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Stoned to Death

Heart shaped rock

Sorry to leave you all hanging at the end of yesterday’s post.

Every so often, I write something that leaves me feeling so vulnerable that I suddenly know that to write a single word more will give me enough time to change my mind and delete the entire thing.

Usually I keep typing. I afford myself the luxury of changing my mind, and I delete whatever I was working on. Yesterday I couldn’t do that. I hadn’t planned on writing about that, and I don’t know why I needed to write it and post it, I just did.

Ugh. That was not a fun one to share.

Once my mind had cleared somewhat, I wrote the rest of the story which I planned to share today, but I think I’ll share that tomorrow instead. Today I want to talk about the very real truth behind yesterday’s post for a moment.

Five months ago, I very seriously came close to ending my own life.

Me.

A generally normal, rational, usually happy man.

I literally was counting down to the moment when it all would finally end for me. And I came very close to doing it. I had my seatbelt off, my hands positioned, and I was searching for the right place to send myself over the edge.

Nobody knew that before yesterday. It was one giant life fail that I planned to never tell another soul. But, you all know how I feel about that ugly disease called “Perfection,” and I’ll be damned before I ever let myself infect others with it again. I suppose that’s why I felt the need to share what I shared.

Or maybe I felt the need to share it so that today I could confront the bullies and demons and societal standards and religion that pushed me toward that moment. Forgive me if what I write today is not fluffy bunnies and butterflies. Forgive me for not being tender with the feelings of all.

But I almost killed myself.

And for what?

I almost killed myself because I was something other than straight.

There was no other reason.

I almost killed myself because I was afraid of being hated by the people who love me.

I almost killed myself because I was afraid of losing everything that was most important to me.

I almost killed myself because I knew that I couldn’t lie to myself or others any longer, and in that moment, death seemed like an easy and suitable alternative to facing the truth.

I almost killed myself because living was less appealing than not existing.

Isn’t that what it boils down to?

And in what functional world is living less desirable than not existing?

I suppose it’s in a world where the living still need a reason to stone the living.

Sure, we may not pick up bricks and bludgeon someone to death with them. But we pick up our own, very different bricks, and over years and decades we bludgeon people’s souls until there is nothing salvageable of them.

Just like we did thousands of years ago, we look for opportunities to determine others as less than we are, more evil than we are, and less valuable than we are.  We seek out opportunities to punish them, hurt them, and even kill them.

A lot of stones are thrown at people who are anything other than straight.

Our words. Our jokes. Our demands. Our guilt-trips. Our hatred. Our religious declarations.

As humans, we have some strange primitive need to pick up rocks and chuck them at people.

None of us ever think the rock we throw is the one that actually kills a person.

And maybe it’s not. But as has always been the sad truth, when too many people throw too many rocks at someone, that person often doesn’t survive it.

Such was almost the case with me. I wasn’t ready to die because I was a bad person, or because I had horrible unbearable secrets, or because I had nothing left to live for.

I was ready to die because enough people had picked up enough rocks and thrown them over the years.

Continued on next page.

501 comments
hlrobb
hlrobb

Thank you for writing this. I do not share the same life struggles as you, but have had my own struggles in life (as everyone does). I, too, thought about killing myself, made several attempts, and was almost successful on the last. I was 18. I have never told anybody (except now you, and anyone else who might read this after). I still struggle with dark thoughts now and then (I am still single, I have not had the opportunity to be a mother, I had a difficult childhood, I have health and financial issues, I am so far from the goals I set out for my life, etc.), though I am fortunate that I have never tried again, and no longer feel the need to. I have learned my own way to deal with those thoughts (including writing them down in poetry or stories, praying, thinking about my sister and niece and nephew, sometimes medication, etc.). As much as I do not enjoy that other people have also attempted suicide, or thought about it seriously, it is definitely good to hear from others who have gone through similar things and are able to talk about it afterwards. Thank you.

ElectricFeelings
ElectricFeelings

You are so wonderful & precious as can be! Dont you ever forget that. <3 


Neateva
Neateva

Thank you for sharing your heart so openly and honestly. God bless you.

