Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Down Memory Lane & Bleeker Street

I spent the day in NYC with 2 different film crews--one German, one US. The US crew, a husband & wife duo filmed me in Central Park & asked questions about the Ex-Gay Survivor Movement & our recent conference in Irvine.

The Germans met me in Greenwich Village to film in front of the Stonewall Inn & along Bleeker St. Back in 1983 & 1984 when I was a freshman at Nyack College, a Christian & Missionary Alliance school, the administration encouraged students to go into NYC every Saturday to do missions. While most folks taught Bible to children in the Bronx or Queens, I headed to Greenwich Village, the center of all things gay.

We stood on the corners of the Village with Christian literature and tried to save the homosexuals. Yes, ironic as I struggled daily with my own same-sex attractions, I connected with gays on the street for my ministry.

The film crew next brought me to Times Square where we visited the church I attended for years and where I married. Strange as I walked through the lobby and descended the stairs to the Rotunda where we held the reception. I saw it all again. It was the happiest day of my life, so full of hope and faith. We believed in miracles and were ready to trust God fully.

The reporter asked something about how I felt standing there in front of the church. I felt grounded, filled with the past with the joy and pain and shame and remorse--the sadness of a failed marriage and my inability and unwillingness to make it work.

I believe now that it was impossible for me, for us and terribly unfair to her and to me.

I don't dwell on these feelings or talk about them much even with close friends. Still so raw and tender. But I don't want to forget either. That marriage shaped us for good or bad or both. There is no greater love than this, that one lay down one's life for a friend. And indeed my wife did that for me. So often women are called upon to save their men.

And some women marry gay men, even knowing in advance. I don't know why.

I head back home with my ghosts in tow.