Here is Part 2 to DJ’s personal experience to how homosexuality in the church affects GLBT people. And DJ, thank you so much for sharing your life and thoughts with us, allowing us to enter into your head, worries, fears and understandings…
“I don’t think people quite understand the pressure that the gay-oriented Christian feels in the church. We have a hard enough time not hating ourselves, without having to face the derision and misunderstanding of others. It is precisely this external pressure that often drives us to extreme measures: seeking ineffectual exorcisms, suppressing the very core of our sexual selves, jumping into relationships to prove we’re straight (meanwhile ruining the life and self-esteem of the hetero other in the process), and the like.
When you think that you’re going to cause mommy and daddy (in this case the Church) to split—and worse—when one of them might hate you in the process, you will do just about anything to avoid that eventuality. I’ve frequently found that the motivations behind seeking such ends are dysfunctional. Those who pursue these methods often do so due to stated and unstated pressure to conform, maintain status quo, and keep the family from getting upset. Silence seems to be the least consequential (and least destructive) way to handle these internal questions, whether openly gay, celibate, or ex-gay. This silence takes its toll.
I still struggle with this sense that I am ultimately the cause of enormous strife in the Church. I sometimes wish there simply were no gay-ness at all. I wish I could go back to the days before I became conscious of my sexuality, even as many people in the Church are more than happy to relegate sexuality to this very place. But this is simply not reality. This is not where I am—where we are. With all of my unrealistic wishing, I do hope that my greatest wish has some hope for coming to fruition:
Perhaps if more people in the church could recognize that I’m not here to destroy the Church, nor the foundations of our society, some of the dissension would abate. I’m not here to eradicate families, and I have no evil agenda to recruit your children. I love the church, absolutely love it. Why else would I put up with so many of the abuses I have felt from it? My sad testimony is replete with instances where my greatest wounds were inflicted by loving church folks. But I’ve remained. I haven’t left. I wish everyone would stop fighting because they feel so uncomfortable about my decision to stick around. It breaks my heart every time someone leaves my church over a disagreement. It’s like mommy and daddy can’t seem to be mature enough to work out their differences, so they just leave. And ultimately, it feels as if they’re leaving because of me.”