I had an interesting conversation with a friend last night. I hadn’t seen her in awhile, but she’s been a close family friend for over 10 years. I’ll avoid all of the monotonous details, but here’s what happened:
We were attending an event at my old college, a well-known Christian liberal arts school in the buckle of the Bible belt. For obvious reasons, I’m in the closet around most everyone at that place… and my friend was no exception. I usually try to imagine if my coming out would have a positive or negative effect on a relationship. If the answer is negative, I usually stay silent on the topic (as wrong or right as that may be). I’ve just never had a really good reason to come out to her.
There we were, at this Christian event, when a young, college-age guy comes to the stage to lead the audience in a closing hymn. My friend leans over to me and says, “Isn’t this song against his religion?” When I asked her what she meant, she said, very matter-of-factly… “He’s a homo”.
I think I stopped breathing for a few long seconds. “Oh”, I said. My heart started to pound, and my hands got clammy. ‘Did she really just say that?’, I thought. How would my friend have reacted if she knew she’d just made that statement to another “homo”?
My heart broke for that guy last night. I hope and pray he finds a community or a group of loving people who will accept him the way that he is. If he stays at that school, he’ll be told that his sexuality can be changed if he just believes enough, prays enough, fasts enough… (fill-in-the-blank) enough…
The key is education. We are moving in the right direction, but sometimes it just seems as though progress is slow. We will eventually get to the point where oppression of LGBT’s is a thing of the past. But sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it will be in our lifetime.
Did I miss my chance to do the right thing last night? Should I have stood up for the guy? Made my views known? Yeah… I think I should have. Here’s to another chance. I hope it comes soon.