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My Same-Sex Attraction and My Brother’s Disease: On Suffering and Serenity

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My brother and I are as different as night and day. He has an olive complexion with deep brown eyes, while I have lighter tones and eyes of blue. Whereas I am passionate and can be easily ignitable, he has a calm and even keel to his demeanor that I’ve come to admire. These and countless other differences I could list should come as no surprise because we are not biologically related. My brother was adopted as an infant, and sixteen months later, I was welcomed into the same family.

Our parents were generous and loving, and they provided a stable home for us. We grew up in an idyllic middle-class neighborhood in a 1950s-era two-story house. We walked to our elementary school, memories of which I cherish to this day. While we both had experienced the tragedy of being separated from our birth families, our adoption was a beautiful redemption. My brother and I are forever grateful for the gift of our wonderful mom and dad. But tragedies, no matter how lovingly responded to, can still produce wounds that eventually must be attended to. Both my brother and I were thus wounded from the beginning. As with most other things, we dealt with our wounds very differently. I began asking questions in search of my birth mother as soon as I understood what being adopted meant. These were questions my brother resented and would not himself ask for twenty more years.

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