I had actually admitted to myself that I was attracted to men by age 13 since then I viewed it as a trial to be overcome to bring me closer to god. At that time I viewed the greatest blessings in life were to be gained by overcoming struggles, I still believe that today with the difference being that it is important to know what is the struggle. For example I eventually learn that gay=struggle (not true), gay=blessing true, to be true to all of my parts that make up this unique child of god in a world that would try to have me cut off parts so that I may fit into one of their boxes=struggle (True). How do I know? one view brought me further from god, people and caused me to crawl into a shell, while the other brought me closer to god , people and the desire to be an active caring human for him and his people. The following is the start of a memoir of the series of events that took a closeted, catholic, crowd pleasing, introvert and turned him into an out gay, mormon, that doesn’t care if he offends the crowd, extrovert who is working to live his life authentically and continue to learn more about himself and helping others do the same by being an advocate for authenticity.
It will start from my senior year in high school 05-06 and will finish to the present day (5th year senior at Purdue University).
A Priest Hopeful Goes to College
I was catholic growing up. In my family my mom, my little brother, and myself where the big church goers in the family with my older brother and dad less of the church going type but growing up we would always go Saturday evening. I had been pretty active in the church during my high school years and was president of the youth council. I had been very attracted to the priesthood at that time and looked like a likely candidate to the clergy of that church. I had no attraction to woman and had a great love for God so it seemed to me like an obvious choice. (which it is my theory that a lot of gay men in the catholic church feel that the priesthood is their calling just on the fact that they’re gay which may lead to a false calling and great remorse on the priest part and might have led to the sexual abuse of children and may be a reason why a good portion was boys, so in a way my heart goes out to them had my circumstances been different who knows if I could’ve wound up in a similar situation, I am thankful that that was not the case).
During my senior year in high school I developed an interest in the Hospitality and Tourism industry and I found out that Purdue University offered that kind of program and is actually #1 in the nation for it. I remember one of the youth members say that they I had thought I was going to go on my way to become a priest and I remember the advisor saying that it would be good for me to have the college experience and I might be called to serve one of the churches that also serve as a tourist destination for Catholics. That was the last memory I have of me active in my old church. I started my first semester in the fall of 2006 and both that semester and the semester after that were good academic semesters for me and I really got into the industry of hospitality. One of my goals during my year in college was to take a study abroad trip to Spain since I was also minoring in Spanish. I went to a study abroad fair particular to the Hospitality and Tourism Management program (HTM) were I found a study abroad trip to Switzerland for the summer of 2007 that would offer me 9 credit hours. I could not find a good program for spain at the time and I was interested in the Swiss Program as it was one of those this year only offer. I had traveled outside the country before and loved it so I was just happy that I will be able to get out and travel again. I didn’t know at the time that this would be a trip that would change my course in life forever.