(This is my latest talk with my friend Andrew. What can I say? It tore my heart out, but it’s where he’s at right now.)
Me: Hi, Andrew. It’s Dennis.
Andrew: You don’t want to talk to me.
Me: I want to talk to you about those two recent posts on Facebook.
Andrew: What about them?
Me: They were out of line, man. They caused people who care for you to say things without knowing the context of your statements. It’s time to come clean and own up to some things.
Andrew: Why? Who cares anyway?
Me: Come on, man. That’s not a fair statement. And it’s a cop out.
Andrew: I don’t feel like I have any feeling left. Life is just a shit pile.
Me: Man, I know you’ve had a tough year and have had to deal with some awful emotional stuff. I know the pastor you loved deserted you without warning. And then you found out you are HIV positive. Then you were gang raped and soon after that your mother died. And now your wife has left you. That’s enough tragedy for a lifetime. I get that.
Andrew: I should never have married her. I should have listened when you were warning me about moving too fast just after leaving the gay life. Everything you warned me about has happened. I was just fooling myself into thinking things were better than they really were. And now I have a ruined marriage on top of everything else. I’m a complete idiot.
Me: Andrew, come on. You know why this happened. And people need to know there’s a pattern of deception behind things you say. I don’t mean to come across as preachy. Dishonesty and deception are a common problem for guys who have lived a gay life. It’s how we covered up what we were really thinking and doing. And it’s been a problem for you as long as I’ve known you.
Andrew: What do you mean?
Me: Really? Well, when you were first converted you wanted to keep your true identity a secret. I didn’t have a real problem with that, because leaving the gay world can often lead to retaliation. Going by an alias isn’t wrong in itself. But then when you first got on Facebook, you often posted stock photos and kind of used them as your own. The source is easy to trace, so that wasn’t too smart. And then there were some other things that only another ‘gay’ guy would pick up on that just didn’t seem right.
Andrew: Like what?
Me: Well, one example is that post you made a while back when you said you didn’t understand why God sent temptation your way. You said you were ‘propositioned’ by a cute guy on your way to work one morning. You remember I called you out on that, because people don’t come on like that unless they have some reason to think you’re interested. And you remember you did confess to me that you had been flirting around with him.
Andrew: I remember.
Me: And then there was the gang rape. I’m the only one who knows the truth about that situation. Well, I was until you finally told Dan and Trisha what really happened that day.
Andrew: But they did rape me.
Me: Yes, but you went there that morning knowing you should stay away from there. And when those two guys came on to you, you gave in willingly. Granted they drugged you afterwards and had those other guys come over for a rape fest, but it wasn’t as innocent as you made it out to be. But I’ve said enough about it. You need to own up to these things to all the people who have supported you.
Andrew: What does it matter? I’ve ruined my life. Trisha will never trust me again and will probably divorce me eventually. She should have known better than to marry a queer.
Me: Hey, man, don’t blame her. You could have put the brakes on last summer. And you could have reined in your flirty ways.
Andrew: I’m attracted to guys. It doesn’t stop or go away.
Me: Yeah, but you can restrain the flirting. And now you have a wife. What are you going to do about that?
Andrew: You tell me. She doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore.
Me: Are you sure about that? Or is it more like you don’t want anything more to do with her? You want to hold on to your gay identity?
Andrew: I don’t know about anything for sure.
Me: How about telling people about what’s going on instead of making cryptic posts on Facebook?
Andrew: You can post this talk and that will let people know. I think I’m just going to go away.
Me: You’re ripping up my heart, man. Go where?
Andrew: Someplace where no one knows me. There’s nothing left for me here now.
Me: So you’re running away?
Andrew: I’m just running. I don’t know what to do.
Me: Run to God.
Andrew: What has that gotten me? The worst year of my life!
Me: It got you saved.
Andrew: I’m not sure about that. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. You can post this if you want so other people will know what’s going on.
Me: You really want them to know?
Andrew: I guess I owe it to them.
Me: Will you stay in touch?
Andrew: I don’t know about anything right now. I feel numb and like I’m going to explode at the same time.
Me: And you know what to do about that.
Andrew: It’s easy to know but hard to do. I’m going to go now. Thanks for caring about me.
Me: You’re in my heart, sir. I hope we talk again.
Andrew: I’ll see ya. Bye.