Tag Archives: coming out

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!

Telling My Story On My Own Terms

When you’re a Christian (gay or straight) who advocates for LGBT inclusion, you’re going to gain some critics. And I have a few! (I’ll consider it a compliment.) Since my advocacy involves my own sexuality, people are going to form their own various opinions. A lot of things get back to me through the grapevine, although it’s difficult to say what is fact and what has become exaggerated like something from a giant game of “Telephone”. But one thing that some people apparently wonder, is why I choose to keep my personal blog and this blog separate. They wonder why I’m brave enough to post things here with my first name only, but hesitant to say too much on my personal Facebook page, etc., where my full identity is front and center. I would be lying if I said part of that didn’t come from fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of hate. Fear of losing friends (who wouldn’t have been friends in the first place). You know, all of that normal stuff. However, there is one primary aspect that keeps me from being as vocal as I’d like to be… and that is protecting those that are a part of my past. There are a couple of folks with whom I experimented, had flings, had feelings, had relationships—who are still deep inside the closet. At least one of these individuals told me she’s been healed from her same-sex attraction. (And that is her experience, so I will not patronize that… even though I have my doubts.) These people are also the ones who are generally responsible for outing me to others. (I get it… they think if they out me, then no one will question their sexuality.) But this brings up a question that I often ponder: Can I come out fully, and still protect those individuals?

656339_83604184Lately, I’m finding that I just don’t care as much anymore about who “knows” (as if it’s something to be ashamed of). It feels so good to know who I am, and to know that who I am is a-ok! And the longer I go on with this knowledge, the fire of justice, advocacy, and love inside me grows. Part of carrying out that advocacy is sharing my story. I cannot share my whole story if I leave out certain parts—things that help to explain why I did what I did, felt what I felt, and thought what I thought. While I would never ever reveal someone else’s name or identity, I do sometimes feel the need to share certain things that have happened along the way. First of all, I need to be free to share my story because it may help someone else. Secondly, I need to share my story because it is cathartic. I am learning to do that in ways that are both healing for me, and respectful to others involved.

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about what I would say if ever made a Facebook announcement concerning my sexual orientation. I still don’t know if I feel the need to post it. Perhaps a better approach is to stop hiding things on my profile. Maybe I should consider listing the url to this blog as my website, making my relationship status public, etc. I need to work toward having an unedited online presence. This is becoming increasingly important to me. And maybe one day in the near future, I will take that final step of totally and completely outing myself. It’s to the point now where people are either going to hear about my sexuality from someone else, or from me.

I’d rather it be from me.

Do any of you edit your lives to protect other people from your past? How did you find a solution that was right for you? 

An Open Letter to My Facebook Friends

FacebookEvery week, I spend a ridiculous amount of time editing my Facebook wall. Why? Because I’m not 100% out on Facebook. And so, when someone who knows I’m gay posts something revealing to my wall that others who don’t know I’m gay might see, then I have to either edit the audience for that post, or delete it entirely. See how cumbersome that can become? (I’m sure there are plenty of you who know what that’s like.) There are lots of my Facebook friends who know; I’ve come out to several people. I’m sure there are more than I would like to realize who have “heard it through the grapevine”. But then, there are many who simply don’t know. And it is because of them that I edit my online life. I even have a custom-made “gay-safe” list that comes in handy quite often. But this way of separating my life into little virtual compartments is becoming too complex and certainly too time-consuming. Why do I care so much? Why does it matter what these people—most of whom I never even see on a daily basis—think of me? And so, today I present an open letter to my Facebook friends. If I had the guts, the courage, the boldness to really do it, this is what I would say:

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To All of my Facebook Friends:

I love you. Please don’t stop reading this now. There’s something I need to say. This is perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I’m writing to tell you that I am a lesbian. Over the past several years, I’ve edited my life for those of you who may not accept me. But then, I realized… by keeping up this charade, I’m not giving you the chance to make your own decision about me. That’s unfair. Many of you already know this news. Many of you don’t. Many of you have heard from a friend of a friend of a friend… and many of you have sensed it for years. To those of you who already knew: thank you for being my emotional support—for being my backbone when I didn’t have one of my own. Thank you for showing me unconditional love and acceptance throughout the duration of my journey. To those of you who didn’t know this before now: I’m sorry that I couldn’t bring myself to tell you. We had such good times and amazing memories. I was scared that this news would negate all of that. I was afraid that “gay” was the only thing you would see when you looked at me… and I want you to see that I am so much more than that. Being gay is a part of me, but it is not my identity. I am the person you’ve always known.

