I came out as a lesbian in September of 1992. The next month, I came out as a Christian at my local MCC.
I never fit in. My whole life, I thought that there was something wrong with me. I always felt detached, as though I was not entitled to the same rights and benefits others enjoyed. I had accepted that I was worthless.
Coupled with this, I was raised to believe that Christianity was a nice myth, but not something that anyone with any brains ascribed to. My mother was raised in a very strict and fundamentalist church, and the oppression and hypocrisy of that environment make her oppose Christianity in general. I always wanted to accept Christ, but never felt that I was able to do so.
Until I walked into MCC. I had thought that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was another nice myth, but I was struck by a thunderbolt of God’s love. I knew, KNEW, that God loved me, that He made me, and that He wanted the best for me. The isolation and misery of my first thirty-six years were not what God had planned for me.
A week later, I was baptized. The following week, I was introduced to Caroline, who joined me in the alto section of the choir. On December 4, 1992, Caroline and I realized that we were in love. One year later, we celebrated our Holy Union on December 4, 1993.
Instead of being lonely and alone, I have a wonderful partner and the marvelous support system of my church. Knowing that God loves me has cured a lot of the shyness I had felt growing up. And, knowing God doesn’t make junk makes it impossible for me to be in the closet. I am out in all aspects of my life, and Caroline and I have encountered very little homophobia, despite living in a conservative southern city. I find myself wanting to serve God more and more, and feel led to attend seminary in the foreseeable future.
I have found it necessary to politely but firmly take on the Religious Right. I am a regular contributor to the letters to the editor of our local paper, trying to set the record straight as to what the Bible actually says about my “lifestyle.” and also telling people a little bit about what it feels like to be persecuted for who one loves. I try also to puncture the misconceptions about the gay community — that we are not into pedophilia or beastiality; that we go to work, tend to our homes, raise our children, and love our pets, just like “normal” people.
Having recently joined the Information Highway, I find myself spending a great deal of time in Christian chat rooms. I encounter a lot of hate and homophobia, but I have also been given the blessing of being able to touch a few heterosexuals with the truth of scripture. And, I am so relieved to find that most of those chatting are horrified by Fred Phelps and his ilk — even where they believe homosexuality to be a sin, they are in disagreement with the hate and bile he espouses.
My mother and her siblings grew up with Jerry Falwell, and I have come out to him, in the hopes that putting a human face on “homosexuality” will somehow help him to realize how he hurts and harms all of God’s children.
I have become an activist, where once I was shy and retiring. I have a marriage, where once I lived alone. I am happier than I ever dreamed I could be.