Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gay Church

I was raised Presbyterian and then married into the Southern Baptist Church.

Talk about a guilt trip!

In truth when I got married at 20 years old I was trying to get as far away from my gay impulses as possible. Both getting married and being a Southern Baptist was an attempt to cleanse myself of my "evil" impulses. I hoped that if I could just focus on being hetro and focus on being a good Christian then all those impulses would go away. Of course they didn't.

Towards the end - early in my 50's - I tried to talk to my pastor about my struggle with gay feelings. They prayed for me and then never talked to me again. They couldn't deal with it. That didn't help me deal with it.

When I came out I pretty much figured I was going to leave religion behind. Certainly religion had left me behind. When you come out you are ready to leave a lot of things behind - and I was willing to leave religion behind - but to my surprise I didn't have to - others had been down this road before.

When I moved to Dallas I searched for gay support groups - I didn't know how to be gay and I needed help. One of the "groups" I found was Cathedral of Hope. ( ) It is the largest gay church in the world.

I was hesitant to go to Cathedral of Hope because I had really written of that part of my life but I thought I would at least give it a quick look. I was hooked from the first time I went. Hundreds of gay men!

OK that by itself would keep a gay man interested but it was the message from the pulpit that ultimately kept me coming back. Over and over again it is made clear that God love everyone: straight, gay, bi-sexual, transsexual, God loves us all.

I am not going to preach or get evangelical here - I just want to share that I found acceptance in an area of my life that had been important in my life before I was gay.

It gets back to something more basic about coming out. Life isn't as different as I thought it would be.

The reality it that I am still just me - just without the guilt.

That is a very good thing.

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