The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. –Jim Davis
Truth is not something abstract. It is real. It is definable. If something is true, well, then it is true. Just because you say an apple is blue and tastes like a blueberry doesn’t make it so. Our culture is really funny when it comes to truth. We are taught from an early age that we should “never tell a lie.” We are told stories about George Washington and chopping down that cherry tree. We are instructed that there is nothing more noble than the truth and that sometimes the truth hurts.
The problem is that most of the people that are saying those things are lying about telling the truth. I find it very ironic. I keep thinking of the scene in A Few Good Men where Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicolson) was put on the stand to testify about the Code Red. Here is the excerpt.
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. When it comes to sexuality and more specifically gay sexuality, most people can’t. So, rather than allowing kids growing up to be true to who they are… or at least openly express and explore the feelings that they have… they are not only told to tell the truth, but they are told what that truth is. Even when it comes to issues that no one could know but the child. I don’t think that in most cases there is bad intent here. The vast majority of parents are merely doing what our culture has always done — attempt to raise good little girls that like good little boys and good little boys that like good little girls.
If it were only so simple. Unfortunately, this results in many kids growing up confused, frustrated, repressed on one end and rebellious, promiscuous and destructive on the other. In my case, I was in the confused, frustrated and repressed category… so much so that I ended up getting married, having three kids and in my mid thirties before I finally handled my truth. And of the guys like me, I am on the very young end. Most are in their 50s when they finally can’t take it any more.
Today, I feel so grateful to be where I am. In the midst of the pain is hope, and regardless the ability to finally be authentic to who I am is incredible. It hurts like hell and it is hurting those around me… but continuing to live a lie was just no longer an option. In the next post I’ll go back to my life growing up in a small town in North Carolina and how it shaped my family and shaped my life.