Amanda A.

Amanda Bass 2 of 2.jpeg

Because of strict purity culture, I wasn't aware that I bisexual until after I was married to my husband. Having no license to my own sexuality at all before marriage, it never really occurred to me. Oddly, my view toward same sex attraction was that those who could choose not to be, should. I recognized that I was one who could choose opposite sex attraction (and therefore should) but not that *the fact that I could choose* definitely made me bisexual.

I grew up in Pentecostal purity culture and an understanding that gay people were sinning just the same as any of the rest of us. There wasn't a strict delineation in my mind the way there seems to be now, but I definitely saw it as a sin, if one similar to premarital sex or divorce (that irony comes in later).

I started following Glennon Doyle (then Melton) about the time she posted about her letter to her son, if he someday realized he was gay. It resonated with me that there were lots of parts of the Bible we don't take literally in our current understanding. Another instrumental piece was Micah J Murray's "Perhaps Love Bakes a Cake". By that time I was attending an Evangelical university and the wedding cake court case was lighting up the campus as proof of persecution against Christians. I landed solidly on side B on my way toward side A.

When Glennon Doyle came out as bi (and announced she was getting divorced, and also engaged to Abby Wambach) I remember reading with a sinking bolder in my stomach. I was so afraid for her. By that time I had come to terms with the fact that I was bi, shared it with my husband, but resolved that nothing would ever come of it because I had made a commitment I intended to keep. I wanted to hide on her behalf, shield her from the hate, and I felt all of that over again when the far right came for Jen Hatmaker. I have always loved Sarah Bessey, and it came as no surprise to me when she came out as affirming earlier this month. Her article was as gentle and loving as I have come to expect from her. It was a touching tribute to Rachel Held Evans, and like many, I deeply loved her through her work.

Torn apart by the seemingly omnipresent specter of addiction, I finally admitted defeat in my marriage with trembling, terrified anticipation. I considered staying in a terrible situation to spare myself the possible rejection of coming out, since I had promised myself (and I now believe that I had promised God) that if my marriage ever ended, I would let this part of myself breathe at least once. The night I left I came out to my brother, the first in my family. He and my sister in law were confused but supportive, and my journey went from there. 

Fast forward to nearly two years later, and I'm living in a fullness and freedom that I could have never told you I was missing. I have a beautiful girlfriend. My parents are cautiously affirming and have met her. I live in a town where I can walk down the sidewalk holding her hand. I have a small but precious faithfully LGBTQ online family and a strange and wonderful fellowship of misfits on social media. Accepting and integrating the versions of myself has given me so much freedom and grace to extend to those around me. I have never loved or been loved as fully as I am now.

Q Christian Fellowship