Hello there. I’m Jason tantra. And today I want to talk to you about coming out as gay as a spiritual awakening. And when you first hear that, you might kind of wonder what it is I’m talking about. So let’s first, talk about spirituality.
Coming Out as Gay as a Spiritual Awakening
When we talk about spirituality, we talk about processes of awakening. And for me, awakening is when you can no longer live with how you were before, because you know something different, and you need to step into being, and living that something different, which I would call a new truth.
The spiritual journey for me through tantra is about awakening to new truths, experiencing yourself in the complete broadness of yourself as a human being in the complete width. And, you know, um, the biggest expanse of yourself, and you can’t do that. If you stay the same in your, in your identity, in your life, you can’t reach that awakening.
In that way. Now, one mistake could be that we think we’ve got to change our lives. And I don’t know, go on a world tour and do that. But actually the journey is quite inner, and it’s quite internal, but equally what changes inside you can’t help but change what’s outside you in the world. So it might be that you still do the world tour, but it’s coming from a place of something that’s changing within you.
That is then changing your view in how you are in the outside world. So there’s something like an awakening, something like a realization. So like one of the realizations for me on the spiritual path is that we are all the same and most people will live a life where they’re very identified with who they are, their name, their job, their house, their property, their family, and most people will live in this identification of themselves, of whom they think that they are. And most people live, um, live a life, die with never even questioning. And so that’s interesting because then for me, there’s something about coming out as gay when you can no longer live the lie that you’re not gay, you see 90%, 80% we could debate that are heterosexual live in a heterosexual world. Never have to question their sexuality and, you know, typically get married, have children raise a family. Life is good, steady job off, off that goes.
But if you are living in a heterosexual world, and you’re like, actually I have attraction for same sex attraction for men, I’m gay.
There’s something about needing to step out of the identity of the world that you would want to be in. I remember for myself when I was 16, I used to pray to God every night for two years, please, God, please take away these feelings I have for other men. Please make me normal, please. Um, take this away. I don’t know how to deal with it now. I mean, I know it’d be hard to believe, but I was born pre-internet so, okay. And also pre kind of anything, what I call gay becoming mainstream. And I remember, you know, when queer, as folk came out, that was, for me, this was on channel four. That was like when gay became mainstream. And I probably came out one or two years before. And I honestly thought for a very long time that I was the only person on the planet that was attracted to same sex to other men.
I didn’t even know the word gay existed. I didn’t know that gay men existed. And it, um, this is also at the time of Margaret Thatcher and section 28, where any promotion of anything about gay people was illegal. So I grew up in a small west country town in England, honestly, going through a Catholic school, um, started work at the age of 17 and a half. Um, honestly believing that I was the only person that had same sexed attraction. And that for me, I knew it was wrong.
I knew there was something not right. And also at that time, it was really okay for people to, um, this be homophobic in so many ways. I remember one of my mother’s friends, horrible things I used to hear him say about gay people, Nancy boy’s faggots, all of this light stuff that was just so hatred towards gay people. And it’s only like three decades later that I’ve understood that maybe he had some questions about his sexuality and maybe couldn’t even meet that part of himself.
So when, when I came out, there was a lot at stake, right? Remember, I wrote my parents a letter, and they handled it in the most beautiful way. Um, I only knew that gay existed seek six months beforehand. There was a program on a remote TV station. I scribbled down the address. I got a leaflet, a booklet of all these local gay organizations in the Southwest of England. And I was like, oh my God, oh, it was a complete and utter revelation.
I was completely naive in so many ways. And yet, one of the things I really cherish is my innocence. Like, um, so as I said, I was brought up in a very small west country town when I went to the big city of breasts. So I was like, wow, there’s so much going on, so much life. And it’s stuff that I take for granted. But for me at that point, the level of innocence, the level of discovering things for the very first time, my first kiss, my first sexual encounter, which was a dreadful first sexual encounter, having other gay friends, just like me, there was a community I wasn’t on my own. And then I remember noticing that a lot of other men in my youth group and I used to belong to a youth group.
I wasn’t confident enough to go into a gay pub on my own. We used to group together, scuttle in together as a group of 12 scuttle out at the end. And we stayed very much quite insular because we were quite unsafe, feeling insecure. There was still pub bars. At that time, they used to use the knock on the door, and they would open the shutter like this, and then let you in.
It was still, as I said, one or two years pre gay becoming mainstream when queer as folk happened. Now, the reason I talk about this as a spiritual awakening was because I had to be like a salmon to survive. I had to say to the world around me, listen, this who you all are, is not what I am. And so there’s something about stepping out of the normal, stepping out of the mainstream, and having the courage and confidence and conviction to step into a new stage of truth.
