I recently came across an old music composition notebook, filled with songs I wrote when I was a student at Brigham Young University. Poignant and sad to me were the lyrics of a song I wrote about girls who date boys who like boys. It is dripping with the self-deprecation and self-loathing I felt at the time. The words were an attempt to shame myself into awakening to attraction and romantic love for women–an outcome which was never to be had.
A portion of the lyrics:
She’s a pretty girl, she listens well.
She’s a witty girl, but sometimes it gets her into trouble.
She’s a strong girl, she’s what you need.
Can’t you love the girl? There’s something there that you don’t see–
She’s trying to walk on water for you,
She doesn’t know how to swim, but she’s trying to.
Walking through walls to stand where you are–
You’re her shining star.
It’s torturous, you never give her one approving look.
That brand new dress–girl tried her best:
The effort that it took.
She wore her hair up, cuz you said in passing it’d be nice.
But you pick her up, start the car, and don’t even look twice.
As much as gay men can learn conditioned behaviors and modify actions, the heart and soul of loving aren’t contained in the veneer of a learned performance. Were it so, there wouldn’t be a women’s retreat, specifically aimed at helping the wives of gay men remember that–in spite of their husband’s inabilities to love them with his entire spirit and soul–that they still have worth. (See A Wife’s Healing Journey.)