When I turned 30, I had an immensely satisfying, tremendously successful, career.
There can be few vocations more satisfying than engineering. When I complete a job, there is something there, something tangible and useful, something that serves mankind.
Something about which I could say, with pride, “I built that.” In a century, people might still ask, in wonder, “Who built that?”
But I could feel my life slipping away. I was almost halfway to three score and ten.
I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t happy. In my early 20s, I had given up happiness to free myself of torment. I gave up even a thought of physical or emotional attachment to another person. The most I hoped for was contentment.
As I approached 30, I had the increasing sense that I was wasting my humanity, my capacity to love and be loved.
I had the increasing sense that my refusal to embrace joy and love or to evoke them in others was worse than whatever sin I was trying to avoid. I was betraying God, scorning the spark of humanity He had given me, refusing to embrace the essence of His image. My emptiness darkened. My pride in my accomplishments was fading into inconsequence.
But I could not see how I could break out of that emptiness and inconsequence.
I like men and generally find them attractive as human beings. But I could not find emotional or physical intimacy with a man. Emotional or physical attraction to a woman was a sin.
Finally, I made an appointment to see my minister. Perhaps he could help me find a way out of my physical and emotional dilemma. And, if not, help me to regain my pride and a measure of contentment.
He was the first person to whom I came out of closet.