In hindsight, I had always sensed it since I was about 13 years old. I felt that something was different, I felt different. And now I knew.
I worked in a hotel in Flensburg at the reception. After work one day, one of my colleagues took me for a drink. He took me to a gay bar, which in my naivety I didn’t really realize.
At some point in the evening, I turned around and there he was. We looked each other in the eyes, and I guess this is what you call love at first sight. I felt it in my entire body. And I finally and instantly knew, that I am gay. I had dated girls before and always thought I was in love, but now it felt so much different, that I just knew who I was.
The relationship actually didn’t last very long, but for me it was the end of a long journey of searching for my identity. It felt as if this ton of weight came off and I was so much lighter.
My doubts were gone. It just felt right, as if I had finally found myself.
And yet, it felt wrong. Not because I believed it was wrong… but the thought of what others might think or say frightened me. Would they approve?
Despite my fear, I knew I had to call my mom. My mom and I had always had a special bond and calling her was the very first thing I did.
I knew deep down inside what she would say and how she would react, but I was incredibly excited, heart pounding, shaking. The minute she picked up the phone, I started crying. She must have thought that something bad had happened, like an accident.
Full of tears, I told her… I was crying so loud that she didn’t understand a word of what I was saying to her and when I finally calmed down and told her, she replied, ‘So what? You are my son and nothing is going to change.’
Again, it felt like a ton of weight came down from my shoulders. It gave me relief, but even more so, she re-affirmed the sense of security and safety, which I always felt around her. I always knew, whatever happens in life, I can always turn to her, go back to her, and somehow it would all be fine.
I wish I could thank her and let her know how much these words meant to me.
It was a Friday night, a cold winter night in December, which would turn into the coldest night I ever experienced. We were in a good place, my mom, my dad, my brothers, all of us looking forward to the Christmas holidays coming up, the time we would spend together, as we would every year.
Christmas in Frankfurt had become a family tradition and I needed to get the best tree and had tons of groceries to do. I literally just laid down when my brother called.
He asked me if I was alone (which I was, as my partner was at a dinner party with friends). And then he said it:
It felt like time stopped and all around me had become silent. I felt numb and instantly started throwing up.
The next day, I drove home and the first thing I saw when coming home was the pile of Christmas presents. She had wrapped them all on Friday night and when she was finished she sat down and never got up again. It was a heart attack.
We thought we’d have more time together, and then out of nowhere, from one minute to the next, we ran out of time.
All that I am left with are the memories, such as that one phone call to my mom, 22 years ago, telling her that I am gay and her words I’ll never forget.
It was these words that gave me so much strength, to live my life the way I do, be the person I am, and be proud of it. I wish I could let her know how much her words shaped who I am today, how much she shaped me.
I cannot thank her anymore… and it’s painful to come to terms with the fact that she is no longer with me.
But I can tell my story, and her story; paying it forward, her message of compassion. Her way of showing me that kindness does not cost a thing and that love actually can be unconditional.
It’s because of her that I didn’t struggle with my identity, as many others do. Today I live a fulfilled life full of people dear to me and have a job, which I love, as hotel manager leading a team of almost 150. I am working at a great place where I can be myself.
But when I look around me, ‘so what?’ is not the common answer that women and men around the world get when they finally find the courage to tell their loved ones, the ones closest to them.
Here we are, 2019, and so many still live in fear, for what will happen when they tell, for what will happen when someone finds out who they are… who they love…
We might have come far, but it’s by far not enough.
We shouldn’t say, ‘That’s okay with me, I am fine with that.’ It should just be, ‘So what?’ without even asking the question.
I feel my story might be able to contribute to one mother, or father, or brother, or sister reacting differently… as only today I really understand how much it really meant to me and how much it paved the way for me.
To love someone should not need an approval. Many underestimate the fear (young) women and men have to come out to their loved ones and they underestimate the power their reaction will have, the impact they will have… by saying, ‘So what? I love you as you are.’”
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10 Reasons God Loves Gay Christians
Some modern Bible translations say that “homosexuals” will not inherit the kingdom of God, but neither the concept nor the word for people with exclusive same-sex attraction existed before the late 19th century. While the Bible rejects lustful same-sex behavior, that’s very different from a condemnation of all gay people and relationships.
Many Christians draw on their faith’s traditions to shape their beliefs, but the concept of sexual orientation is new. Until recent decades, same-sex behavior was placed in the same category with gluttony or drunkenness — as a vice of excess anyone might be prone to — not as the expression of a sexual orientation. The Christian tradition has never spoken to the modern issue of LGBT people and their relationships.
The Bible honors celibacy as a good way of living — Jesus was celibate, after all — but it also makes clear that celibacy must be a voluntary choice. Requiring that all gay people remain celibate is at odds with the Bible’s teachings on celibacy, which are grounded Scripture’s core affirmation that God’s physical creation is good.
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that good trees bear good fruit, while bad trees bear bad fruit. The church’s rejection of same-sex relationships has caused tremendous, needless suffering to the LGBT community—bad fruit. Those harmful consequences should make Christians open to reconsidering the church’s traditional teaching.
It’s commonly assumed that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah out of his wrath against same-sex relations, but the only form of same-sex behavior described in the story is an attempted gang rape — nothing like a loving, committed relationship. The Bible explicitly condemns Sodom for its arrogance, inhospitality and apathy toward the poor — not for same-sex behavior.
Leviticus condemns male same-sex intercourse, but the entire Old Testament law code has never applied to Christians in light of Christ’s death. Leviticus also condemns eating pork, rabbit, or shellfish, cutting hair at the sides of one’s head, and having sex during a woman’s menstrual period — none of which Christians continue to observe.