Shydandelions
Shydandelions

<3 While I cannot relate to hiding my sexuality, I can relate to the bullying that is associated with being anything other than straight. My family has known that I was interested in the same sex since I was 12. My mom found my diary and freaked out. When I was 16, my sister was attending a private Christian school and the insults flew in. My brother played baseball at our neighborhood athletic association. Between the school and the ballpark, I never felt safe. My siblings resented me because they were teased for having a sister who liked girls. Kids' parents always freaked out whenever their child stopped to talk to me. A girl who was maybe 11 developed a weird interest in me and my mom was terrifed that her parents would think I was sexually abusing her. I am now an adult in a relationship with a female, and goodness, my family acts as though my choice in a sexual partner insults them personally. I went through a 5 year phase of hatred. I never denied my sexuality, solely because I truly don't think it is in my nature, but I did hate myself for being anything other than straight. I so desparately wanted to chase after the boys in high school, to be the girl that married her high school sweetheart, to have a beautiful family that my family could be proud of. However, that wasn't what the universe had in store for me. I am no longer suicidal, I no longer hate myself, and I no longer wish that my partner didn't have the same sexual organs. My family? They still don't overly like my partner but because they were aware of my 5 year period of self hatred, they now see me as a happy individual who is loved and loves others in a way that was previously impossible. They cannot deny that. I am sure that they do talk about me behind my back, but it no longer offends me. In time, it does get better. It may be a rollercoaster, and you may see moments of wanting to jerk that wheel some more, but do realize that it gets better. The most important thing is that you are learning to love yourself, after 21 years of denying a crucial part of your being. <3 Good luck, man!

Slade9845
Slade9845

People forget that it says in the bible 

Judge not lest ye be judged

its surprising how many "religious" people forget that, im sure its a golden rule as well

MisdySpencerGarlick
MisdySpencerGarlick

Thanks for sharing this! I will be reading it to my family, I have a son in high school and one daughter in Middle. My son will joke about other people being gay and How bad it would be if he were gay that we would "have us beat it out of him if he was gay" That made me sad when he said that! The kids in School's have over come a lot but since my son has joined the wrestling team it's become much much worse. Even though his Uncle is Gay, getting married in June. I really appreciate this and will be sharing!

AnnBrandrethPotter
AnnBrandrethPotter

Dan, 

You are a brave man,  I want to have my daughter read your blog she is 11 and came out to me last year,  identifying herself as bisexual,  I listened told her no matter who she loves I will always love her and that she is wonderful.  She is having a lot of trouble at school and is depressed and angry I think reading your words will help her.  Thank you for being able to share so much of yourself in your blog it takes courage to write and even more to write things that are so personal,  I think you help many to think and learn about others and themselves through this blog, thank you,

Ann

RD_the
RD_the

Dan... I don't know you.  We have never met.  I am an occasional reader, but what I have read has impacted me, and moved me.

I won't be able to say this eloquently right now, but I want to say this.  So I will say it simply.  *Hugs* It IS okay.

As you have said many times, one person can make a difference.  You have not changed the world yet, perhaps, but you have influenced a lot of those "one person"s.  The small side of the numbers is growing where it needs to grow.  Please don't discount or diminish the impact you have had on those peoples' lives.  You know it may not have felt like much to you at the time, but for those people it meant the world.

I hope you can find many someones who will be one person for you.  To give you a coat and a water bottle when you are in shock.  To put their arm around you and express unconditional love, no matter how different you may be from them.  I am glad you thought of one of those people in the moment when it mattered the most.

And...it IS okay.

ahicks07
ahicks07

Dan, I think you're awesome. Just because you're you.

FrancesMarrero
FrancesMarrero

It doesn't matter that you didn't change the whole world, but you sure soften A LOT of hearts with that post, if I remember correctly. Worldwide change takes place one person at time. Every post you write... every heart you touch with your words. That is how you are effecting change! I would love to give you a hug one day, because I want to just be in the presence of one of the future most influential man on Earth. Keep going!

DoctorSunshine
DoctorSunshine

I believe the suicidal urge is a war-cry reverberating from the deepest recesses of one's soul. As it percolates up past the layers, through the adopted filters, and into the exhausted mind of the receiver, the message gets jumbled.

