I thought I’d share with you these four letters recently written me. You’ll see that beneath each letter I’ve (too inadequately) responded to it.
If you are a straight Christian who believes that you are doing God’s work by continuing to condemn same-sex relationships, please read these letters. Please read the fifty-odd letters from gay Christians that I published in UNFAIR. Please at least remember the letters below the next time your brain tries to tell you the insipid lie that what gay relationships are mostly about is sex.
And please pray to God for Him to reveal to you the truth that He feels just as okay with people being gay as he does with you being straight. Being straight doesn’t make you better. All it means is that you belong to the majority. And that gives you power. And using your power to even slightly malign, denigrate, condemn, and help deny equal rights to a minority population doesn’t make you a hero to God. It makes you a deplorable sinner.
Please, friend, turn away from whatever toxic anti-gay hatred and anger you feel. Such feelings are not at all Biblical. They do not come from God. They come from nowhere but the most base aspects of human nature.
If you believe in God, then you believe that you will one day stand in judgement before God. Do not give Him reason to at that moment frown down upon you. It’s vital to everyone now—and it certainly will be to you, come that time—that you get this issue right.
As a fairly frequent reader of your blog, I know you address this issue quite often. I guess I just need to get this out there … My partner (of three years) and I just became certified to adopt. We’re anxiously waiting for the call from the county agency that says they have a little boy for us.
Then there is nothing like the rejection of one’s family to ruin this joyous time for us.
Although I came out ten years ago, my parents continue to struggle with my “lifestyle.” My partner’s parents are super supportive of us, and we have so many friends and extended family who support us. But it doesn’t replace the handful of people whom I want so desperately to love and accept us. Those I love the most have thrown a lot of hurtful words at me, words that left deep scars that haven’t healed entirely over the years.
But I think today was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I suppose I am looking for some guidance in my next move. I feel that I can’t subject myself to my family’s hurtful words anymore. They’ve made it clear that they don’t support our decision to adopt. They feel that we are living immorally and bringing a child into that is wrong. At what point do I say enough is enough? I told my mom today that I felt that she was communicating to me that she would not treat our son as she does her other three grandchildren, and that my wife and I wouldn’t come around with our child if that was going to be the case. She she said she understood why I felt that way.
I’m ready to cut ties with my parents. All my mother wants is for me to go back to denying who I am, so that “we can have our family back.” I feel like we should be working towards saving our relationship—but she’s made it clear that she and my father will not change their feelings. (I also know that my sister-in-law is waiting in the wings to ambush me with the same sort of rhetoric the moment she gets a chance, and I won’t subject myself to that.)
Do I cut my ties? When is enough, enough? Thank you for your time.
I don’t know when enough is enough, but it sounds to me like you personally have had more than enough. Your parents have chosen manifestly errant and hate-based dogma over the love of their own child (and now grandchild). That’s insane. What do you do with insane people, but pray for them, and try to manage their crazy in a way that doesn’t become too deleterious to your own life? You’ve told your mom how you feel. Make sure she knows that you love her, that you’re devastated by her rejection of you, and that you pray she one day accepts you and your wife for the loving, normal people you are. And then get the heck out of Dodge, and don’t spend too much time waiting for your phone to ring. You’ve got a life. She’s chosen hers.
I just found your site today. I just wanted to say thank you for all the love you express. I am a recent ex-evangelical, ex-“missionary” Christian (I go to a Quaker meeting now). I’m married with two kids, and just now coming to understand that the same-sex attraction I’ve struggled with all my life might not be something that is wrong with me, or that is ever going to get “fixed.” My greatest loss/struggle is to still believe that God loves me. I believe deep in my heart that he does, but sometimes all the voices against that are so loud that I need to hear it from someone else. I really needed to hear it this morning, so thank you for your site. What I’m learning is that God’s love is much deeper than I ever knew as a “Christian.”
God’s love is, as you say, much deeper than I think any human is designed to process, Christian or not. But yes, of course, I hear and deeply appreciate what you’re saying. I will pray for you, and also, and perhaps especially, for your wife and children. Hopefully your kids aren’t too young to be able to appreciate the value and necessity of what it sounds like you and your wife might end up having to go through. Best to you, friend.
