Growing up Gay on the Hof

Posted for a friend:

Anyone who grew up on the hof will probably know the things they tell you about what gay people are – pedophiles, prostitutes, family destroyers, and they all get AIDS. I heard it all. I was told that it was easier to understand a murderer than a homosexual.

The servants often preached about being genuine (just like Hans im Gluck!) but when their main issue is anti-LGBT rights (excuse me, “family values”), it makes being yourself impossible for queer people.

I hated myself for a long time and was incredibly homophobic for a good part of high school partly because I didn’t want to be gay at first and partly as a cover. It was my dad who figured out what was “wrong” with me in my junior year of high school. When he asked me if I was “struggling with homosexual thoughts” I said yes. I didn’t think it through at all. All I knew was that I needed to change something about my life because I was spiraling into darker and darker places in my mind.

I stayed in the community for a year and a half more, pretending to want to “fight the desires” and meeting regularly with the servants to convince them that I was trying to become straight. That didn’t help at all with the depression, in fact it made it worse. I ended up asking to get a job outside the community and disengaging from communal life until I turned 18. Instead, I got to leave and start my life out here.

So far living in the big bad world has been a great experience. Therapy has helped me peel back the layers of repressive thought that hindered my happiness both on the hof and in the years since I left. There have been ups, there have been downs. I have dated some wonderful men and my life has flourished in many other ways as well. I have kept making changes here and there and bit by bit I have come to better understand myself, my position in the world, my ambitions, as well as what it takes to be happy.

Despite sounding like a poster-boy for some gay rights organization I’ll end by saying it gets better.


Posted for a friend:

LGBTQ , speaking those letters will always leave a very bitter taste in my mouth yet I’m a part of that community. I am bi-sexual, THERE, I’ve said it. I’ve been bullied, judged, and harassed over this to the point it makes me scared and sick to even admit the truth. Growing up this way in the community wasn’t easy because you felt you were different from all the other kids around you but you didn’t know why and you didn’t know what to do about it. You weren’t taught about sexuality in a healthy way and even what most people considered “normal sex” was made secretive and dirty by my parents and by the elders. “Gay” meant that you were happy and that was it. . . but then why all these different strong feelings and urges? Am I mentally ill because I’m feeling this way? How can I ask questions when I’m not given the vocabulary to voice my true feelings? Why are people looking at me like I’m strange, weird, an alien in their world of lies. Why do you preach that Jesus came to lift up the down-trodden yet you are the very ones who are treading on me and making my life a living hell. You are NOT Christians! I’m fragile, beautiful. loving, caring, sensitive, yet you treat me like a plague.Tears flow freely as I write this post for the pain still lingers.