From the book:
Former Roman Catholic priest and now psychology professor Daniel Helminiak explains:
Sexuailty means much more than physical arousal and orgasm. Attached to a person's sexuality is the capacity to feel affection, to delight in someone else, to get emotionally close to another person, to be passionately committed to him or her. Sexuality is at the core of that marvelous human experience, being in love - to be struck by the beauty of another and be drawn out of yourself, to become attached to another human being so powerfully that you easily begin measuring your life in terms of what's good for someone else as well as for yourself.
... When people deny their sexuality, they also deny themselves intimacy and emotional transparency along with their capacity to express love to another person. So when my pastor and other evangelical leaders instructed me to deny my homosexuality, they were really telling me to not love.
Boy, this passage really speaks to me and of me. Most people, I think, see gays only in terms of who one has sexual relations with. To me, it's not what's going on between the legs so much as what's going on between the ears, i.e. the brain. I dated guys in high school and beyond. They were all pretty good people. In other words, I didn't date scumbags. Some were wild; most were not. I don't remember being truly comfortable with any of them. What I do remember was trying to figure out what I was supposed to be, how I was supposed to act, what I was supposed to do in order to not get dumped; when, actually, I could have cared less that I got dumped except for the fact that other people would know that it happened.
One "relationship" in particular I remember was in ninth grade. We were boyfriend and girlfriend for just a few months. The highlight was the day he gave me his bracelet to wear. I mean, that was always the goal: get a boy to like you and then he'll ask you to go steady. I remember thinking at that moment, "Now what do we do?" So we went through the motions of what we thought we were supposed to do. Basically, all we did was hold hands at school. We hung out maybe twice after school. I don't think we even went on an actual date. He didn't drive yet. Then one day I just walked up to him, handed him his bracelet and walked away. There were no words spoken. No "sorry it didn't work out", "goodbye", "nice having known you", nothing. He began "dating" someone else a while later, and they eventually got married. Who'd have thunk it? Ha ha!
I dated before and after him, but it was always the same: no sparks, no aha moment, just boredom, really. But, hey, I set out to do what I was supposed to do and tried to look like I was enjoying the attention when I really BORED TO DEATH.
I always want to ask homophobes, "When did you discover you were heterosexual?" For me, I figured out I was gay when I got to know J. Yes, I was sexually attracted to someone for the first time that I ever remember; I was so naive I didn't even know what being turned on felt like. But it was so much more than that, like Daniel Helminiak mentioned above.
I could not stop thinking of J. I wanted to be with her every minute of the day. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Even now, I catch myself staring at her at the oddest times, when to me she looks the most beautiful. Sometimes I just have to touch her, even if it's just on the arm or holding her hand. Ours is such an emotional bond, it's scary sometimes. I cannot imagine my life without her.
If we are preached at to not love a person of the same gender and we are homosexual, then, yes, we are being told not to love at all. I could never not love J. I could stay away from her like I did for 23 years, but I could never not love her. And I refuse to be without her from now on. I gave it 23 years, people. It didn't work. You can't chase true love away. It is like a wave coming back to the shore. AND YOU CANNOT COMMAND ME NOT TO LOVE!!!