Letter of the day:
I’ve been loosely following you on Facebook posts for awhile now; I’m particularly drawn to what you have to say about being gay and Christian (and what a cluster-fuck the church has made of this issue). [Note: I never actually written the term cluster-fuck. I think. I hope. Oh, fuck it; I probably have: I, the Comfortably Cursing Christian.]
Today I started digging deeper into your blog, and reading more of your posts. I wanted you to know that I’m sitting in bed with my laptop, crying. I just read your post “Is the Devil Making Me Believe in a ‘Liberal’ God Who Isn’t the True God?” That post is the summation of my life so far. I had to reread this bit several times:
“I’d bet my house and everything in it that your problem isn’t that you’re torn between a harshly judgmental, condemning God and a loving, benevolent, forgiving God. I’d bet that you’re torn between a loving, forgiving God, and the single, illusionary entity in your mind that consists of a combination of your parents and the God they helped inculcate you with.”
I’m a gay believer who has been gay, ex-gay, then gay again. I come from a very messed-up Charismatic church background, with a deeply disturbing family life. I’m adopted. I’m 44. I’m alone. My parents don’t accept my homosexuality. My dad’s latest pronouncement to me was: “I will always love you, but I will never accept your homosexuality.” (Really, Dad? Way to be unconditional.) I’m in therapy, and have done a lot of work in that regard. But what I want to scream from my blazing hot tar rooftop is: I JUST WANT TO BE LOVED. PERIOD.
In all the work that I’m doing, I am AMAZED (and frankly, pissed) at how nauseatingly consistent the voices of my parents and my broken self-worth play on the 8-track of my mind. (I read your recent article about self-esteem and how you somehow were born with the ability to know when something was NOT YOUR FAULT. I must have missed that dose.) Although I’ve made many advances, lately I’ve felt disappointed and sad that I’m not further along and happier. But I think I just may be cutting off some seriously painfully arteries that link me to my past.
At any rate, I wanted you to know that I am a fan of you and your words. I love that you are a straight guy who ‘gets it.’ I appreciate the spirit and the heart behind your musings, and I’m encouraged today. I’m glad you have the balls to put this stuff out there; I know how nasty some close-minded Christians can be. Keep being fearless and a solid voice for people like me, who long for Truth and no-longer buy the frozen-dinner meatloaf that was served to us growing up.
Thank you for following your passion.
P.S. I was a Christian mime. That’s just fucked.
Hi, there. Me again.
Yeah, so I just want to go on record as saying that is the single greatest P.S. in the history of P.S.esseses.
Thank you for this letter. With it you’ve uplifted me as much as I could have ever you. (Best P.S. ever! I can tell that for the rest of my life that will be completely crack me up. And now I keep imagining heaven being filled with nothing but Christian mimes.)
I’m totally sorry for all you’ve had to go through. I deeply admire you actually going through it; so many people, of course, pretend they’ve got no issues, that everything is fine, that life is good, that their parents were loving people who meant well — and not, in fact, demented emotional mutants you wouldn’t trust alone with a cute dog. But not you. You hurt; you say you hurt; and — and God bless you for this, my brother — you insist the blame for that shit lies with somebody else, and not you at all. And you’re perfectly right about that: your emotional suffering is somebody else’s fault, of course: Your dumbass parents. (If you missed it, please read my Unhappy? Reject Your Loser Parents.) Bravo to you for taking that truth by the horns and wrestling it to the ground, where it belongs. That’s how you win. That’s how you become better than anyone ever told you you could be. That’s how you make your own world: one in which it’s not just okay to be you, but kind of a drag to have to be anyone else.
And what a shameful freakin’ nightmare that Christianity wasn’t any more there for you than it was. If you’ve read much of my blog (and thanks for the kind words about it, btw), you know how often I hear from LGBTers about how Christianity has been unto their lives like lead boots to a swimmer. What a depressing, awful, ongoing indictment that is of a whole system of faith that’s supposed to be grounded in the richest, purest kind of love.
Sorry about that.
Thanks to people like you — and (frankly) me, and so many of the wonderful people who read and write on this blog, and the vast legions of folks out there who every single day go out into the world to fight the best possible fight — before too long Christianity will be something that doesn’t make Christ shake his head and wonder how what he did and stood for could have ever gotten so thoroughly katoinked.
Thanks for the role you’ve played in helping us heal. By sharing your pain as you have here, you’ve made it okay for us to feel our pain.
One step at a time, right? Thanks for reaching out to us as you take your next steps — and for helping steady us as we, joining you, take ours.