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Anything Other than Straight

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE.

Teeter-tottering on that belief, I got married. To a woman. Our marriage was laced with sexual anxiety and dysfunction. I loathed having sex with her not because I wasn’t attracted to her, but because my sexuality continually screamed to me that I was a deceitful sell-out who lacked integrity. We eventually got divorced.

I got married again. Quickly. To another woman. Surely, surely if I married someone fantastically beautiful and to whom I was very attracted, I would never have to acknowledge the truth whose screams were silenced inside of me all those years. I would never have to grant further thought to the feelings of self-betrayal that plagued me for so long. It was my choice, damn it, and I was choosing to be what I had to be.

She finally left. The last words that she chose to use before she drove away were, “I don’t care what you say, I know that you’re gay.”

“Whatever makes you feel better,” I whispered to the aroma of lingering car fumes.

Later that evening, I drove over to Noah’s other home to discuss the situation. Some of the first words my son’s mother spoke were, “will you tell me the truth? Are you gay?”

“Why the hell would you ask that?” I angrily said in response to a question that I unfortunately understood was both serious and reasonable.

I left her home that night defeated.

Unable to laugh any longer.

Unable to do anything but want to die.

Days later I started this blog as a way to save myself from myself. As a way to force myself to laugh again. As a way to maintain some sort of normalcy. And yes, even as a way to protect me from ever having to be anything other than straight.

And as you are very well aware, since starting it, I have written adamantly about the inability so many of us have to love and accept those who are different. I’ve held out a hand to minorities, shared my experiences with bullies, and I’ve crusaded for equal treatment and compassion for every person, from every person.

And I’ve done it all, I suppose, out of desperate need for self-preservation should I ever find the courage to present myself as the person that I am.

If only I could change the world around me, perhaps my truth won’t one day be the end of me.

I’ve also told you all deliberately that I wasn’t gay.

I said it when I wrote I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay.

I certainly wasn’t lying to you.

To lie, a person has to both know and believe a truth and then present it contrarily.

I didn’t know and believe the truth. Not yet. In 32 years, I hadn’t even once been able to allow myself a truly open and honest thought about it all.

What I was guilty of was desperation to escape that damned label.

You know the label.

The one where I become a bisexual and to most people, nothing more.

And I didn’t want that label. I was desperate not to have that label.

Once someone comes out of the closet, there’s no taking it back.

There is no coming back in a week or a month or a year and saying, “never mind all that.” There is no possibility of a complete reversal process. Not really. Not in the minds of others.

Forever more, I will be labeled by anyone who reads this as the bisexual blogger. The bisexual friend. The bisexual date. The bisexual brother. The bisexual son or grandson. I will be labeled the bisexual colleague. The bisexual father. The bisexual member of my gym.

I will no longer be the only person I should be able to be.

I will no longer be me.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

The world is so obsessed with defining sexuality for everyone and attaching labels to it. Any time any person openly leaves the sexual norm, their sexuality becomes, more often than not, the absolute defining characteristic of that person. It becomes the first thing people think about and often the first thing they mention. Every other part of that person all but disappears.

By writing and sharing this post today, I know that a great part of me will all but disappear. My life will never be even close to the same.

So, forgive me for my hesitance. Forgive me for not jumping for joy about my new journey just yet.

I’ve seen what the labels do. And I know the possibility of what these labels will do to me.

Right now, my sister trusts me implicitly to have her boys overnight for sleepovers with Noah. I have feared for a long time that such trust will vanish if I were ever anything other than straight. I fear that she won’t be able to believe the real truth. The truth that says, I would kill myself before hurting a child.

Right now, women aren’t worried about my sexuality when I first meet them. I have feared for a long time that writing something like this will trigger the fear any woman I date may have that her man could be anything other than straight. I fear that she won’t be able to believe the real truth. The truth that says, I am faithful, and I am attracted absolutely to the person I choose to be with.

Right now, my male friends are completely comfortable with me. They’ll wrestle with me. Laugh with me. Do stupid guy things with me. Workout with me. Take girls on double-dates with me. I have feared for a long time that all of that will be too awkward and threatening to them if I was ever anything other than straight. I fear that they won’t be able to believe the real truth. The truth that says, believe it or not, I’m not attracted to you.

