Here’s a very nice letter recently in. If all “Dear John” letters were like this one, no one would ever fear getting one.
I’ve been reading your blog now and then for some time now. I went to Catholic school as a kid (because of the available subjects, not due to family or personal beliefs), and about that time came out to some friends. The consequences were quite devastating for the most part, but some reacted well, and eventually I got over it and went on with my life.
I had always had doubts concerning religion; after the time of my coming out, I felt I was better off as an atheist. Fast forward a number of years, and I’ve moved with my family to another country, I’m studying at university … and BLAM: existential crisis. I was torn. I had met some American Christian friends some time before who were really important for me, but coming out to most of them was not an option.
Then there was this one guy. I could openly tell him what was going on, and he was so so helpful. He’s Christian, straight, and a philosopher, and he was so convincing in his arguments that I just felt like looking up the stuff online. I had already performed a few searches about homosexuality and the Bible, and only found the usual stuff and became disinterested. But after talking to him, I had new keywords, and when I looked it up again, I found your blog and Anita’s Sister Friends Together.
I would not define myself as a Christian: more like an agnostic person with Christian leanings. But the fact that I’m even considering it is thanks to all of you. I found my confidence again, and I got past all the obstacles that were pulling me down against all odds. I’d be lying if I said I don’t think there might have been divine intervention on it.
Thank you for changing minds and saying these things openly. It is so, so deeply appreciated, that you cannot even imagine it. You gave me hope again. I think there are many teenagers getting their hope from here too, so please do not get discouraged, please keep doing this, because I’m sure you are making a difference. I’m not out enough to do any open contributions yet, but maybe I will in the future.
Thanks again, John. Never met you but you sure changed my life.
P.S.: Please excuse my mistakes, English is not my mother tongue. BTW, we lack blogs like this in Spanish, would you mind if I translated some of your articles (giving you due credit of course)?
Dear Person Who Wrote Me This:
My goodness; what a totally sweet letter! (In case you don’t know, “my goodness” is an English phrase mostly used by little old ladies—which, apparently, I have become. Cool! I love hats!) On behalf of me and the people who leave the great comments on this blog, thank you, very much, for your kind and encouraging words.
Your English is wonderful, by the way. Fantastic job! How you’ve managed to cram two languages into your head is unfathomable. I can speak about twenty words of Spanish, and half of those are curse words. My old lady hat is off to you.
Speaking of bilingualocityness (that is not a word, by the way; I’m so bad at English I have to make up my own words: it’s really sad), I would be thrilled if you translated any sentence I wrote into Spanish, must less a whole blog post. If you ever do translate any post of mine into Spanish, send it to me, and I’ll totally publish it on my blog. I would love the chance to bore, annoy, and anger people in Spanish, too. What fun!
Hey, if you read me to any extent you already know I feel this way, but just to say it again: thinking that being gay should or could stop you from being a Christian is like thinking that being left-handed should or could stop you from riding a bicycle. The two have nothing to do with one another.
I just yesterday finished a book (yay!) comprising just about everything I’ve ever written on the relationship between homosexuals and Christianity, forty or so letters from gay Christians, and a final essay titled, “Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality,” which I believe once and for all ruins the credibility of the idea that in the Bible we have proof that God desires gay people to stop being gay.
Anyway, the last sentence of my introduction to that book is: “It is my hope that this book will help to once and for all banish the manifestly absurd and deeply toxic notion that God cares one whit more about a person’s sexual orientation than he does about the color of their hair.”
You can be red-headed; you can be left-handed; you can be gay. And none of those things have anything to do, at all, with whatever relationship you might care to have with God or Christianity. Being gay might interfere with your relationship with some Christians, of course, but who cares? That’s their problem.
God is real; God’s Holy Spirit inside of you awaits your attention; life is good (or, at least, to my mind, a lot better, with God). Love to you. Thanks again for the letter.
[Update, sort of: over on my FB page, evil if reasonably clever fan Kara Kerstetter, apparently inspired by something I wrote above, shared with the world this insufferable picture of her devising:
I swear, I don't know how some of you sleep at night.]