In a world where the emotions are dishonored and simply categorized as either "good" or "bad", the suicidal urge is the most misunderstood of all. Every emotion is vital. Each has a message to relay. They are the pristine communication between our spirits and our bodies. A visceral way to let us know when things are well or when boundaries have been violated. The very foundation of our instincts. And we all-too-often stuff them down or ignore them completely, especially the "bad" ones.

With all my heart I trust that the suicidal urge has an important message to deliver.

A terrifyingly beautiful message: something MUST die....not someONE....someTHING.....a belief or a practice that is so contrary to the beauty and truth of who you are that to keep it would destroy you.

THAT is what must be killed. 

Not you.

Not EVER you.

Jackie
Jackie

I commented on your coming out post, but I wanted to say thank you again- your honesty helps us all. You are the same good, wonderful, funny, deep person you were before you came out, and nothing has changed. Except, for you everything has- I know, from coming out as bi myself. I wish you the smoothest of journeys, and remember, the negative reactions you may receive ARE NOT YOUR PROBLEM. It's not you. It's other people's burden to work through their prejudices. You are beautiful as you are. I wish peace for you as you leave them to wrestle, and to your friends and family a productive journey confronting any darkness and prejudice the light of shine in being true to yourself illuminates in them. Hugs, Dan, from one single parent to another.

engineergoddess
engineergoddess

Dan, I really hope that you can truly understand how many people you have impacted, and changed. Or at the very least caused them to stop and think and re-evaluate. I, like you, figured out I was something other than straight around age 10-11. I didn't come out until I was 30.. two failed marriages and 3 children later. In the end I can't regret my children, but there are many many times over the years where I wished I would go to sleep and never wake up. So, here I am at age 32 trying to begin again. I lost a few friends. Some of my family will never understand, and I gained a whole community that has supported and nurtured me. Before you were even brave enough to come out you were changing hearts and minds. No one has the power to change the world overnight, but we can keep on reaching one person at a time. 

Jaker Wookiee
Jaker Wookiee

I am blessed.  I feared the same stones, kept my own truth for so many years from the people closest to me out of fear of being stoned to death.  My brothers, some of them would, and will, and have cast those stones, but when I dared to "suffer the slings and arrows of my OUTrageous fortune"... my dear friends handed me gems of great value.  The most "negative" response I got was, "Ooookay... are you attracted to me?"  I said, "No."  "So what the f#*k difference does it make to me?"  But I know for every gem I have been given, dozens of people have been stoned to death, and so I don't take any of them lightly.  

Dan, I wanted to share one of my gems with you, to add my own to your pile.  I wanted to share them with every single 11 year old boy or girl out there that found themselves looking at someone of the same gender and liking what they see.  

 Thank you for your blogs, and for standing up to stop the stones.

paschulea
paschulea

I'm so glad to hear that this story didn't end in that car.  There have been a number of times in my life when I too thought of escaping permanently from things that just felt too heavy to carry.  Each time, I went through a list of things I have compiled earlier that I have agreed have to be done before I make the final decision.  Each time, I'm able to finally see that my exit would hurt so many others who love me just as I am.  I happen to be straight, but we all have other stones that can be just as hurtful as the ones you have endured.  Please keep deflecting them and know that you are valuable to many more who need you in their lives.

Alice Masci
Alice Masci

How horrible to think you can't tell others the truth and think they'd rather have you dead then gay or bisexual. As a Christian I can see the church has done you a disservice to keep telling you "you're bad, you're wrong, you're sinful, you're not accepted" instead of telling you "In Christ you're righteous, you're wonderfully made, you're accepted, you're His son" no matter what. None of us can keep every commandment. I don't think it's right to single out one thing and throw stones. Love is the greatest commandment. I wish more Christians would keep that one no matter what the person may be doing. I'm sorry people keep throwing stones. Perhaps you're posts will keep a few stones from ever being thrown at others. So glad you are still here.

Bornhart
Bornhart

Dan, you have done a great service to so many just by sharing your personal struggles.  You are NOT alone.  I need only shut my eyes & memories of my own desperate moments before (and after) I first acknowledged "I am not straight" - I was also in my early 30's, miserably married, with 2 precious children...

Dan Savage (and so many, many others) know that "It Get's Better"!  Suicide is not the answer.  I am grateful that the painfully honest reflection in that mirror - YOUR reflection - and your deep love for your son helped you face that better future.  Amen.