Right now my parents accept me in their home, openly and without question. I have feared for a very long time that their open arms will no longer be welcoming if I am ever anything other than straight. I have fear that they won’t be able to believe the real truth. The truth that says, even at 32 years old, I still need my parents to love me. I still want their acceptance. I still hope for their pride.

Right now Noah’s mother loves and admires me. She trusts me to teach Noah about life. I have feared for a long time that because of her beliefs and religion, she will fear for our son if I was ever anything other than straight. I have fear that she won’t be able to believe the real truth. The truth that says, this has nothing to do with me as a dad.

Right now you all read my blog because you like the person that I am, you often appreciate what I have to say, and you seem to genuinely care about me. I have feared for a long time that many of you will never come back if I am ever anything other than straight. I have fear that you won’t be able to believe the real truth. The truth that says, I am the same person today as I was when you came here yesterday.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

Damn it.

I really don’t want to be anything other than straight. If I could choose, there is no doubt that I would simply choose the easier way.

But I’m not straight. And choosing has proven dangerously impossible.

And so, at the border of where I will literally not survive so long as I keep living in so much fear of the harsh judgments of others, I am finally conceding the truth to you all.

I am finally conceding the truth to me.

I am something other than straight.

And, having conceded that truth, I am coming to you all with a fantastically desperate plea. A plea that is admittedly selfish as of now, but that is also so much bigger than me.

3853 comments
MackenzieHollister
MackenzieHollister

I may not support your practices, but I still love you and your blog. You are still the AMAZING dad and blogger I have come to know.

Miles
Miles

I've read only one other blog entry by you but this one by far resignates the most with me. As a man who was raised in a traditionally Catholic household, there has always been an implicit (sometimes explicit) expectation that one must confirm and adhere to the strict guidelines of heterosexuality. Being "anything other than straight" seems unthinkable to those who don't have the internal conflict that many Christian men feel when they even have an inkling that they might identify as something other than straight. I can sense the pain and anguish that you've felt as you were divulging a long kept secret. I want you to know that you're not alone. I'm in the very same situation. Most importantly, I'd like to thank you for your courage in sharing this and for giving me hope on my journey toward self-acceptance. I'm not straight and I don't necessarily feel the need for a label now or ever. But I do know that whoever I fall in love with will be the person that I'm meant to be with and nothing else will matter. Thank you again for making me feel understood and visible. Please stay strong.

Makeshiftwings
Makeshiftwings

I know this post is not new, but I feel like I need to comment.  I found this post incredibly moving.  I am a single Mum with two kids, now teenagers, and I am also bisexual.   Coming out for me wasn't a great trauma or something I struggled with, but certainly there has been a certain backlash.  For a long time my family didn't accept me, and sadly not uncommon to be on the receiving end of abuse when I am out with my (female) partner.  Hang in there, being true to yourself is worth it and the people who really matter will stick with you.  I hope by now it's getting easier x


Kelly McNeil
Kelly McNeil

Just be happy with who you are. No one needs to be defined. You are a good person at heart, you love your child, you make him happy, he makes you happy. The people who love you the most don't care about your preference, they just want to see you happy too.

BethanyCopley
BethanyCopley

You do you...love who you are. You kid loves who you are. Thats all that matters.

KevinPocquette
KevinPocquette

I finally read this post too, after seeing that you were bisexual in other posts and reading what people have said to you. 


As a gay man, I have to say you're not alone.  Gay, bi, lesbian, transgender, everyone has to go through that same process.  For the longest time when I was younger I wished and prayed to be straight, and wondered why I had to go through this turmoil.  Why me?  I was already the fat kid, why did I have to be the gay fat kid?  It never seemed fair.  


In high school I was teased, but rarely.  Select few people knew I was gay.  Maybe 3.  Sometimes I had to write it down and hand them the note, because it was too much for me to say out loud.  I couldn't handle the rejection.  But the people I told were chosen on purpose, and they were loving and accepting.  


But that didn't make it easier to tell other people.  For four or five years I lied to my mother about it, she was sad when I told her.  Mostly because she thought it would make my life harder than it should be.  And it has been to a certain extent.  She also lost her gay brother to AIDS.  It was a horrible thing to watch.  