I realize that many of you probably have lots of questions for me. I will attempt to answer some for you:

•Yes, I’ve always known something was different. No, I didn’t always know exactly what to call it. Once I put the pieces together, my entire life made perfect sense… no joke.

•Yes, I believe I was born this way.

•No, I was never sexually abused.

•Yes, I had amazing relationships with both of my parents when I was a child. Yes, Dad knows. And yes… he has been amazingly supportive. No, I never got the chance to tell my mom before she passed away… but part of me thinks she knew.

•Yes, I went to counseling. Yes, I tried to “pray away the gay”. I also tried to fast it away, bargain it away, and plead it away… all of this for nearly a decade, and all to no avail.

•Yes, I know what the Bible says (I know those six passages well)… and no, I do not believe that those texts are as black and white as I was taught. Yes, I believe with my entire being that God loves me… and I even believe that He created me this way. Yes, I am still hopelessly in love with God—even more so now than before.

•Yes, I share my life with someone (going on 6 years now). Yes, I am happier than I could have ever imagined. No, society doesn’t always make it easy for us… but I believe in the hope of a better day.

•Yes, I believe that the Church (as a whole) should address this topic more readily. Yes, I know plenty of gays and lesbians who have turned away from God because of religion. That’s not God’s fault… it’s the product of fear and ill-education.

•Yes, there is such a thing as a gay-affirming church. Yes, I have been to a few. No, lighting does not strike when all the gays start singing. Turns out God likes to hear their voices, too.

•No, my journey has not been one of justifying my feelings. It has been one of deep refining, of profound pain, and finally, of unconditional love and acceptance.

•Yes, I do feel an unmistakable call to advocate for justice, acceptance, and love for the LGBT community. And no, I will not stop doing everything I can to promote that love, understanding and compassion for all of God’s children.

•No, I do not expect all of you to agree with me or even like me after this. But I want you to know that we can still be in relationship, even if we don’t see eye to eye.

•Yes, I would love to talk to each and every one of you about this. I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have; My preference would be to do so over a cup of coffee and a stroll—although email will suffice if distance works against us.

•Yes, I am scared. And yes, I’m sure there will be days when I wonder if this was the right thing to do at all. But honesty is always right; the truth sets us free. God has given me so much on this journey. Yes, there was a time when I would have given anything to be straight. But now? Heck no… I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Have any of you come out on Facebook? How did you do it?

UPDATE: A Lesbian Wife and Her Heterosexual Marriage

You may remember this post from earlier this year. S.S. from Arkansas shared her coming out story with us in a very heartfelt and candid way. It continues to be one of the most-read posts on this website. Here is an update from her and what has happened in her life over the past eight months.

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I was Coming Out Story #13 (A Lesbian Wife and Her Heterosexual Marriage) in March, and so much has changed since then.  I spent the Spring and most of Summer “dating” my husband and trying to build a new relationship within the context of my newly-embraced sexuality, and for a couple of months it seemed to be working.  When I moved out into an apartment in February, I signed a six month lease with the intention of moving back to the house, but as the deadline to let the landlord know I would be moving drew closer, my anxiety grew and grew and it became clear that it was not the choice I wanted to make.

In July, I informed my husband that I would not be moving back to the house.  I had fully accepted and embraced my true self and I was terrified to lose that.  The prospect of jumping back into the closet out of which I had finally stepped a single foot was unbearable to me.  Because I had initially moved out on a temporary basis, I had not told anyone, so now loomed the task of coming out as a divorcing woman to my family and (mostly Christian) friends.

