Surprise, I’m Gay! (and Christian)

I am a Christian. And I am gay. These two factions of my life have clashed and pulled me in opposite directions my whole life. Among my church family, I heard words like abomination, disgusting, unnatural. Among my LGBTQ family, I heard words like bigotry, narrow-minded, unloving. My choices? Go to hell or live denying myself of love. This rhetoric left me so suffocated, to the point that I actually played with the notion of an irreversible “easy way out” in college. So naturally, I moved to San Francisco.

Oddly, I arrived wanting to embrace a fully liberal chapter in my life. But God wasn’t ready to let go. For one, I was roommates with the straightest straight Christian girl. But also, I became involved in a fellowship and was gifted with some of the most lovely, open hearted, genuine Christians. At the same time, I began to reconcile my sexuality.

As Desmond Tutu says:

“I can’t for the life of me imagine that God would say, ‘I will punish you because you are black; you should have been white. I will punish you because you are a woman; you should have been a man. I punish you because you are homosexual; you ought to have been heterosexual. I can’t, I can’t for the life of me believe that that is how God sees things.”

At present, I still don’t know where to go from here, but I feel intense peace. Peace with my sexuality. Peace with God.

I want to plead with my Christian brothers and sisters: Would Jesus marginalize those he did not share commonalities with? Would he come to strip them of their human rights and demonize them? Would he rant and rave from a pulpit that gays are of the devil here to take away family values? Or would he make an effort to understand others, love them, and welcome them?

In my 25 years in the church, I have seen attitudes ranging from hateful words fueling hate crimes at worst to stony silences at best. You give me, a gay Christian, no choice but to leave the church or to forsake what makes me human – love.

I also want to reach out to my LGBTQ family. I know the church has hurt you in the past. I know you have heard horrible things. But Jesus does love you. I so strongly believe that. Please don’t generalize all Christians as those who carry signs telling you you’re going to hell. Jesus said himself in John 8:7,“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone...”

A mentor once told me not to see my homosexuality as a curse but as a blessing. Four years ago, I couldn’t comprehend that. Now, I see.

Almost 50% of self-identified LGBTQ teens attempt suicide more than once. I refuse to look on from the safety of my closet any longer, and I will do everything I can to assure them of their incredible worth.