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I'm not gay

"I'm not gay."  How many times did I say this to myself and to other people?  How many times did I wish it was true?  I don't know, but I can think of several examples.  In the diary that I kept as a Mormon missionary, one day I wrote about the son of a less active member that we went to visit.  These are my exact words "We met her son, who's 18 and HE LIKES MATH! I instantly fell in love with him when he told me that (now don't take that the wrong way--I'm a missionary and I'm not gay)."

Another occasion that sticks out in my mind involves my father-in-law.  When I was trying to overcome my addiction to pornography, I signed up for a net nanny service called Covenant Eyes, which I would suggest to anyone looking to overcome a porn addiction.  It would alert him any time that I looked at porn on my computer.  Well, one time I did look and the stuff I looked at was (obviously) gay porn.  I felt the need to email him and reassure him.  These were my exact words "I just wanted to make it clear that I'm not gay myself, I just find a variety of images intriguing and that's what happened to come up at the moment."  This one, of course, was a complete lie.  It wasn't "what just happened to come up", it was what I was looking for.  And that's the only kind of stuff I ever looked for.

Finally, on many occasions, I would say that I would never marry a man.  It would happen when people were discussing the topic of sexism.  I said that in some cases sexism is good.  Then, as an example, I would say "I will never marry a man.  That's sexist."  (Yes, it actually is discrimination, but not in the way the word is usually meant.)  Anyway, that ended up being false.  I haven't yet, simply because the law won't allow it, but I will one day marry a man.

What intrigues me is the level to which I was dishonest about myself.  I lied to myself and I lied to other people.  There are times when I even had myself convinced that I wasn't really gay.  But now I know I've been gay my whole life and I'm okay with that.  In fact, I'm proud of that.

But it makes me wonder.  What else am I being dishonest about?  The thing that triggered this post was a thread on my Facebook wall.  I posted a link to and asked the question "Should I be more concerned about my appearance?"  And the truth is that I am concerned about my appearance.  I will say things like "I don't care how I look" and "Clothing is stupid anyway".  But the truth is that I want to look nice.  When I look in the mirror, I want to see a sexy man staring back at me (which I do see, when Conrad's in the bathroom with me :).  I want to wear cute clothes.  I want to have a sexy haircut.  I want to be attractive.  But I lie to myself and say it's not important.  I wear baggy t-shirts and gym shorts that say I don't care how I look.

What else am I lying about?  What else have I deceived even myself about?  How shall I go about detecting these lies and being more authentic?  How should I make myself more me?  Most importantly, what can I do to help people who come behind me (future generations, friends, family) to be able to show off their true selves rather than lie as I have done?  What can I do to engender an atmosphere more conducive to the authenticity of others?

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