Thursday, April 19, 2012

That wasn't easy

So, I got a lot of responses about my last blog, where I came out, as they say. These have been mainly positive. Many saying "Congratulations!" or "That's a brave step." Many gay friends had suspected, many straight ones hadn't. Looks like "takes one to know one" is true. My sisters were surprised to hear me finally say it, but were not surprised at it.

My good friend Sam Milazzo I knew would have an interesting reaction, but in the end, he was positive about it as well.

I did get a couple comments from someone condemning homosexuality as a chosen sin and an abomination, but I deleted these. After getting rid of the second one, I was checking my Facebook (as I do way too often), and noted a man from church on my friends list. He had a post and the wording sounded quite familiar. I removed him from my friends list. The next day, he sent me a message saying that if I loved Jesus, I should renounce my sinful ways and repent. Following that, I blocked him. Nothing since.

Christianity has been a big part of my life, which complicated matters when I began to suspect I was gay. What Christians would tell me about homosexuality and what I was learning about it just didn't fit. They say homosexuality is a choice, which already makes no sense to me. I have also been taught that murder is a choice, and I haven't made a choice to murder anyone. (Feel like it sometimes or joke about it, yes.) And why am I sinful when all I did was make a realization about myself? Why on earth would I choose to be gay when I knew gays are discriminated against (I have to admit to being anti-gay in the past, oh, how the tables turn...) and also heard all sorts of other negative things about them?

Why would I choose to be gay? I didn't.

There are theories and scientific research about why sexual attractions differ, but frankly, I don't think we'll ever really understand it. All I know is, it isn't a choice I made. If sexual orientation was a choice, the greedy human nature would stipulate that we'd see more bisexuals.

I was wondering about the other people from church. I haven't attended regularly in about two years or longer. Travel issues were one reason and then I opened up my work schedule to include Sunday and they have been scheduling me then.

At work, I overheard a coworker—a young girl who attends the Christian school the church operates—tell about her uncle who had volunteered to teach math at the school. They discovered he was gay, and he was shunned.

And upon hearing that, I knew that if I went back and was honest with them, I'd just get the same treatment. So, that night, I removed them all from my Facebook friends list. I don't hate these people. These have been some of the kindest, warmest, and most generous people I've met. But their leaders didn't try to understand what it means to be gay and were quick to judge and condemn instead of reaching out in some of that unconditional love they teach about. Furthermore, they have made little to no effort to contact me in the past two years, so I think we've all moved on.

My sister Audrey and my brother Aaron's wife Jessica were both quite supportive, Audrey publicly asking why we're quick to judge and condemn people we think have sinned when we know we're not perfect. I know I'm not perfect, and I know I don't have all the answers, nor will I pretend to.

The man who had contacted me, Audrey had babysat for him once and his daughters blatantly asked her if she was poor. We never had a lot of money, being a large family, and Audrey was quite hurt by the question as I recall.

I actually feel sorry for these people.

I know not all Christians are like that. There's reports of Christians who went to a pride parade and held up signs apologizing for how they've spread hate in the name of God. An article called "I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay" went viral and challenged the subconscious idea that differences make people unworthy of love.

I suppose I'm actually lucky I've really only had one really bad reaction to my coming out, but that single one really hurt and made me think a lot.

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