Growing Up Blind – John Warren (part 5, After College)

This is the conclusion of a 5 part essay for the Essays on a WV Childhood project.  To go to the beginning of the essay and start with part 1, click here.

Growing Up Blind (part 5, After College) 


30 years of John's journals, 1980-2010


 Ironically, so many Christians befriending me in spite of my struggles had an effect they didn’t anticipate.  I felt intense guilt for being attracted to other men, but I was greatly encouraged that there were people who knew the ugly truth about me and still chose to be my friend.  There was a part of me that began to think, “Hey, if these people will still be my friend, then maybe this is not such a horrible thing after all.”  

In the years after I graduated from college there were many times I felt that I had to choose between my faith and my sexuality, and for many years I chose Christianity. The prolonged conflict between these aspects of my personality, however, took its toll.  At the age of 32 I took a job in a new city and took the next seven years off from church.  

Today, I describe myself as an agnostic.  My beliefs have changed, and I am no longer convinced that it is a sin to act on my sexual desires.  I am now 42 years old and for the first time in my life I am ready to date someone of the same gender.  

Whatever happens, you can be sure I’ll record every major development in my journal.

Image credits: John Warren

10 thoughts on “Growing Up Blind – John Warren (part 5, After College)

  1. Thanks, Ed! Thanks, Eric! I was telling my brother the other night that 2010 has been a good year. I’m sleeping better, eating better, getting more exercise, and just generally happier and more comfortable in my skin.

  2. John, thanks so much. This all was brilliantly written. I’m also amazed by the grace you gave to those around you while you went through your decision making. You are a great person.

    • Eve, that is spot on. I hadn’t formulated it into words, but his grace and compassion towards everyone else in the midst of such a difficult time really shines through. John is a very special person.

  3. Thanks, Dave. I love you, too.

    For those of you who don’t know Eve, she and her husband Zack are two of the nicest people I know. They are currently in Cambodia, working with Youth With a Mission. Here’s the link to their blog:

    Thanks, Sara!

  4. Wow! I found these five days of writing to be powerful. It also caused me to reflect on my own adolescence and beyond when sorting out issues of sexuality seemed very difficult, and they were. Telling stories like this are so important for the adolescents and youth of today who are finding their way. Thanks John.

    • JB, thank you so much for this comment. Presenting the essay as a week-long series was an experiment, and one I think that worked well. I think it contributed to the feeling of going on the journey “with” John rather than just observing it. Thank you for reading, and for your kind words.

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