My 35th year has got to be one of the most interesting years that I have ever faced. The year started as business as usual serving at my local church, a visit from a missionary, and a Bible study. Then I had a few jazz gigs here and there, and so forth.
But after my second gig up until now, was where the dark valley of the soul occurred. This is talking about my fifth experience with bipolar depression. I was so depressed I didn’t want to get out of bed or do anything. The evils and the troubles of the world weighed me in. In 2016 alone, icons such as David Bowie, Prince, and the great Muhammad Ali have passed on. Out of the many attacks that have happened, the Orlando shootings have grabbed my attention. First out of numbness, and then into bipolar meltdown.
The Bipolar meltdown came to the terms that I had to finally admit and say the dreaded three words that I would never see myself admitting: I’m gay. This did not come as a party. It did not come with a rainbow flag. It came with weeping, mourning, and sadness knowing the pain and the journey that I have to accept. Admitting these words show that my life as an evangelical Christian is going to change.
This does NOT mean that I will find the next cute looking guy on the street and getting it on with him, because that is not what I’m about. This does not mean that I will wear drag because the Bible forbids men to dress or act in feminine matters. I will still live the same standards and Christian values that I was taught by my beloved parents and church, while facing this new reality.
My name is Conrad Gayle, and I came out of the closet stronger than ever.