Coming out at Thanksgiving dinner

Posted on November 23, 2011

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Every year my dad’s family gets together at his parents for Thanksgiving. All my cousins, including quite a few who grew up and went to high school with me, come too. As a part of my coming out process, I was planing on telling them all about my sexuality this year during the few days that we’re all home.

There was recently a death in the family, and I’m not sure that they’re ready for this and, for the first time, a considerable portion of the family is not coming. So, my goal is still to come out to them by the end of the year, and to be out and honest on facebook soon after that.

I have a letter that I plan on sending to my parents’ siblings and to my cousins first. Here it is:

Dear Family,

I’m writing to you in a really scary part of my life. I am coming to grips with where I feel God is leading me. I have been struggling with my sexuality since I was a very young child. I was 9 or 10 when someone told me what it meant to be gay. They told me that Christians weren’t gay, and that none of my family would sit with me or eat with me if I was gay. I knew that I had those feelings that they were describing, but my feelings for my family and for Jesus were (and are) stronger than my biological attractions.

I spent the past fifteen years praying for God to change me, for him to lead me out of “that darkness,” I prayed for healing and had faith that he would change me. I kept getting more and more upset with myself because things didn’t change. I did my best to follow God where he lead me.

He took me to [state college], but when I felt myself threatened by temptation I left there and went to [bible college], which I considered to be a safe place. I treasure the time that I spent there, growing closer to God, and widening my worldview. I got to go to Europe twice, and I got to take classes on the Bible, which led me to appreciate it more.

I told some people there about my struggles, and found that people were supporting me in my fight for freedom from my attractions. In an attempt to grow closer with God, and to reach others for him, I signed up for [overseas mission program]. I grew closer to God than I had ever felt before, and I would love to do something like that again someday.

At [Christian university] I found a spiritual community where I could continue to grow, and an academic circle where I enjoyed honing my natural talents.

From there I felt like God was asking me to pursue a course towards being a librarian, which fit well with my work experience and my love for books. I hope to someday use this passion as my outreach/witness to college students.

While I was living in the Oikos, a Christian community, I felt like God was bringing up new issues in my sexuality. One day an idea hit me, out of the blue. My stance on pacifism, which was a huge pillar in my faith, was not acceptable to a considerable portion of Christianity. I felt like the Spirit was asking me- if they’re wrong about that, couldn’t they be wrong about homosexuality too?

I did some research and here’s what I found. Christian programs couldn’t promise change, and actually reported that:

  • a small percentage of people found that they could change
  • an equal amount tried to commit suicide
  • a large amount reported no change
  • two small parts responded that they experienced “some change” half positive, half negative

I also found out that the six verses that are used against homosexuality don’t really speak to the context of monogamous relationships or to a society where women are treated as equals. They tend to be referring to idolatrous sexual practices being practiced by gentiles in the area (Canaanites in Leviticus, and worshippers of Athena in Romans).  Overall, I found that there were a lot of LGBTQ Christians who believed in the inerrancy of Scripture, as I do, and still felt like they were ok in the eyes of God.

You may be uncomfortable with my new beliefs, and I understand your feelings, because I have held a very different opinion of my gay brothers and sisters too. I don’t ask you to agree with me, but I would hope that you would pray about this issue, and about your relationship with me. I hope that we can continue to have respect for each other, and to love each other in a godly way.

Your brother/nephew/cousin in Christ,

Me

 

I have been really busy with school for the past week and don’t have much to post. More later.

Ooh, and if you have suggestions for/comments about my letter- please post!

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Posted in: Coming Out