The Double Life of a Christian Lesbian

If you’re a regular reader, you may already know that 2011 was one crazy year for me. After coming out to my dad at the end of 2010 (which went better than expected), the following year was chock full of life changes. Until then, I had managed to keep my same-sex attraction a secret (which is quite an achievement since I became aware of my orientation at age 14). I was outed a few times by a couple of different people. I lost friendships because of my sexuality, and I was forced to resign from my Christian band after 11 years for the same reason.

The pain of leading a double life can be intense at times. Church, work, hanging out with friends: all of these activities have an added layer of stress and anxiety for closeted gay folk. What if they suspect? What if I slip and say something? What if we’re watching “The Biggest Loser”, and my flushed face betrays me when Jillian shows up on the screen? (You can’t tell me there’s a lesbian on earth who isn’t affected in the same way by Ms. Michaels…)

The point is, holding stuff inside—secrets of that magnitude—is unhealthy. When this goes on for years upon years, it has a profound and limiting effect on you and the way that you’re able to connect with others. Well-meaning religious-righters often say, “See? The suicide statistics for homosexuals is staggering. Why would you want to lead that lifestyle?” With all due respect, gays don’t kill themselves because they’re gay. They kill themselves because of the hurtful ways they’re treated, even within the Church. Sadly, in some instances, it’s especially because of the ways they’re treated by the Church. In the majority of congregations, homosexuals are free to serve as much as they want… as long as they don’t come out. In other words, as long as they hate themselves, God can use them. But the moment they come out (or are outed), then they must step down. God can’t use them anymore.

Is this the love of Christ?

Please, I beg you… if you are a religious conservative who opposes build-bridging between your church and the gay community, reconsider. Think about the debilitating effects your actions can have on those outside (and inside) your walls, who are seeking a life-giving relationship with Christ. Jesus is waiting, ready to accept them with open arms. The only thing standing between them is you.

Let’s work together in love. Let’s open our hearts to truly listen to one another.

Let’s stop giving LGBT’s a reason for living a double life.


7 responses to “The Double Life of a Christian Lesbian

  1. I just want to say thank you for your websites, facebook, and blog posts. I can relate to you so much! I grew up in a Christian home, Christian School and overlooked my own sexuality until I could not anymore because I met the love of my life at age 23 back in 2008. I always felt wrong about how the LGBT community was treated by the church even when I was in my own denial. There was a kid who was kicked out of our private school because he would not keep his sexuality hidden. We were even told we could no longer work in the kids department at the Church we were attending in Texas at the time after they found out. Really? We can’t be with kids?! Fortunately we both have a good head on our shoulders and found a different Church where we live now up in Seattle. I felt, as I read this blog post, that I had written it myself. My partner and I feel strong about bringing the Church and the LGBT community together. Its just refreshing to know there are others out there with the same mindset as us. I was beginning to feel like anomaly. Thanks for posting!

    • Sarah, thank you so much for your kind words. It encourages me to know there are others out there who are sharing in this same journey with me. It helps us to know we are not alone.

      You said, “I always felt wrong about how the LGBT community was treated by the church even when I was in my own denial.” I echo this sentiment wholeheartedly. The opinions perpetuated by the majority of churches do not resemble the love that is taught so fervently by the life of Christ.

      I’m so happy that you have found a fulfilling life with your partner. (And in such a beautiful city as Seattle!) 🙂 I wish you the very best as you continue on your journey.

  2. WOW I can relate. I have been a believer since age 26 and I’m 49 now. I came quietly out to a trusted professional in 2010. I feel slowly liberated in my coming out process and yet closeted at the same time. What has helped is a spirit filled lesbian therapist and an affirming Bible teaching and believing church that God led me to. Before this support was in place I honestly thought I had to choose my orientation over Jesus and literally had a crisis of faith. How could I be wrong before God for being honest and authentic about who I am attracted to-I have no control over that. I had been married to a man previously in the church eleven years ago. During that time the church offered reparative therapy yet I found myself being hit on by the female minstry leader. Not good. I take my journey one day at a time and trust that God is leading me as I seek the truth and desire to live that out. I find myself reconnected to the Lord on this journey which blows my former theology out of the water. I am a living testimony that people living as heterosexuals in the church (whether they are living in truth or not) are treated with love and respect versus LGBT believers who want to live truthfully with integrity and respect. A sad commentary on the family of God that I love with my whole heart.

    • Oh goodness… your story resonates with me so deeply. I am so glad that you found a therapist who could help you through these stages. That is one of the most important things that helped me, as well. You talk about being authentic, and how can that be a bad thing. I completely agree! God knows our hearts already. So why wouldn’t He want us to be 100% transparent with Him?