Dear John,I just want to say thanks, because I’ve been in a really dark place in my life for a while now and you’ve given me a bit of hope. I’m a guy, just barely out of my teens. I went to college for two years, ran out of money, and then enlisted about a year ago. I’m currently living at least a thousand miles away from my folks. My relationship with my parents has slowly degraded over time since I left home, to a point where I simply try to avoid talking with them at all. You see, I’m not straight (big surprise, right?). I only started realizing this after getting away from home for the first time, and it took me a pretty long while to work it out. But the more I figured out myself, the less I found myself agreeing with my parents and the church I was raised in on the subject of sexuality and how it fits with Christianity. My faith was crumbling as well; the worldview I’d absorbed my whole life was falling apart in one large mass. Your writing and ideas have helped me redefine my faith and see how I fit into God’s plan. It’s like a light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope that light doesn’t turn out the be the train of my parents refusing to accept me when I finally pull together the courage to come out to them … Still, you’ve given me hope. Thank you so very, very much. God bless you and your work.
God bless you, young man. I get a lot of letters from people struggling with how/when/if to tell their parents they’re gay. Trust me: the fact that you can write this letter means that you are going to be more than okay. You’re clearly an extremely good guy. Good things are certain to happen for you. I hope your parents are smart enough to want to lovingly be there with you when they do.
I came across your blog through a link on another website. You have been such a blessing in my life. I think you are a wonderful man with such a kind spirit. I wish every single Christian was like you.
I write to you in my greatest despair. I am having a hard time picking up the pieces and moving forward with my life. I would like nothing more than to lock myself in a dark room forever. I was born and raised a Catholic, and about fifteen years ago came out as a lesbian. At the time I felt I had to make a choice between my faith and my sexuality, so I walked away from God. For fifteen years I have been struggling with my sexuality, having a war in my heart and head over who I am.
Fast-forward to just over a year ago. I had then left my ex-girlfriend, who is an atheist, and started finding myself walking towards God again. Since then I have welcomed God back into my life, and am no longer struggling with my sexuality: I now know who I am, and accept it. I realized I could not resolve my sexuality without Him!!! How foolish of me to think that I could do this on my own.
A year ago I met a woman who is Christian—and who at the time I thought was comfortable with her sexuality. She approached me, and together we began exploring our relationship—which, for her, was something new. We had the best time together; we completely gave ourselves to each other, with no holding back. I completely trusted her, and was falling more and more in love with her. She was so open in public with her affection with me. We had a connection and love of the sort most people dream about. I never thought she would leave me. I was that confident in our relationship.
Her parents did not know about our relationship—but when they learned of it, six months into it, they confronted her. She admitted to them that she and I were together. At first they seemed supportive, and said if this is what God intended then they would support her.
Well, a week later they came to her, and said they had received word from God that our relationship was a sin and that she would not end up in Heaven if she continued our sinful relationship. She fought them at first, and stood by our relationship, even though it right away began to put a strain on her relationship with both me and her parents. They would have three-hour discussions with her about how the life she was leading was so wrong. I still never thought she would give up on, though.
A month after her parents found out about is, she decided to break up with me. Her reasoning was that she wasn’t sure if ours was the “lifestyle” she wanted to continue living. She said she thought it was best to break up with me so that she could figure out what she wants in her life without me going through a roller coaster ride with her.
Fast-forward six months after our breakup. Her parents are still fighting her because we continue to be friends. They don’t want me in her life at all; so their three-hour discussions continue. So she and I have been going through a roller-coaster ride anyway.
She and I slept together two months ago. She told me then that she loved me, and that in a perfect world she would be with me. She admitted to me that I was her first true love, and that we shared a connection that she has never experienced with a man.
She also says that God has told her that she is supposed to marry a man and have children, and she thinks that my lifestyle is a sin. She thinks that our relationship was of fleshly desires. She wants to be obedient to God and to serve him, and this is how she believes he wants her life to be.
John, I am completely heartbroken and devastated, because the woman I thought I was going to spend my life with now believes that her life should be spent with a man. How do I move forward from here? Am I stupid for trying to maintain a friendship with her? I’m not sure what answer I’m looking for but I just feel so empty and gutted. God bless.
Arrrrggghhhh. Man, this hurts. There’s nothing you can do but what you have: stay open to your friend, let her know you love and respect her, and that you’ll always be there for her. Then go home, have yourself a nice cry or ten—and then sit on your couch, stare at a clock (or, better, watch some DVDs), and wait for time to go by. What else can you do? Time is now your best friend in the world; it’s the medium that will heal you. And what do any of us do with time, but … well, keep not dying while it slowly but surely works its magic upon us? This won’t kill you. This is what love is; this is what love does. It’s the most beautiful, most horrible thing in the world. Right now you’re (0bviously) experiencing love’s power to devastate. But that see-saw will tip the other way. Might take a month; might take a year. But it will. Love sometimes hides itself, but it never runs too far away. All our love to you during this difficult time. God loves you, and is aching right along with you. Thank you for writing; please do feel free to write again.