Tonight, for my thesis, I interviewed a man named Don who runs this place in Georgetown, offering "freedom from homosexuality through jesus christ" or whatever.
We met at Village Inn, just off Exit 261 in Georgetown, at 8pm.
Little did I know I would be there for 2 hours. After my formal questions, we just had a conversation.
And even littler did I know that I would the find the man totally charming, inoffensive, completely open and genuine, and actually quite relaxing to be around.
I opened up to him, and told him quite a bit about my life, and he told me about his. I mean, duh, naturally he's a great big homo who decided to get married when he was 27 because he needed stability in his life. He's now 50-something with 5 grown kids and claims to be totally happy and content, despite still struggling with temptation. And I only got testy and confrontational with him a couple of times.
My instinct is to mock him, and I do think he's mostly full of shit, but it's shit he genuinely believes. And you know what else? I really liked the guy.
I practically had to pry myself away from him (as in, he wouldn't stop talking, even out in the parking lot when I was trying to walk away), and I got in the car in a really good mood, albeit a bit mystified.
But on the way home, as I replayed bits and pieces of our conversation through my head, I started getting really depressed.
During our conversation I told him how much I resented his saying that "a gay life rarely ever works out for anyone," and his refusal to lay any blame on gay people's dysfunction at the feet of a society that makes little boys (and little dykes) hate and fear themselves if they don't fit the mold 100%. I told him how awful it is that he perpetuates a hateful culture where spiritual fulfillment and sexual fulfillment have to be mutually exclusive.
I felt sad for him. He talked openly about his struggles, even now into his 50's, and how he wished someone had told him when he was in his 20's that it was okay.
Even now, though, thinking about him, I have a renewed spirit. I want to prove him wrong. I can get more pessimistic than anyone I know about love, and men, and fulfillment, but when someone else tells me I'll never have that because of who I inherently am, well, all those negative thoughts I have disappear.
All I see is a sad man who gave up. To each his own. If denying his true spirit and getting married to a woman was the path for him, so be it. I do hope he's happy.
Tomorrow I'm going to interview my old therapist for the opposite side of the argument. We haven't spoken in over 2 years, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him again.
Tomorrow night, American Idol is doing a Dolly Parton tribute night. With Ms. Parton herself in attendance.
If you think I'm not DVR'ing that shit, you're sadly mistaken.