This one time Guy #81 took me to a meeting for Jehovah’s witnesses. Faith had always been an essential part of his life and I was very curious to learn more about his religion.
He called it a meeting, but it was really a hangar filled with thousands of Jehovah’s witnesses.
Entire families attended this gathering, which consisted of people preaching about God and youngsters performing a play about how to ask God for advice when someone wants to have premarital sex with you.
Then there were the obligatory references to humanity’s demise and God’s chosen few being granted a life in paradise.
To me, it was fascinating to be among thousands of devout believers as the only one wearing jeans. Even the many children there wore ties. To Jehovah’s witnessess God is someone to suit up for.
Personally, I don’t believe the world will end in the next ten years or that the survivors will inherit a planet with pet pandas. It felt eerie to be among thousands of people that do. It was also weird to think about the stuff Guy #81 and I had done with each other, sexually, and how such things were considered sinful by everyone around me. I felt like an alien among aliens.
Guy #81 must have felt like an alien among his own family.
As we left Guy #81 pointed to a few people sitting in the crowd. They were his parents and his siblings. He couldn’t go to them. He couldn’t say ‘hi’. He couldn’t even acknowledge their presence, nor could his family do the same for him. Guy #81 had abandoned his religion and with it his entire home. He cried when we walked by his family.
A lot of people saw his tears. The jaded looks on their faces suggested it wasn’t the first time they had seen someone cry at one of their meetings.
Guy #81 had come out of the closet a few years earlier. I was living in Suriname, South America at the time. Guy #81 left his closet by flying to me. His family back home had to break into his house and call the police to find out he was with me, in a banana republic, and gay.
I even got a phone call from the police, asking if Guy #81 was okay and not kidnapped. Minutes later I got another call. This time it was Guy #81’s mother.
I met Guy #81 in a gay sauna. We had shared sex, drugs and friendship together. Now I had his mother on the phone, right at the moment she found out her son was gay and giving up his place in paradise because of it. As I listened to his mother’s voice I realized I was listening to someone who, for all intents and purposes, had just lost a child.
Our conversation didn’t last long. His mother asked me if her son was okay. I reassured her that her son was safe. She asked if she could speak with her son, who at that moment was lying next to me on my bed, crying and wanting to be left alone.
It felt wrong being a gatekeeper to a mother, but I didn’t see any way I could be of help to her. She quite literally had but God to count on.
Guy #81 would later tell me that the few weeks he spent with me in Suriname were the most terrible of his life. He cried a lot, had a lot of nightmares in which he was hunted down by Satan and would often just stare at a photo of him and his family.
It was difficult for me to not be angry with his parents. I couldn’t imagine growing up in an environment so dictated by religion. I’m fairly atheist, but I’m open minded enough to feel God’s love every now and then. Sex for instance has always been a very spiritual experience for me.
Being with Guy #81 as he stepped out of his closet was, if nothing else, spiritual. The difference between me and him and his family was that I always welcomed God in my gay sex life.
It was the fall of 2010 and Guy #81 was about to enter the real world, leaving everyone and everything behind. I think I was pretty much the only friend he had in the real world at first.
I worried about Guy #81’s capability to adapt to his new environment.
A community of Jehovah’s witnesses shields you from reality. Guy #81 was a bit like Mowgli taking his first steps among humans. For a long time I half expected him to return to his closet at some point. I figured the safety of his religion would eventually weigh up against the cold of life outside a bubble.
For Guy #81 being gay was never a choice, but living a gay lifestyle had to be. He spent many years of his life knowing he would have to choose between a life in paradise with his family but deprived of physical intimacy or a life of satisfaction in the absence of safety. God just never made it easy on him.
I could resent God for putting Guy #81 in such an unnecessary conundrum.
Then again, I can’t help but like the God I felt when I slept with him.
And if anything, Guy #81 to me is proof that God has little problems with homosexuality. Guy #81 would end up making himself a new home. It would never be a substitute for the world he left behind, but last time I asked he told me he doesn’t regret his decision. He still misses his family. It still hurts. But at least he belongs.
Six years ago, the two of us met one night to share our sexuality. We ended up sharing way more than that. Sex with Guy #81 was anything but spectacular at first. His guilt used to overshadow any hint of arousal.
It wasn’t until much later that sex with him would become awesome and fulfilling: A few months ago we sat in a whirlpool, Guy #81 on my lap. Without using any words we reflected on our journey of the last six years. I’m thankful I got to be there when it mattered. And I was proud of him for having listened to his intuition, to have that kind of bravery. We kissed. Guy #81 was still as hot as the day I met him, but this time I didn’t feel his guilt.
It was one of the best kisses ever.