Being young and queer in quarantine, a transgender meditation on the Beatitudes, and a suburban lesbian’s letters to her brother after coming out in middle age are just three of the latest contributions from Whosoever writers sharing their coming-out journeys as LGBTQ Christians.
For National Coming Out Day, here’s a sampling of our most recent coming-out stories, plus a look at similar pieces from our archives that are just as powerful today as when they were written.
“In My Blood: Born This Way and Worthy of Love” is Nikko Espina’s story of his uneven journey of coming out to himself and to his parents — with a little inspiration from Lady Gaga along the way.
In “Queer in Quarantine,” Leilani Fletcher relates a friend’s pain at being young, closeted and forced to return home from college to shelter in place with family members during a global pandemic.
Jennifer Hasler reveals the watershed moment in her coming out journey when she understood the Beatitudes to say “Blessed are the T, for they will be riotously celebrated in the Kingdom of God.”
In two installments from her Letters to Home series, Alyce Keener writes of realizing that being closeted means not being able to seek support from family or friends after a breakup, followed by the realization that there are countless little things we have to decide to do differently once we commit to being honest about who we are — starting with Monday-morning pronoun usage.
Dominica Applegate tells of the spiritual journey that commenced when she came out while heterosexually married and attending a conservative church.
“Coming-Out-to-Shawnee Syndrome” is Lori Heine’s story of coming out to a conservative Baptist and Republican college friend the summer after graduation.
Joseph and his coat of many colors is the inspiration for Gary Simpson’s look at how Joseph’s story of revealing himself to his family after their reversals of fortune is comparable in its power to the moment when LGBTQI people come out to their own loved ones.
In comparing our deepest thoughts to water in a well, Rev. Suzie Chamness likens the coming out journey to raising a bucket of that water into the sunlight.
“Out of the Closet and Into a Box” is Katharine Royal’s essay on the disappointment of coming out as bisexual in the context of a supportive heterosexual marriage yet having to face society’s preconceived notions surrounding bisexuality.
Other stories from our Coming Out archives include:
- A complete Guide to Coming Out by Rev. Rembert S. Truluck, author of “Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse.”
- A college student whose personal reaction to a fellow student’s misuse of Leviticus 18:22 to condemn homosexuality prompts his own coming out.
- A Roman Catholic scientist who helps publish in his native Argentina a U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter to parents of homosexuals — and in the process comes out to an entire nation.
- A Methodist minister whose book relates how his integrity as an openly gay pastor set in motion a chain of events that led him to seek another denomination.
- A transgender woman who hears the voice of God assuring her that her transition is her way out of a lifetime of misery.
- A college student whose coming out begins with attending an on-campus “Coming Out Dance” — at his girlfriend’s urging.
- A minister preparing his Palm Sunday sermon who realizes that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is the story of his public coming out — as the Messiah.
- A 45-year-old baseball-loving Louisiana man who comes out and moves to Los Angeles in search of the life he’s been missing — and finds it.
- A young man in 2002 Beirut juggling his gay, Arab and Christian identities with help from his gay Arab friends, most of whom are Muslim.
Visit the complete Coming Out archives for these and more stories, essays and articles.
An adult convert to Christianity who somehow managed to grow up largely unchurched in the South but was always a spiritual seeker, Lance Helms (he/him) was baptized at age 28 and since 2006 has been a member of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta.