with each of them saying they will do their best to love me anyway.

I have come to accept all of those people in this world just as they are, even though most of them still feel deep down that being gay is a choice, a sin, and an abomination. I really am sad on some level because what I am really hoping will change one day is their hearts and souls surrounding this issue. When everyone can finally move away from staring at those few lines in the Bible that have been used against gay people and try to believe that maybe, just maybe God’s message is a little different, than our world might be able to finally move forward with a lot more light and love.

Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is amazing and does have a lot of wonderful lessons and teachings for the greater good within it. But in regards to those few lines about gay people that were written thousands of years ago in a period none of us were alive in, each have been interpreted and reinterpreted time and time again by man and by man only. It really is possible that man is continuing to misinterpret this one. And while the Pope may be lessening the polarity between his church and gay people, isn’t it really actions that speak way louder than words? When the day comes that the Pope and the Catholic Church begin to express God is ok with homosexuality and actions arise out of those words, then and only then will I think our world has shifted to a much greater place of unified love and light towards gay people.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Gay Marriage Supreme Court Ruling

After a long battle and many months of speculation, the Supreme Court has finally made their ruling on two landmark battles over gay marriage. Not only can California same sex couples legally marry again, but all married same-sex couples in the country are entitled now to federal benefits with the Court’s overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The real question though for most proponents of gay marriage is probably going to be what happens next for all those other states in the country where gay marriage isn’t legal. On some level, I guess I happen to be lucky in the eyes of many of those gay and lesbian people who live in those states, given that I already live in a place where same sex marriage is legal. What those people and many others as well still aren’t getting though, is that regardless of how many states approve gay marriage, and even if it somehow becomes a constitutional amendment one day, it won’t erase the racism and prejudice that many people still have in the United States.

So despite the fact that I live in a very proactive state which approved same sex marriage many years ago, if anyone spent enough time here, they would most likely see how there are still way too many individuals who despise gays and lesbians. I hear people all the time shouting angrily the words “fag”, “faggot”, or “dyke” to someone else. I often catch wind of news reports where a hate crime occurred with a gay individual or kids in school have being taunted and bullied just for acting slightly flamboyant or being suspected of being gay.

The sad reality is that I would go so far as to say that every law could be put into place which would create equal rights and protections for gays and lesbians but it still wouldn’t matter. There is far too great of a number in the United States who are currently raising their children to be hateful towards people like me. Even worse, as much as I love God and believe that the salvation of Christ exists, there are a ton of Christians who are driving much of this hate. Just recently, my sister who lives near Nashville, Tennessee, said that my 11 year old twin nephews were hanging out with a kid their own age who comes from a Christian family, and that he said he hated “fags’ and that God hated them too. She made sure to tell my nephews after that to not bring their gay Uncle up in conversation to him or anyone. It makes me sad that my family has to hide in fear of who I am just because of the hate that persists out there.

I’m happy though that the Supreme Court took a positive stand and steps in the right direction for gay and lesbian people with their ruling yesterday. But I believe the real work needs to be done on a more grass roots level. I’ve said this before in previous writings and I’ll say it again. Most of the resistance to embracing any legislation that supports same sex marriage is because of this hate that people have towards those with my sexuality. What’s ironic is that most of those driving this hate use God and the Bible as their weapons of division but what they are continuously being blinded from seeing is that God is about unconditional love and nothing else. Anyone who says otherwise, is usually just talking from a place of fear and ego.

Martin Luther King Jr. had it right when he gave unconditional love in the face of hate, violence, and anger coming at him. He led a wonderful movement of many people who supported him in this. Eventually, most of American’s hearts turned towards equal rights for men and women of color when they saw the destruction and loss of life that came from their hate. I have been taking a page in his book because of this, and I do my best today to love everyone equally, even those who may spit in my face, call me a “fag”, tell me I’m going to hell, or that God hates me. I realize they just learned this from someone else and know no better. Maybe I can be the first one to show them what real love is all about. And when enough gays and lesbians can practice this concept of loving everyone equally, including even those who look at them with hate, then maybe we’ll get a truly United States. One where it doesn’t discriminate on gender, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, disability AND sexual orientation on any level and one where there doesn’t have to be a battle anymore for us to gain equal rights to get there.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Open Relationships”

There are two words that are becoming more and more widely used in the gay culture today and they are “open relationships.” Unfortunately, those same two words are also undermining a road the gay community is already trying to take in gaining the full right to marriage.

I first came across the term “open relationship” a long time ago when I was active within a subsection of the gay community known as the “bear culture”. There, I began meeting couples in those circles who had “agreements” with their partner on what type of intimacy they could share with others outside of their relationship. Boundaries were made by each of those couples as to whether kissing, fondling, cuddling, or various depths of sexual acts with others was ok. Unfortunately, like this bear community which is all male, much of the rest of gay males also seem to be accepting these types of relationships as a normal and healthy option.

What’s sad about this is that I don’t see this happening so much in any other community that is not gay male based. Over the years, I have had met many couples in those other types of communities who have spent several decades or more monogamously with each other. There was never any “outside playing” going on, and if there was, it was usually considered adultery. So while a large amount of people are taking their fight all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States to gain equal rights with gay marriage, it’s not putting forth a very convincing message when a growing number of relationships with two gay men are only staying together by opening up their relationship for intimacy with an outsider.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure in the Lesbian community as well as in the general Heterosexual community that some of this does go on as well, but those percentages are far smaller as compared to what is happening with gay males these days. And I really haven’t come to understand yet why two gay males have such a hard time settling down in a long term relationship monogamously. When I have asked couples who went to this “open status’ why they did so, I always get that they had grown bored over the years with their sex life and wanted to spice it up. If that is the case, then how come I rarely hear that happening with the heterosexual and lesbian couples I have met. They don’t talk about “playing around”. They don’t go to parties to fondle other people. They don’t go to bars to flirt with others. And yes, like I said before, I’m sure there are a select few who engage in an open relationship, but those numbers are so small as compared to the growing number of gay men today who are making this a common practice.

This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like going out to a gay bar anymore. It’s also why I don’t want to go to most other places either that will have a predominant amount of gay males at it. I have seen this same thing happen at gay social clubs, gay based churches, and even at things like gay parties during the holiday season. A few years ago, I went to a predominately gay male based Christmas party. There, I watched as many of those individuals in those relationships would grope, kiss, or flirt with others that weren’t their partner and no one thought anything of it.

