Flowers in the Outfield

My parents used to tell me that in little league, I couldn’t be bothered to actually PLAY the game. In fact, much of my time was spent in the outfield picking flowers, humming to myself, and just biding my time until it was time for snacks and fruit punch.

In kindergarten, pretend time was divided into two sections - the barber shop and the beauty salon. And even though I was supposed to go to the boy’s side of the room, I more often found myself gravitating towards the beauty salon where I enjoyed being pampered, coating my nails with clear polish, and sitting under the hair dryers with my friends.

For much of my life, there seemed to be an unspoken expectation that I would end up gay. All of my closest friends throughout my life were girls, and my interests included musical theatre, piano, singing, and dance - although the latter part of that could easily be debated since I seemed to lack any sort of coordination. Problem was that I never felt like that the gay community was one that fit, either. I longed for romance and girly things - and oftentimes found myself lost in books that were told from a female’s first person perspective - V.C. Andrews, The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley, etc.

Although I was heavily involved in church, I longed for the intimacy that the girls had with their faith - while the guys in our group sat around discussing guy issues with lust and then moving quickly to sports and video games. Aspiring to a career in full-time ministry, I brushed those desires aside, telling myself, “maybe I’m just special because I’ve been called towards ministry.”

But where DID I belong? It’s a question that’s haunted me for a long time - perhaps as long as I can remember. And it wasn’t until recently that the pieces of puzzle finally started coming together. I’ll be blogging more along the way, but I wanted to start on this because you have all started on this journey with me. I don’t think it will be easy, but it’s a conversation that I desperately want to happen - one that has been too long in the works for me.

And maybe, just maybe - someone out there will not go to sleep tonight feeling alone in the world; like a wild flower in the outfield just waiting to be part of some imaginative child’s bouquet.

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