View Full Version : Greetings, my name is Andrew...
11-24-2008, 03:27 PM
It's so wondrously freeing to be able to say "my name is Andrew, and I am a gay Christian"...
I just finished watching "for the Bible tells me so" and I fell in love with Jake's story especially, I think mostly because I am also from Minnesota, though I tend to think that the northwestern part of the state is more conservative than the southeastern--the Cities.
However, our stories differ from that point.
My parents do not accept me and love me for who I am. I've "come out" on two occasions--last Christmas and last summer--only to retreat back into the closet, because at this point in my life, I care more about my relationship with my family than my honesty.
I also care very much about my new career as an English teacher. I am not in a position to sacrifice the job that I love for who I am just yet. However, I have read that "if we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them."
Where do I go from here? Do I show the film to my family? Do I make a stance in my school and make an example of other gay teachers? Do I make a stance in church for other gay Christians?
What's more, my cousin recently came out to his family, and I want to support him more than anything, but I don't like conflict. As an English teacher, I know that conflict is what makes a story, but it is harder to live through that conflict than it is to read the conflict.
Sometimes I think my story, when it's all said and done will make for a great novel someday. My only hope is that I won't have to write it anonymously. I hope that the end of my story is like Jake's.
I've kept a blog for those who'd like to read more about my story so far... I'm too busy to keep it updated as of late, though.
Peace and love, Andrew
11-24-2008, 04:41 PM
Well Andrew, coming out is very difficult to do. I can attest to this as it took me 39 years to come out to my family. I felt many of the same things you are feeling through the entire process. Let me give you a small backs story.
My family is very conservative Christian, well my mothers side is at least. My father is a little more liberal. Anyway, the thought of coming out was terrifying to me. It took me 32 years to completely accept in myself that I was gay and there was no changing who I am. So how could I expect my family to accept it too? I, like you, was more concerned about keeping my family than being truthful to who I am to them. It was an extremely hard decision to finally be truthful to them that I am gay. What would they do? Would I still have a family? Will they completely shun me or even worse? Those were the questions that I struggled with.
Finally, with the help of my wonderful partner and some really great friends, I got up the courage to tell my father. I was so scared to "face" him with the news for fear of his reaction, I wrote him an email telling him that I am gay. To make a long story short he wrote back that he and my step-mother had pretty much knew I was gay from back when I was a teen. He didn't care that I was gay, I was his son and no one "not even God" can take that away. The other side of the family, my mother's side, was a little different. They still love me and I have not been kicked out of the family or anything. However, they do still see me as being "wrong in the eyes of God" because "the bible says homosexuality is wrong". You know the drill by now I am sure. They have also pretty much said that I can no longer take my two younger cousins out without one of the family being there with us. That part stung very much, because it was not only punishing me but my cousins. Whatever, I have accepted their close mindedness and got on with my life. I still speak with them but not so much anymore and my cousins I haven't seen in quite a while now. They ask why they can't go with me and they get answers like "he is busy" or "we don't have the money to let you go", crap like that. I keep telling my aunt to tell them the truth, "you can't go with Scott because we are bigots and won't open our narrow minds up to anything but what our minister says is the truth." She didn't like that very much to say the least.
Anyway, there is no one that can tell you how your family will react. It comes down to being in a position that if they do freak and disown you that you can stand on your own. If they accept you then that is great. There is going to be a time of "getting use to the news". Heck they may already know, or at least know but not want to admit to themselves that they have a gay son. They will think it is something that they did or didn't do, as my father did. Just be prepared for anything and everything. As far as the job goes that is a very rough road there too. I guess it is just up to you. I wish there was some magic words that someone could say to make this decision easier, unfortunately there isn't.
I bid you good luck in whatever decision that you make. Read through "What the Bible Does and Doesn't say about Homosexuality". You can find it here on Soulforce under the resources drop down.
