I was about 11 years old when I became fully aware of my attractions to women. An interesting program aired on television one night which discussed a history of sorts of LGBTQ+ characters and themes in cinema. I was drawn to it because I finally felt affirmed and could put a name to how I felt inside. After that night, contemplating the duality of my attractions to males and females had confused and frightened me. Around 12 or 13, I told my best friend on the phone that I liked her and she screamed and dropped the phone. The call ended on that note. From then on, I kept this part of me all bottled inside and buried it deep. For years, I never told a soul.
Despite what I was feeling on the inside, I was very devout even from a young age. Legalistic would be the better way to describe me from age 9 to 21. From theology to behavior, I was tethered down to a tee to the letter of the Scriptures. Thus, my initial beliefs about homosexuality by and large were all negative. One was "surely" headed to Hell for engaging in anything remotely homosexual, and I would immediately be dismissive of the title "gay Christian". By the time I reached adulthood, I went from hiding my inner desires to straight up being in denial of them all together. My understanding of sanctification at the time was very immature and also very harmful to myself as well as those whom I'd cross paths with who I could and should have loved better. Thus, the only way I could become "healed" and "walking in step with God" was to somehow find a way to purge these thoughts for good and become ex-gay.
Over time, I came to realize the complexity and depth of the Gospel and all that God came to reconcile. When I was 22, I became involved in a same-sex relationship with a close friend. There was no way to deny my desires at that point. While the relationship only lasted a few months, the Lord allowed me to learn so much about myself and His grace. I had attractions that were not going away, and I had discovered through some light research that I wasn't the only Christian who dealt with them. This provided some relief and allowed me to have a much softer disposition towards others. Yes, you could be Christian and have same-sex attractions, but what then? That same year, I married my husband, and for a while, I neatly tucked this question in the back of my mind tending to my marriage and family and the issues that clung so closely to them. While my husband was aware of my desires, we never talked about them in great or small amounts.
It wasn't until a few months ago that I revisited the question. I stumbled across Revoice on Twitter. Never had I seen such a ministry which explicitly cares for and creates a space for LGBTQ+ Christians to gather, worship, and be fed a healthy perspective on same sex desires and acceptance of them. Watching the testimonials from various people opened my eyes like never before! To hear a richly theological take on how the Gospel interacts with and weaves these things together was mind-boggling. Praise the Lord for the teachers, pastors, leaders, and everyday people that God has raised up to be a voice past and present for this very delicate and very present subject within the church. Things didn't stop there, however. I learned about the existence of different "Sides" within the Christian community. Initially, "Side B" resonated with me more. As I leaned in, however, I became curious about the stance that "Side A" has grounded itself upon. Sadly, there wasn't as much material easily searchable that I could immerse myself in to really begin to understand. I began getting discouraged as I truly did want to know how to better study the whole counsel of Scripture prior to officially confirming my posture. I finally broke ground when I discovered an interview that the late Rachel Evans had with Justin Lee regarding his "Side A" perspective. All I can say is wow! I was blown away by his love for the Scriptures and practical outlook for how LGBTQ+ Christians can live out their lives in a way that glorifies Jesus. There is a ton of information on his site that dives head first into the nuance of it all. After hearing his take along with the testimonials of other LGBTQ+ Christians (Spiritual Friendship, Tower Of BABL Podcast, Queerology Podcast, Sam Alberry, Bridgett Eileen, and others), my posture has fallen to "Side A". This by no means indicates that I am closed off to learning more from all sides. It just means that I am fully convinced that God is okay with committed same-sex relationships and even same-sex marriage.
How would you describe your life now?: Now, my life is filled with so much freedom! It was so liberating to finally come out and share what I've been dealing with publicly. I used to pray to the Lord often in early days of my walk for courage. It was a long, hard fight, but I can see how the Lord has been granting me this each and everyday. I've become less and less fearful of what people think of me and more and more confident in the entirety of my identity; from my hair, to my clothes, my skin, to my toes and now my sexual identity. I believe you absolutely can be gay and Christian. Listening to Justin Lee has inspired me to want to slow down even more, taking time to carefully examine the Scriptures on this and all other matters. I am excited about becoming apart of a new community and truly feeling like I belong. I hope to talk and share with others who are navigating this path to glean from their experiences of how God has worked/is working in and through them.
For now, please feel free to listen in to this sneak peek of a song I am writing directly about my journey called "Confessions" here!