But I'm 36 now, and while still fat, it's very rare that I wish I was straight anymore.  Days when I am tired of struggling, or have had a particularly bad experience with the community.  But it is unlikely that me being straight would make my experiences that much different. 


While the trials were difficult, and can be still, they have made me what I am today.  I am fearful of the person I may have become had I not been gay.  It helped me accept myself, but it has also helped me accept other people.


Even as far as gay men go, I am accepting.  Bisexuality exists, and even if you were the only bisexual in the world, it would exist, because you say it does.  I think sexuality gets hooked up on the sex, but that's not really what it means anymore.  Sexuality I think is deeper than that, who you'll date, and who you'll spend your life with.  

I think labeling needs to go, though, even with the "not straight".  It shouldn't matter if someone has sex with a man, then goes on a date with a woman, then has sex with a woman then marries her.  I mean, hopefully not in the same day, but, you get the idea.  That man could consider himself straight.  Or bisexual.  Or he could just have been having some fun and decided to get married.  


I read an article recently about homophobia.  It hypothesized that homophobia wasn't actually fear of homosexuals.  But fear of being perceived as a homosexual.  Because as a man especially, once you are perceived as gay, or bi, that can't ever be changed.  Even if you tried it once to see if you liked it and never went back to it, if people knew about it, it will be what they think.  It can't be reversed.  I saw a lot of that resonating in this post.  

But, if I could change one thing about myself, it would definitely be the fat thing.  :)

AcceptingStranger
AcceptingStranger

I know that this post is quite old, I have been reading your blog all morning, I came across it due to a friend liking a post that was shared on Facebook and I just have to say, You are such an inspiring and wonderful person, your courage amazes me. I wanted to drop a line and let you know that it doesnt bother me what your sexuality is, I will continue to read your blog and will continue to see you as "Single Dad Laughing". Even tho I am only one random person, from the other side of the world, I hope that this knowledge makes a difference. 


And I hope that your friends and family have been just as accepting as you need them to be. :)

All the best for your continued journey, I hope you find all the happiness in the world and a partner who loves you and accepts you for who you are, You sound like a wonderful man and a great friend and anyone would be lucky to have you as apart of their life.

MorrisOxford
MorrisOxford

You are helping man, as much as you need the support you are giving. Thank you. 

MichelleDFW
MichelleDFW

I finally got the chance to read this. To me it doesn't matter whether one is gay, straight, bi, trans or questioning. It matters who the person is on the inside and how s/he treats others. It saddens me that families can make such declarations about their blood relatives when ideally families should love and support one another through good and bad. <3

deltaboy1
deltaboy1

I just saw this post. Your posts have lifted me up on so many down days. You have helped me live more openly as a gay man, and you have helped me love myself. By now, judging from the comments I have read, you know you are loved and appreciated. I just want to add my love, support, and thanks to everyone else's.

Thank you, Dan Pearce! I love you!

Don

SimonDeacon
SimonDeacon

I just saw the post today, read it, and I can say with the utmost faith you most definitely have my love.  


I'm so sorry you had to go through such an internal struggle.  I am a 43 year old bisexual man who at one time had similar thoughts.  As a teen and in my early 20's I wished to believe I was straight and struggled to be anything but.  I wasn't so much afraid of being ostracized by friends and family as I was overwhelmed with fear at the thought of embracing an identity I thought I could in no way handle.  The fear was so bad my body would shake uncontrollably when any man would come on to me sexually.  Fortuatly I had the courage to finally come out to myself at 24.  I did so because the  natural impulse of who I was as a spiritual person wished to grow and could in no way hide or deny my authentic self.  It was a scary transition but afterwards I was able to embrace and even celebrate my bisexuality in so many wonderful ways.  I pray you are doing that as well.  Your bisexuality is a gift from God my brother.  It's gift will grow through experience both in joy and in adversity.  Consider that adversity as another gift from the divine that sharpens your soul like a  sword.  It has most definitely sharpened mine.  Since I came out at 24 I have been very active both in the bi, queer and poly communities.  It's been such a rewarding experience especially when I can be there for young queer people who are confused and just coming out themselves.  


As I said - You have my love.


