The importance of my gag reflex in accepting who God made me to be

In response to the Gospel Coalition’s post from earlier this week, I am not going to write about how desperately unchristian the “pastor’s” rant was.  I am not going to point out in excruciating detail how emotionally manipulative, and thus abusive, his post is.  I do not need to point out all the lies, straw men and slippery slope arguments. I won’t belabor the point that the author’s blog title has the ring of ethnic cleansing about it.  What I will do instead is tell you my truth in love.

I dated boys in high school.  I slept with men in college. I was married to a man for over a decade.   When he was done I rolled over and sobbed into the empty cavern of my soul.  There was no amount of trying to want this kind of sex that would make it so.

Being with a man is against my nature.  Caressing a man’s body in a sexual way is against my nature.  Gazing upon a man with lustful attraction, desire or passion is against my nature.

The thought of having intercourse with a man activates MY gag reflex.

When I kissed my wife for the very first time, life rushed in in a cascade of overflowing beauty and perfection.   For weeks, months even, I kept waiting for her kisses, her caresses, her erotic embraces to feel wrong, to feel off, to feel against my nature.  Never, not once has anything felt so right, so pure, so completely natural as her gaze, her touch, her kiss shared in tender love and assured commitment.   I finally knew who I was and my true nature. And the depths of my soul rings with loud hosannahs.

So I repented.  I turned around and faced God. I accepted who God created me to be and I exchanged my unnatural sexual relations for my natural ones.

And God has blessed our love and faithfulness more abundantly than I can ever express.

Thanks be to God.

About Kimberly Knight

Kimberly has a long history of back-pew sitting, Wednesday night supper eatin' and generally trying God’s patience since 1969. She's lucky enough to have made her technology addiction a career and serves as both the Director of Digital Strategy as a southern liberal arts college and Minister of Digital community with Extravagance UCC.

  • melissia

    I hope that, when it comes time to find someone I love (I have pushed off dating so I can get an education without distractions… something I may later regret, but hey, it’s helped me get good grades, at least!), I know myself well enough that I don’t put myself through this. I can scarcely imagine the pain you felt… but I hope at least I will know the love and joy you felt whenever you finally embraced and kissed your wife.

    Thank you for sharing your very personal and intimate experiences… I’m very glad that I have found this blog, and others at Patheos. It’s been uplifting to my spirit to read :)

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    Thanks be to God. :)

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    I so relate.
    The thing I found most outrageous and hurtful about Anybewile’s screed was not the graphic ick-factor stuff – that’s nothing new. No, what’s obscene is that his moral-depravity argument is grounded in the notion that people who are gay have no capacity for love. He attempts to diminish the humanity of gay people and flatten us out to a sex act.

    Your’s is the only post I’ve seen that truly challenges his hateful premise (and ably so). Thank you for writing it.

  • Bob Lawrence

    I have long used similar theological and spiritual thinking to explain to others how unnatural it was for me to be sexually intimate with a woman, and how accepting my natural desires (to be sexually intimate with a man) freed me to love not only the Creator, but also the Creation. But, in all my explanations and attempts at telling my story, I have never experienced such beauty as in the words you used in the post. Thank you for giving words not only to your struggle, but also to mine.

  • Kelsey

    Beautiful :)
    As a former christian/now atheist, it’s really hard for me to grasp why some christians are so determined to follow a god so hateful that he would punish his creation for doing what he created them to do. I frequent blogs like yours because it gives me some hope and some insight that not all christians (or even most) have that fear/glee in a god of punishment.
    I love your blog, and I do appreciate this glimpse you’ve given into your personal story.

    • disqus_cfBevsr42L

      i think people have a desire to hurt and punish other people, and they create a God “in their image” so to speak, that justifies it. Except he doesnt. If you read the texts, he absolutely doesnt ever give anyone permission to punish anyone in his place. IN FACT, according to our own rhetoric, he was so against us being punished, he came and died in person to prevent it….anywhoo. people are strange.

  • http://tracimsmith.wordpress.com/ Traci

    Thank you for this personal story. I think that so often Christians talk about this in abstract ways instead of telling stories. In my opinion, people’s hearts and minds are changed when stories are told. It’s so brave to tell your story, especially one about something so deep and personal. Thank you again.

  • James_Jarvis

    Hi Kimberly, a great post as usual. The pastors argument seems to boil down to”If I find something yucky it is also immoral.” He knows that he can not win the love is wrong argument so he tries win the day by invoking a reaction of discuss. This only works if the people he is talking to actually agree that two men or two women loving each other is revolting. I’m straight but I have no problem with gay or lesbian couples. To me the important thing thing is that a couple love and support each other. Total aside my daughter and I are going to see The Indigo Girls in October.

    • disqus_cfBevsr42L

      more for your arsenal:re:”if something makes me gag it must be wrong” . Childbirth videos. I would bet they cause gagging or outright vomiting in a good percent of the population.(I say this having seen it in childbirth classes. pregnant moms moaning over a garbage can “what have I done!
      ?!?!!, and the prospective father with his head between his knees. ) So clearly, the next time someone brings up THAT argument, we are headed over to youtube, or my photo album, and we are gonna look at birth pictures and videos, so they can ban pregnancy.