MissMitchell
MissMitchell

These posts are giving me goosebumps. I'm so glad you were able to face the truth. Thank you, a million times over, for asking gently, kindly, and with loving intention, that we change the world.

One heart at a time. <3

Nicole P
Nicole P

Thank you for being with us today. You are a beautiful soul and the world needs all the beautiful souls we can muster. I cannot say, and will not pretend, I know what it is like for a gay man in this world. But know this: you are loved and accepted exactly as you are. And to the people that strive to make you feel less human for the way you love? To hell with them. The world is changing and one day a later generation will look back at the bigotry thrown at the LGBT community with the same disdain and confused disgust that my generation looks back at the bigotry and racism towards blacks. 

VonneWorth
VonneWorth

Thank you for not taking your life. I've had many attempts to do away with myself, so I may have some understanding, but you're able to write about abuse, bullying, and their effects upon the human psyche and I wouldn't want your voice muffled. I had a protestant evangelical minister for a father and although I am not gay, I have spent many years in therapy on a journey out of the maze of child abuse, which, among other things, convinces a child that she is not a good person. A good person does not deserve to live. The logical extension of this, in terms of action, is to do away with oneself.

The resolution is different for everyone. Mine, so far, has been to try to discover that I am not who my parents told me I was. I am a good person. Therefore, I should live.

that_one_girl
that_one_girl

The funny thing about the Bible is that it was written for Hebrew and Greek culture.   I believe that the scriptures must be looked at through the lens of the culture it was written for.  God gave the writers the concepts, but they used their own words to express them.   Only after understanding the message as it would have been understood when it was written, can one apply the wisdom contained in the scriptures to one's own life.   But what would I know, I'm just a language and culture geek at heart. When you think about it, it's silly to base your life on your modern interpretation of a book that was written ages ago.  

Have you ever read any of Joseph Campbell's theories?   One of his ideas is that religious texts mesh with the science of the era in which they are written.   He also said that mythology needs to be updated as a culture changes, that mythologies worldwide have similarities and that mythology is the way that cultures understand the human psyche.  

Michelle320
Michelle320

I can relate you what you wrote, the fear that certain religions can instill. I grew up hearing it all, too, and only in my mid-twenties did I decide to walk away from a religion that was crippling my spirit, to be ok with "living in sin" because I didn't really believe it was a sin, and I believe that God knows our hearts.  For as many rocks that have been thrown at you, I hope and pray that so much more kindness and goodness will come to you.  And though we have heard many hateful things that we don't agree with, may love always be louder.

Sean3775
Sean3775

Oh Dan. Is it providence that I started following you earlier this year? As a married father who is also bi, and a pastor's son, I have tried to dodge those stones my entire life. Your posts are amazing and I relate all to well. Love you my brother.

Jen
Jen

No rocks here.  I can't believe how critical of people I have been in the past.  Thank you for being one of my many teachers, teaching me to show God's love.  If I ever learn this lesson successfully it will be a miracle.  And stick around Dan, you are a voice that so many need right now, both the "judged" and the "judges".

steeldrago
steeldrago

having been on that edge multiple times, you plucked my thoughts from the aether. and that's good because coming from me, they would have gone nowhere and those who need them would have not had them.

KimberDawn
KimberDawn

I have children your age.  

They have children.

I would hope that they know that my love for them is wholly unconditional.  I'm certainly going to make sure I tell them at the next opportunity.  And I thank you for reminding me to do that.

Thank you for baring your soul so bravely.  Telling us, your avid followers, about one of the darkest times in your life.  And by doing so, giving us hope.  

JonathanGuzar
JonathanGuzar

Dan,In one of my darkest times, I made a commitment to myself to never hold hatred for another human being. I don't think that was ever our place... This included those who are different than me, it includes those who blatantly hate and scrutinize others, and it included those who even hated on me, because I realized that hate never, ever solved anything. I'm not wholly faithful to this principle because I have my own faults. I come from a Christian background, and while I personally think God never called believers in this era to "throw stones at others", there will be people who are always ignorant, immature, and confused in the church... I know we should know better, but yet some of the worst pain can come from within the church. I just know I do my best to govern myself to love others around me because that is, in reality, the only think I can control.I'm sorry your time in the church and with close friends was less than forgiving or sympathetic; that's their wrong doing.

