Society holds up the athlete, the jock, the handsome hunk as the ideal man. Believing that lie, I didn't stand a chance while growing up. I was average in appearance, awkward as an athlete, and short. Physical education classes in junior high and high school were nightmares. I was always chosen last. When we lost games, I was often the scapegoat. The gym teacher at my Christian school once joked about my lack of coordination in front of the class. My peers laughed. My heart sank. My already poor self-image was battered with the abuse. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

It was during those years that I started struggling with homosexual desires, beginning when I saw two male classmates in my Christian junior high school engaging in sex. Even though I had been attracted to girls when I was younger, my feelings for males intensified. In high school, the guys ridiculed gays. On the outside I laughed, but on the inside I was dying.

No matter how much I battled, suppressed, and prayed against these feelings, they not only didn't go away, they strengthened. At times I would cry out to God, begging him to change me. But no change came. God was silent.

Thoughts of men occupied my mind every day. Sometimes I fought them. Usually I gave in. Not only did the fantasies bring pleasure, but they were also a convenient escape from the pain of life.

When I saw an attractive guy on the street, I took a second look. I regularly scanned men's clothing ads in the Sunday paper. When I went off to college, I began to peruse porn at newsstands and then visited adult bookstores, looking for a picture of the perfect man.

While I had never acted out my fantasies with another man, I knew my desires were something I couldn't share with others. My Christian ...

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April 2007

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