If this is what works for most gay males, then I must not be a typical gay male. I have a partner today who I love dearly and the last thing I want to do is jeopardize that relationship by putting it front and center amongst those who wish to have relationships and connections like this. It’s my hope that I’ll be one of those couples that one day has twenty or more years of being monogamous.

I believe the best part of a monogamous relationship is the love that God can grow within it. And I have seen that when God is at the center of a relationship like the one I have now, I find more and more ways each and every day to love my partner. Will the sex and intimacy eventually not be as alluring…I don’t think the answer to that question really matters. I feel the real question is for all those couples having those open relationships to ask themselves why it is they feel they can’t be happy with one person and only one person on all levels including intimacy.

My conclusion is that for people who entertain the notion of open relationships and eventually succumb to them, that it’s not that they really have grown bored with the sex and intimacy in their existing relationship, it’s that they have fallen out of love with their partner and haven’t realized it yet or that they never were really in love in the first place and just didn’t want to be alone.

Sadly, all these “Open relationships” are doing now is nothing more than tearing down any efforts that are being made to show that gay people can have healthy, long term monogamous relationships. If we are ever going to get gay marriage to become legal in the entire United States, then we are going to have to show that we are a lot more than just sex and horny crazed people who go from one partner to the next.

All I can do is my part which I am now doing with my partner. The two of us have no desire to frequent most places anymore that gay males congregate at because of this decline in moral values that are happening in our culture such as these “open relationships”. And the sad reality in all of this is that I have yet to see any one of those types of relationships ever last for any long periods of time. Instead, what most often happens is that one of those people eventually leaves the relationship for someone they were “playing around” with. In that case in knowing this, is an “open relationship” really worth it then when it’s just a pre-cursor to the demise of the relationship in itself? I think that’s a question that all gay men need to seriously ponder, when they begin to feel the need to consider it as an option for the relationship they’re in.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Rainbow Badge

There’s a lot of hubbub going on lately surrounding the Boy Scouts of America. A few months ago, all the news seemed to be focused in on the Supreme Court and its stance on gay marriage. Recently it’s shifted over to the Boy Scouts with their decision they made to approve gay scouts. Churches in turn, including the Southern Baptists, have become outraged and are sparking a movement for all its churches and other ones as well to remove their affiliation to the organization.

Even as a gay male, I think I understand these churches moral dilemma. Supporting the Boy Scouts for them now on some level means advocating homosexuality. And if they advocate homosexuality on any level, it means for them that they’re going against the Bible and its few passages that speak of it being a sin.

It’s sad that the Bible continues to be used as a weapon in these type of arguments. I don’t think that Jesus would be very happy today to see the polarization happening between people surrounding this issue. He was all about unconditional love and acceptance no matter who you were. What all these churches and other folks continue to be outraged over should be left between those struggling with their sexuality and God.

Sometimes I wonder if people are afraid that someone’s “gayness” is going to rub off on them. Maybe that’s what these churches think deep down as well. I can attest from personal experience, that no matter how much I have been myself in my sexuality, I’ve never changed someone else from who they were not already meant to be.

In regards to a gay youth who wants to grow in their life through an organization such as the Boy Scouts, they never should have been limited in the first place from having that ability. To me it’s a no brainer that everyone should be accepted. But I guess I am biased on some level over the issue. Sadly, this country has gone through so much of this over the years and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. First it was with women who were denied full rights for the longest time. Then it was with blacks. Now it’s with gay people. People are who they are and no matter what their race, sex, or sexual orientation is, they should be given equal rights. Somehow I see that if Jesus were still walking the Earth, he would be shedding a lot of tears over the fact that churches are rejecting God’s children just because of a few passages in the Bible that may indeed continue to be misinterpreted from their original intention.

Regardless of the churches stance on the Boy Scouts decision, the organization still hasn’t approved gay troop leaders. With the amount of pedophile and sexual child abuse cases that have occurred in this country, I’m guessing they feel it’s the safer measure. What’s sad is that they are having a strong misconception here. Many people still believe that if someone is a gay male, that they will have attractions to young children and might abuse them sexually. Having been a survivor of sexual molestation myself, I can adamantly state that the last thing I would ever want to do to any child is subject them to the horrors I went through. Even more sad is the fact that the person who molested me was heterosexual. And like him, many of the men who sexually abuse boys are in fact not gay. Often they are married or single straight males who are just mentally and emotionally sick. The actual percentage of gay men who have become child molesters is extremely small. But unfortunately, that doesn’t matter at the present time for the Boy Scouts. Thus any scout who is gay and desires to do more for the organization won’t be able to once they reach an adult age. What that leads to is little future growth incentive for a them.

I wish that our country would stop dividing itself again and again. There has been some form of racism present in this country for way too long. We are supposed to be a place that has equal opportunities but we really don’t. Religion continues to be poison for our country’s spiritual growth. I love God and I love Jesus. And I know they both love me, especially for who I’m becoming now in my life, even though I’m a gay male. If people would just stop living in fear of the Bible and cease using it as a weapon to separate each of us, then maybe one day soon the Boy Scouts might actually add a new emblem for all of its scouts to obtain and it’ll be affectionally known as the Rainbow Badge.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Way To Go Jason Collins!

It’s takes a lot to come out of the closet and admit openly one’s sexuality for anyone. But for an active NBA center to do just that must take an extra amount of huge courage and faith. Washington Wizards basketball star Jason Collins did just this the other day by admitting to the press that he was gay and in the process, became the first openly gay active athlete to ever do so.

I find that pretty amazing. I’m sure there are plenty of other professional athletes who are gay but are afraid to have others find out so they remain in the closet living double lives. I know all about that.

For all of my college years and about 6 months of post-collegiate years I did my best to conceal my attractions to men. I joined a fraternity because I thought that was the masculine thing to do. I was always dating at least one woman even if it was just for show. I rarely went past first base with any of them. I drank and got drunk quite often because it dulled down my sexual attractions. I stayed away from people who were already out of the closet and openly gay for fear of what others might think if I was around them. And at times, I even made fun of those people. It was a terrible way to be living but it kept me away for a period of time from what Jason Collins is now having to deal with like I am.

For as much as there is a lot more pro-gay support today, there still is quite a lot of backlash. Look at Mike Wallace from the Miami Dolphins who said he was repulsed by the idea a man was with another man when there were so many beautiful women around. And then there was ESPN announcer Chris Broussard who used Christianity and the Bible to bash Jason and declare what just about every evangelical church is doing today towards gays and lesbians….stating it’s immoral and a sin in God’s eyes.