Like other ancient writers, Paul described same-sex behavior as the result of excessive sexual desire on the part of people who could be content with opposite-sex relationships. He didn’t have long-term, loving same-sex relationships in view. And while he described same-sex behavior as “unnatural,” he also said men having long hair goes against nature, and most Christians read that as a reference to cultural conventions.
Marriage often involves procreation, but according to the New Testament, it’s based on something deeper: a lifelong commitment to a partner. Marriage is even compared to the relationship between Christ and the church, and while the language used is opposite-sex, the core principles apply just as well to same-sex couples.
From the beginning of Genesis, human beings are described as having a need for relationship, just as God himself is relational. Sexuality is a core part of what it means to be a relational person, and to condemn LGBT people’s sexuality outright damages their ability to be in relationship with all people — and with God.
Mainstream denominations like Presbyterians and Episcopalians now ordain openly gay clergy, and there are seeds of change in evangelical churches as well. This November, the Reformation Project will host a training conference for up to 900 LGBT-affirming Christians in Washington, D.C.—and the movement for change in conservative churches is just getting started.
Matthew Vines is the author of God and the Gay Christian and is the founder of The Reformation Project, a Bible-based non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Matthew lives in Wichita, Kansas.
15 Tough Men Crying
As R.E.M. once put it, Everybody hurts. Man’s curse is sensitivity. And no matter what a person can bench press, emotional weight can—and will—topple him over. Here are a few of the toughest men who have proven just that.
The former Bulls guard famously wept during the opening moments of his Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement speech. „I told all my friends I was going to come up here and say thank you and walk off,“ he said. Instead, he soldiered on teary-eyed, later becoming one of the most reliable memes.
In Mad Men’s fourth season episode, „The Suitcase,“ Don breaks down in front of Peggy after learning that his friend and faux-wife Anna Draper has died of cancer. We’re betting his tears are 95 percent Canadian Club whiskey.
At WWF’s first ever Main Event in 1988, Andre the Giant bested Hulk Hogan in a brutal showdown. Despite a contested referee call, the verdict stuck: Hogan was a loser. When the two grappled again at Wrestlemania III, Hogan walked away victorious. A post-match cry gave him the strength he needed to pound.
„I came back to ask you to help us finish what we started because this is where our movement for change began,“ Obama declared in his final 2012 presidential campaign speech.
„To all of you who’ve lived and breathed the hard work of change: I want to thank you. You took this campaign and made it your own… starting a movement that spread across the country.“
The speech was so powerful, even Obama let a damn-that-was-good tear slip.
Superman does not kill. He’s the Big Blue Boy Scout. Krypton’s last son. Clark Kent, ethical reporter for the Daily Planet. He does not kill.
That is, unless his enemy is really, really, really rude. In which case Superman cracks General Zod’s neck. The superhero even breaks down after the out-of-character deed. Thankfully, his laser vision does not shed tears.
Tasha Robinson-White spent 12 years as Mayweather Jr.’s assistant and then wrote a tell-all. When interviewed on the subject, she summed up her former boss thusly: „He cries.“ Can’t win ‚em all, Floyd—in the ring or in your ex-assistant’s headline-making gossip.
Rocky earned Sylvester Stallone an Oscar, but his breakdown at the end of First Blood is the best acting of his career. When PTSD cripples Rambo, the combination of macho waterworks and Stallone’s mush mouth renders his speech unintelligible. Yet oddly moving.
Everyone on The Walking Dead cries every episode because they all know death’s right around the corner, thanks to everyone being a brain-eating zombie. That is, except Daryl. Daryl is tough. And Daryl always has his brother by—wait, what? Zombies ate Daryl’s brother’s insides? [Cue crying.]
Some believe that when you die, your entire life flashes before your eyes. For Broncos running back Moreno, it happens every time the National Anthem kicks in. Which explains this well-documented cry from 2013.
„During the anthem it’s always quiet and still, so I take in the moment and say a little prayer,“ he told . „Usually there’s no camera on me. I thank the Lord for letting me play the game. I thank Him for everything. I run through my whole life right there at that moment. Even the bad stuff.“
Maximus the Gladiator cries for all the reasons you’d think a second century solider rumbling with lions for a living would cry: A crabby emperor murdered his family. Russell Crowe’s work in this scene is worth noting for his dedication to slobbering, as he weeps through his eyes and his nose. It is emotional because it’s disgusting.
„It has been a long road,“ says one of the many muscular men baring their souls in this motivational Zhasni promo. When they were young, these bodybuilders were just sacks of six-packs waiting for meaning. Then they became something else: bigger.
Somehow after getting caught in a shootout, jumping out a fourth-story window, and breaking his leg—which he attempted to mend himself—it only got worse for Omar. Not even ’s best character could hold it together while going The Knick on his own ligament.
TV’s acclaimed adventurer prevails over rocky terrain, high-speed winds, thrashing waters, and other hellish conditions Earth can throw at man. But bring a little introspection to the ecosystem and his tear ducts give.
Ennis was the definition of manly-man cowboy, which was a problem. While he never lost a bit of his attitude, society forced him to hide his homosexuality from the world. When his lover, Jack Twist, is killed, Ennis lets it out, teaching us all an important lesson: Real men cry.
Lockridge’s episode of Intervention was no laughing matter. The boxer suffered a serious cocaine addiction and wound up on the streets, homeless. In this emotional scene, his son confesses no amount of pain will keep him from loving his father. Lockridge breaks… and wails with the strangest sound since the goat scream meme. And it just keeps going. It’s beautiful.