Love for your courage, sensitivity, warmth, compassion, and beautiful way with words.  Oh and you are also incredibly cute.  (sorry had to get that in there) ;-)


I wish you nothing but the deepest love and brightest blessings on your path.  I pray we will someday meet.  It would be a true honor and blessing.


Simon

savvysuburbanmama
savvysuburbanmama

This was a wonderful blog post.  In my heart I know that we love who we love - we don't have a choice.  We are attracted to who we are attracted to - we don't choose that.  No one 'chooses' to be gay.  They just are.  And if you are drawn to both men and women, I don't think that's a choice, either.  You love who you love. You can embrace it or deny it, but you are who you are.  I just found your blog, and I'll be coming back to read more and see more, but I wanted to say how much I loved this post.  You will always be Noah's father and acknowledging things about yourself doesn't make you less of a great father - perhaps it makes you more of one because you have allowed yourself to see truth in your life.   Your sexuality will not 'make' your son gay, (why oh why do people think that about gay parents???), will not make people you know gay or rub off in any way or change the way you look at your friends (male or female) or change what a great brother or son you are.  And I hope that everyone sees that.  I know it's not an easy road because sadly we live in a very opinionated world, but keep true to yourself.  There is no shame in embracing your truth.    I'm glad to have found your blog :-)

Jackie
Jackie

I love that you actually express your feelings this way. I personally believe that EVERY gay person goes through this process. I am not gay, it's just my belief. I appreciate the humbleness in your heart. God loves you and will help you through this time. Focus on being the best Dad for Noah and healing WILL happen. God bless!

ShannonRonan
ShannonRonan

It's a crying shame that people who said they loved you one day will say they hate you the next simply because of something as trivial as the gender of the person with whom you may find yourself in love. I'll continue to read your blog and laugh. And I hope you find that special someone, whomever she or he may be.

Siya Khumalo
Siya Khumalo

The unconditionality of God's love is surely the most difficult Christian doctrine there is. But you've got to relax and let Him love you just as you are, because He does and He yearns to continue doing so.

ElaineaMiddleton
ElaineaMiddleton

You are my hero. I so admire you for this and so many of your other posts (I haven't gotten to read them all yet, but believe me, I'm working on it!).  I sincerely hope that the people you fear will reject you instead surprise you.  I know it may be naïve, but I do hope that the love they have for YOU will overcome whatever their initial fears may be. Keep doing what you're doing - you help so many people everyday. I believe in you!

Doni
Doni

My feelings for you have not changed. I still admire you and respect your views. What do I care what your sexual orientation may be? I don't read your posts because of whom you are attracted to. It makes no difference to me.

What has changed since reading this heartfelt and brave disclosure (and I'm sorry that it has to take bravery)? I know you that much better. That's all. So if I feel a little closer to you, it isn't because of your preferences. I don't feel closer to you or more distant from you because you are anything other than straight. I feel closer to you because I know you a little better now. Because, in your actions to share this part of yourself with the public, you have shared it with ME.

Be true to yourself. If you aren't, who will be?

Doni

Cameron_Banks
Cameron_Banks

It makes me sad that people are in turmoil in these times over their sexual orientation. You are what you are. And that shouldn't change because of someone else's beliefs or thoughts. You shouldn't have to ask forgiveness for what you are. You're still a beautiful being that is deserving of love. Whether that love comes from a man or a woman is your choice and not the choice of others.

Being gay doesn't make you any less worthy of love, acceptance, and understanding. If anything, I think you're the braver one. You chose to speak up about who you are and what would make you happy. That decision may cost you family and friends. But you know what? You are not the one missing out. They are. By choosing to not accept you as you are than they really didn't love you in the first place. Loving someone means loving them wholly. And completely.

DrMommy82
DrMommy82

Growing up in a strict Christian home was an uphill battle.  You are supposed to be straight, marry, have children and raise them in the church (among the other numerous rules and regulations).  As a teen, I found myself desperate for affection and what I thought love was.  I was attracted to both males and females, but it wrong for me to be attracted to other women.  I married at 18 and was pregnant with my son shortly after.  During my pregnancy, my feelings toward other women became more than just an attraction.  After my son was born, I tried to talk to my husband about it...he became angered and I didn't bring it up again.  We eventually divorced.  In the almost 10 years since my divorce I have had relationships with both men and women.  I am happily involved with a wonderful man right now.  He accepts the fact that I am Bi-sexual, and we are very happy.