For some like myself, I hid in the shadows for years. I didn’t want to have to deal with the negativity that might have come from others. I came out back in the summer of 1995 when things weren’t accepted as much as they are now. I lost a best friend because of his Christian views. I lost several other friends because of their religious upbringings. I had at times people calling me a “fag” or a “homo”. Even worse, I endured the fear constantly of being beat up. It’s a little different today for openly gay individuals but even still, too many religious people, especially in the United States, are still holding out that God says being gay is wrong. I’ve already come to the acceptance in my life that God brought me here as a gay man and that it’s my purpose to still show love to all these negative and racially biased people.

So for all the Mike Wallace’s and Chris Broussard’s, I send peace, forgiveness, and love and pray that God will enlighten you and help you accept God creates all people in different ways including being gay and that it’s not a sin . And for all the Jason Collin’s who are still hiding in the shadows, take a step in his direction and realize the more that all of us step out of fear, the more acceptance will come into this world for all of us.

God loves everyone and being gay isn’t a sin. The only thing to fear with coming out is fear itself and God can help anyone facing that to overcome it.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder And Isn’t Just Skin Deep

It’s easy to become vain in today’s world. Advertising everywhere plasters scantily clad models. The males all have six-pack abs and muscles everywhere. The females are usually quite skinny with large breasts. The stars of most TV shows and movies follow similar patterns. It’s rare to see the lead actors in a show or even those models on commercials be overweight or have average builds. So many people seem to be getting face lifts and Botox injections now to keep themselves looking youthful. But is this really what beauty is about? Mainstream society would probably say yes, my answer is quite the opposite.

Some people say I’m too honest in my speaking and writing about my personal life. I’m at a place in my life now where I’m really beginning to not care what other people think about me living in absolute truthfulness. And one of those absolute truths is that I have always been physically attracted to larger, heavier-set people. Before I really understood that I was a gay male, I dated many women, each of which could be labeled full-figured. While I choose to use that term which is more politically correct, many would say early on that I was a chubby chaser. Some even used choice words that don’t need to be written and should never have been said in the first place.

By the age of 23, I had come to terms with my sexuality and had begun to date men, who in the gay culture are labeled as “bears”. For the longest time, whether I had been dating a heavyset female or male, I saw just how vain people were in society. It’s amazing the looks that I got when I was out on a date with whoever I was with. Some were even as bold to say openly they couldn’t believe that someone like me would be with someone like them, as they pointed rudely at the person I was with. For them it was sacrilegious to see a 6’5″, 175 pound swimmer’s build guy to be with a larger person. Sadly, my mother even felt that way when she was alive. She always felt I could have been with anyone I wanted and didn’t understand why I chose the men or women I did. What’s sad is that most people place what someone looks like physically as the most important thing. I was like that for a very long time. But today, I see things quite differently.

While my attraction on the physical level is towards a heavier-set type of person, I’ve realize now as my relationship has grown deeper with God that the most important thing is not what I see on the outside, it’s what I feel with them on the inside. The world is filled with billions of souls. Some of them live in the light. Others, in the dark. Some live to serve a higher purpose. Others, serve only their own needs. My life began in the light. Over the years I went completely into the dark while I fed my addictions and obsessions. Through my recovery from those, I gradually have moved back into the light again and have seen my own beauty emerge from within.

To be considered one of the most handsome or beautiful people in the world by something like People magazine means nothing to me today like it once might have. Especially when I see the actions of these people or anyone for that matter being consistently self-centered, living in life’s indulgences and trying to do nothing but keep their good looks and worry about advancing their careers. In general, I admire those instead that take time away from their jobs to help others, that give of themselves unconditionally, that don’t care to be in the spotlight and would rather be behind the scenes making the world a more loving and peace filled place. I see people all the time when I make it to the gym who are staring at themselves in the mirror and flexing their muscles and obsessing about their flat stomachs. I know this pattern because I have lived it when my only concern was to keep looking a certain way. But as I’ve grow older and the sculpted curves have become more rounded flab, and as I continue to show greater signs every day of my own body’s wear and tear, my focus has shifted away from my looks and onto instead how I live my life and how bright my soul can become.

I don’t know how long I have to live in this life. I’m grateful though that I’ve lived this long to see the illusions I once lived in beginning to break apart. I’m even more grateful that God has given me the attraction to full-figured people in this lifetime. Through it, I’ve learned being handsome or beautiful is so much deeper than what the media and society portrays. But even more importantly, I’ve learned that real beauty was never about what I saw on the outside, it’s what is felt on the inside.

Peace, love, light and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Coming Out” Of Fear

This June 11 will be both my 41st birthday and my 18th year of sobriety from alcohol and drugs. For many years the latter didn’t matter to me because I wasn’t working any type of recovery program. That all changed a year ago since investing myself deeply into working on that part of me and on developing a closer relationship with God. In doing so, I am noticing something changing in me a lot lately. I’m facing fear in the deepest of respects and walking through it, sometimes even in areas that I’ve kept under lock and key for the longest of times. One of those areas is something I have struggled most often to speak about publicly in my life…my sexuality, especially in the rooms of recovery.

Many will say that everyone is equal in any room of recovery for those seeking help from addictions. While I try to practice this principle in my life daily, I have found it to not hold as much truth with many others. As much as the world is changing with its acceptance of homosexuality, there still is quite a bit of resistance to accepting it both inside and outside the rooms of 12 Step programs. Because of this, a large part of my journey in recovery has been hidden often when I share in any meeting. The other morning, I decided it was time to step out of this fear and trust in God that it’s time to permanently start “coming out” in every area of my life.

On that morning, I attended a 7am AA meeting which is close by to where my partner lives. It’s one I generally show up for when I am visiting him. The meeting is filled with an interesting bunch of men and women that come from many different backgrounds, each of which seem to have a strong desire to remain sober and work on their recovery. This is the main reason why I have enjoyed going to it. The difficulty though is that there is one thing in common with 98% of them…their heterosexuality. Many of them discuss during their sharing about how their disease has affected their wives or their husbands. For someone who is gay such as myself, it’s not often one will hear someone share about their lover or partner or boyfriend unless the meeting being attended is primarily gay-based. In this case, it’s not, and my mouth is generally tight-lipped and closed about my sexuality, out of fear of rejection. When I arrived the other morning, we were told to open the 4th Edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous book sitting in front of each of us to page 359. The story was titled “TIGHTROPE”. A person volunteered to start reading and he began with the one line italicized summary for the story.

Trying to navigate separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.”

