The things I couldn’t say before I came out

Christians talk about the Church like ‘Murican patriots talk about the United States.

I grew up in one church, was part of a church plant that failed, attended another church, attended another church, and became a worship musician at another church. They all shared one deeply destructive characteristic–they ignored the shitty parts of Christianity, and the shitty things that were happening.

At each church, everybody ignored the things Christians were doing on a macro level:
1) Excluding gay and lesbian individuals from leadership.
2) Pretending bisexual and trans* individuals don’t exist.
3) Telling heterosexual women that they are responsible for fidelity in the marriage.
4) Turning Song of Solomon, one of the most beautiful expressions of love ever recorded, into a “how-to-have-sex” manual.
5) Disowning and humiliating their children for not being straight or cis.

At each church, everybody ignored the things Christians were doing on a micro level, within the church:
1) Excluding gay and lesbian individuals from leadership.
2) Pretending bisexual and trans* individuals don’t exist.
3) Telling heterosexual women that they are responsible for fidelity in the marriage.
4) Speaking about God being love, and pursuing people in love, but only carrying out that mandate to those who are similar to them in terms of race, class, sexual orientation, gender orientation, etc.

Even as I write, I am crippled by the blows dealt to me by the Church. I was impaled on the swords of Death, and Loss, and Despair, and I was abandoned. And now, months later, I sit here, unable to move from my locked up bedroom, trying to muster up the courage to begin attending again despite my gut-wrenching fear of being rejected by the ones who told me they would love me forever.

The things I couldn’t say before I came out were the very things that, I think, could save the Church.

When I was young, I was told that light exposes sin. Sin is like black mold, growing in cold, dark, damp places, but dying in the light and fresh air. I think sin can exist in institutions, I believe that the American Church is infected with sinful attitudes and a perverted idea of love, and I believe that exposing these attitudes is the only way to help the Church.

But I am bisexual, and I am in a gay relationship. No one with influence over the Church body will risk losing their power to give volume to my voice.

I will try; this Sunday, to be specific. In a church that doesn’t know me, doesn’t know my girlfriend, doesn’t know that I write and create music and speak and let my brain implode with the possibilities of the future.

At this point, all I want is love. The Holy Spirit is the one to guide me into Truth, yes? Not humans. Not self-righteous humans that are just as limited in their clarity of perspective as I am. At this point, all I want is community. I want people who will look at me and recognize me as a created being, worthy of love simply because I exist. It is all I have ever wanted, but had previously denied myself through the concealment of my sexual orientation.

I pray that conviction may not be once again wrested from the hands of the Holy Spirit; I pray that I may find a community of which I can be a part; I pray that I may be able to pour my love in others as love begins to overflow in me; I pray that I may find hope and life, and may begin to live in it anew with my Family.

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