Peace and welcome to you Andrew,
11-24-2008, 10:54 PM
I think you misunderstood me somewhat. I wrote that I've "come out on two occasions", only to "retreat back into the closet"... Essentially, I told my dad, my mom, and my sister that I am gay, and then when the opposition from the three of them became too fierce, I retreated, said it was all one big misunderstanding. So, they know. The seed has been planted. But, unfortunately, I haven't the strength to stand my ground, especially now, when all my gay friends are still in college and nowhere near me to support me in my endeavors to be true to myself and to my family. Yes, my cousin may be gay, but he is also in college, and yes, my mom's cousin supports and accepts me completely, but she teaches social work at this college too... All of this is just to say that I was happy while I was in college last year. However, now that I have graduated and teach English in a small-town high school two hours away from this college, I feel very much alone again. Ironically, I am only a 30-minute drive away from my parents, who are my support system right now. I have friends here, yes, but they are more colleagues than friends. I have told no one... I realized especially today too that I need someone else in my life. Today, while I was taken by ambulance to the hospital after I had fainted in class due to a flu shot, I started to think that I wouldn't have a ride home, that there would be no one there to take care of me after I returned home... Yes, I know. As it is with my family's acceptance, it is with this too: all in due time; I must have patience. Anyway, thanks for your response!
11-25-2008, 12:40 PM
Well Andrew, I re-read your post and see where I missed what you were saying. My apologies!
I can relate to the feelings of having no one and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel. Before I met my loving partner, 3 years ago in September, I thought that there would be no one out there for me and I would just settle for living my life without anyone. There is one other little fact about our relationship that I must relate. He lives 850 miles away from me and we have seen each other once physically in those 3 years. Other than that one trip to go see him, we have survived by using Skype and phone calls. We are hoping that he will be able to relocate next year :pray:, or 2010 :(.
Anyway, how did your family react to you telling them that you are gay? What is your family dynamic like, are they far right religiously? You say it got "to fierce" for you and that is why you retreated back into the closet. I don't mean to sound harsh Andrew, but how can you go back somewhere again that you have already come out of. It isn't like you can undo telling them that you are gay. One thing that I have found in talking with people here on Soulforce as well as reading others coming out stories is that it takes time for family members sometimes to come to grips with the fact that their child is gay. It isn't an easy thing to deal with for some people for whatever reason. I was one of the luckier ones in this phase of my life, well with my father at least. He pretty much already knew for many years that I was gay, so it was no surprise to him. He was just waiting for me to say the words to him.
You have the hardest part of the battle over with, letting them know. It is going to take time. Time for them to really absorb this whole thing. Like one wonderful friend asked me once, "how long did it take you to truly acknowledge that you were gay? Now think how long it will take someone to accept that fact for themselves." Neither one of them will happen over night. Have patience and be true to yourself Andrew. Don't deny yourself the pleasure of living your life. I did that for 32 years and those were the most miserable of my life. It is truly lonely in the closet that we live in. Sometimes there are circumstances that almost seem to force us to live there longer than we would like. But trust me, one day you will look back on these days and wonder. That day may not be tomorrow, next week, or next year, but it will come!
Just be true to yourself Andrew. Use the support system that you have. They may be far away from you but they are still there. I mean my biggest supporter is 850 miles away and I draw on him everyday, as he does with me. Don't let the distance stop you from living. Don't cram yourself back into that closet out of fear. There may be times you need to and that is alright, everyone can't do it all at once. But don't make it permanent! Get with those people that love and support you any way that you can. Even if it is a phone call to "cry on their shoulder" or ask for advice. Use what you have to the fullest and good things will come.
Sorry, I am rambling...I tend to do that. I can't seem to get what I want to say into just a couple of sentences. Sometimes I have more to say than what I have time to say or that anyone wants to hear too. Take this all for what it is worth and use it as you see fit. I don't claim to be the one that knows everything. There are a large amount of wonderful people here at Soulforce of whom without I wouldn't be where I am today. They have helped me so much. This is another place that you can feel safe and be true to yourself. This was my haven for a good year before coming out to my family. It is a great place full of awesome people.
I would advise you to read through some of the literature in the "resources" section. There is a lot of great stuff in there that may help you.
Take care Andrew. Be at peace!!!:love:
11-25-2008, 08:21 PM
A good book that I just gave to my mother today to read is called 'the man jesus loved' by Jennings. He reads the gospels with the perspective that Jesus was at least gay-friendly if not gay. He analizes every angle along with the greek word meanings and culture of antiquity.
I've given my mother lots of books to read but none for a while. None have changed her. This one seems like the one that could get through, I'm hoping. Movies are good too, but she hasn't watched any. Rock Haven is a good one. My mother said some of the same lines to me.
Most people read their bible over and over and get the same answers because they read it like a child and never realize to check out the translations from the Greek as well as understand the culture of the day it was written. 'The man jesus loved' is written by a methodist professor and he argues the evidence but does not stretch the truth. The conclusion is Jesus was at least gay-friendly.
11-26-2008, 02:06 PM
Hi Andrew and welcome to Soulforce.
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