It is not about who you are attracted to, who you love, or who you spend your life with.  All that matters is what is on the inside.  Through your blog, you have conveyed to us all that you are a wonderful father and great human being.  I would very willing have and have had in the past a relationship with a bi-sexual man.  What counted was that he was a great person. 

Lali
Lali

 I, for one, believe that TRUE love can only be the love of one person for another, and not the love of any GENDER for a GENDER'S sake. You are braver and stronger than you know. Keep pushing your limits and you will be braver and stronger still.

Carrie
Carrie

Dan, thanks for your honesty. I appreciate the opportunity to read what led you to the closet door.

I was married to a marvelous, talented man for 28 years. He was also bisexual. He was a wonderful father and faithful friend. The fact that he kept "a secret" eventually played a role in his destruction/ death. The loss is no less painful 8 yrs later.

In case you don't hear it enough...Jesus does love you

Chris
Chris

The irony is that we think our struggles are ours alone, but reading this reinforces that people have more in common than differences.  I find this blog to be very strong and motivational.  These words reflect my own struggle when I first came out, at 18 y/o, in the early 90's.  I had the same fears.  Some people left, others surprised me by not leaving.  I expected everyone to leave.  My family did not miss a beat.  They may not have understood me or my sexuality, but I learned through the process that I can only be me, I'm not responsible for educating everyone, and bottom line is that it's this really small part of me.  My entirety is way more complicated than who I go to bed with.  You do rock!!

SandiM
SandiM

I just found your blog today and in going through some of your older posts, found this one.  Best thing I've read in years.  You rock.

Kristie
Kristie

<3. Simple. Just <3.

Sora Tuulinen
Sora Tuulinen

@goyoson Keep it classy, idiot; way to reduce a person to a sex act. You're the one who needs help, not the blog owner. And goyoson - haista paska!

BethanyCopley
BethanyCopley

@goyoson  What the ever living FUCK? Piss off, troll. He is perfect just the way he is!

goyoson
goyoson

@Siya Khumalo No Not really.  As Christians we believe that Jesus is God.  God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.  God detests homosexuals.  He demanded the death of homosexuals and destroyed Sodom.  To lie to people and tell them that He loves you just the way you are is a lie.  He cannot look upon people who detest Him.  It is time for people to stop misquoting the Bible and God's character.  Jesus died for our sins and Jesus himself said, Go and sin no more.  You cannot willfully continue in sin and expect God to love you just the way you are.  He gave His son so you could turn from the sin, not fool yourself and embrace it. 

goyoson
goyoson

That is what I am trying to save you all from. Hell is forever. Choosing to be gay is only for a short time.

goyoson
goyoson

@BethanyCopley @goyoson The guy is crying out for help and you all just ignore it.  Just trying to help.  Not trolling.  here a lot.  Just really disappointed in him.  I also feel bad for the kid. 

Sora Tuulinen
Sora Tuulinen

@goyoson Why are you here? It's obvious you have little reading comprehension, along with your head up your arse. You have ZERO fecking qualifications to speak for the Creator of Life. Humans hate; God doesn't. He didn't demand the death of gays - PEOPLE DID!

Quit slandering and libeling the god you claim to speak for. We can see through you, you pitiful excuse for a human being.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@goyoson @Siya Khumalo  Hey goyoson!


Are you taking the time to tell all of the divorcee's that you know how sinful their lifestyle is? Because Jesus said some very pointed things about that (and NOTHING AT ALL about homosexuality).

Sora Tuulinen
Sora Tuulinen

@goyoson No one chooses their orientation. When did you choose, goyoson? I need no saving from you! Self-righteous arrogant person, you!

davidamorse1701
davidamorse1701

@goyoson Go Away homophobe!!! I think you take  it up the butt. Go troll your hateful anti Christian BS!

Sora Tuulinen
Sora Tuulinen

@goyoson In the words of some of my ancestors: Turpa kiinni ja häivy! You probably dont know what I said, but people would appreciate it if you did it and quickly. Gays and bisexuals dont need your kind of ignorant 'help'. He's not harming anyone by it. 