Ri
Ri

I have also left the church....but I haven't left God. He isn't what we see in churches. He is using you. Using you to stop the bullying, hurting and shaming that have been done in His name. Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for choosing to live in that moment. You are a beautiful person and you are bring this subject out in a way that people who couldn't hear it before are finally, hopefully, listening.

landinn
landinn

It is incredibly sad that so many religions condemn individuals for trying to be true to themselves. If one believes in an all-powerful force of creation, why can't we accept that we are each unique and no one person has more or fewer rights than another to live life as long as they don't hurt others. All major religions have the same message: judge not thy neighbor, do unto others, and harm ye none, etc.

Dan, I don't know of very many people that haven't been to very dark places inside their souls for various reasons. I know more people that have have contemplated suicide at one point or another for various reasons. We are all very grateful that you were able to see beyond that awful moment and decide to fight for yourself, your son, and what is right and good. Congratulations and keep on knowing that there is *nothing wrong* with finding potential in all humans as beautiful, desirable, and lovable irregardless of color, creed, or gender.

Bethohio3
Bethohio3

I just want to say that I want for you the same things I wish for everyone--a life filled with love, with joy, with hope. No one gets a life without pain but I hope yours is never more than you can cope with. And I hope the stones stop--and that you are able to surround yourself with people who believe you are fine just the way you are.

LynnSpringle
LynnSpringle

I've been on the wrong end of so many different types of stones over the course of my life, none of them any more valid than the ones you describe.  Like you, I have long sought to increase the compassion in the world because, yes, it will help everyone, but also always for the purely selfish reason that *I* needed a more compassionate world to live in.  And yet I'm sitting here crying because I have never connected the dots so thoroughly and clearly, and doing so has pointed out to me places and ways I am, myself, perpetuating the stone-throwing.  It really does have to stop.  And the consciousness required, and the unrelenting coming back (when we inevitably get derailed from time to time) will take all of our energy and love.  Thank you Dan, for everything.  Oh yes, you have people here very interested in discussing the real dynamics of life, in ways that support and uplift us all!!

LieslGeneva
LieslGeneva

As someone "other than straight" myself, I welcome you to the middle. It can be a dark and scary place, for being someone who is not quite gay yet not quite straight we are often looked upon as "other" by both groups. Fortunately for both of us, that is beginning to change. I have been lucky enough to find a group of friends who accept me for who I am. Last year, I fell in love with someone who truly loves me all that I am and understands that being attracted to both sexes does not mean that I am "confused" or "conflicted" or somehow "broken". All it means is that I am open to love, no matter what the shape that love might take. I hope you can find the same, one day.

I am new to your story and new to your site, but know that I am here with you. You are not alone. You need never be alone again.

Kate S
Kate S

I'm a straight, middle-aged woman. I have battled with depression my whole life. It had nothing to do with sexual preference, but I know what you mean about those stones! My dad was the one throwing them. Along with his fists. I had to deal with psychological and physical abuse as a child. I never felt like I was good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or just ..... enough. I tried to kill myself, but I wasn't good at that either. I finally found a therapist that used Emotional Freedom technique and hypnotherapy to help me. I'm so glad I made it through, and I'm so glad you made it through too! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. From the comments it is easy to see that your words help people. You have moved me to tears many times. Happy tears and sad tears. Please keep making me cry! Love and hugs to you.

