Finding Alfie OR Married Christian & Gay: How a heterosexually married gay man dealt with family, faith and society
Author and Psychotherapist Alfonso F. Galan's book is more than autobiography, it is a self-help guide to the social, emotional and religious pressures of leading the life that was meant to be. Married, Christian & Gay: How a heterosexually married gay man dealt with family, faith and society is a thought provoking and deeply personal account, full of highs, lows, questions and answers.
The Pulse: What made you want to share your story?
That is a great question and I believe the answers reside in different levels of my experience. On one level, I have a great desire to help others who find themselves living a life similar to the one I describe in my book. I remember searching the web for answers finding very little resources for heterosexually married men or women struggling with sexual identity. On another level, I really needed to make sense of everything I was going through. Writing my book was a tremendous exercise in existentialism. It also provided a purpose and meaning to all the trials I had to endure to get to where I am today.
The Pulse: How hard was it to put something so personal out there in public view?
It was incredibly frightening and empowering at the same time. Coming out of the closet, publishing my book and leaving vocational ministry almost all at the same time was not easy. I knew, however, that it was the road to freedom that I had to take. Sometimes we have to make great sacrifices to find our happiness. Publishing my book created a raw vulnerability within me that to this day I am a bit uncomfortable with. It is unsettling sharing such personal and intimate details with a general public, yet it had to be done. People need to know about these stories. Many cultures on a global scale need to wake up to a changing world and need to rethink their approach to faith and sexuality. The love and support I received from my family and close friends (especially my two children) are inspiring. These created a desperately needed sense of “normalcy” in life. It was in that sense of normalcy that meant that I was able to find an empowerment to continue moving forward in my journey.
The Pulse: What was the hardest part of your journey?
This is a great question and one I often ask myself. I think the easy answer would be getting a divorce and coming out of the closet. The truth is, however, the most difficult part of the journey begins much earlier when you become fully aware of your sexuality and yet are trapped in a social and religious narrative that makes you feel like an unwanted demon. You hate yourself for who you are because you do not understand yourself well enough to love the real you. You live in a perpetual and destructive insecurity and self-loathing. I thank God I survived all of this; not everyone does.
The Pulse: Who is your target audience?
My primary audience is the heterosexually married man or woman who struggles to make sense of their same-gender attraction, especially within a Judeo-Christian framework. I believe, however, that this book could be a beautiful resource for the Church as a whole; so that they can understand just how much emotional damage they are creating in a surprisingly large percentage of their population.
The Pulse: Would you encourage those who don't understand LGBT views to read your work?
Yes! Yes! and another Yes! I would love to be able to help Christian faith members of all denominations and families of struggling gay men and women find answers in my book. There is a great deal of understanding to me be gleaned from my book. I believe it poses important questions that the Church needs to consider regarding its stance on homosexuality and gender minority issues.
The Pulse: Do you have any plans to write more?
I am currently writing articles for publication surrounding my psychotherapy practice and I am contemplating writing a follow-up book dedicated to reconstructing your life after you come out of the closet. Coming out as a married man in your mid-40’s is just the beginning. There are many complex issues that must be dealt with afterwards.
The Pulse:If there is anything you could say to someone thinking of going on the same journey as you, what would it be?
Do not be afraid to make decisions or take risks that will lead you to freedom and happiness. You are a person of great value. You are a beautiful soul. You deserve to live free of the masks that you hide behind. Be bold. Be strong. Have faith.
It has been a pleasure interviewing Alfonso, and I cannot recommend his book enough – I would not hesitate to give it 5*.
You can purchase a copy here.