Don’t let the title fool you, this isn’t some “Being gay kicks ass!” thread, I just felt like sharing how being gay has, in my opinion, made me a better person than I otherwise may have been. Anyone else who cares to share thoughts, feel free to chime in.
When I was younger, first realizing that I was gay, I simply could not understand why. I wanted to be straight, I tried to be straight. I wanted a wife and 2.2 kids somewhere down the road. I just knew that it was something I would never have. I couldn’t explain why I wasn’t attracted to women like the other guys, I just knew that I wasn’t.
I should note, that as a kid, just from being around my friends, and the other kids my age, along with some of the adults in my life, I had developed a lot of the prejudices and phobias that they would set as examples for me. I met, and was friends with, quite a few people who would willingly tell you that they were homophobes.
Just the environment I grew up in led me to believe that gay people were strange, and what they did was disgusting. A shining moment of this in my mind is when, during my freshman year of high school, I saw a music video on TV that showed two guys kissing in it. At the time, I was utterly revolted by this.
Imagine the irony that a few very short years later, I would be accepting that I was gay.
Actually looking back on those formative years of my life, I can see quite clearly where the path of growth as a person would have been distinctly different had that one variable, my sexuality, been changed. Those years when I began realizing that I was gay truly changed the kind of person I would become. Being faced with finding myself in a minority status like some of people I would otherwise be prejudiced against really opened my eyes to the sheer stupidity and utterly trivial nature of passing judgment on a person based on their skin color, sexuality, or ethnic background. It also opened my eyes to many other injustices that I would otherwise never have given a second thought to. It wasn’t a simple transition either, it took a few years of looking into myself, and putting some genuine thought into what I was thinking and feeling. There was a lot of self loathing, and disgust at myself when I would catch my thoughts wandering to sex of the man/man variety.
In retrospect though, I can see how going through that period of time was, in reality, one of the best things that could have happened to me. I do think that I came out of it as a better person than I was going in. I know myself better, and the whole ordeal really opened my eyes to some of the darker parts of humanity.
If that time of learning about myself, and coming to grips with a reality that so completely contradicted what I had always been shown was taken away from me, I seriously doubt that I would be anywhere near the person that I became. I very possibly could have continued down that path, becoming one of the bigoted, close minded people that I look upon with a certain lack of respect now.
All things considered, my sexuality is one thing I would never change. I’m a better person because of it. I’m curious if any other gay dopers have similar thoughts as this, or have considered how their lives may have been different if their sexuality had been changed.