I have been raised in a Christian family.
My grandmother is a Lutheran pastor and my father is a fundamental Baptist. I have always had a strong relationship with God and have gone to Bible school, gone on retreats and have gone to church every Sunday.
This all changed when I decided to come out to my family and friends. My friends were all great and didn’t have any problem with it. They said they loved me no matter what, and that gave me the confidence I needed to tell my family. I started with the family members I knew wouldn’t have a problem with it, but then I ran out of those family members and I knew it was time to tackle the two “Christians” of the family.
My grandmother was in denial and told me never to speak of it again or I would risk her help with my college tuition. My father told me that homosexuality was a sin and showed me the parts in the Bible that condemn homosexuality.
I’m sure you have heard stories of other teenagers having less than satisfactory responses from their closest family members, however only those that actually go through it know how painful it is to be ostracized by your closest family members. The same people you have lived with. The same people that took you to Bible school and then out for lunch and ice cream every Sunday night. The same people you constantly strive to make them proud of the person you have become.
My spiritual road has been a bumpy one and ended after coming out to my grandmother and father. I thought, “If this is what Christianity is about … if God is a mean-spirited force that made me gay just so I can spend my whole life struggling against it … I don’t want to be a part of anything like that.”
I moved on in life and eventually developed tolerant relationships with my father and grandmother. But then I realized that I not only had to fight for my right to bean individual in my household, I had to join a fight to have the same rights that my heterosexual counterparts take for granted in society. I have been in the fight ever since and I still don’t understand why the world has taken Religious Rights a step further to becoming Religious Privileges.
A recent robo call made by the American Family Association (hear the call in the video file attached to this story) focuses on that we are stepping on fundamental religious organizations' rights by not allowing them to keep laws on the books discriminating against me and other LGBT people.
I thought that we all are guaranteed our rights UNTIL we start to infringe on someone else’s rights? This battle has actually had one positive on my life, it has brought me back to my Christian faith.
I know you are probably thinking, “How could these people that claim to be following God's word and condemning you bring you back to that faith?!” I have done a lot of thinking and have read the Bible and I have come to the conclusion that Jesus would not condemn homosexuality as it is today. Jesus taught us to think, question and not make an idol of the Bible. Now I have a renewed idea that Jesus would be behind me in my efforts and that God celebrates love of all colors, creeds and orientations.
As my favorite prayer says:
“Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.”
J. Lee, Co-President, Gay Straight Alliance, Adams High School
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