At the utterance of the word “gay”, I paused and wondered if it was just that old time reference people used way back when for someone who was being jolly or happy. As this alcoholic’s journey to find recovery continued to be read, I realized it wasn’t that type of reference at all. I was hearing someone’s story who had struggled with their sexuality, who had used alcohol addictively to deal with it, and who had a strong inability to truly turn over their entire will to God because of it. What I was hearing was my story.

Growing up in a Christian home and in a Christian world, and learning that the Bible had several passages which said a man shouldn’t ever lie with another man as a man lies with a woman led me to try to be anything different from how I was born, which was homosexual. For years I dated women and felt nothing. When I found alcohol and drugs, they seemed to solve all my problems for as long as I was drunk or high, I felt asexual. During those times, I didn’t care about dating, sex, or my attractions. I just cared about getting drunk, high, and passing out. But God had different plans for me. In my junior year of college, in the midst of a whirlwind of booze and illegal substances, I met a guy who had been rejected by my fraternity’s pledging process. It had been my job to go tell all of those, including him, that they didn’t receive a successful bid to pledge and to try again next semester. I didn’t expect any of them to cry, but he did, and I felt a level of compassion because of it.  This was surprising to me because of my normal attitude of self-centeredness. Instead of me going and partying with the rest of my fraternity brothers and the new pledges that night, I chose to stay and comfort this man in the only way I knew how to. I bought a case of beer and hung out with just him and me. Over the next year and a half, I forged a best friendship with him that grew closer and closer until one day I looked over at him and realized I didn’t want to look away. I had fallen in love for the first time in my life and it was with a man. From that day on, my stomach churned more than not over this situation and the only solution was to consume more alcohol or drugs. Eventually they began to work less and less and I felt I was soon to meet my demise. I graduated from college and got hired at a computer based job several hundred miles away from it and the object of my affection. The next six months of my life were nothing but evening after evening of passing out and blacking out from all the things I was trying to consume to numb the pain I felt inside. When the weekend of my 23rd birthday arrived, this best friend of mine came to visit me. I attempted to get closer to him through a consumption of many cans of beer to no avail. This led to an argument and the feeling within me that I was going to throw up. As I proceeded to kneel on the floor in the bathroom alone, that feeling passed and instead I did something I never did. I prayed to a God that I thought didn’t love me because of my sexuality. I asked God to help me heal from my addictions and to help me with my feelings towards men. It was on that day, and in that moment, I had my first spiritual awakening as the desire to drink, do drugs, and even smoke cigarettes all left me. The next day, June 11th, 1995, I began my path towards freedom from addiction and on acceptance to my being a homosexual.

While my story with that best friend ended tragically with him rejecting me and using the Bible as a weapon six months later, I have come to be grateful to God for this former friend’s presence in my life back then. Because of him, not only did I begin to face my alcoholism, drug, and cigarette addictions head-on, I also had begun to face the realization that I was gay. And almost eighteen years later, I found myself sitting in that 7am AA meeting with mostly a bunch of strangers listening to someone else’s story that was so close to my own. When the final minutes of the meeting came down to a close, I walked through all that fear I still hold sometimes around my sexuality, and raised my hand to share about it’s impact on my recovery. Five minutes later and a lot lighter, I realized just how far I’ve come in my recovery. But even more importantly, I realized just how far I’ve come through a deeper relationship with God.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

All Aren’t Welcomed – Part II

It’s Easter and for many, a time to celebrate with a visit to church. While I may not specifically claim myself as a Christian, I do honor Christ and the meaning of this special day.

A few weeks ago I was asked by two close friends to attend a church service with them on Easter Sunday. It was a church I hadn’t been to before and had little information about. One of these two friends was related to the pastor and early information that I was given indicated the church had many gay and lesbian members and that all were welcomed.

Given my track record of attempts made to join three separate churches recently and the adversity I faced in doing so, I was quite skeptical. After a few text messages were traded back and forth between my friend and her Uncle (the pastor of the church), I was informed by my friend that I would be fully accepted and encouraged to attend. Second hand information also seemed to indicate that there were gay and lesbian members as well at this church.

I was more than excited to find this out given that the church was known to be evangelical based. My desire to join a lively, uplifting, and upbeat church suddenly resurfaced with hope. I then made a decision a few days ago to contact the church and speak with the pastor. A part of me, after receiving so much rejection from my previous three attempts, wanted to hear it first hand that the pastor and his church would fully accept me.

I’m glad I called.

The conversation lasted exactly 28 minutes. What I learned about this pastor and his church’s views during that time was that homosexuality is a sin, that the Bible is clear on the issue, and that I wouldn’t be allowed to join if I was still “practicing being gay” as he so put it. Even worse, when I asked him what gave him the right to judge and not accept me to become a member, his answer was that he was speaking for God through the Bible. Our conversation ended when he told me that although the doors of his church would still be opened for me to attend, he didn’t really understand why I would want to come when they felt the way they did about my sexuality. He also reminded me on his parting words that there were plenty of other churches out there that would accept “my kind.”

It was really hard keeping my cool and not getting angry. But God has taught me great restraint in the past year as I have truly worked to turn my entire will over to the care of Him. I’m now four for four with complete rejection by churches in the Massachusetts area that are evangelical and Christian based. Each of those rejections have been mirrors of this one and every one of them stings even more than the last.

I truly don’t understand how certain passages in the Bible can be overlooked and be considered “out datable” in today’s religious circles and yet the few passages that talk about homosexuality are still used to persecute millions. As long as I or any other gay man or woman is “active” in our sexuality, while the doors may appear to be opened for us to worship God at churches like this, the reality is that they really are padlocked and closed indefinitely to all of us.

There are times I wish that I had a way to organize a sit-in at each of these churches around the world who say they are all welcoming but deep down their truth is that they aren’t. I can imagine hundreds of people going to each of the services wearing t-shirts that say “God loves me just as I am!”. Maybe then our message might start getting heard.

I don’t believe God ever intended for a church to deny anyone membership because of their sexuality or any other reason for that matter. I believe that it’s between each individual and God to work through anything that may separate them from God. I believe God would love for anyone to join a church. What I do know is that being gay has only brought me closer to God. It pains me to know there is still so much hatred, bigotry, and persecution out there like this towards people like me. Sadly, these churches don’t see their rejection of membership as any of that.