I knew my older brother would be angry at my husband, possibly to the point of doing something stupid, so I made the decision to come out to him so that he would understand that he did not have to defend my honor.  I asked him to dinner one weekend, which is pretty unusual.  We’re close, but we don’t hang out or anything like that.  I had no idea what I would say.  Finally, after we’d talked quite a bit, he asked how my husband was.  I simply stated that we were splitting up. The look on his face was just what I had anticipated, so I quickly told him that it wasn’t my husband’s fault, because I’m gay.  It was the first time I had stated it as a fact out loud, and it felt strange but liberating at the same time.  My brother’s reaction was the better than I could have hoped.  We talked for a while longer, and as we left the restaurant, his last request was that I find a girl who has a sister for him to date.

I’ve only come out to two other people (who previously knew me to be straight), but I have a growing number of friends who only know me as a lesbian.  I’ve never been this happy in my entire life.  People speak of wanting to be a care-free kid again, and I have to shake my head.  I was never a care-free child (well, I’m sure I was as a very young child).  I always felt anxious and confused, carefully compartmentalizing my thoughts and feelings, not allowing myself to get too close to anyone, afraid that someone would figure out how weird I was.  Now I can be fully myself with people, and having people know the whole me is taking some getting used to!

I have been attending a new, inclusive church that I just adore.  At least 80% of the congregation on any given Sunday is made up of gay and lesbian couples.  I have not officially come out to anyone there, but I feel so at home when I walk through the doors each week.  Because I also work at a non-inclusive church, I do worry about losing my job should the wrong people find out that I am gay.  I love my job and I have been told in no uncertain terms that they don’t want me going anywhere, but that is an issue that I will have to address eventually.

I filed for divorce earlier this month, and my husband is not contesting it.  If all goes well, I will be a single gay woman in about a month.  Not so long ago I was afraid of being single.  In fact, that was the reason I got married in the first place.  I didn’t want to be single, and I certainly didn’t want to be a single lesbian.  Seven years later, I’m happy to be both.

Christianity Helped Me Come Out: Coming Out Story #15

This post is part of the “Our Stories” project, where readers submit their testimony or coming out story. It’s important to engage in meaningful and life-giving discussions about a topic that is too often silenced. When you tell your truth, you help someone else accept theirs.

This post comes from Jess. She shares her story as it was originally told on her blog, Design of Gender. You should definitely check it out!

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Growing up, my family did not go to church, though we celebrated all the consumerist Christian holidays (still do). I learned how to consume religion through family dinners, purchasing gifts, and giving cards. But what were we celebrating?

My first experience of organized religion was when a friend invited me to church when I was in elementary school. I went with her to Sunday School and we memorized a Bible verse. I didn’t really understand why we would do that. My second experience was in high school when I started going to a church youth group. I learned the basics of the Christian faith, got my first Bible, and learned some worship songs.

So by the time I reached college, I continued to attended a church group. I went to two different church groups during the course of my four years. One group, I went to my first and part of my second year of school; while the other, I went to my second through my fourth year and continued to be a member after I graduated.

I liked going to the college church group for the community I found there, though I didn’t always go regularly. I enjoyed going with my friends and deepening those bonds with them. We became very close from those experiences together and car rides home.

As those friends became busier and almost stopped going, I slowly began to make friends with others in the group. But always felt distant like I was never “Christian” enough to be there – like I didn’t really know much because most of the others had grown up going to church, even my friends had. They could not imagine what life was like without ‘Faith.’ I knew all too well that it was pretty much the same. Sure you may worship something else or hold on to the faith you find in other people but you learn to deal with it all just the same.

During the year after I graduated from college, I became super involved. I went to all the church group events during the week. I even shared my story or testimony in front of the whole group (50+ people). It was amazing. I had other college students coming to me in tears at the end of worship because my story had moved them. I brought people back to Christ through my story of faith, back to a religion that they had professed but didn’t really feel connected to. They could relate to my story of faith and grace. We were one and the same.

My story started a chain reaction. Soon many others wanted to share their stories. My courage and bravery in sharing my testimony allowed others to realize they could be brave too. I received hugs and congratulations. I loved sharing my story because finally, I felt like I, too, knew enough to be there. I had transformed, but I also had been keeping a secret. A secret I had known about for several years. A secret that I had come to terms with more than a year before that time.