Now I’ve worked as a tantric practitioner for 16 years and about 70% of my clients have been heterosexual men. They love their wives. They have a couple of children. They have an itch to scratch. The dog needs a run in the park. They need to feel something like, I don’t know if you’ve ever had that feeling of needing to feel something, needing to feel human needing, to let your sexual energy have a run. And you know, for me, there are some questions about structures. We put on ourselves in society. I, IE marriage is a way, does that really serve how us as human beings want to experience life, how we want to be in life.
That’s an entirely different topic for another day, but I remember very clearly deciding not to have any judgements about these men that were coming to see me or making them wrong in any way, because I didn’t know how to, how they were literally living the life that they were living. I couldn’t do that.
There was such a strong conviction in me that I had to be my truth. My mother always told me, my mother always told me what was it?. Um, shame the devil and tell the truth. And there was something about not living in shame and deciding that I would rather, my parents disowned me and that I had issues with my family. I’d rather have that than trying to live a lie, trying to cover. I naturally, I’m just not built for lying.
I’m just not built for covering things up, or just can’t do that. So this is where I talk about coming out as gay as being a spiritual awakening, because you’re awakening to a truth that you are, that is outside of being accepted and standing in your own power, standing in your own truth, learning that actually the truth of who you are, is coming from inside you and that nothing, anybody tells you on the outside overrides that inner truth that you have about yourself.
That for me is spiritual because that is what every spiritual practice is guiding you towards. It’s saying, listen to your inner truth, listen to your inner guru.
Now what happens? I think for many of us as gay men is we have that spiritual awakening. We don’t even realize it’s a spiritual awakening. We come out. We may be a lucky enough to be, you know, in a new circle of friends, lovers, partners, boyfriends, and we’re living a gay lifestyle. Maybe if that’s the words that we use, we then get comfortable and cozy, and we then maybe fall asleep.
Again, a lot of men that come to tantra are typically in their forties because there’s still another truth that needs to be uncovered. The truth that we typically go through in our early twenties, if we’re lucky into our thirties, coming out as gay is not the end of the journey of the awakening of the spiritual awakening, because I don’t feel as a tantra teacher that coming out as gay is enough in terms of awakening to the whole truth of who you are.
Many men come to tantra, feeling dissatisfied with sex or feeling sexual energy that they don’t know what to do with, and that actually the places I’ve been told to put my sexual energy, the places where these things happen, actually are not fulfilling me, and they’re not sustaining me. There’s got to be another avenue for this energy, and this is where they then meet tantra, which invites you to use your sexual energy as the gas, as the petrol in your vehicle of you to propel you, to expand your awareness, expand what, you know, expand what you think.
We are on a planet spinning around, hurtling through space at amazing speeds, and yet we forget that we kind of narrow down to this, what we see in front of as believing that is truth. But I think your sexual energy, our sexual energy, is waking us up to another possibility that coming out as gay is not the final awakening. It’s almost the first step, and for me, this is what our experience of life is. Our experiences of life is about repeating awakenings time after time, new realizations, new understanding, new ways of being.
I love that for our trans brothers and sisters, this agenda has been completely on the table, and people are being confronted by it that haven’t been accepting of our trans brothers and sisters. I love the fact that agendas come up and, you know, for me, it’s like actually is all these differences that we have as human beings, actually bringing us to one truth, that there is a point beyond all of our differences where we are exactly the same, where we are love, where we can just accept each other equally, as love, as beautiful beings that are here having 7 billion different life experiences.
So for me, coming out as gay is a spiritual awakening because you’re awakening to a truth inside you, and when people come to tantra, for me, they’re awakening to another truth that actually they want more than what they came out for. After a while isn’t enough, there’s gotta be more, there’s gotta be more expansion, and I wonder whether if we are representations of the universe, the universe is still growing, expanding, trying to understand itself, trying to know the truth, and my perception is that a 7 billion different variations of the universe as conscious beings, we’re trying to figure out the same thing in planet earth, in the construct of our human lives.
So this for me is the spiritual awakening to keep awakening, keep listening to truth, meditation, energy, uh, practices, different tantra techniques are all ways of helping to stir you up so that you can get to deeper and deeper understandings of the truth of who you are.
So, listen, I hope you’ve enjoyed my talk today. Please put any comments below, and I hope it’s been useful to you, and I look forward to sharing this journey with you, take care. Bye bye.