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Oh, For The Love of God
Admittedly, I have fantasized about hooking up with one of the many hot boys from my high school. Unfortunately, Brian was not one of those guys. Brian and I were barely acquaintances in high school, much less friends. Truth be told, in the entire four year period he and I maybe spoke a collective 10 sentences to one another. But one random afternoon, nearly fifteen years later, there he was, suddenly engaging me on Facebook. I assumed we would exchange pleasantries, as virtual strangers would do. I assumed wrong.

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Admittedly, I have fantasized about hooking up with one of the many hot boys from my high school. Unfortunately, Brian was not one of those guys.

Brian and I were barely acquaintances in high school, much less friends. Truth be told, in the entire four year period he and I maybe spoke a collective 10 sentences to one another. But one random afternoon, nearly fifteen years later, there he was, suddenly engaging me on Facebook. I assumed we would exchange pleasantries, as virtual strangers would do. I assumed wrong.

After the obligatory “How have you been” and “You’re looking well,” Brian confesses he had a crush on me in high school. I wracked my brain to come up with an acceptable response, but the best I could think of was:

“Really? I didn’t know you were gay.” What followed moved an odd conversation into a whole new category of awkward.

“I’m not gay,” Brian explains. “I tried it for a while in college, but I think everyone does that.” Brian couldn’t see me rolling my eyes, so he elaborated by telling me he tried the “gay thing” mostly because his dad told him he was gay. Apparently, his father always called him a faggot because he never had girlfriends so, logically, Brian decided he should just be gay. While the basis for his decision was completely screwed up, the fact that Brian was now confessing his crush on me indicated Dad pretty much hit the nail on the head.

“So, I guess the ‘gay-thing’ didn’t work out for you?” I was trying desperately to remain detached from the conversation and allow myself an exit strategy, but the truth was I was kind of interested.

“No,” Brian told me, steering our roller coaster conversation into a whole new direction. “I found Jesus.” Was he hitting on me or witnessing to me? I checked on his profile to see what the years had done for the sexually confused Jesus-freak. There he was, forty pounds heavier, even less attractive than I remembered, posing with his wife and two children. My pity for his poor family escalated to remorse when Brian informed me that he was now a pastor at his local church.

I typically try to avoid the subject of religion in my column, but Brian’s living lie makes the topic unavoidable. While I felt sorry for his poor, ignorant wife and the two children who will probably be raised to hate and fear the many varieties of human nature that aren’t praised by the holy word, I wondered what his life must have been like. A father who saw who his son really was and shamed him for it before the boy had a chance to ever really see himself. A gay community who, for all our good, is not the most accepting of the less attractive. A church who welcomed him with open arms so long as kept his true desires buried deep inside. An old high school crush who never paid him any attention. It would seem that in thirty years Brian had yet to find one single person who accepted him just as he was.

For a moment, my pity made me wonder if I could be the person that accepted him. Maybe with my help, he could finally begin to accept himself. Then he asked if I would like to jerk off together sometime and I thought, “Oh, for the love of God!”
I definitely couldn’t be that person. Oh well, Brian, you’re in my prayers.

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