  • Mike Mayer

    If you don’t mind me taking a minor tangent off something you stated, I couldn’t help but notice that you were at one point married to a man. I know nothing about him, but I cannot help wondering if he too wasn’t a victim of society telling you to be something you were not. I cannot help wondering how much hurt he felt when he learned that touching his body repulsed you.

    Having followed your posts for a while now, I feel safe guessing that it was never your intent to cause him any pain. Just another case of the domino affect of lives being affected when as a society, we attempt to suppress one another.

    Thanks for another thought provoking post.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Mike,

      I don’t even know where to begin to express the deep trauma and grief I feel for the extended pain that he experienced. We are still co parents of our daughter and both very involved in her life – living within 10 miles of one another – and I have been all to aware of the affects of this on him. Many lives were impacted. I’ll blog more coherently about this in the future.

      K

  • http://www.hollicareylong.com/ Holli Carey Long

    You just put a personal story to my reading of that scripture:

    “So I repented. I turned around and faced God. I accepted who God created me to be and I exchanged my unnatural sexual relations for my natural ones.”

    Thank you for sharing your voice, and I’m so sorry for the hurt.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Holli, thank you for letting my know that this post meant something to you and thank you for your kindness. I am not entirely numb to the hurt of people who write posts like the one to which I am responding but I am far more worried about those tender souls who ARE very hurt, abused even, by such as this who claim the name of Christ. We must keep raising our voice eh?

      K

  • John

    I don’t know that his post was all bad. The part where he gives the obscene descriptions was getting me a little hot under the collar. Maybe his true calling is in writing very literal erotica.

    • http://heckledtrio.blogspot.com Helly

      Though I was ready to follow the link to his post after finishing this post, your comment provided the push to check it out right away 😉 And the thing that struck me is that a lot of the practices he decries are things that heterosexual couples do in the bedroom, too! So… that really nullifies his argument, in my opinion.

      • disqus_cfBevsr42L

        haha, me too. When I read the article, I right away wondered “where can i get stats on how many christian men have inserted their organ of (what did he call it????methinks incredibly few men actually think of their penises as whatever he said) into their wives/girlfriends excrementary canal(or whatever he called it). And enjoyed it greatly. and begged for it for several years before she finally let him…….Maybe I am off base, but I really wanted to read it outloud to my husband and laugh together.

  • Ron

    Thanks for sharing more of your personal story. As you know I am formerly one of the TGC sort of people. Still share many of their beliefs in regard to many historical doctrines of Christology and scripture. But…you always make me rethink what I think about being gay. I so appreciate this site and your thoughts and your sharing the depth and meaning of your love for your wife. You are truly a loving, gentle challenge to my old conservative, fudie dudy way of thinking.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Ron,

      Thank YOU for continuing to hang around and be a part of this conversation. As you know we are quite different on some theological points but from the time we have spent in online community I feel I can say with confidence you have a heart for true compassion and a sharp mind willing to ask hard questions.

      Peace brother,
      K

  • Ando

    I followed your link to the original article and read it. Every word. And then I read about the first third of the comments. I was sickened, saddened, and thoroughly repulsed by that article and every person who commented in agreement with it.

    I probably could write pages and pages about my disgust with that viewpoint, but I think I’ll refrain from making a comment longer than your post. What I will say is that I must pity those who think that something as beautiful and divinely-blessed as sex can be thought of as nothing more than a way to procreate by this crowd of ho-hums who don’t see how anybody couldn’t be grossed out by certain acts. I mean, based on the “yucky” parts he described of lesbian sex, I should gag deep in my soul every time I kiss my wife’s breasts or touch her sexually.

    Even worse, my wife (of 6 years) and I decided a couple of years ago that we did not want to have children, and we have even started taking permanent steps to ensure that we never do. It wasn’t a decision entered lightly, but after many long hours of heartfelt discussion and contemplation, we realized that this was what we truly wanted. Since our sex can no longer produce children, should we no longer have sex? Should we not even have a marriage?

    I could go on and on and on, but I’ll stop. Even though it enraged and thoroughly disgusted me, thank you, Kimberly, for sharing that link so that I could be reminded how harmful that type of thinking and ultra-conservative Christianity can be, and so that I can be grateful that God has led me out of that to a far better understanding of His love. Bless you, Kimberly, and your wife.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Ando,

      Wow, I am honored that you shared such an intimate part of your story here and how your heart understands the connection between your story and mine. Blessings you to and your wife and the abundance you experience in ways that are meant especially for y’all.

      K

  • http://bobcornwall.com/ Robert Cornwall

    Thanks Kimberly for sharing your story.

  • Tonya

    Our stories are similar. Thank you for speaking out loud. I can only imagine the number of women who can relate to this. Keep doing what you’re doing and helping people to understand that we are God’s children, too. That He loves us, too…just the way we are. I can’t imagine He would make us this way and then turn His back. What kind of sense does that make?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Indeed, much love to you Tonya.

