An Open Letter to God
Please forgive me for not being gay. I promise I won’t do it again, ever.
You remember for sure the first time I asked Your forgiveness at the age of thirteen. Having discovered the joys of masturbation I couldn’t stop abusing myself. You remember how I used to badger other boys to do it for me. Oh, what joy! – And then the remorse. They would implore me to do them. Even for the ones who bullied me I was their friend in need. I knew that their weakness was my weakness; their sin was my sin.
I was told that You hated the likes of me and my shame was even greater when I discovered that I wanted to kiss the most beautiful boy in my class at school. Of course I never did but the desire to do so never left me. Since You hated me, what need did I have of Your forgiveness? My hate of myself was deeply engrained by then, and I solemnly believed You had given up on me. Can You forgive me for letting them poison me against You?
Please God can You forgive me for not coming right out of the closet with my flag flying? Can You forgive me for hating myself most of my life? It’s just that I haven’t had the courage to face the loneliness that I thought would be the result of coming out and shutting the door firmly behind me. It terrified me to think that I might not be able to get back in again. Can You forgive me for having so little faith?
I remember turning my back on You. They told me that the likes of me were damned, destined for hell and that You were irretrievably lost for me. What was I to do? I listened to them instead of You. They said I would end up in prison, ostracized from all who loved me, unless I was cured and I believed them. I didn’t want to be a hermit. You remember that I thought of suicide very often in those days.
Marriage seemed to be the only acceptable solution to my a predicament. “Find the right girl and you’ll be all right,” Dr. Barry says to Maurice in E. M. Forster’s book of the same name. Trouble was I was awfully shy and didn’t really like girls. They have never had the kind of chemistry I could understand. Can You, then, forgive me for getting married? I really did believe that I loved her and was doing the right thing. I see now that I have ruined her opportunity of finding a true and honest love in her life as well as mine. But then You gave us these three wonderful sons who are now grown up. So couldn’t I be forgiven for thinking that You had relented and that You loved me after all ? But then, why did You suddenly turn my life upside down at the age of 58 and resurrect my homosexuality and plague me with these suicidal thoughts again? I came perilously close to it this time, didn’t I? You saved me again but why did put me through this torment? I was just looking forward to settling down to retirement and cultivating my hobbies without You and Your interference. Why me?
Of course I realize now why You pulled me out of my complacency. But for Your help I would have succeeded in doing away with myself. You gave me back my belief in You and my Christian faith. I realize now that I did not need Your forgiveness for being gay; that You love me the way I am and that my real sin was wanting to be someone else other than the person you created. At last You have taught me to love You as You love me and to love myself and to be proud of Your creation. You have brought me to an understanding of Your Great Commandment – that I am to return Your love of me and that I am to love those who hate me. You have taught me that my homosexuality is Your gift to me and that I have a special responsibility towards that group of people I have previously, in my self hate, derided for the most part of my life; my fellow homosexuals. You have shown me how to read my Bible as the Book of Love rather than the Book of Law of my childhood. You have shown me that I, too, can have that kind of love for a fellow man that Jesus had for that “special disciple”.
Finally, You have given me the great joy that I now experience in being gay and Christian. I am not afraid of loneliness any longer because “You are with me, Your rod and staff, they comfort me” and ‘I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever’.
Please forgive me for my self-denial these 50 or so years. As for my enemies who continue to denounce me and my life, they cannot touch me any longer because I believe in You, and I know You will walk beside me for the rest of my days. It doesn’t matter what they say or do to me for I know that Your love for me is everlasting. Dear God, please forgive them “for they know not what they do.”
Dear God, “You hold me in the shadow of Your hand.” Until the day You finally come to fetch me, please continue to strengthen and support me.
Dear God, thank You for loving me.