Struggling student seeks support in JBU community

I’m a male student at John Brown University and I struggle with same-sex attraction. I first noticed it during my middle school years. Appalled and bewildered, I attempted to suffocate these attractions by burying them inside of myself.

It didn’t work.

Let me clarify something: I like girls a lot. I want a girlfriend, and moreover, a wife someday.  Currently, I ‘m seeing a delightful and godly girl. I hope we start dating soon.

However, there is still a portion of me that is inexplicably attracted to men and I know that it will always be a part of me. I didn’t ask for it and I certainly don’t want it, however, it is still a part of who I am.

I want to make something clear. This struggle is personal and reflects solely myself. Namely, my predicament doesn’t reflect others who have same-sex attraction.

We all handle that attraction differently.

Furthermore, I would like to express that I don’t have any plans on acting on these attractions towards men. Biblically, I believe that God created monogamous relationships to take place between a man and a woman.

I have already concluded that if I never marry a woman, I will never marry.

Several of my friends know of my struggle. Those I have shared my story with have responded with nothing but Christ-like love and kindness. In fact, two close friends of mine share in this same struggle. Talking with them, I sense the same dread and fear I have felt for so long.

The struggle of same-sex attraction is perplexing. Before I came to terms with it, I felt like my identity was scrambled and indefinable. It felt afraid. I felt like a perverted freak, or a strange mutant of sexual identity.

However, it was only through talking with these two friends that I realized that same-sex attraction was something fairly normal.

In my experience, this particular struggle is rarely discussed in consideration to the LGBTQ+ community, at John Brown University or anywhere. At JBU, during forums, chapel speeches or lectures in class, it seems that the struggle of same-sex attraction is omitted. However, there are many people, like myself, who grapple with this struggle and are left alone to fight for our sexual identity. No one has normalized the struggle for us. Either we have to find each other on our own, or God brings us together to share in the struggle.

I believe that educating the JBU body on the idea and even the normalcy of same-sex attraction would greatly benefit everyone on campus. I believe that understanding same-sex attraction may serve as a connection point between the JBU LGBTQ+ community and the rest of campus, especially those who struggle to understand and empathize with the LGBTQ+ community.

For me, I’m not ready to breach this issue alone, but I believe people, like myself, would be more inclined to share their struggles and to generate healthy conversation about this complex topic if it were more frequently deliberated.