So despite all the hoopla of sharing my story, I also felt the dread from keeping this secret. Even when I was surrounded by people, I was alone. I never felt comfortable enough to tell those same friends or church community that I was dating a really fabulous female. I never felt comfortable telling anyone that I had come out to myself a little over a year before and that I was unbelievably relieved to finally do so. I never felt comfortable mentioning that I had asked God about it and received an overwhelming feeling of acceptance. I had always brought “all that I was” before God and s/he had “embraced me just as I am.” Why did these people need to know any different than the assumed heterosexuality they projected onto me?

Generally, Christians, especially Evangelical, Baptist, and other right leaning conservative Christians,  seem to have a problem with individuals who date members of the same sex, especially individuals who profess some belief in their religion and also see nothing wrong with two women or men dating, forming relationships, and families. There are some denominations that openly accept LGBTQ people but they are not a majority (yet).

My college church group was part of a Community Church, not part of a specific denomination, that holds belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. They believe that the Bible is the “inspired word of God and that it is the final authority in faith and life.” As such they don’t believe in multiple readings of the Bible or that the Bible (being written by men) contains errors (be it from translation, etc.). They have a firm “hate the sin – love the sinner” approach to all things not following their prescribed set of principles/beliefs. I knew that if I told them my secret that would be the response, “Hate the sin. Love the sinner.”

Further, I imagined them wanting to help me overcome this “sin” I was acting upon or “struggling” with. But that’s the thing, I was the happiest I had been in years; when I was able to fully express who I am, I wasn’t “struggling” with anything. I was finally able to be me! It was during this time that I investigated and posted on my blog what some churches say on LGBTQ issues. My post received several comments that further proved the “hate the sin – love the sinner” approach. I was disappointed that the community I had come to appreciate and love would never fully accept me for who I am. They would “hate” a vital aspect of my identity while also professing to “love” me. (How do you love unconditionally if you refuse to accept part of a person’s identity? If they contradict with your beliefs? If you are praying that they change? Is acceptance not part of love? Is ‘tolerance’ love?  Or is the ‘unconditional love’ focused toward who you think you can change the person into?) It kills me that it would be done through the Bible “as the word of God” because I don’t believe that is how God intended it to be.

But I didn’t let this new found disappointment stop me from continuing to pursue religion or continuing to date the woman I was seeing. If anything I wanted to learn more. It was through the teachings, songs, worships, and Bible studies that I was able to fully accept myself, my very queer lesbian self. It was the love I found in the Bible that helped me to love myself. (In order to love your neighbor as yourself, you must first love yourself.) It was the love I found from non-religious friends I trusted enough to come out to. (They were the ones who showed unconditional love. It didn’t matter to them the gender of who I dated. They were happy for me.) It was the love I received from new colleagues and older friends. I’ve posted many times on my blog on love and belonging. I’ve posted clips from Glee and Senators in the state of NY discussing marriage equality. I’ve posted on Pride Parades and video clips that discuss LGBTQ things. I’ve posted on labels, language, change, and voice. But it has been the convergence of all these topics on my blog that has allowed me to see how every part, even the religion I ran away from, was an important stepping stone to where I am now.

Being a feminist and closeted lesbian within the church group was fun at times and I loved those tiny moments where I could be a “feminist evangelist.” But I hated that I wasn’t allowed to share my whole life with them. I couldn’t say that I hung out with my girlfriend over the weekend because she came to visit. Unlike other members of the group, I had to check a vital part of myself at the door on the way in and often as soon as I stepped out of the car. I stopped going to this group at the same time that I decided to be open about my life which coincided with the same time that I started graduate school. Slowly, I began to share my secret with others by casually mentioning my girlfriend/partner.

Today, although single, I’m out to many people. I teach classes on a university campus and routinely come out to my students. Everyone that I work with, I’m out to. But I’m still not out to some family. When I told my parents almost a year ago, my mom told me that “other people didn’t need to know.” She said there were basically two ways to deal with this “new lesbian status of mine”: I could just continue to be me and keep it to myself or I could be what I would call “loud and proud.” She said she hoped that I would choose the right (quiet) way. I remember saying that “I wasn’t going to lie about it.” And I haven’t, although I don’t always mention it.

