What if a man is not a man ?
I first came across this idea talking to my best friend, he doesn’t claim me as his but I’m used to rejection, who happens to be a psychiatrist at Yale. Quick side note, he reminds me of diversity and how life is shaped by information and choices. We grew up in ilorin, Kwara state together. His mom and mine were best friends or at least best co workers. They were the rich home and we were the hanging in there home. Back then, I thought I was growing up poor not knowing that I lived in Estate. I find it all fascinating because we’ve had a meandering life experience yet when we pick up the phone and catch up, I am fascinated by the bond we share and the tension it produces.
Ayo is a womanizer. Dolapo is a saint. At least that was how I grew up compartmentalizing things. Dolapo Will grow up to be an inspirational leader. Ayo will grow up to have money and women and do little with his life. All these got shattered when many years later we reconnected and Ayo is a doctor or at least an aspiring one and I am a fledging entrepreneur excited to quit and just become a prototypical 9–5 husband.
Fast forward to a couple months ago and Ayo now in fellowship at Yale, and we are talking about everything and nothing. The topic of homosexuality comes up. He said, there is very clear evidence that what we think of male and female is wrong. Basically, Psychiatry no longer treats people as male or female. So he is a Christian, I am a Christian; I pause him excited. I know, why would a Christian be excited with such secular beliefs? What is wrong with you ??
This is what: truth doesn’t need me to defend it, anymore than LeBron needs Nate Robinson for protection. Truth is the bigger man, the bigger spirit, the eternal reality, the unquenchable longing, the invisible sculptor. Truth is immensely powerful and large, my right or wrong opinion of it doesn’t define it. It is Christian to listen to science and seek harmony between it and the spirit of Scripture. God is a spirit and those that worship Him must do so in Spirit and truth.
Truth is not comfortable. It is not accepted or seeks to be welcome. Truth doesn’t care what it will shatter or what paradigm it will shift. Once upon a time, black was an animal. It was truth. The imagery and legend of blackness outspoke the reality of our humanness. Some people found truth which contradicted the spews in the pews and released it into the ethers. At the time, men worried about a world where a black man, me, could go on tinder and attract a white girl with a nice bum. That world was sacrilegious. The imagination of this world United men to guard and resist truth however factual it was but truth was too powerful. Truth was not shy. Truth was, is eternal and what began as a hiss in a hole far far away became a giant anaconda dancing harmlessly at every street light. Truth! I am black, I am human and as human, I get to chase, hunt, desire, pursue any woman that wants whatever character, attribute, physique I am clothed in.
We must not let fear make us into s oldest of truth. Truth is like that candle that won’t go off but more than keeping it alive we must do our part to spread it.
So what if a man is not a man? What if a man is not a merely the possession of a penis? What if a man is not living blue and hating pink ? What if a man is not having 6 packs and being able to dunk ? What if a man is not having a high sex drive ? What if a man is not turned on by a vagina ? What if a man is not tall, strong and handsome ? What if a man is not 6’? What if a man is not macho in his foot steps? What if a man can mimic the movements of a serpent ? What if a man is more? Or less? What if what makes a man is not merely his body but his mind too?
When I ask you, what not who is a man, what comes to mind ? Do you find it entirely adequate whatever definition comes to mind ? We have used the common, the populace as data points to feed the algorithm of our consciousness and perpetuated this definition repeatedly enough to persecute anyone that insinuates different to ensure they don’t cross over into questioning it.
To the spiritual one getting ready to label me liberal, bring it on. I interplay between the intersections of truth and I don’t mind your label. But I do mind your laziness.
Adam was a man. Yet he was complete? If he wasn’t complete, why do you think God took some time to make woman? He made other animals male and female yet He took some time to recognize loneliness in man and then out of him, he made woman. If it is out of him, does that mean woman was in him? Is this also modeled in biology? As we know that woman doesn’t determine the sex of a child but a man does. Could it be that a man is not just … a man?
Okay fine. I’m crazy. How about God, what sex is God? And why is that not uncomfortable for you to think that God is jealous over you, that I am a bride of Christ and I am a man? How does that make sense in this compartmentalizations and definition of man being defined by his body. Was Jesus a man? If so, does that make him inadequate as a priest to know what women suffer for the Bible says there is nothing He is not acquainted with ? Why would God created man and woman in His image and God is only man? Oh is He ? Why would God be unisex if He is not only man yet we are created in His image, as strictly one or the other?
Has it occurred to you that if you put a liquid in a solid cube, it doesn’t become a solid or a cube. It is still a liquid in a solid cube. This body, is a casing. It is flesh but we are not flesh. Our identity is not our sex, or casing. And if this is true then can one truly be trapped in a casing that doesn’t fit the identity of the soul or spirit ?
This isn’t even far fetched yet this possibility, I won’t even call it truth is dogmatically heresy. How come I cannot be a Christian and be curious? Who created curiosity?
Tonight, I listened to a podcast by Tim Feriss where he interviewed a polyglot of polyglots as he called him. It was an intriguing fascinating episode and this topic was slightly touched on. It struck a nerve again with me that I had to vent.
I’m not venting at you or to you. I am just presenting a possibility, a stubborn possibility to myself. Back to the beginning, I rejoice at this possibility because I have a hard time understanding how to love gay and LGBTQ community and hold some of my positions as a Christian. I will always respect and trust God and Scripture over everything. I see Scripture as the purest science which offers a gateway and window to the ultimate science of the spiritual world. Yes, the world is vast and we are still breaking ground on the physical realm but the real prize is the truth and gems and laws hidden in the spiritual. Hidden in plain sight often. The wisdom of God on homosexuality, truly sexuality in general is one that confounds me. There is so much power locked away and hidden in it that I am humbled to play my part in protecting and revering it. But sexuality like art is an expression, maybe even a mode of communication. Art seeks to articulate thoughts, feelings, imagination. Sex seeks to express love.
Every commandment of God around sexuality seeks to exalt and place at the center of its expression — love. It makes sense that if God is love, and He is, He will be jealous of protecting the expression of love. Yet some of the purest ways of expressing love — through sacrifice, through actions are encapsulated in this generation’s gay lovers.
They are the frightened woman daring to look her homophobic father in the face and saying — I love her. They are the bullied boy daring to wear a pink dress for his lover to emasculate him. They are the trans folks daring to love themselves enough to reject the casing that houses their bodies. Today, I am daring to ask myself:
What if a man is not a man ? Why does my facial expression and my gasp help credd add Ted a world where daring to love is met by intense hate. How can I ascribe to the teachings of MLK about injustice anywhere being a threat to justice everywhere yet I want love to be binary for the sake of my comfort. Where is the grace in that ? Isn’t that the very nature of an anti Christ ? Not in the two horns master of hell but in the nature counter to Jesus?
I don’t know the answer to the questions asked today but I know to ask them. I know to be okay to have positions that are wrong if at the least open myself to scrutiny that will enlighten me.
What you do with the questions is up to you but as a black man happy to be human, I strongly encourage you to do justice to discomfort and embrace the search for truth that have answers hidden in the dark alleys where the stories of death have repelled the coward from going to. Don’t be a coward, don’t be me.