Coming out on Easter

Posted on April 9, 2012

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This post is primarily a story, but since it is Easter…

This is kind of a new way to think of coming out. Not coming out of the closet, but hatching “out” of the egg. Since it is Easter, and the egg is a symbol for birth. As a gay Christian, Easter is a symbol of resurrection, which for followers of Jesus is also a rebirth. The old self has passed away, but a new self  has come.

 

I had the support of my aunt and some cousins with this stage. My dad’s family was mostly home for Easter, my brother, sister, and their spouses were all home too. I knew my parents were uncomfortable with me coming out- how could they not be? Their friends from the far right- James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Rick Santorum- all told them that being gay was not biological, but environmental. I think that the far right must drive away at least some people with that excuse, but not my parents. My mom does believe it’s a “choice,” not a conscious choice to become the way I am, but a choice not to change. And here are her pillars of the faith telling her that it’s because she was too attentive as a mother, too coddling, too strong of a presence- that it is her fault I am gay.

Ha! I had a great mother, and a father whose qualities are at least as grand as his faults. I was a priveleged child to be raised in my home, and I appreciate that. I also know that my parents love me, even though they think it is wrong for me to be gay. They won’t change their beliefs based on my sexuality, and I won’t change my sexuality based on their beliefs. I hope that someday their spiritual path will lead them to the conclusion that God loves his gay children, but it hasn’t yet.

 

back to my story…

I finally found some time to be alone with my grandmother, but I was having a hard time coming to the point. We looked at family photos for a while before I said, “Grandma, I actually came up here to talk to you about something.” Her face was serious, a little worried, as she asked me what it was.

“Grandma I’m not like – my brother- or -my sister.”  She was nodding in understanding before I told her that I was like her nephews, who were gay.

She told me she knew, that my dad had told her and my grandpa, who has since passed, after we returned from “Love Won Out,” a conference for ex-gays and families of gays.

Her words for me were, “I am not the one to judge.” She told me that she didn’t understand, that it seemed like it was a pattern in our family,a dn that she would be praying for me.

I appreciate her prayers, as I know they will be for my good, and not for her desires.

 

My aunt helped me with telling my uncle. I would have had no time to bring the topic up but, once she had told him, I managed to text him and meet with him, my aunt, and their daughter who was in town for a bit.

I walked them through my journey- finding out at a family reunion, fear of rejection, hiding, coming out slowly, and then finding out I didn’t think I was wrong. My uncle says we’ll have to agree to disagree, but that we’re family and he’s not going to refuse to eat at the same table as me (if you’re unfamiliar with this part of my story- I found out I was gay because of cousins telling me this very thing at a family reunion, about a lesbian cousin of ours).

 

I didn’t get a chance to talk to one of my aunts, but with her the talk is a formality- she heard me talking about it with a cousin a long time ago. If you aren’t trying to come out to everyone all at once- don’t tell anyone near a vent. Better yet- tell them in a whisper, outside, during a thunderstorm.

 

 

I also ended up talking about being gay in front of some more of my housemates. There is only one that I know I haven’t mentioned it in front of, and she may know anyway. We may be having a talk about the Bible and homosexuality here in my commune- our house owner/community member brought up the idea at supper this evening. Could be interesting. If it is, you’ll hear about it.

 

Also- new Page on the blog- check out my Queer dictionary. I’ll probably be referring to it, linking to it. Some specific terms that I use a lot that I’m not sure are in wide use are “affirming” – people who are on the side that says being gay is ok, and “accepting” these are people who believe the Bible says it’s wrong to be gay (even though they wish it didn’t), and “unaccepting”- people who are maybe a bit abrasive about their views on the Bible and homosexuality.

 

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Posted in: Coming Out, Theology