Just today, I was talking to a good friend of mine that I have known now for almost 7 years and he said without any prompting from me, “You know what … you’re still the same person. You haven’t changed because you came out.”  It was so refreshing to hear this from him. I’m so glad he called. Even if he has teased me about being a lesbian, he is someone I can count on to listen, and understand as best he can. His teasing comes from a place of love not from hate.

I still pause about whether any of my “Hate the sin. Love the sinner.” ‘friends’ really need to know. Because how crazy is it that as a closeted lesbian, I was able to bring (presumably) homophobic people to a deeper faith? Or that God used me, a closeted lesbian, to bring others to a deeper faith? What does it say about our God and the religion s/he designed?  What does it say about the Bible?

For some reason I think if I told members of that faith community, they would surely experience a homosexual panic. They might say that I have let sin into my life or profess something about the works of Satan. Surely their God would not condone or even openly accept my behavior. But I would tell them that not only does their God accept me but s/he also helped me to love myself, my very queer lesbian self.

Their Christianity helped me come out and life outside the closet is much, much brighter.

The Closet: You Can’t Go Back In!

Once you’re out, you’re out. It’s not something you can really take back. That’s why it’s so important to be sure you’re ready. Your decision can’t be dependent on a person’s reaction to your honesty; because—take it from me—you don’t always get the response you expect. For years, I operated on a “need to know” basis. My progress went something like this: until 10 years ago, no one knew my truth. 5 years ago, I could count on one hand the people who knew. 2 years ago, I could count that number on two hands. Today? I have no idea. And frankly, it scares the crap out of me. Why is that? Because it’s out of my control. I no longer get to decide who knows that I’m gay. Since my guest post on Andrew Marin’s blog, and my article in Curve magazine, one can now discover my sexual orientation with a simple Google search. It’s out there in the blogosphere! I won’t lie… it’s frightening. I don’t regret my articles, nor do I regret this blog. I started this website to discover others who were struggling like me, and perhaps create a sense of community among those who often feel so alone. God has brought some amazing people into my life through this blog, and I’m forever grateful for that. I wouldn’t change it—not for the world! Yet there are several nagging fears ever-present in my consciousness:

I’m afraid that people will dismiss me as a Christian and minimize my personal walk with God. This is by far the most intense fear I have. I’m afraid that people will simply assume I have abandoned all matters of faith, and turned my back on God. The truth is, this journey has been a long one. It has been filled with years and years of research, prayer, and Scripture meditation. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I don’t care what the Bible says! I’m attracted to women and I intend to live my life as a lesbian!” Quite the contrary, actually. I fasted. I prayed. I pleaded. I bargained with God. I read the Bible like never before. I went to healing services. I attempted to will myself to become sexually attracted to men. I began to feel so ashamed that things weren’t changing! I became convinced that God just wouldn’t even want to hear from a filthy soul like me. God began to heal my spirit, a little at a time. I began to feel His love for me, and it gave me the courage to love myself again. The experience I had (and am still having) is a profound one to me. Not everyone will understand it that way. Some people see things in black and white, with no gray in between. (Have you noticed the only people who think that being gay is a choice are straight?) But that is my story. That is my experience… and no one can take that away from me. I’m not really the type of person that has ever desired to shout my sexual orientation from the city’s tallest building. But I talk about it because it gives me satisfaction to share my stories with those who are going through the same things. It brings me great joy to talk about the all-inclusive, fierce, unconditional love of Christ. Sadly (and rather ironically), for many Christian LGBT brothers and sisters, it is a love that has been eclipsed by the words of other Christ-followers.

•I’m afraid that people from my past will find out, and that it will change their mind about me as a person. I think the biggest factor here might be that there’s no way of knowing their current views on homosexuality. I have so many fond memories of childhood friends, teachers, ministers, etc. I fear it may ruin all of that if they find out. I’ve heard people say more than once about gay people: “Oh, it’s such a shame! They used to be such a sweet child.” As if sexual orientation somehow blemishes an individual’s character or integrity!