Michelle Fontanosa-Yee
Michelle Fontanosa-Yee

Am trying to post this on your blog, but I think it's too long :] I grew up Catholic, church every Sunday, catechism every week from childhood into the high school years. When my older siblings had moved out, I stayed with my mom (a widow) and continued to go to Catholic mass with her every Sunday, even though I wasn't very inspired to do so. Then the anti-abortion mobile (a car with photos of aborted fetuses plastered on it) started showing up at the church parking lot. I felt years of pent-up anger starting to surface. And then, one decisive day in my life, words spoken in church were the last straw on this camel's back. Someone giving announcements at the podium asked us to pray, in regard to same-sex marriage, "that marriage remain a sacred union between man and woman [only]." After hearing that, I was fuming inside. What if someone who is gay, who was seeking a place to belong, was there? And it was that day, that I left the Catholic church. I still believed (and believe) in God, and in God's love, and it was because I did (and do), that I knew I needed to disassociate from a religion that does the opposite of what I believe in. I was away from church for a couple years, spending my Sundays (instead of going to church) at a bay trail where I would walk along the levee feeding the feral kitties who live along the trail. It felt good finding a place where I felt peaceful and where I could honor the invisible by letting them know that they are seen and not forgotten. Taking the place of the people who had left them to fend for themselves, I could be one of the people who showed them love. And then, one serendipitous day, on a Sunday (when I would usually have been at Sunday mass but was instead at the pet store where I worked at the time), I found something on the floor: a program from a different church, and it said, "Open and Affirming" on it. I was like, "open and affirming? Is there such a thing?" On the program, they described their "guiding principles", basically saying how they honor diversity and growth. I found an awesome minister there who would eventually marry me (a former Catholic) and my husband (who is agnostic), and then I spent years going off and on to the service, but never really feeling a frequent need or want to go to church regularly. But then, my mom died in 2007. I began to spiral downward, drowing in grief and depression, and just a deep sadness and feeling lost. I somehow found myself coming back to this church, and on the day I showed up again after being away for years, the service brought me to tears. It was so moving and full of genuine love. The kind minister (a woman who is married to another woman, and they have a beautiful daughter they adopted), spoke of healing...not the hand-on-your-forehead and you faint kind of healing, but more the kind that can be achieved by simply realizing that we're not alone. The kind of healing I needed for sure. I've since become a part of that church. They have been so genuinely welcoming and real. I hope it's ok if I mention that it is a part of the United Church of Christ. I've met so many wonderful people through it, of all different backgrounds (faith and otherwise), sexual orientations, etc. I'm so glad to have found a community that is a match for my heart and my beliefs. That's how I feel about you, too, and the community of SDL.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

I'm a straight dude. My gay brother and my LGBTQ friends assure me that this is normal and have accepted me as I am, bless them.

I will fight tooth and nail, heart and head for your right to be who you are, to love who you love, and to live your truth.

Thank you for speaking it, brother.

Mercysgarage
Mercysgarage

Thank you for being so honest about your journey, your feelings, and your experiences.  Everyone's experience is different, but I've found that it's almost impossible to make real and lasting changes in your life if you can't be honest (at least with yourself) about how you feel about what you've been through and what you want for yourself and your life.  Hopefully, your willingness to share your honest truth with all of us will help someone else be brave enough to be honest with themselves.  Hugs and love to you.

Fairladi66
Fairladi66

I, for one, am glad you made it to the washroom to have that chat with the man in the mirror.   You are a good and beautiful person.   Your words will help so many people who are struggling with the same qualms.   So many people say thoughtless and harsh things.   They have no clue that the words they hurl around carelessly are as sharp as actual stones.   I'm sure God/fate/life put your here and gifted you with writing so that you could do your part to make the world a better place.   Keep on keepin on!

RachaelCreel
RachaelCreel

I have still never been able to tell my parents, as they are very Bible-thumping... I'm terrified of what they would do... The anger that flares up between us whenever I try to argue that banning gay marriage is completely pointless, makes me so scared to stand before them and say, "I'm not straight... I like men and women..." I just don't know what they would do... disown me? Beat me? They used to, when I was young... Try and "fix" me, by forcing me into some bible camp that "scares you (sexually) straight"? Acceptance is certainly no where near the top of the list of options... I have had many close brushes with suicide... I certainly know about the stones society throws, as I have used them to build a wall of defense around myself... I hope you get to come out of this with enough love and support to use as a shield against them - an option not many in our position get to enjoy. :)

ErnestVance
ErnestVance

Dan, I hear your heart.  I love your posts. I love your bravery in sharing the truth of yourself.  I am so glad you didn't end your life.  Keep on telling the truth.

I believe the Church is going through soul-searching on this very issue and you can find churches that have attained a much better balance on allowing people to not be perfect; to listening to each other confess with deep abiding love.  There are churches out there that are advocating for gay marriage.  And there are former homosexuals whose testimonies are powerful and amazing; who lovingly pray for deliverance for those who want it.

