Sunday, August 14, 2005

1. First Post

So, I decided to start a blog because I felt the need to express some thoughts I have not been able to express to anyone.

I suppose I have to start by telling a bit about myself...which means that this post will likely be quite long.

I'm a 30 year old Christian woman, and I've been a Christian my entire life. The kicker is, of course, that I've also been gay my entire life...although I suppose that is up for debate...most Christians I know do not believe that being gay is an inborn thing, but then most Christians I know aren't gay either, so what do they know?

I should probably be a bit more specific...I'm not a lesbian, at least I don't think I am. I would say I'm bisexual - but I should also say that I like women much more than I like men. The only reason that the bisexual aspect is relevant I think is because I think it's what made it take so long for me to realize/admit that I was gay. I would have a crush on a woman and be freaked out that I was evil and was going to hell, and then that crush would inevitably fade. Then I would have a crush on a guy and be so relieved - God must have cured me, yay! Then that crush would fade, and I'd go through it again and again. It wasn't until I was 25 that it suddenly dawned on me that there was a name for that. Such a relief, I must say. Like coming out of a fog.

When I first came out (just to myself and a few choice friends) the relief was so great that I thought that that was all I would ever need...just to have admitted the truth. Hiding it had been such a strain, and had thrown me into a huge depression, and now I was free of that. What more could I possibly want?

Well, more...just more. I came out when I was living in Europe and when I came home I told one of the pastors at my church (of course, it took about a year to work up the courage to tell her) and have been meeting with her fairly regularly about this ever since. Her belief is that gay Christians are called to celibacy...and I have a sneaking suspicion that she believes that being gay is reversible.

Now, before I go on, I suppose I should clarify that I believe in an omnipotent God, therefore I believe that if He chose, He could make me straight. But I also know that I prayed for years for God to take this from me, fully believing that He would, and He didn't...and I know I'm not the only one.

What I'm about to write is the essence of why I decided to make this blog... I guess I have believed that gay Christians are called to celibacy too...I'm not sure what I believe right now, I go back and forth...but I'm inclined to think I'll land on the side of celibacy...and the thing is, that sucks more than I think I'll be able to express. But I'm going to try

By celibacy I mean way more than no sex -- although that does suck, there is no denying that fact. By celibacy, I mean no marriage, no family, no one reciprocating my love...

I don't think I'm going to go into all of it, because this post is already too long, but there are 2 things about what a life of celibacy means to me that I haven't told anyone, and I just needed to get out.

1. I feel pointless, like a rock that was thrown in the ocean and didn't splash at all. I will not have children, no husband, no wife...this is a morbid thought, I know...but if I die, I don't think it will make much of a difference in the lives of people around me (except my mother, which is kind of pathetic). Honestly, the biggest difference it would make in their lives is that some of them might have trouble finding a babysitter. Oh, they would miss me and be sad, but that's it.

I know the purpose of a family is not to provide purpose for life, but it does do that I think.

2. Oy, this is the big one. I've talked about this one a little bit with people, but not that much because I would feel like I was begging for their attention or whatever. I think I resist that because I used to do that all the time...tell people really depressing things in order to have them pay attention to me...I wasn't lying, but my motives were not pure. Anyway, I'm stalling. Looking out over my life and thinking that I'll be celibate (not married, no family, etc...) makes me want to die. Not kill myself, just die. I can't wait to die. Well, that's not true, I can wait...but what makes me cry at night is the idea that I'll have to live a long and pointless life just waiting to die.

This affects me in so many ways, but the biggest one is my health. I know I'm unhealthy, I'm overweight, I don't exercise, I don't eat right...and I don't care. I don't see the point in trying to be healthy...the idea of losing weight so I can attract a mate is pointless, so then there's just health...be healthy to live a long, happy life...well, I don't expect my life to be happy, so I don't want it to be long.

Anyway, I think I'll end this post here, because I've said the main things I wanted to say, and this post is crazy long.

12 Comments:

David Wiens said...

jj

i can't fathom the struggle you are experiencing, but i must say that i hurt for you. it pains me to read the stuff about celibacy relegating you to purposelessness. i can't speak to the pain of being celibate, but i'm quite certain the a lack of purpose is not inherent to a celibate lifestyle.

i'm not prescribing celibacy for you. in fact, i'm uncertain what the bible prescribes for gay christians. but i'm sure that it's not purposelessness (even though it may feel that way at times).

keep pursuing truth, and doing so with a community, as you've begun to here.

Anonymous said...

What a cruel God you believe in...

johnny dee said...