•I fear my approval addiction will rule my life. I’m a people-pleaser. I always have been. The number one reason I generally choose to keep my sexuality off the table for discussion is because I worry what others will think of me. I know this is a valid concern, because it’s happened to me more than once. People are going to think what they want, and “haters gonna hate”. The trick is to stop caring!

•I fear I will become unable to love those who cannot love me. I’m all about love. Every fiber of my being believes that is the answer to every evil that exists in this world. After all, that’s our number one commandment from Jesus. If we don’t remember anything else from his life of ministry on this earth, we are supposed to remember how to love God, and love each other. I’ve come to realize that different people have varying perceptions of the definition of love. There is fair-weathered love, forced love, selfish love, love with benefits, insincere love, self-righteous love. Yet we know none of these are truly pure love. Pure love is unconditional; it’s the kind where actions speak much louder than words ever will. Unconditional love is the love of Jesus. It transcends race, gender, social class… and it transcends time. Love… nothing more, and certainly nothing less. There is so much negativity concerning the topic of homosexuality within the Church. Thankfully, it’s not like that in every congregation. But when you are in an environment where people persecute you with their words, looks, or even their deafening silence… it gets to you after a while. But one thing we know, friends: we cannot fight fire with fire, or hate with hate. We must remember that God changes hearts. We must love with the relentless love of Jesus.

These are the things I’m pondering today as I continue my journey. What are your fears?

A Lesbian Wife and Her Heterosexual Marriage: Coming Out Story #13

This post is part of the “Our Stories” project, where readers submit their testimony or coming out story. It’s important to engage in meaningful and life-giving discussions about a topic that is too often silenced. When you tell your truth, you help someone else accept theirs. 

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I’ve struggled with my sexuality for as long as I can remember.  I’ve always been attracted to women, but good southern Christian girls just don’t entertain those thoughts.  In my very early twenties I entertained the idea of being a lesbian, but I was extremely conflicted and fell into a depression.  I decided that it was just the devil trying to trick me, and set out on my quest to find a husband.  It didn’t take me long to find one through online dating.  We were married for five years before I realized that I had used marriage as a way to run from my feelings.  I began to acknowledge to myself that these feelings weren’t going to go away, and I found places like Coming Out Christian that helped me reconcile them with my faith.

I had been unhappy in my marriage for some time and convinced myself that my husband didn’t love me anymore and would be happy to be rid of me, so I started to talk about getting a divorce.  As a Christian I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity of marriage, but my husband is not a believer and I thought he didn’t want to be married to me anymore, so I figured I had an out.  Contrary to what I thought, he said he did still love me and wanted to stay married.  I had this grand plan cooked up wherein I would get a quick and painless divorce and be free to explore my new-found sexuality.  When that came crashing down I was confused all over again.  I had it all planned out!  Now what was I supposed to do?

I told my husband that I “thought” I was gay, which was not how I planned to phrase it, but when it came down to it, I wasn’t brave enough to say it more decisively.  Naturally, my husband had questions and concerns, but above all wished to remain married, in whatever context we came to define it.  I found a few resources regarding lesbians who remained married to their male spouses, and it was a huge relief to find others in the same situation.  None of us are as unique as we like to believe!  These people have managed to stay in love and stay married and stay happy, and that is what I aim to do.  I do love my husband, and I am committed to working out our issues and staying married to him.  He has offered to allow me the freedom to explore my sexuality, or “experiment”, as he put it, but I told him that I do not want to “experiment”.  In my eyes that is adultery, and I could never forgive myself if I did that.  Homosexuality does not have to equal promiscuity, and I do not have to let sex run my life.  I have moved to an apartment temporarily as we work out our problems, but I’m happier than I have been in a long time.  My husband and I are “dating” and enjoying it very much.  I know it seems strange to say that I am a lesbian in love with a man, but I truly feel that as long as we remain honest and act with love instead of selfishness (which is always a struggle for me!), we will be just fine.

-S.S. (Arkansas)

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There has been a update to this post. Be sure to check it out here!