While this pastor and his church may have welcomed me to attend their Easter service, to put a few dollars in their donation plate, and to listen to their lively sermon and music, I will not be in attendance. Knowing that I will never be allowed to join as long as I’m still “practicing being gay”, I will instead be waking up on Sunday morning, thanking Christ and God for their love for me, wishing the world a Happy Easter, doing my morning spiritual routine as I always do, and asking God to guide me throughout the day.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Gay Marriage Crisis

It seems just about every day now there is something in the news about the division of people in the United States over gay marriage. Several months ago there was the big Chick-Fil-A issue where the owner expressed his conservative Christian feelings about marriage being between a man and a woman. Then there was the sit-ins and picketing outside many of their establishments. A family values day came soon after with discounted chicken sandwiches for all those that supported marriage between a man and a woman. Soon after that, Starbucks got involved as they have been advocates of gay marriage for some time and offered a coffee special on a certain day. I read not to long after that same sex kiss-ins were occurring at Chick-Fil-A restaurants with couples showing their affection openly in the dining rooms of these establishments. Since then I have seen different businesses in the news taking sides on this issue as well. Most recently there was a wedding cake proprietor that rejected two lesbians request for their commitment ceremony because of the owner’s Christian beliefs. The biggest news of all arrived just a few days ago with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio announcing he has a gay son and that he now supports him and gay marriage.

I grew up a Methodist Christian, studied the Bible extensively, have been a Deacon, served Communion, prayed over others, been baptized several times, and I’m gay. Most of my life I have faced opposition from both within my family and outside of it. I had a best friend once who told me I was going to hell when he found out I was attracted to men. I had a mother who cried profusely when I told her I was gay. I’ve been rejected by several churches and told I couldn’t join because of my sexuality. But all along, I have felt that God created me this way and loves me just as I am.

I truly believe it’s impossible for the many conservative Christians, right wing Republicans, and any other person that opposes gay people and gay marriage to understand anything related to being gay until they have to deal with the issue close to home. Senator Portman is one of those who has had to face this head on. A man who voted in favor of the Defense Of Marriage Act at one point many years ago, Portman went through a trial of several years before coming to loving acceptance of his son. My father went through the same journey with me and eventually went to PFLAG meetings (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in support of my sexuality. Sadly, my mother passed away never having fully accepted it.

The Bible has been used again and again lately as a weapon for standing against gays and lesbians and gay marriage. A few passages in the Bible speak to the subject. A couple in the old testament and a couple in the new testament. Interestingly enough, Jesus never spoke of the subject.

More and more people everyday are coming into this world and growing up self declaring themselves as gay or lesbian. It used to be a 1 in 10 percentage for how many people were attracted to the same sex. Lately it seems like that number is no longer true and that it’s much higher. I once thought myself to be living in sin because of what other people told me, and because of what the Bible said in those couple of passages. Through my own journey of self-sacrifice, pain, and prayer, I learned God felt differently.

I hold the firm truth today that the Bible was written by man. While its writings may have been inspired by God, it is not perfect and it was also put together by man with man’s agenda. I choose to live my life by God speaking directly to me and within me. I take the Bible as an acronym now, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. To me it is a wonderful book with great messages. But I live according to God who speaks directly to me. To say that God doesn’t change or that the Bible is perfect seems outrageous to me. The Bible talks about it being ok to have multiple wives, to not eating certain foods ever, to not wearing leather, amongst other things. Christian scholars and men of cloth will find all the reasons why those aren’t true in today’s day and age and that they were all written as a sign of the times. Why hasn’t that been just as true with homosexuality? I have found that those most outspoken on this issue don’t have a gay son or daughter, have never had any gay friends, and even in some cases, are fighting their own same sex attractions within themselves.

What I know is this. I didn’t make a choice to be this way. If I had a choice, I would not choose to be gay in a time and age where people are so divided on this issue. I would not choose to be gay when I am not given the same rights as someone who is heterosexual. I would not choose to be gay when I can’t express my feelings about someone I love safely in public without the fear of being beaten or chastised.

Right now with gay marriage, unless one is lucky enough to live in a state where it’s protected, if one partner was to die, it’s not a guarantee that any will for the other partner to receive the deceased’s estate would be upheld. One of my friends went through this many years back. His partner died and his partner’s will left him everything. The deceased partner’s family came in, used the Bible, their Christian beliefs, and the courts and nullified the will leaving my friend with nothing. Is that fair? Truthfully, is that being Christian?

Senator Portman is truly an honorable man. Being in the public eye, he took a stance that is now forcing other political people in office to face this issue. Why shouldn’t two men or two women be able to marry each other and have the same rights? The only argument today is that the Bible says so. What happened to the separation of church and state? Do you really believe that if Jesus appeared today in our society that he would sit there and say, “No, I’m sorry, even though John and Jeremy truly love each other they can’t marry each other and don’t deserve to have the same rights as Joan and Jeremy.” Personally, I believe God, Jesus, and all the angels and spiritual beings are shaking their heads and wishing we would all just express love and equality to each other.

That’s what Jesus was about. Expressing love. Unconditional love. Is it being unconditionally loving to deny two people who love each other the right to marry and the same protections that marriage brings?

Maybe several million more people need to come to this Earth and be born gay or lesbian to bring the message across a little clearer from God and His Kingdom.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

 

What Is God’s Will?

For years, I went about looking for God’s will in the way that was presented to me from when I was a young child. I would go to church each week, volunteer, pray, and wait for an answer but many times no answers came for what I was seeking. As I grew older, I found that I was too busy in my life, especially in my head, each and every day to even hear what God’s will may be for something I was praying on. I’ve come to learn in my life that while prayer is the active form of communicating with God. Meditation is the active form of listening and waiting for those answers. One of those things that I prayed upon for years and years was about God’s will with my sexuality. This entry is about my journey in receiving that answer from God.

As a child I stayed in the closet. I dated women. I played it “straight”. I was too afraid. So many people still say today that gay people choose their lifestyle and of course, much of those same people also say it’s a sin and against God’s will. I grew up Methodist and while I don’t remember people like that or sermons based around homosexuality, I do remember friends making fun of those that appeared gay. Sadly, I was one of them. I was so deeply afraid of my attractions to a guy that I ridiculed those that were a mirror for what I felt inside. My life became a fantasy world where I lived in my head about what I wanted. On the outside, I appeared “normal” to everyone else. Yet inside, I was completely miserable. I couldn’t understand how God would create me this way and have attractions and feelings towards the same sex if it was a sin.

I drank and took drugs for many years to hide this part of me and kept it suppressed. I found that when I was drunk or high I could fake being heterosexual and be with a woman. Usually, I was thinking about a man during those times anyway. Never did I feel a strong current or attraction towards any of the women I dated. It was all a front. A good one at that. After years of therapy trying to figure out me, I came to the conclusion that I really was gay but it still didn’t answer what God’s will was for me on that issue.

