For most of us, several years pass between the day we first admit to ourselves that we’re gay and the day we first admit to another person that we’re gay. As Christians, that “incubation time” is filled with a powerful mix of emotions and questions. We’re afraid, lonely, and confused. We’re ashamed of the things our bodies want to do. We’re frustrated that we can’t control our desires and properly “repent.” We question whether God can forgive us for feeling the way we feel. We pray for God to make us feel things we’ve never felt. We wonder what everyone would do if they knew our “secret.”
We want to serve God, love Jesus, and worship with our family and friends… but wonder if this is a life gay men and women are allowed to live.
My coming out process would have been so much easier if I had known other gay Christian men and women… people who could have told me it’s possible to live as an openly gay person and still worship God in a church on Sunday morning. If I could have heard their stories, I might have believed there was life outside my closed closet door. Just as Thomas needed to feel the scars on Christ’s hands before he could believe the resurrection was real, I needed to “poke the wounds” of a few gay believers before I could believe the impossible was possible.
That’s why it’s so incredibly important for those of us who have walked this road to share the story of how we found the strength to live as gay Christians. By telling our story, we fulfill the Great Commission… we preach the gospel… we stand as a light on a hill… we calm fear…. we provide hope… we act as a “great cloud of witnesses”… we assure our LGBT bothers and sisters that faith in God is possible, even for us.
In the weeks to come, a few of my friends have volunteered to share their story on this blog. Some of these stories will come from straight people (including a few pastors). Others will be from LGBT people (including a few pastors).
I would be honored if one of the stories would come from you. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to share your story!
…my personal experience as a gay person from the South has shown me that some of the people who most readily accept me have been evangelicals or conservatives. I have known I was gay since the very first time that I learned what the concept was. As soon as I hit puberty my realization that I was not attracted to girls like the other boys began to be confirmed for me. Until this date, I have never been sexually aroused over women, so my homosexuality has always seemed to me so central a part of how God made me that it is unfeasible for me to believe it is something that I could ever change.
As I grew older I began to be as certain in my identity as a gay person as I was certain that God was the force that had brought so much good into my life. And so when I was a freshman at Harvard College, in a spirit of love and honesty, I chose to come out to my parents. About two months after that, they expressed an unwillingness to accept me and went so far as to disown me completely. I haven’t spoken to them since that time. But out of this horrible ordeal, I have gained a great faith in God and the purposefulness of my life in His eyes. Ironically, it was through my very gayness and the qualities of humility, resilience, and tolerance that it has forced me to develop that I have grown to be a stauncher Christian than I ever was before I fully embraced my identity.
As I began to reach out to other relatives and family friends, I was most struck by the fact that many of those who I most suspected would be most homophobic have actually been the most accepting. Some of the most supportive people for me have been the very same conservatives and evangelical Christians that I had so readily written off before. What began to change their mind on this issue was not some abstract set of arguments, but rather the personal connection and love they had for me…
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