Written By: "Joshua" (Posted March 2008)
I have so many things I want to tell you and share with you, that I'm not sure where to start.
I will start by saying that I love you very much and I don't ever want you to forget that. I say it from the bottom of my heart with the greatest sincerity. I love you Dad.
Last weekend I had a wonderful experience, of which I cannot share very much for reasons of confidentiality, but of which I can say was the most important experience of my life! I participated in a weekend retreat called "Journey Into Manhood" which I found out about on the internet. Needless to say I was a little apprehensive about going on my own to a place where I didn't know anyone, out of mobile signal, and we were told to switch everything off and have no contact with the outside world for two and a half days. But I knew that I had to do this, for myself, and I knew that I had a choice to opt out at any time.
I want to tell you something that will probably change the way you see me forever, and I know that you will likely be confused for some time. Let me tell you now I have been confused for quite a long time! Hold out till the end and please call me at any time so we can talk about it more. I am writing this to you because my thoughts are very clear at the moment and I think it will be better for your understanding and you can take as much time as you need to take it all in and process this information.
Since I was about 13, I have experienced attractions to men which caused me to wonder whether I might be homosexual. (Deep Breath!) I never told anyone for many years. In my head I have had an inner conflict going, sometimes incessantly, sometimes it would go away, but always the attractions kept coming back. I thought there was something wrong with me.
I NEVER wanted to be gay. I will NEVER be gay. I know and have known all along that being gay is not compatible with being myself. I feel a strong need in my life to make union with a woman and to raise a family, to have male friends as brothers. The problem was that my need to bond with men in a wholesome way became sexualized, because I felt this need so strongly. The result was a difficult and addictive cycle of lust, masturbation and shame.
There, that is it. This has been my story for a number of years, and as time has gone on, I have realized that I need to confront this thing head on. I need to change the way I live in a number of ways in order to break the cycle and to be free as a man.
That was the purpose of going on this weekend retreat. All of the men there (apart from some of the staff) are struggling with SSA (same-sex attraction) which they know is destructive to their lives and they want to get rid of. Although I knew that there were lots of guys who shared my experiences, being amongst them and meeting them face to face was empowering and reassuring. It has helped me to find the strength to write this letter to you Dad, to be fully open and honest with you for the first time in many years. I never want to go back to the way it has been, with me withholding things from you.
Giving you the "Manhood" book by Steve Biddulph was halfway towards me getting to this step of telling you about my SSA. From now on, there will be only complete honesty and integrity in our relationship.
We have lost some time, but I am thankful and grateful that we still have plenty of time to really get to know each other and to share our struggles, needs and true feelings.
When I come home in August, I would like you to have read the "Manhood" book. We are going to go away somewhere, away from civilisation for a couple of days to say EVERYTHING that we feel about each other. Nothing must be left unsaid. I have so much I want to say, but we must do it in person. Are you willing to do this?
This is absolutely not a subject to talk about with mum or anyone else for that matter. This is about us, me and you, only.
As I said, take as much time as you need to think, reflect, whatever. I will be happy to answer your questions.
Your loving son,