      You said, “I find myself reconnected to the Lord on this journey which blows my former theology out of the water.” My experience led me down that road, as well. If we are, indeed, so filthy, perverted, and disgusting… then why does God continue to work intimately in our lives? Why did this journey of reconciliation make our spiritual lives that much more meaningful and intense?

      Thank you so much for sharing part of your story. I’m so thankful that you’ve found an accepting congregation to be a part of. I pray you continue to discover His perfect love for you on a daily basis.

  3. The “double life” issue is what I’m so tired of dealing with in my journey. It is exhausting. Therefore, I am moving forward, prayerfully, in sharing with people privately. The hard part is the fear of negative feedback and perhaps ultimately having to leave my church family. Also, to have my own flesh and blood be disappointed in me. The ironic thing is that my source for courage is the love of God, the very entity that many Christians say is against homosexuality. Fortunately, we can serve God anywhere, and that is something I will NEVER give up, even if people give up on me.

    I’m finding that my faith tradition/community has moved past the hateful and hurtful preaching against homosexuality and has moved into a “lets love them, but show them the right way and who Christ is” kind of attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that people want to be sure that I’m living a holy life, but while their intentions are good, it is still hurtful. It hurts to hear the message, “you need to change,” as if I have a negative behavior that is getting in the way of my relationship with God and others. If the day comes that a 100% heterosexual can change into a homosexual then maybe they could actually teach us how to do that. I don’t mean that in an offensive way. My point is, it is part of who we are. It is not an issue of the heart being in the wrong place. I do believe in Jesus and strive to be like him in all I do. I do believe the holy spirit is alive and well and at work. I know who Christ is. I know what the Bible says. I know who God is and want to know him even more. I’m not turning away. I’m not seeking evil. My heart is in a good place and I want to grow spiritually. Being attracted to women is just a small part of who I am. Even though I feel like I live a “double life”, I have a well defined, “single” identity as a child of God.

    I experienced a power outage a few days ago and as my tiny key chain flash light lit up the whole room, I began contemplating Jesus’s words from the sermon on the mount, about letting our light shine. A message I’ve heard my whole life, yet now see in a new “light” (ha). I think to move forward we have to let our light shine on the topic of homosexuality, as the problem is that the topic is in the dark within our congregations. For our church communities, our own families, and for society to see, we have to share our stories plus our love for God and our neighbors. I think most people are just “blind” on the topic. We CANNOT start hating those who are against homosexuality and who are a barrier to our freedom to be who we are. We have to love and educate and I’m seeing that more people are doing so and that gives me more hope and encouragement. Plus, as we continue to seek God in all this WITH our faith communities, we too may learn something more about the topic and who we are in relationship to God.

    (Sure is nice to have a place to put my thoughts as they continually bounce around in my head).

    • Josha,
      Yes, yes, YES… to everything you just said. You have a boldness about you that is enveloped in gentleness. It’s very admirable. I pray that all of us can learn to speak the truth in a loving way… a nonviolent resistance to the rhetoric we are taught from many of our pulpits.

      Please, share your thoughts here anytime you like! I enjoy hearing them unfold. It gives me courage to hear about your journey. Thank you so much for sharing.

      • Thanks for the feedback. It encourages me to know that someone really is listening and I feel better about sharing. Sometimes I feel unease after I have posted something or spoken up in a conversation….just the unknown of how people might take it. By the way, thanks for your excellent conversation starters with your writings.

        I wanted to add a little more to what I was saying in regards to bringing the topic of homosexuality into the light. I went back and looked at Mark’s version of Jesus’s words on the parable of the light on the lamp stand. The NIV says in 4:22-23, “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
        Obviously the last comment is a call to listen. And that is my prayer in regards to the topic of homosexuality, is that not only can this topic be disclosed and brought out into the open, but that people will listen. And perhaps this passage is also saying that some things are meant to be hidden until a certain time. For example, we who live a double life keep this part of ourselves concealed from some people with very good reason. And one reason is that they may not have the ears to hear…..yet.

        Also, I think it is good to look at the next two verses that follow. Mark 4:24-25, “Consider carefully what you hear, he continued. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” I’m not real sure but I think that Jesus is talking about understanding the kingdom. I think that the more we take action in seeking and learning and revealing, then the more insight will be given to us in regards to the kingdom and we will better know how to share and serve in the kingdom. As appose to just being satisfied and comfortable and safe in what we have already been given. I think ultimately this is a call to grow spiritually. And I’m very excited to see what is in store.

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