I actually have no problem with what Josh said at all. In fact, I think his story and marriage are beautiful in many ways. It is not my place to question whether or not his story is sincere or true based on the reality that the masses have experienced. And as we’ve talked about in Whose Life Is It Anyway, every person needs to chase their own happiness, even when it conflicts with the viewpoints and pressure coming from those who surround them.
No. What gets under my skin is how many people are using his post to say, “SEE?! TOLD YOU SO!”
There are people who are using it as an example of how it can be and how it should be for every gay person. They’re using it as a religious mold into which they believe all gays can fit. They’re using it as proof that people who are struggling with it just aren’t trying hard enough; they just aren’t doing it with the right mindset; they just aren’t doing it with enough determination. If they were… surely they could achieve the same thing Josh and Lolly have achieved.
And so, knowing how hard so many people I love have tried and tried and tried until that trying completely broke them, and how trying has done nothing but hurt them and leave them alone and desperate, such motives for sharing Josh’s post just aren’t okay with me. Such motives add fuel to an already raging fire of misunderstanding and personal devastation.
For almost every person who goes through it, such outcomes simply aren’t possible or realistic. And it’s not because of some lack of determination. Such outcomes aren’t possible because our minds and bodies simply aren’t programmed that way.
But Dan, isn’t what they wrote valuable if it’s what somebody wants in their life?
Perspective is always valuable when people look at it for what it is (my post today is no exception and should be taken with a huge grain of salt). Josh’s piece will be a huge blessing to many mixed-orientation couples going through what they’re going through. But it will also be a great curse to a vast many others of the same who will feel all the more pressure because of the inflexible belief it has put into the well-intentioned people around them. The belief that Josh and Lolly Weed are the rule, and not the exception. The belief that will offer up more opportunity for intolerance and bad education surrounding this topic.
Ironically, it was pretty clear that Josh was worried about this being the case and he did his best to circumvent it. But it unfortunately wasn’t enough as evidenced by the sheer number of people sharing it with those gays and spouses or ex-spouses of gays they know and love as authoritative SEE?! WE TOLD YOU SO! statements.
I will tell you what I’m thankful for in all of this. I’m thankful that Josh’s blog post has started real conversation about this. After all, it’s real conversation that leads to more real conversation that leads to more loving understanding, less bigotry, realistic social awareness, and ultimately to more people being able to find greater happiness.
Real conversation is what eventually pushes the masses to correct prejudiced viewpoints and archetypes, which in turn eases the pressure off of one another enough that people can live their own lives for their own happiness.
Many more relationships just might work if the pressure from outside sources was to dissipate. Many people (like me) might feel liberated and safe enough to ask the hard questions, the ones whose answers could alter the direction of their lives forever. And, just like me, many people might find that they aren’t what they for some reason worried they might be. This in turn would lead to far less homophobia (a less-obtrusive word for bigotry) and less hateful projection of our deepest fears onto others. On top of all that, many people would have stronger family bonds. Many people would have more satisfying relationships. Many people would be better friends, parents, neighbors, and human beings.
So, thank you, Josh. You got real conversation going, and a lot of it. You offered a valuable perspective to the world and you opened up an outlet for civil discussion about religion and homosexuality. I only hope and pray that people take what you’ve written for what it is and what you intended it to be…
Not THE story that should be used as a guiding force for all others.
It is the privilege and right of every human being to make their own story. And no person’s story can wholly depend on the truths that have surfaced for another. There will never be integrity in that.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Please comment today. What were your thoughts on Josh and Lolly’s post? What were your thoughts on today’s post? Did you love the post, and if so why? Or did it not sit right with you, and why?
And, most importantly, do you have a personal perspective you can share about these dynamics?