Looking out over my life and thinking that I'll be celibate (not married, no family, etc...) makes me want to die.

Lemme ask just 1 question: how would dying alone, miserable and quite possibly a long time from now...glorify god?

I suggest it would not, but maybe you disagree. I suspect that you do not know that there are some christians that are accepting of gays, some that will welcome (do welcome, in MA, Canada and parts of Europe) gay marriage.

There is more than one way of following Christ: is it possible that the one you are guided by right now is actually in error?

BTW, the conclusion isn't necessarily that you must leave your church: you may be called to be an example of loving christianity that challenges the modern pharisees to reconsider their attachment to the rules.

Being open about say, dating a girl (no doubt chastely) will attract supporters and opponents in your congregation. So would a biracial romance or a romance across the generation gap. Controversy does not equal scandal: just that folks have deep seated beliefs which are socially rather than biblically constructed.

Sending you my love,

J

Anonymous said...

Could you talk more about the conclusion that being a gay christian means a life of celibacy? How did your priest and yourself come to this conclusion? Why would God be happy that s/he/it gave you life and you spent it wanting to die? Could you explain how deciding to be celibate is leading to anything other than depression because it sure sounds like your very depressed and plenty of celibate people are joyous about life and find fullfillment in many other ventures offered to them.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Sorry, apparently there are more blogs, I thought there was only this one. I will catch up.

Lisa

CK20 said...

First off, I'm going to sound harsh, but you have to stop letting other people make you miserable. There is nothing wrong with you, morally or otherwise. There is nothing to be fixed. It's not that there is something intrinsically wrong with being gay, it's that everybody else believes it and that's what makes it so. This is a social more akin to racist attitudes about brown people: that we are inferior because they {the majority} say so. It's a lie and you should stop believing it.

Second, you have a purpose. Gays are extraordinarily gifted people and we flourish in some of the most stifling places imaginable, including the church. We have a unique perspective on life that affords us compassion that many heteros lack in vast quantities. Being a triple minority, black female gay, I went thru all the feelings that you express and often felt such bitter hatred that it threatened to eat me alive. You can't let that type of emotional despair or anger overtake you or you'll lose sight of your mission. I think we are called, not to be celibate and miserable, but to fulfill a void much greater than ourselves. You see how the world is crumpling today and the most our leaders can think of is who's sleeping with who. Where they fail to show compassion, let the gays stand up. Where they fail to accept others, let the gays stand up. As I learned today, we are the other, we must take on the suffering of others and be upstanding where others have failed.

And you don't even have to do that on any grand scale, you can do that by helping someone else in your life. But first you must let go of the loathing and the fear of rejection cause everybody is not going to like you and there are homophobes and bigots but we succeed DESPITE them, do you hear me? DESPITE the hate, rejection and misunderstanding. Take that Christianity and use it, as one poster said, to become a model from which all other Christians immulate. The tenets of Christianity stress love, compassion and good works, correct?

Thirdly, you don't have to stay celibate, gays will marry in this country and they can marry in Canada. Mark my words, gay marriage is coming to America and soon it will be as common as interracial marriage. I'm not naive, nor stupid enough to tell you that all the problems will end for gays cause interracial marriage didn't cure any social ills. But it's a step in the right direction and one that you have the right, as a human being to participate in. Marriage, commitment, family, stability they belong to you too. So don't despair. Pray for understanding. Repair your relationship with God ON YOUR TERMS and forget what others are telling you about yourself. They don't know you. They don't control you. And they certainly don't control God.

Anonymous said...

'I would rather die than live and never get married', God. I've said that, and meant it when I've said it. There is so much more though, even though I don't know about those whos' lives I impact, or what ways God can use me. Too bad christians revert to their carnal nature when challenged by God to grow in the spirit. I know cause I'm one of them. There are reasons for living, live to your potential! And there is hope to live for someone else, to save those who are lost. Or is it, to marry and love your spouse. Both are good, which is better? I want to serve God but my carnal nature often takes over. So I hope for the best and try to live well now in hopes of obtaining my spouse, a wife. And also to grow spiritually.

-Mike

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. Though much younger, I also have been through a lot of what you did... though I think mine was worse. I tried to prove I was straight in the absense of crushes on men by going into bars and letting myself get picked up. It wasn't pretty, and I'm so ashamed of it I could cry.

God spoke to me in my life, told me to wake up to myself, and told me that it was much better to be gay and loving than to try to fake being straight by going home with men I don't love.

I now have a girlfriend I love with all my heart. God has given me strength and courage to accept my own life, and to make the most of it. I hope one day to marry her - though I don't know if it will ever happen. I hope, though. In life, there is always hope - it's what God represents: Love, and Hope.

