The Power of Rock (Band)

If you’ve ever lived with me or around me in the last 5 years+ then you understand the love I have for the game “Rock Band.” (I also love the Guitar Hero games, but only 1-4) Anyways, I adore this game series. I have a ridiculous amount of songs in Rock Band 3 (around 600) because I’ve downloaded songs, but I’ve also exported all of the other exportable games (Rock Band 1+2, Green Day: Rock Band, and Lego: Rock Band). I also own Beatles: Rock Band.

Now, I don’t have the best singing voice. I would never go on American Idol or anything like that, but the Rock Band series has accomplished their goal with me. Every time I pick up those plastic instruments (at this point they’re so old and spotty that I do the best I can. ūüėÄ ) and I plug in that microphone (on my mic-stand) I feel like a Rock Star. This is something that I pretty much will NEVER accomplish outside of the game.¬†

Do I have vocal talent? Some. Country and Green Day songs seem to be my sweet spot. Although, anything with a British accent is usually something I can do pretty good as well. Do I have talent with instruments? Some drums, but I only learned those from Rock Band and watching their pro-mode (my drums have since died). The thing is, I’ll never find myself on a stage in front of millions of people for my musical skills, but Rock Band lets me do that vicariously from the comfort of my room, and usually with lots of friends involved. (Saucey, Tyler, everyone else; you know who you are. :] )¬†

When I played this game at the dorms I lived in (and that was often) one of the things someone said to me was that I had a “god-awful” voice. Not only was I hurt, but I let them know that they were missing the point. At the end of the day, I don’t play Rock Band to show off to people. I play it because it’s a game, and it’s incredibly fun and¬†immersive. I dare you to play a¬†set-list¬†of more than 5 songs and not feel like you’re the headliner at a concert somewhere playing your greatest hits.

Rock Band has literally changed my life. It’s an escape. It’s an outlet for stress. It’s relaxation at it’s finest. It can accommodate almost any emotion and make things better. This is why I keep downloading songs. This is why I keep buying the games. This is why, if they ever make one that doesn’t work with legacy tracks, I’ll end up keeping my Xbox 360. It’s brought joy to me and my friends countless times, and the rule I have when playing with large groups are these: 1. If you’re singing, you actually have to sing the lyrics and 2. I don’t care if you guys play right, just have fun.¬†

We’ve blared the songs to the heavens and rocked out many a time and those are memories I’ll cherish forever. This is the power of Rock (Band)!

Being “Out”

For a lot of the people that know me, my homosexuality is something they know, but rarely reference. It’s something that exists, but as I live in a group of close-knit Assemblies of God Pentecostals, it’s looked down upon. I’d like to take this post to let you peek through the window into my journey.

I was sexually molested by three older men in my life on an almost weekly basis from the ages of 8 to 14. 2 of these men were people that were related to me. One of them was someone whose father worked at the church I attended as a child. These events occurred alongside puberty, and thus made things very confusing for me during childhood.

I was raised in the Pentecostal A/G church, and as such I was constantly told that homosexuality was wrong and that I needed to change. However, none of the people in my life at the time really knew how to help me.

After finding out about my homosexuality my parents immediately placed me in counseling. I went to two sessions and never went back. This was when I was 15 or 16. Afterwards, my parents pretty much left me alone about this.

In college, I was openly out to the people around me, even though I was attending SAGU at the time, because everyone I’d ever told in confidentiality had used it against me at some point. I figured, if everyone knew, then nobody could burn me with it.

This proved to be correct, as pretty much everyone who knew treated me with kindness and love, save for a few people. I had entered a dangerous environment and was greeted with open arms. People still stated their disagreement with my lifestyle, but they loved me nonetheless.

Through a series of mistakes, my leadership found out.

They told me three things: 1. I couldn’t tell people I was gay. 2. They can’t have someone who is gay graduate from their program. 3. If I wanted to stay, then I HAD to go to counseling.¬†I went to counseling and actually had a session with the head of the counseling department at my college. He said I didn’t need counseling. *facepalm*

This brings me to Evangel University. It’s 2010, I’m out to basically everyone there in the same way, but I keep it from leadership this time around. Again, the accepting attitude is present and the student body is generally kind to me. I experienced 2 fantastic years there, and 1 semester of counseling that went surprisingly well. They counselor didn’t try to “change” me, but he made an effort to see me as a person, and not as an issue.

This brings me to today. It’s May 26th, 2012. I’ve been praying for almost 14 years, and I’m still gay.

The question that remains in my life at the moment is where do I go from here? I’m enrolled in grad school and leave at the end of August. I plan on graduating from there in a few years.

I don’t know where this is going to take me relationship wise. I’m not attracted to women at all. I wish I was. I feel like it would be easier for my family. They desperately want me to be straight and marry a nice woman someday. I wish that would happen to, but these 13 years have proven that other things might be in the cards. I just don’t know what yet. Would it be wrong for me to fall in love with a man, get married, adopt, and have a fruitful monogamous relationship? I don’t know. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about homosexuals? What about “ex-gay therapy” or similar methods? What do you think is the best route for someone in my position to take? And before you answer, think about it from the perspective of a person, and not just an issue. See it through the eyes of the men and women on the¬†battle-lines, and not in the war-rooms.