MelanieGVF
MelanieGVF

@goyoson @BethanyCopley So you chose to be straight? Now, if it is so easy, go be gay for a week. Just so you can prove that you can turn it off and on like a switch. Hold hands with a person of your gender. Kiss them, fully on the mouth. Go ahead, it's to prove to all of us that being gay is a choice. You do that, and let us know the results. 

Door County Phil
Door County Phil

@goyoson @BethanyCopley I guess I don't understand (especially as a reader of Dan's blog) how you can say that we are ignoring his cry for help but, in the same statement, you come right out and say that you'redisappointed in him (for being honest?) and suggest that he needs reparative therapy? Dan's trouble doesn't stem from his God-given orientation but instead, it comes from the fear of being rejected by family and friends - a fear that gets worse by the suggestions of needing to be fixed or by witnessing Christian Parents, who raised their children under the auspices of unconditional Love, reject/disown their LGBT child.There isn't room to complete a moral debate here but, I find it ironic that a religion based on the teachings of Love and Acceptance of Jesus - the Son of God - who is quoted repeatedly in the Bible as REJECTING the teachings and practices of the Old Testament (because they lacked empathy, compassion and forgiveness) - and never said a single word against anyone in a same-sex relationship (even though they were prevalent in his time) - would find anything right with the discrimination and oppression of LGBT people.P.S. Look at the joyful difference in Dan's life since he came out and discovered that he is loved for who he is - as is - unconditionally.No change required.  Respectfully, Phil


JD Walker
JD Walker

@goyoson @BethanyCopley  Why?  Whether one is a real man or not has absolutely nothing to do with sexual activities.  Go away, Dan is not crying out for help.

BobbiZahra
BobbiZahra

@goyoson @BethanyCopley Of COURSE he isn't crying out for help.  He is a happy, healthy dad with a happy, healthy child.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with either one of them.  How sad it is that you see his love, his LIFE, as inherently flawed because he does not conform to your narrow view of normal.  I'll save my prayers for people who need 'em - like those who would "pray away the gay" and try to convince anybody who isn't heterosexual that there is something wrong with them that only faith in Jesus can remedy. (In fact, as I recall, Jesus himself says nothing in the Bible about homosexuality... and in fact, Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality are rather scarce compared to the hundreds about how heterosexuals ought to behave...) Shame on you.

goyoson
goyoson

Puhun vain Jumalalle. Rukoilen, että vihamielistä sydämesi on parantunut yhden päivän

goyoson
goyoson

Foolishness. Everyone is straight. Some may not like it and don't care what the God who created us thinks. That is your choice. But it is still a choice. Just wish people would admit that they are making a decision to be gay and be proud of it. When you try to justify it then you are just proving the point that it is wrong. It is just more honest.

goyoson
goyoson

If you were to read the bible you would see that it is clear I the New Testament as well. It is just wrong. But keep trying to convince yourself it is not. I am just human. Judgement is mine. Mine is to tell the truth even if is does not fit you lifestyle. It is still the truth.

goyoson
goyoson

That is because it very clear that it is wrong. Does not take much to see that. And wow, you are a very hateful person. I feel bad for you. You seem to preach tolerance, but have none for people who disagree with you. My trying to help is the most loving thn go this post.

Sora Tuulinen
Sora Tuulinen

@goyoson You're full of shite; everyone is NOT heterosexual. Nothing wrong with it,either. And, if you're not an Orthodox Jew, why follow those rules? 3500 years of abuse from the religious people like you. Is that any kind of sense or justice? Go troll somewhere else.

UniGoddess
UniGoddess

@goyoson Foolishness?  Decision to be gay?  I never thought I would encounter someone so ignorant!  No one "chooses" to be gay, they only choose to hide it or embrace it.  No one would "choose" to be gay knowing that the world is full of ignorant, Bible-thumping haters that would only make their lives that much harder.  We have many choices in life we can make and obviously YOU have chosen to 1.  remain ignorant to the biological and scientific proof of human sexuality, 2. judge people when your own God says he is the lone judge of humankind, 3. spread your hate across the world via the internet and 4. to be an asshole.  YOU can change from being an asshole, NO ONE can change being gay.  As often as you have posted on this thread, one might be able to argue that "me thinks" you "doth protest too much."  Are you hiding in the closet behind your Bible?  Is that YOUR issue?