  • Evidence2Hope

    This is probably the most beautiful piece I’ve read all week. Thank you :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you friend.

  • jeffstraka

    What I find interesting (well, pathetic would be a better word) is that one can take their “article” and substitute “interracial marriage” for “gay marriage” and it would be a flashback to the 60’s. These jackasses always need an enemy to hate on and an “other” to feel superior to. They can’t be “mixing the fibers”, as it were…

  • Andrea Cumbo

    Yes. yes. yes. Oh what it is to find love and ourselves. Thanks for this.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you!

  • MorganGuyton

    Thank you. I wish I knew how to communicate the truth about which I keep entering into greater clarity and confidence in such a way that those who are invested in opposing it would be opened. I really honestly think that this struggle is an important means by which the sheep are being separated from the goats, though I don’t want for anyone to be a goat. I’m so mad that I didn’t get to meet you at Wild Goose. If we had had cell signal, I would have totally come by the holy roller tavern. I just forgot that y’all were doing that. If ever you’re in the DC area, we would be honored to host you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Morgan, and thank you for your voice and ministry in the world. I really wish we could have met and hugged and cried and laughed together at WG. I promise to let you know if I am in DC if you promise to do the same if you are in Atlanta.

  • Agrajag

    This makes sense to me. If God created humanity, then he created us like we are, with full knowledge of our desires and passions.

    Creating homosexual people, and then insist that they figth against their nature for their entire life, would be an evil thing to do. And I don’t think it makes any kind of sense to believe in a evil God.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Indeed, but unfortunately what makes sense and what folks like TGC will try to force on people as “truth” are two very different things.

      • Agrajag

        I don’t know how much comfort this is to you (I hope some!), but for what it’s worth, this is clearly a fight we’re winning. With every passing year, more and more people accept that your worth as a human being is unrelated to which gender your partner has. You can choose to see his vicious attack as the reaction of someone who is, by now, forced up in a corner, and have no idea what to do.

        30 years ago, the situation here in Norway was sort of similar to USA today, meanwhile we’ve even had openly lesbian bishops, and our marriage-law is entirely gender-neutral.

        It’s been a while now (15 years or something), but I still get all teary-eyed when I remember the smiles on the first few lesbian couples who where married by the lesbian bishop.

    • John Alexander Harman

      It makes perfect sense to evil men like Thabiti Anyabwile to believe in an evil God who created them in his image. They’re less self-aware than the Iago of Verdi’s “Credo in un Dio Crudel,” though — they label the particular cruelties of which they and their imagined deity are guilty “holiness.”

      • Agrajag

        Sure, you can *believe* in a evil God. But it doesn’t make much sense to *worship* one. If there was an evil God, it’d be an act of courage to defy him. Thus the way I see it, it’s win win.

        Either a *nice* God created people the way they are, in which case it’s hard to imagine how it can be a sin. Or else, a *evil* God did, in which case there’s no reason to do what he desires.

        • John Alexander Harman

          To someone with no independent moral sense, it makes sense to worship an evil god just as it makes sense to serve an evil dictator: those who serve will be rewarded, those who resist will be punished. Sure, it’s cowardly and selfish, but plenty of people are selfish cowards. Also, of course, if you’re evil yourself and consider yourself “good,” there’s no cognitive dissonance inherent in believing in a god who is “good” in the same malignant, cruel, intolerant way you are.

          • Agrajag

            Granted. In principle.

            But in practice, I feel that’s overly negative about christians. The huge majority of christians I know, including those who are harshly critical of homosexuals, genuinely strive to be good people. Overall, I think they succeed about as well as the rest of us (I’m an atheist myself).

            I don’t think it makes sense for a decent honest loving christian person, to worship a God that willingly created homosexuals, and thereafter harshly punish those people who act on the urges he himself deliberately instilled.

            • John Alexander Harman

              In my experience, most Christians who believe in the doctrines that hell is the default post-mortem destination for every human soul, and that only those who accept (the right version of) Christianity will be spared that fate, completely fail to deal with the cognitive dissonance between the kind of monster that could arrange matters that way, and the notion of a God who is “loving” and “good” in the normal human sense that they themselves practice, and which would absolutely preclude the cosmic sadism inherent in their soteriology.

              The Christians of the Gospel Coalition, on the other hand, do seem to me to have resolved that cognitive dissonance by wholeheartedly embracing the cruelty and hatred they believe are essential to the character of their God, and naming that cruelty and hatred “love” and “holiness.”

              • Agrajag

                That’s a excellent point. There is no possible way Hell can exist in a world with a omnipotent and benevolent God. Because eternal suffering isn’t something a good being would inflict on anyone for *any* reason, and certainly not for spurious sins of the “had the bad luck to grow up in the wrong religion” type.

                The problem though, is that if there’s no punishment for believing or doing the wrong thing, then there’s also no reason for doing what God wishes, unless you happen to agree with it. And following those moral and ethical rules that you agree with, in other words make up your own mind, is the antithesis of faith, in fact that’s what atheists do.