There are many who say that being gay is a choice. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t choose to be gay in a world where there is so much prejudice and hate towards it. But I don’t have a choice. It’s who I am. And when I began to realize that, I tried praying to God to take “my gayness” away. When that didn’t work, I came to the acceptance that it was the way I was meant to be from the day I was born. It brought up a lot of fear because of my religious upbringing and what I knew the Bible said. Questions began to come up every day around it.

Did God want me to be celibate the rest of my life and never find love with anyone?

Did God want me to find a woman and just force myself to be with her and trust that the parts might somehow work as time went on?

Would God be ok with me being with a man?

Was the Bible really stating God’s will?

They all led up to one big question. “God, what is your will for me with my sexuality?”

I prayed about it.

I wrote about it.

I prayed some more about it.

I cried and felt like I was being punished.

I even tried to “ex-communicate” myself from being gay.

After many therapy visits, reading spiritual books on the matter, talking about it to pastors and friends, I was no closer to knowing what God’s will was. The more that I took action to figure it out, the more I was overwhelmed with data on how it was right or wrong depending on the source.

Finally I took the one action I didn’t want to take, because it was too fearful for me. It’s an action that many people don’t even realize is one. I became still. I stopped taking physical actions and sat down, and started meditating. Initially for short periods of time, and then eventually for hours on end, I was silent. One night I was so fed up with my life and feeling confused about this issue and so many more that I said I wasn’t going to stop meditating until I got some answers, or any answer for that matter. I started meditating that night, sitting on the floor with my back to the couch and a candle lit in front of me. My breathing was in and out in a regular repeated pattern. Thirty minutes became an hour. An hour went into two hours. Two hours turned into four hours and at some point something happened that never had happened before. A beautiful vibration swept through my whole body and I suddenly felt lighter than I ever had felt before. All the fears, worries, and concerns of my day to day life seemed to disappear immediately. The place I arrived in that moment was more peaceful than anything I had ever experienced before in my life. And that’s when I heard the answer to the prayer I had so often sought after from God.

As clear as day, I heard a voice that said to me that as long as I love one person, whether it’s a man or a woman, that I was to love them with all my heart, mind, and soul. There were other prayers that were answered at that moment too but for this entry’s purposes, I’ll stay on topic. I realized in that moment, that fantasizing about someone else while I was in a relationship wasn’t in God’s will. I realized that looking at porn while I was in a relationship with someone wasn’t in God’s will. I realized that God was trying to tell me that if I am with a man, to just love them with all of me. Tears of joy flooded my eyes and face and I knew in that moment, that I was hearing God’s will and not some Darkness or Satan as some have said.

Many years have passed since then. I fell off the path many times and didn’t stick to God’s will. I became toxic and hurt myself and many others. A year ago, I pledged 100 percent of my life to God. For the first time in my life, I can say that I am loving the man I am with now with all my heart, mind, and soul. It is the best relationship I’ve ever had. It’s God centered. And I’m becoming brighter and lighter in the process.

If anyone out there is struggling with their sexuality, please, don’t listen to anyone else tell you what God’s will is. Don’t let a single person tell you that it’s against the Bible, or God, or any other religion. All of those are coming from human beings who have or had opinions and are potentially flawed. God WILL give you the answer you are seeking. Sometimes what it takes is to just be quiet and listen. Wait patiently and meditate on it. It took me many, many years, to get my answer. But no matter how long it may take to get His answer, it will come. When He feels the time is right. It did for me and I know it will for you.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

All Aren’t Welcomed – Part I

As much as times have changed and people have become more accepting of gays and lesbians in society, there are still so many close minded individuals and institutions that claim it’s against God’s will. While this entry isn’t about my “coming out”, and the processes I went through to have acceptance of that part of me, it is a story about the rejection I continue to face in mainstream society due to my sexuality.

I’ve always been somewhere in between a religious and spiritual person. Having grown up Methodist and having studied other denominations over the years as well, I’ve come to have an appreciation for all walks of faith. What I have found most difficult though is the wall I continue to face with churches that show rejection and exclusion.

Many years ago when I lived in Northern Virginia, just after graduating from college, I was coming to terms of my sober life as well as my gay one, except I wasn’t ready to announce to the world the latter. My therapist recommended it might help provide me some direction if I find a place of worship to reconnect with God. Initially she suggested a church that was one established for gay people. After one service, I was too overwhelmed as my mind wasn’t open enough yet to embracing my sexuality. So I looked for something else and found a new church that had formed and was currently meeting in a high school auditorium. It was hip and trendy, had live music, used clips from movies for parts of the service, and the songs were toe tapping, hand clapping, and upbeat. I loved it enough and eventually I became a full time member and was re-baptized there. At some point I had come to accept my sexuality completely through my therapy and had started my first monogamous gay relationship. Because of that, I decided it was time to be truthful to the church I called my spiritual home. At a weekly men’s bible study I finally opened up and spoke the truth about my lifestyle. I assumed they all would embrace me as I had made many close friends in the church and was quite active with them. Sadly, the opposite happened and my moment of truthfulness became the end of my attendance with them. I was pulled aside by the pastor and assistant pastor and told how it was clearly a sin in the bible how I was living my life and that I should pray and repent. Ironically, this church was the first of many to say they were all-welcoming but weren’t.

Thankfully, in that critical time of my life I went back to the gay and lesbian based church I had once attended except I was in a much more open place in my life to accept my sexuality. They helped me to believe that God loved each and every one of us no matter what walk of life we were from. When I moved out of that area and could no longer attend that church, I was unable to find any place of worship that would embrace my sexuality or my relationship to the man I was partnered to at the time. I lived in a remote area where there were at least six churches to attend, but each of them were the same in that they said they were all-welcoming but could not accept gay people.

Eventually, I moved from that area to Massachusetts to be closer to my sister and within a few years, I found myself wanting to find a church again to call home. I had taken quite a number of years off from having a regular place of worship because of all the rejection I had experienced. My life had changed immensely having removed all the resentment I held to those places of worship. I also had become more opened to other religions and embraced a lot more things in my life that I once never understood.  I checked out various churches but most of them were very formal Christian based services with slow hymns and standard sermons that I felt I had heard before, so I began to give up hope of finding one I might like. A very close gay friend of mine encouraged me to come check out his church and told me that it was extremely uplifting. I decided to make a visit.