When told by "Christians" that in order to love God I had to give up my heartfelt love for my girlfriend, I was appalled. The greatest gift God has ever given me has been this love - without it, I was much like you; waiting to die, and in my case, even half toying with the idea of hastening the process. With the love of my lady, I feel I can be the most I can be in this world. I feel that the best way I can repay God for His gift is to pas it on - to show love and compassion where I can. To give what I can to those who need it, and, when I can't give material things, to at least give my time. God doesn't make mistakes - He made you for a reason, and if you believe that reason is to die, then you believe Him to be a very cruel God indeed...

After all, think for yourself how you would feel, if you gave someone a gift that was a huge thing for you - part of yourself, as it were. A huge gift, in any case. Would you feel they were honouring you by setting that gift aside, or worse, grinding it into the dirt, claiming they were doing it for you? I know I wouldn't. I love God, and I know He loves me too, and that love has been most in evidence in the love He has given me in this life.

If you choose not to believe me, this is fine. I'm not infallable. But I believe the Gospel also tells us to help others, yes? And that in helping others we can truly find meaning and purpose in our lives.

If you feel you can never have a family, remember that you still have purpose. After all, Jesus Himself never got married or had kids... but He was the most influential and meaningful life in the history of the world.

Never lose hope.

-L

queerchristianbelfast said...

"Looking out over my life and thinking that I'll be celibate (not married, no family, etc...) makes me want to die. Not kill myself, just die. I can't wait to die. Well, that's not true, I can wait...but what makes me cry at night is the idea that I'll have to live a long and pointless life just waiting to die."

I can sooooooo relate to this...

Brianne Johns (brianne.johns@cccev.com) said...

Thank you so much for your public thoughts on being gay and Christian. I am a 30-year-old female pastor trying to learn as much as I can about my gay brother's struggles and even the depression/bitterness that comes along with that. He won't let me in, and has put up a wall with family since he came out 11 years ago when he was 16. I ran across your blog when I searched on google for a sermon topic to my high schoolers for this Sunday (not on the topic of homosexuality at all, but I'm glad I stumbled upon it). Thank you for sharing your heart. I loved reading it. God bless you on your journey to know yourself and your God better. No one has it figured out, right? :)

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog was like reading my own thoughts in print - almost scary :)

I'm a gay Christian woman in my early 30s, who (at least at least at this point in time) reads scripture in a more-or-less conservative way.

Feeling pointless? Yep, been there -- I've often wondered if all my deepest feelings were merely futile. Wanting to die? Absolutely. I don't think I could go through with ending my life because of how it would affect my family, friends, co-workers. But, often, it sure feels like it would be a relief.

This is a difficult road, no?

Personally, I'm still figuring out what I think in terms of biblical interpretation. I know I want to know the truth, and ultimately, to know and follow Christ. At the same time, if someone can convince me of another interpretation of scripture, I'd be ready to hear it.

In the meantime, I've found the most comfort in friends as I've become more willing to be vulnerable and honest with them.

For a long time, I was hesitant to be honest b/c I didn't want to be a martyr, to be self-centered and morose. But the reality is that friends want to know who you really are - and then they can be vulnerable too.

And I've come to this belief that God is perhaps more gracious than we thought - maybe there is more grace than we ever suspected. He calls us to love Him and to believe that we are loved.

I guess I've rambled on long enough. Just felt like I had to reach out. Thanks so much for your honesty.

Peace to you. Jen

Anonymous said...

I am an infertile woman who has struggled for 10 years to have a child. There have been countless fertility cycles and miscarriages and donor eggs and donor embryos. And I've had to walk away from it all, still childless and barren.

I've thought the very same things you have regarding living a long, pointless, painful life, waiting to die. And when I do die, who will even notice or care. It's not like I have any children and my husband is 13 years older than me. Statistically speaking, he will die before me and I will be alone in my old age.

The things you fear are universal, whether gay or straight. The situations may be a little different but the innermost fears are the same.

I don't know if I will have a family but one thing I have learned and that I cling to is that God's love is enough for me. Nothing else in this world can satisfy us the way God's love can.

I have been through some terrible grief and agony over my barrenness. I am still in pain and I don't think this pain will ever be gone. But I think I am learning to live with it.

We live in a broken world and things down here just can't be fixed. I don't understand what you've had to endure but I understand deep grief and unending agony... God's love is enough. Everything else will fall short. Careers, spouses, family, children. All these things can't satisfy our deepest longings.

I look forward to reading the rest of your blog.

Love, K