As a man who experiences same-sex attraction, I used to feel that I exclusively needed same-sex companionship and friendship. I used to think happiness and fulfillment could only be found if I was involved in a long term relationship with another man, be it platonic or sexual.
However, I recently experienced a paradigm shift as I reviewed couples' essays and videos from the Voices of Hope project.
I still desire companionship and intimate (not sexual) friendships with other men, and I always will. I feel that these friendships will help me fill needs I have to be connected to and experience unity with others of my same gender. I experience attraction to men. It's simply the way I experience life. Intimate friendships with men will fill specific needs that no woman could fill.
However, my paradigm shift this weekend, brought to you by Voices of Hope, taught me that I need companionship and intimate relationships with women as well, to fill other needs that men can't offer me. I never really thought that could be possible before now (even though it's pretty obvious and straight-forward, no pun intended).
I will not fill my needs for masculine unity with women, but I feel that as I draw near to them and develop intimacy and maybe even a romantic/sexual relationship with a woman that I can experience growth and new experiences, and a sense of "completeness" that I couldn't experience in any other way.
I feel that becoming close with women will help me grow and experience new things, expanding my horizons and definitions of what it means to love someone deeply without it being primarily driven by a sex drive.
I do not know exactly what the future holds, but I felt that the Lord gently reminded me today that I need to open myself to both men and women and become close to them in appropriate ways, within the bounds the Lord has set.
He can make of me so much more than I could ever make of myself. And I need to realize and accept that part of my essential growth can come from women.
This is not THE answer for everyone. I fully accept and acknowledge that. But I do feel it is one of MY answers.
I guess women don't have cooties after all. Go figure :)