*Connie: This could be the most controversial blog I’ve ever posted, but I want to.  I feel some rebellion is needed in church culture (and society) in our understanding of how to relate to gays (instead of hurling stones and insults)  This letter I received from a friend of mine who is gay is profound.   She shares openly about how her parents reacted to her coming out.  If we could take down our defences to realize that to listen and love does not mean we’ve “compromised” our beliefs, I think we could be on a journey Jesus would dare go on Himself.  Please read with a heart seasoned with love.
She writes;

Humans need safety in relationship. Two keywords that I feel are sadly missing when you throw in being gay into the Christian mix. I read a quote recently that sums it up for me perfectly, “New friendships that cannot withstand conflict and are not backed by curiosity – and the compassion that comes from inquiry – are not, in fact, “friendships”.
I hate debates. They put the worst Christian and the worst Gay example on t.v. and let them fling bullshit at each other until the cows come home. Both totally miss the point for the most part in my opinion.  I know what it feels like to BE the controversy. I AM the debate. I AM one of the very people who God looks at and loves and rolls his eyes and laughs and embraces. I am no different…than anyone else. Yet.I am.
People find it hard to be in relationship if they simply can’t “accept” something as being o.k.  I get this. I lived it within myself until one glorious day about 2 years ago when I almost got married to a guy…who KNEW I was gay because I told him from the beginning.  Prior to that I was in a 10 year relationship with a woman. It almost crushed me completely when we broke up.
When I came out to my parents I was most afraid they were going to reject me forever. Which is a double whammy when you are adopted. Rejection issues for sure.  I don’t know why I have to be gay and Christian.  Its like a recipe for rejection. It took me 10 years because I had to get my nerve up. I remembered long ago my Mom was concerned because I was friends with a gay guy. All I heard her say was ” You don’t actually think thats O.K. do you?”  Those words haunted me for 10 years. I still haven’t told her she said that once..I don’t think she remembers. I do.  My brother actually ended up telling them for me after I had with great trepidation told him. He got my sister in law to take me out and we waited . Then we went back…and when we opened the door my Mom was standing there with her arms open. I cracked. I said to my Dad ” I was scared you were going to reject me”.

 

My Dad is my heart. He is so loving. He is so soft. And we have a relationship that is based in few words…but MUCH love. When I was first adopted the social workers told them I may never connect…based on all that had happened up till then. It took me months to warm up to my foster Dad. Yes when they took me into the room to first me my parents I miraculously walked up to my Dad sat on his lap and offered him a bite of the cookie I was eating. I was 18 months.
So anyway, my Dad of few words simply said in response to my rejection fears. “Pfft Not in our family!”
My Mom said she was kind of shell shocked for a few days after I told her, although she responded with her heart which was genuine love. She didn’t know what to do with the information. A few days after she was looking through a thrift store and this book jumped off the shelf into her vision. It was about being gay. She read it, and she felt like God had spoken right to her…about this situation. A few days after that she went to a small bible study.  In this small group of woman though she ended up opening up about me and what had just happened. Turns out. One of the ladies there…also had a daughter who was gay.
So through these things that happened my Mom really felt God leading her and supporting her on not only how to respond to me, but how God was responding to HER and her mothers heart.   Mom has always said to me, “When we adopted you we always knew that you were in the palm of God’s hand, and that we always needed to trust that and give you back to Him”.
I am SO thankful. My parents opinion has always had great importance in my life.  Me coming out to them meant I needed to get to the place where my HONESTY in relationship even with fear of rejection was more important. So that I was not only honest with them…but also with God.
When they embraced me…God opened me up to a part of his heart that I simply could not understand if that did not happen, the way it did. I am so thankful.
I have been treated many ways by Christians. Some just ignore it, meaning if they don’t know how to deal with it, they just say nothing and pretend it isn’t happening. I have had people feel uncomfortable around me.  I have some ” be kind but almost patronizing” interaction, and I have some totally love me and accept me.  Jesus called us to love everyone. So love everyone is what I are going to do. period.
Advice?
Love. Don’t be afraid. Get to know a gay person. Listen. Learn. Love. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared you are not standing up for God if you welcome a gay person into church or into your life without them “changing first”.  God knows how to love me…..
And that is the only thing I am really sure of.