Now that I’ve Come Out of the Closet

Now that I’ve Come Out of the Closet May 7, 2013

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I recently came out as a straight, married, Christ-following mother-of-five, in support of the LGBTQ community. Since then, I’ve received quite a few emails and comments — many incredibly encouraging and some less-than-loving. I understand that views on this issue are deeply rooted, and people don’t want to make the wrong move. I took this on because I know in my heart that families are facing this issue every day, and theirs are the hearts I want to connect with.

My vision is 1. to be a voice of encouragement to LGBTQ in their struggles and 2. to be a safe place for family and friends of LGBTQ to express their questions and challenges. While I welcome open dialogue, I’m not particularly interested in answering naysayers to the nth degree, especially those who don’t have a horse in this race. Those issues have been answered at length (check my Resources), and while I have unique things to say, answering those issues to your satisfaction is not my direct purpose. I cannot answer every question, but I will soon post an FAQs section.

Christians love to say homosexuality is a sin like any other sin. I have challenged us on whether it is a sin. But even if Christians truly viewed this as any other sin, the overarching perception of us would be a lot closer to the love of Christ than the current perception. You see, we don’t really treat this issue the same as other issues. People are more disgusted by this particular issue than many other issues. I’ve watched it happen. For example, my friend joined me at my daughter’s volleyball game. As we took our seats on the bleachers, I sat in front of her so she could massage my stiff neck. This friend was wearing baggy sweats and a baseball cap. A nearby couple turned and looked at us in disgust, and then scooted away. That was their response to what they thought they were seeing. I thought, boy, that would be hard to take after a while. I don’t blame gays and lesbians for getting angry/frustrated/depressed when they have been on the receiving end of this time and again.

On the other hand, a conservative Christian friend who speaks in favor of traditional marriage told me he has been on the receiving end of the same judgment his whole adult life; he’s received death threats starting when he was 21; he’s had to leave events under police protection; and he’s feared for multiple threats against his family. “Hate speech” cuts both ways.

I wish we had the freedom just to be with each other. As I took a long flight recently, a woman took the middle seat, between me on the aisle and a man at the window. I assumed by her appearance that she was gay. She glanced at me, and the CS Lewis book in my lap, and then turned and talked to the man on the other side. She had no interest in the person she’d sized me up to be. Of course, I was sizing her up too — I could be way wrong. I tried to engage with her. Mildly. But after a couple of sentences about the Words with Friends app vs. the Scrabble app, I found myself wondering what to say. “You can talk to me — I am gay-friendly! I talk about LGBTQ on my blog — I’d love to know what your issues have been. And by the way, do you know Jesus??” Yes, that’s what I’d really like to talk about, if we could get the other issues out of the way.

What might the world look like if we were Safe Havens for each other, as Brent Bailey guest blogged on The Marin Foundation website? Whatever else may or may not be true, Jesus offers us a safe haven in Him, as He wants us to offer that for each other. It’s part of loving Him and loving others.


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  • “Hate speech cuts both ways.”

    What a lovely false equivalence. Confronting bigotry is not hate speech. It may well be that threats on either side are unwarranted, but that’s a convenient Christian smokescreen to avoid the meat of the issue and feed a persecution complex. Your fellow Christians do this all the time. “Oh, woe’s me! Someone is challenging out bigoted status quo! How dare they!”

    They did the same thing with Biblical commandments in courthouses, Christmas Jesus displays on government property, and Bible verses in public school football. It’s fantastically hypocritical and tone-deaf. The same folks are out defacing atheist signs. It’s like Henry Ford: “You can have a car in any color, so long as it’s black.”

  • I won’t defend death threats, though I will say vastly more have occurred from Christians. And they have the tendency to carry them out. I’m thinking in particular of that poor boy tied to a fence and left to die in 1998. He, and dozens of others, are just on the gay side. There was Tiller in 2008, an abortion provider, who was murdered in his own church. Puffery aside, has any Christian ever been killed in the name of gay equality?

  • By all means — share, repost, get this word out there.

  • Thank you for the post and for your willingness to be a courageous and loving voice.

    A big blessing for me this past year has been seeing how my own journey has intertwined with those of friends. A friend of mine, after coming back to school from a break, told me about the opposition he experienced from an old friend when he told the man that one of his friends came out. Prior to that I hadn’t realized that “coming out” as a friend or supporter of an LGBTQ person may require substantial courage and perhaps the possibility of altered relationships, depending on one’s cultural and theological context. This friend, and many others, have shown me that I am not alone on my journey of finding the fullness of life in Christ. As I said earlier, coming to understand the full depth of love my friends have for me has been the biggest of blessings.

    Again, thank you for your postings. I pray that they embolden others to love as Christ loves.

  • Thank you for the post and for your willingness to be a courageous and loving voice.

    A big blessing for me this past year has been seeing how my own journey has intertwined with those of friends. A friend of mine, after coming back to school from a break, told me about the opposition he experienced from an old friend when he told the man that one of his friends came out. Prior to that I hadn’t realized that “coming out” as a friend or supporter of an LGBTQ person may require substantial courage and perhaps the possibility of altered relationships, depending on one’s cultural and theological context. This friend, and many others, have shown me that I am not alone on my journey of finding the fullness of life in Christ. As I said earlier, coming to understand the full depth of love my friends have for me has been the biggest of blessings.

    Again, thank you for your postings. I pray that they embolden others to love as Christ loves.

  • Oh, thank you so much. Yes, it’s a strange twist to be condemned for loving, when it is actually our great and all-encompassing command. It’s because of fear though, because we see God as too small to handle EVERYone’s issues, obedient and disobedient. I take comfort in my Savior, and the truth that love never fails. God bless your journey, new friend! Love your blog.

  • Oh, thank you so much. Yes, it’s a strange twist to be condemned for loving, when it is actually our great and all-encompassing command. It’s because of fear though, because we see God as too small to handle EVERYone’s issues, obedient and disobedient. I take comfort in my Savior, and the truth that love never fails. God bless your journey, new friend! Love your blog.

  • Sweet Donna, bless you! What a struggle. A woman spoke the other night at PFLAG who came out at age 60. 60! And she is freer than she’s never been. I said, “If all the families of gays would come out, it would change the church.” She said, “If all the gays would come out, it would change the church!” No one can tell you what to do, my friend. But I hear you wanting to be free, to tell your story, to be the person He created. It takes a lot of courage to be you. (Why should it take so much courage to be oneself? Maybe because the world works from beginning to end to conform us to something else? An image??) It takes courage to be you, but then, you’ve got only one life. As poet Mary Oliver writes, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” And here’s another great thought: you are always only acting from fear or love. The choice (and its consequences) are YOURS! God bless you and your wild and precious life!

  • Sweet Donna, bless you! What a struggle. A woman spoke the other night at PFLAG who came out at age 60. 60! And she is freer than she’s never been. I said, “If all the families of gays would come out, it would change the church.” She said, “If all the gays would come out, it would change the church!” No one can tell you what to do, my friend. But I hear you wanting to be free, to tell your story, to be the person He created. It takes a lot of courage to be you. (Why should it take so much courage to be oneself? Maybe because the world works from beginning to end to conform us to something else? An image??) It takes courage to be you, but then, you’ve got only one life. As poet Mary Oliver writes, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” And here’s another great thought: you are always only acting from fear or love. The choice (and its consequences) are YOURS! God bless you and your wild and precious life!