Coming out for me was parallel to being “born again” as a Christian. Candace Chellew, in the essay “Losing God”, (Whosoever Issue 5) has underlined what the experience has meant for me; losing God.
It was only after actually screaming out loud one night with tears streaming from an honestly bleeding heart to God to take away my infliction of homosexuality that I was at last able to be released from years of secret torture. As God did not take away the homosexuality, I renounced my belief in God. Renouncing what had been the basis for my life was the most excruciating experiences I have ever faced. But having done this, I tasted blissful silence. I did not have the conversations with God ringing in my head. I did not have to pray before starting any new encounter. Everything was pursued on my own strength, with any successes being my own. But in all this, God was calling my name; gently, softly, lovingly.
After a year of coming to terms with accepting myself as Gay, I met a Japanese Gay Christian (I live in Japan), who introduced me to the writings of John Boswell. I was very cynical about anyone claiming that the Bible does not condemn (for a better word) homosexuality. To me, in all my years of bible studies, the matter was clear cut, homosexuality is wrong, the sin of fleshly desire. With this frame of mind I read. I read the Bible for the very first time on my own; there was no one dictating the meanings behind each of the verses. Then I heard God speak all so very clearly to me about His word and what it meant for my life. Strangely enough, the verses I read were not the verses that supposedly referred to homosexuality. They were the stories I learnt as a child, such as the Good Samaritan. Before I realized, God seemed so much more real. Then I felt an anger build up inside of me. I was angry at a Christian culture that had robbed me of who I was meant to be for so long. A culture that had hid God’s truth from me with lies. This anger gave me a new strength to question more and more of what it meant to be a Christian and then a transformation occurred; my sexuality and myself as a Christian bonded into one. I felt a strength inside that comes from being totally accepted and willing to be loved by Jesus. I no longer had to try and justify to myself and others who I was. What other supposed loving Christians say no longer shakes me. In fact I feel a real compassion for them, knowing that their arguments towards me are essentially a reflection of the insecurities inside themselves. I had been there myself.
By “losing God” I had thrown off what I can only term Christian culture, the secure little environment that had kept me from reality, of both the world and myself. Having totally bearing myself naked before God, I continue to come to learn what God’s love is all about. This love is not sugar-coated, it transforms, it radically changes who we are.