I’ve talked about coming out as a long process before, and I’m continually reminded of how true that is. It’s been a year and a month since I came out to my dad; a conversation that was ideal in every way. I explained to him that my sexual orientation was the primary reason that I’d been going through therapy for the past couple of months. The first sentence out of his mouth? “You know I still love you.” Those were the only words I needed to hear in order for the several-ton-weight to be lifted off of my shoulders. I began to sob. For the next two hours, we sat and talked about everything from how long I’d known to God’s hand in all of it. I remember him saying that he was curious to know why I had stopped dating back in college. It turns out—as many LGBT’s discover—that my dad had his suspicions all along.
My dad has remained loving and accepting of me, although he is still on his journey. He believes that people are born with their respective sexual orientation, but he’s just not exactly how my lesbianism fits into my spirituality. I remember the phone conversation when I told him that I was going to have a magazine article published about reconciling faith and sexuality. His response resembled nothing of my excitement. The line went silent. “Oh”, he said. I asked him why he was upset about it. “I’m not upset, I just don’t want this to turn into a bad thing for you.” I explained that this path is exactly where God was leading me. I assured him that no one was surprised as I was that discussing my sexuality more publicly was something I had to do. It was becoming a fire inside of me.
A few weeks later, I noticed that my dad had shared an article on Facebook that he had apparently read on my wall. It was about Christians who don’t walk the walk when it comes to loving homosexuals; it was a wonderful, provocative piece. I was absolutely thrilled to see that my dad had re-posted it. I texted him right away to thank him for it.
To my dismay, it turns out he had posted it by mistake.
“Mandy, can you help me delete that from my wall? I don’t want it on there.”
My heart dropped into my stomach. “But I thought you meant to post that, dad. It really meant a lot to me”, I said.
“No. I did that by mistake. Please help me remove it.”
Reluctantly, I called my dad, and walked him through the steps of removing the article from his Facebook wall. I fought back the tears as we hung up.
A few minutes later, I texted him one last time: “I just want you to be proud of me, dad”.
My heart broke.
I still think the world of my dad. My journey looks different than his. After all, I’ve known I was gay for 18 years; he’s only known for 13 months. I’ve had reasons to broaden my Scriptural horizons on the topic of homosexuality; he’s never had a reason to.
I cry as I write this. I hurt for those who are never quite understood by the ones who mean the most. Yet I want to offer a word of encouragement. Living out your sexuality—no matter how to choose to do so—is a sacred journey. It is also a journey for those we love. We must be patient with them. We must acknowledge that there are people who will not be in the same place we are. We are all constantly growing, constantly changing, constantly evolving in thought and philosophy. We must also realize that none of us have it exactly right. It’s a humbling thought. We have to become preoccupied with loving each other, instead of becoming preoccupied with being right.
Seek God. Seek truth. Seek love.
If you are waiting on a sticker, please know that I haven’t forgotten about you! I’m mailing them out in small stacks, so it may take a few weeks before they arrive. Thanks again for all of the stories, testimonies, and responses! xo