After many weeks of attending it, I became excited again about going to church. This church was very similar to the style of the one that had rejected me so long before that so I was slightly wary. I assumed though that because my friend was gay that it must be different. Week in and week out I heard the pastor say the church welcomed everyone and that they encouraged people to join. I decided to do just that and scheduled an appointment with the pastor. When the day of that meeting came, I sat across from him and told him of my excitement about his church and that I was giving him my intention to join. I also made sure this time to say up front that I was a gay male. Instead of the next hour being spent on giving me directions on the next step to becoming a member, I was once again lectured about how I was living in sin and that his church wouldn’t allow me to join if I was gay. Passages were cited out in the bible throughout the rest of the meeting and were used as ammunition towards how I was living my life.

When did the Bible become a way to segregate people? When did the Bible become a weapon? Why does religion seem to be continuing to push people away rather than draw them in?

These questions are the main reason why I wrote this entry. It was to show that there is one main flaw in religion today. It’s that the phrase “all-welcoming” doesn’t mean just that. I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. I had a spiritual experience with God earlier in my life that was so direct on that issue that I can’t refute it. While some have tried to tell me it was Satan telling me this, I know in my heart that it was God. The message I was told was to love unconditionally with all my heart, mind, and soul whoever it was that I went into a relationship with, whether a man or a woman.

I don’t know why the bible has a handful of passages that say being gay is a sin. What I do know is that Jesus never spoke of it, God never directly said anything to it, and for the handful of accounts where it is mentioned, it comes from a man writing his thoughts. I’ve learned that just because I’m reading something in any type of book, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the exact truth. There’s a little bit of truth in everything and a lot of mistruths in everything as well. Whether I’m practicing Christianity, Buddhism, or any other religion, I’ve come to embrace everyone equally with light and love.

Isn’t that how it should be? Shouldn’t we all just accept each other no matter what walk of life we are and let God decide the rest? Why are people being turned away from churches where they may receive the answers from God? Since that sit down meeting, I communicated to several other churches that had elements I was looking for and faced the same rejection in each of them. Sadly, I don’t have a desire to go to any church anymore because of this. Personally, I don’t think God or Jesus or any other master teacher that people follow in any religion would approve today of how segregated churches have become. Day to day, I try to preach love, equality, and acceptance of everyone, while many people and many churches still seem to be preaching fear and hate, continuing to show rejection, and ultimately are keeping their doors only open for some even while they say they are an all-welcoming church.

All-welcoming should mean just that. All our welcomed no matter who you are from whatever walk of life you come from. God is love and nothing else. If any church says otherwise including telling someone they aren’t welcomed for any reason, it’s not a place I want to be at, because it’s not love and it’s not God.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“I Know They’ll Leave Their Marriage For Me!!!”

I’ve been wanting to write about a certain subject for awhile but I was unwilling to do so until enough time had passed.

Several years ago, I met someone in AA during a very sick period of my life. On an early morning 7am meeting, I saw a man who I guessed was in his late 40’s walk into the meeting I was at. I could tell he was troubled and withdrawn and I also could tell I was attracted to him. At that time in my life, I wasn’t self aware enough to have known about any of my other addiction issues outside of alcohol and drugs. During the time of open discussion in that AA meeting, this man raised his hand and shared about his constant relapse issues. When the meeting ended, normally, back then, I would have just left. Rarely, if ever, did I go up and introduce myself to a newcomer because of how self-centered I was. On that day I did, and for one reason only. Because of my attraction. Unfortunately, my others addictions had me in their grip then and it was as if I was on auto-pilot.

I said hello to this man, who I’ll call Richard for anonymity purposes, and gave him my card. Much to my addiction’s eager surprise, I received a phone call the next day from him and was told he wanted to sit down with me and share his story. We set up a time and when that arrived, I remember clear as I ever will, him looking at me and saying that he had struggled with his sexuality since he was a young boy. He went further and said that he was married and has had “experiences” on the side. I told him I could help him with AA and I started working with him. I realized that after a week or two, I wasn’t going to be able to continue doing that because of my attraction, and so I told him about it. He thanked me for being honest and said that he’d still like me to help him with some of the AA work anyway. I should have run fast, far away right then, but I didn’t. I told him I would do what I could and the next day he had off from work he came over to my house. Richard sat down next to me on my couch and started to read with me AA literature. As I was reading, I noticed he placed his now bare foot on top of mine and before I knew it, he began to make sexual advances on me of which I didn’t refuse. I’m not sure if I ever intended to refuse them.

Our “relationship” went on for two years. To everyone else, we were the best of friends. We did sports together, took trips together, had many meals together, spent holidays together, and even had “sleepovers”. I became a regular at his house and even got a key to let myself come and go as I pleased. Hidden from everyone else was the sexual relationship that existed, the adultery, and the lies. To make matters worse, he had relapsed again and again during our time together and I got to watch what it felt like to be on the receiving end once again in my life of the emotional abuse of an active alcoholic. But there was some part of me, I say today a sick part of me, that liked the toxic relationship. I liked the major highs of getting away with what we were doing. And I continued to believe that he was going to leave his wife as time passed. Why? Because he told me. Again and again.

Looking back at the relationship, I realize today just how mentally unstable we both were and how sick our connection was. He and his wife had been married for a very long time and she was completely oblivious to his “extra curricular” activities as we often referred to our intimacy. I noticed that when he had more to drink alcoholically, he made more false promises. Most alcoholics do, for that matter. But when the heart is involved, even if it’s a toxic love, people do things they probably would never do otherwise. Unfortunately, with the major highs I experienced in that relationship, so came with it the awful lows. I remember all the times where I was told I wasn’t welcomed and days went by where he avoided all contact with me to “punish me” for things I had no idea what they were really about. I remember where I was blamed for his sexual advances and told I had some power over him. I remember where I was called homophobic slurs just after being sexually intimate. And I remember the long hours of listening to him talk about how his marriage was awful and how he really just wanted to be with me and that he didn’t know how to do that.

Why I am writing this is because it’s something that I want to have as a visual reminder in my life of how far I’ve come from those dark times and how much I never want to go back to that way of living. Through my AA work and fully having God now at the center of my life, I’ve examined where all that craziness began. It started with me. It started with my lust and my giving him my number. There were so many times along the way that I wanted to stop what I was doing because I knew what I was doing was wrong on so many levels. But I couldn’t and I didn’t.

I’ve met a lot of people in my life who have lived in these kind of relationships themselves. Each of them including myself lie to ourselves and say it’s ok because the other person’s not happy and they are making the advances too. In other words, it’s ok because it’s two consenting adults. But I have taken my life to a higher power today and want to live at a higher spiritual plane where God calls the shots in my life. There’s no way to put it other than I was as guilty of adultery as much as he was even though I wasn’t married or with anyone else.

