I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home. My family all loves Jesus. I have loved Jesus as long as I can remember. And I have always lived hard for him–willing to sacrifice, willing to do whatever.
But I am also gay. And I have been as long as I’ve been sexually aware of having any preference. In my early 20s, I was in a deeply loving relationship that my church broke up—because it is a ‘sin’ for two women to be together. Upon the end of that relationship, I found myself jobless (I worked for her), homeless (I lived with her), and completely isolated (everyone else I knew thought our relationship was an abomination before God). I moved back to my parents, who, as soon as I exited the car to walk up to the house’s door, stood me aside and called me sickening and disgusting, and informed me that if I were ever to be in another such relationship, I’d be disowned.
I closeted, hard.
But everyone still knew. Five years later, I was active in my church in children’s ministry. A covey of women freaked out and went to the pastors in hysteria that a ‘violent tempered lesbian’ was in a position to pervert their children’s minds. They didn’t want me alone with their daughters. I had been working alongside these women for four years. And I was abruptly removed from ministry and put in a theologically safe place.
I was allowed to remain on the worship team. They liked how I sing. Then that faded, too. For the next ten years, no matter how many training programs I completed at my church, no matter how faithfully celibate I remained, no matter how mum I stayed about my orientation, I was always conveniently kept out of any leadership position, usually told that it would be better were I to marry. Of course, there were other women in leadership who weren’t married—but they weren’t gay.
And so I came to a place of spiritual and emotional exhaustion. I have always loved Jesus. I have always felt a strong call to minister. And I didn’t know where else to go—this was my church home!
I stopped attending. It was just too hard not to be allowed to exist externally, and to be gnawed at internally by doctrinal worries I had about a significant portion of what was being taught by these people with whom I had such a complicated relationship. I love them deeply. Many of them love me. Still, all of them think that if I embrace my homosexuality as God-given, I will have gone fully apostate. Some—my mom included—believe this is a guaranteed ticket to hell, if not full-on demon possession. I quit reading my Bible, which was my daily companion for 25 years.
I moved across the country in the pursuit of my doctorate, and began a spiritual hibernation.
Or was it a metamorphosis?
Here it is four years later. A total of twenty years in the closet. And I can’t stay bound any longer. I’m out. And I’m out because I desperately need Jesus, and what has been barring me from him is my unwillingness to accept that God made me gay. Once I came out to God (as if that was any big surprise!), the weariness in me was completely removed. My passion for God revived powerfully, and I am filled with a longing to be with him again.
My friends back home think I’m making a horrible mistake, that I’ve abandoned God and sound doctrine. They have informed me that although they’ll always love me, we can no longer be in fellowship.
I haven’t told my family—nor will I.
I won’t be moving back home.
It’s time to proceed in my walk with Christ, learning to live the abundant life according to the blueprint by which I was designed—an academic, a philosopher, an intellectual, a lesbian. I am created ad imaginem Dei, even as I am created gay.
This blog is designed as a forum for discussion about how one can reconcile intellect, homosexuality, and Christianity—a deep abiding love of Christ and longing to be a part of the kingdom of God, however he calls me to participate.