Fulfill the Law: Love God. Love People.
Maybe life really is just that simple.

Reflections: I Was A Gay Baptist College Student

I met up with an old friend from my Christian college last weekend. The fellowship was wonderful. He graduated with a BA in Theology the year before I finished my BA in Christian Counseling. A large bit of what we discussed was realizing we were gay, that we couldn’t change, and dealing with all the emotions that brings all while trying to complete our Baptist degrees. Our stories sounded so similar, with the exception that he went to much greater lengths than I did to “cure” his homosexuality. He flew across the country to attend an ex-gay camp, and the stories he told of “therapy” were unreal. I’ve done a lot of reading on ex-gay therapy, but his stories STILL surprised me. He attended Exodus International conferences. He went to the school counselor. He read all the “right” books. And while reading a book by Joe Dallas stating that only behaviors could change, that he’d be trapped by same-sex attraction forever, his faith fell apart. He was basically a non-believer his entire senior year. He could not understand why God REFUSED to “heal” him. Until he eventually realized he had nothing to be healed from and that his narrow view of God defied human conscience.

 

I, too, lost my faith during my senior year of Bible college. I knew what I’d been told about gay people was wrong, and it caused me to question what else they got wrong. I’m still questioning. But two emotions stick out during that period in my life. One, euphoria because I was finally real with myself and had found love! And two, fear. I was terrified of being found out. I was afraid my school would find out, my fiancée and I would get kicked out, and THAT would be how my parent’s found out I was gay. I couldn’t be real with my friends for fear they’d out me, either intentionally or unintentionally. I had to become one of the fake, hiding people I preached so loudly against. Authenticity is something I greatly value. I had to watch every word, justify every action. Try not to look too “queer.” Smile and pretend I believed what was being taught during classes. Try to “kind of” pretend I agreed with what they said while trying to pass an amendment to the state constitution to “protect traditional marriage.” (My school did phone drives and held petition signings for Florida’s Amendment 2 in 2008. I did not participate, even though counseling students were “highly encouraged” to do so.) Fear and secrecy were a large part of my life back then. And it sucked… it sucked. I feel that sinking feeling in my chest now just remembering.

 

But I write this post on the hope that SOMEONE out there is currently where I was and needs the encouragement. My friend, my fiancée, I, and others made it out with our degrees and are now out and proud people who happen to be gay. We know where you’ve been. We remember it with saddened hearts. Just know that God, whoever and whatever God is, does not condemn you for being gay or for not being the perfect Christian school student as defined by your superiors. I know you are out there. If, like all of us, you are too far into your degree program to transfer, then press on knowing it will be over soon. If you need to transfer schools, then transfer. Though I will say this, we are all glad we finished. I’m proud to be a gay Baptist college alumna (even if I don’t use that degree). We are not alone, and we are no longer silenced.  We now live in freedom.  Find a church that loves for who you are, not their idea of what you’re supposed to be.  And know that there are plenty of people out there who will love you for you; a lot of my Christian friends really surprised me with their love and lack of condemnation.  We were gay baptist students… and we all made out “on the other side.”  In other words, it gets better.

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3 Responses to “Reflections: I Was A Gay Baptist College Student”

  1. You are perfect in the eyes of God. Bless you and your work for helping other LGBTs struggling with religions who don’t support them. I couldn’t imagine a God who doesn’t support the beautiful love I share with my Carmella. God loves us all.

    I wanted to share a link with you. Her name is Gail Equality Dickert and her website is http://www.homospirituality.com/ I think you both have a lot in common.

    Love and Blessings,
    Joan

  2. so just be who you are, not less or not more

  3. It gets better, indeed! I too am Christian gay man and a seminary graduate. One of my great passions now is helping other gay people integrate a theologically-sound, committed Christian faith with their sexuality. In connection with this, and based on your post above, I believe many of the posts on my blog will resonate for you and others. Feel free to finds links to each on the “Index” page.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com


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