Richard never had any intention of leaving his wife. He had the best of both worlds as he used to tell me. He had his “boy toy” on the side to get his “fix” and he had the comfort of his loving wife who would have done anything for him and had been there for him since high school. The biggest illusion that I faced and that anyone in one of these situations faces is that just because two people are engaging in sexual activity and feeling something in their heart, doesn’t mean that it’s going to equate to “happily ever after.” And in most cases, the outsider is generally the one who is heartbroken time and time again. When push came to shove, Richard would always choose his wife.

I’m not sure why anyone ever falls into a relationship like this. Maybe it really is an addiction that brings out incredible highs especially when it surrounds an adulterous connection. Thankfully, Richard is no longer a part of my life and hasn’t been for several years. Our relationship began to come to a close when I had stopped the sexual contact between us and said we should just be friends. I had already started living with so much guilt it was making me sick on every level. The friendship didn’t last long because of the constant temptations he kept placing out there for me, taunting me to come back to that behavior and when I didn’t, he eventually moved onto another willing guy participant and I said goodbye. It was then that I realized I never was anything more to him than just satisfying an urge or a demon he had inside.

It took another two years after that for me to find freedom from that addiction or those type of relationships. The biggest lesson I learned in all of this is very simple. If you meet someone who is still married and shows any romantic or sexual interest in you…

RUN. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. RUN AWAY AND DON’T LOOK BACK. If they are going to cheat on their partner, then they’ll cheat on you. If they are still married, then a part of them is still with their spouse. It sounds pretty simple, but when caught up in a big adulterous mess like I was, it’s hard to see anything. Thankfully, I’m no longer blind.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Gay Stereotype

“Seriously, you’re gay?”

“You don’t look gay?!”

“You don’t act gay?!”

These are just a few of what many have said to me when I talk openly about my sexuality. It’s been 17 years now since I “came out of the closet” and began to deal openly with my sexuality. Before 1995 when I was on the other side and “in the closet”, I remember the many taunts at people that others viewed as gay even if they didn’t know if that person was gay or not. A lot has changed since then with both those that are gay and those that are not and well, a lot hasn’t changed either.

I’m 6’5″, about 170 pounds, with a short crew cut hairstyle and blue eyes. It’s hard not to notice me and most wouldn’t know upon looking at me or spending time with me that I am in a gay relationship. I don’t like labeling myself as gay primarily because of the stereotypes that are associated to the term and lifestyle.

Wikipedia describes a stereotypical gay male as the following: “Homosexual men are often equated interchangeably with heterosexual women by the heterocentric mainstream and are frequently stereotyped as being effeminate, despite the fact that gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation are widely accepted to be distinct from each other. The “flaming queen” is a characterization that melds flamboyance and effeminacy, remaining a gay male stock character in Hollywood. Theater, specifically Broadway musicals, are a component of another stereotype, the “Show Queen”, generalizing that all gay men listen to show tunes and are involved with the performing arts, and are theatrical, overly dramatic, and campy.”

I did a search on Google to see what many say a stereotypical gay person is like. The Wikipedia definition is tame compared to what some think. What’s sad about these generalizations is that they are the same as when I was growing up. In 40 years of my life, it hasn’t changed. Television continues to bring shows on the air such as Will & Grace and Modern Family depicting these stereotypes. People love these shows and they win a lot of Emmys. Modern Family is the latest to win year after year and have nomination after nomination for their portrayal of gay characters. Eric Stonestreet was nominated this year for that very specific role. It’s very believable that he’s gay when you watch him on the show. In real life, he’s not. Neither was Eric McCormack who played the gay man Will on Will & Grace. In a movie, most often a “gay male” is depicted as weak, feminine, flamboyant, and promiscuous. Are there gay males in the real world that are feminine and flamboyant, promiscuous, and like show tunes? Of course. Are there many other gay males out there that are completely different? Most definitely. It’s not even just with gay men. Lesbian women get the wrap with being described and portrayed as being overly masculine, having a deeper voice, short cropped hair, and wearing male clothes. The only main thing different with lesbians on TV and movies today is that they are showing more strikingly beautiful women be sexual with other women. My guess is because it is within many straight male fantasies to be with two women into each other and themselves.

When I tell people about my sexuality, I get a lot of dropped jaws and the questions that I began this posting with. I’ve even got the “but you play sports” and the “are you sure” comments. Is it difficult for mainstream America and really the world in general to embrace a masculine acting man who finds attraction in another man because of these stereotypical portrayals of a gay male? Lesbians don’t get the same treatment. It’s becoming more and more common to see a lesbian woman openly showing affection to other woman in public. I have seen it myself with many women holding hands and kissing in public. Television shows and movies are quick to show this as “it’s more accepted in society”. But have two men regardless of how masculine or feminine acting they are, hold hands in public and/or kiss, and it’s like a needle scratches across a record and the whole room looks up and stares negatively at you.

If the portrayal in mainstream media could shift their focus and start portraying men that are extremely masculine, such as in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain with Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, people might begin to remove those stereotypes in their thinking. I’m not living a promiscuous life. I don’t talk with a lisp. I don’t have a swish when I walk. I like sports. I’m not really into Broadway. I wear jeans and Harley Davidson shirts. And…I am attracted to men.

Unfortunately with Hollywood and media portraying the same characters over and over again that people remember easily such as Jack in Will & Grace, the judgments and labels easily continue within mainstream society about what a gay man is all about.

I used to make a joke a long time ago that the main difference between a gay man and a straight man is a six pack of beer. Interestingly enough there is truth behind this joke. I’ve met many men who are married and extremely masculine acting that like men and are sexual with other men. Even worse, it’s usually when their intoxicated on some level. And sadly, it’s usually those same men who are openly calling gay men “fags”, “homos”, and “queers” and spreading those stereotypical labels out there about what a gay man is like.

There is a lot more to a person that is gay then what television or movies portray. Just as there is a lot more to a straight person than what you see portrayed. Does the shift need to happen with Hollywood depicting gay characters and gay relationships as more masculine? Or do more people that are gay and not fitting those stereotypical images need to overcome their fears in public and hold hands and show affection?

There are no differences between gays and lesbians and heterosexuals other than what happens behind a bedroom door. These stereotypes and all others polarize each of us from loving each other. We are all God’s children and all connected in some way. Isn’t it more important to focus on developing unconditional love and acceptance of all people then on segregating each other with how we see things with our eyes, hear things with our ears, and label things with our words?

Peace, love, light and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson