The End Of My Double Life

I grew up in Christianity… the same faith I still claim, just like many of you. Although the process of reconciling my faith and sexuality in the midst of a conservative Christian denomination was challenging and painful at times, I now consider it a blessing. For those of us who grew up within fundamentalist belief systems, we have the advantage of remembering what it was like to hold those beliefs. Therefore, we are fully present in the fight for equality, yet we have the ability to understand why some Christians are still fearful of dialogue about LGBT inclusion. If we look hard enough, it’s not difficult to see the reasons why.

Over half of Americans are now in favor of LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage. Couple that fact with the marijuana laws passed in the last election, and you’ve got a good ol’ fashioned recipe for end times disaster. Many religious-righters are trying to save as many homosexual souls as they can before our pride parades usher in the Rapture. But we must remember that most people who have this mindset are acting out of love. They are not bigots, narrow-minded, or shallow. They are clinging passionately to the fundamental beliefs they personally hold as Bible-believing Christians. The views they hold stem from love and compassion for their fellow man, not from intolerance and hate as many people tend to suggest.

However, the above approach is not working. It hasn’t worked for decades. “Ex-gay” ministries are being exposed as fraud, people are getting hurt, and LGBT folks are leaving the Church altogether. Something has to change. We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Culture is shifting. Science is teaching us things about human sexuality that we never knew before. More and more churchgoers are taking a healthy dose of reason and experience with their Scripture-reading. Society is changing. And if the Church doesn’t change as well, it will die.

So the battle lines are drawn, both sides refusing to budge. It’s going to take more than picket signs to change the world. The only answer? Conversation, plain and simple. We must be willing to have those intense discussions with people who disagree with us. We must be willing to be honest about who we are. We must be willing to tell our stories. It is only then that things will change.

This past week, as the Supreme Court held hearings regarding Prop 8 and DOMA, I had a choice to make. Would I continue to compartmentalize my life, or would I publicly declare my advocacy for the LGBT community? In the end, I learned that my silent days are over. I will publicly support equality because it is the right thing to do. Period. I will be honest about who I am because of the millions of young people out there who feel they’d rather die than admit they’re gay. And I will tell my story so that all those who share it will know they aren’t alone.

This is how we change the world.

If you want to tell your story, I hope you choose to do it here, so others can be encouraged. Have a great week, everyone!

8 responses to “The End Of My Double Life

  1. Very well said! My husband & I were discussing our stance – we have a family member who is in a long term healthy supportive gay relationship. We were raised in a traditional evangelical church – so my family had a journey to travel to come to terms with his sexuality – but more importantly a journey to face our own biases and JUDGEMENTS. I once told him that going through that process was a great gift in my life – to challenge how I “loved” those who chose different paths than me. However, defending gay rights is not something I am faced with in my usual everyday life, so I am accepting but rather silent about it. I am feeling that I need to be more vocal about my support for gay marriage. I am so frustrated by the double standards, judgements etc in the evangelical church – because that is still how I choose to express my faith. But it drives me crazy. I am not afraid to say I support gay marriage – but I need better words for the conversations that I know will arise. So … BE the change you wish to see in the world!!! (Gandhi) I support your courage to stand and be counted. You will make a difference in someones life. Thanks for sharing your words with the world with your blog – they have encouraged me to make a difference too.

    • I absolutely LOVE reading comments like this. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to be a Christian ally for the LGBT community. So, THANK YOU for everything that you do. People like you have to “come out” just like those of us who are LGBT!

      I am convinced that allies have a very specific work to do… something that those of us who are gay simply cannot do; And that is to be a voice for us within the evangelical circle. Sometimes, it has more of an effect if the message of inclusion comes from another straight person… and understandably so.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and share a little bit of your story. It’s encouraging to know that we don’t have to travel the path of reconciliation alone. :)

  2. I will be praying for you as you take this courageous step. May God grant you grace and strength!

    • Thank you, Marlene! This evening, at the end of my first day officially “out” all the way… I feel relieved instead of stressed, comforted instead of worried…. not at all what i was anticipating, but a welcome surprise. :) I really appreciate all of your support!

  3. Have you seen the debate with dan savage and brian brown?

  4. “…you’ve got a good ol’ fashioned recipe for end times disaster” made me laugh out loud, along with the idea that our Pride Parades will “usher in the Rapture.” I like how you wrote this, Mandy–a little bit of levity within a very heavy subject. I agree with your perspective, and I suspect that the church is catching on as we soldier forward one trembling step at a time.

    • Haha! Thank you for your comment. Hopefully, not too much sarcasm came through in that paragraph. ;) May we continue to encourage each other during this time of change. What an exciting (and sometimes scary) time to be alive! Big things are happening.

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