Yes, there are still a lot of churches out there who take the hard-line stance.  I pray that I may be as bold as yourself in helping to erode that very problematic stone-throwing as you have.

I would encourage anyone interested in seeing what true loving Christian attitude is to listen to the very prophetic lyrics of the Christian music groups, Tenth Avenue North, and Casting Crowns.   They are life-changing to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Perhaps you have left a particular church, but I would love to encourage you to seek one like the one that I am in that is very loving ans supporting.  There is a quiet revolution that is changing the American churches.

jhancock
jhancock

@alice.masci I agree with you -- singling out one sin from the rest (especially--not to get uberscriptural--but especially when there are plenty of other sex-based sins that the Church downplays) is not ok. Love is absolutely the greatest commandment, and posts like this are a clarion call that people might not like to hear, but there's a lot of honesty here that we NEED to hear. Disagreement is not the same as stoning. And stoning certainly isn't love. As another person who has attempted suicide, let me reiterate how fantastic it is that you're still here. Thank you for your posts, Dan, and know that as grateful as you are for the support you have, your story will have immeasurable positive consequences going out as well. :)

VonneWorth
VonneWorth

@Nicole P Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry if I left the impression that I'm gay: I'm not, but I am a survivor of child abuse and have had depression, PTSD, and have an unusual type of epilepsy (seizure episodes have lasted 5 days). These left me feeling that I am not a good person; however, this was not true and is not true and thank you for accepting all the people that too many people reject for no reason. As you observe and the last election certainly showed, the world is changing, and I certainly hope that soon all bigotry will disappear. 

SueCraneBryan
SueCraneBryan

@VonneWorth I am glad that you didn't take your life as well as Dan. I support your journey in coming to terms with yourself and your demons.You are a good person and deserve to not only live but to be happy doing it. One of my favorite things that has kept me on my path is the saying..Who you are is your parents' fault..if you stay that way, it is your own. My parents only had me for 18 years..I have created a new history for myself and changed my outlook on the world. I am no longer a child..I can change my world and my reaction to it. Sounds like that is what you are doing and I am proud of YOU!

cathys
cathys

@ErnestVance Thank you so much for this post! I love listening to Christian music (as well as classical, rock and pop, - and my absolute favorite singer, Adam Lambert), but have often wondered about the performers' stance on this issue. Well - after reading your post I looked up Casting Crowns, who I'm familiar with, and was so happy to see them on a "naughty" list of performers due, I presume, to their "liberal" stance. And Michael W. Smith is even there!  And Mercy Me, and Steven Curtis Chapman. And Chris Rice. And Bebo Norman. And Amy Grant, and many others. Now I can more happily listen to these people. Thanks again! [btw - if I'm wrong about any of these singers, I'd be happy to know about it. There's plenty of good music and musicians. I don't have to support those who are spreading intolerance by buying their music).

VonneWorth
VonneWorth

@SueCraneBryan @VonneWorth Thank you, Sue. This is an artistic and a writer's journey a well. One writer told me to write about what gives me problems, because it's what causes everyone else's problems, too. Although I am not gay, Dan's experience resonated for me, as I said, because of the abuse by religious authority done because of who he was. What was done to me, was the same: it was done because of who I was: a child and a female in a religious home where strictly patriarchal roles were  expected. I didn't fit. It was extremely confusing, but I always thought I was wrong. This taught me to be an adult who was a "mark" for abusive males and abusive persons and situations, because I still responded as a child in adult situations. Now, I control them, but sometimes have lapses. I have to remind myself of exactly what you pointed out: I am no longer a child and I can change how I react to what is happening. I can keep only positive people around me and do those activities which I enjoy. Thank you again.  

SueCraneBryan
SueCraneBryan

@VonneWorth @SueCraneBryan I had a rough childhood as well and it took me a long time to let it go and start a new life. Time really does heal all wounds if you want it to and I did. I also forget sometimes and have a bad day but I am not willing to let my past or the people that hurt me THEN to keep hurting me NOW..I had to let go of my father..we haven't spoken in 4 years..his choice..I no longer chase him to make him have a relationship with me or his grandchildren..he wants to just forget about all of us..that is his choice..mine is to not cry over it and move on..anyway, we both are on a journey and I am glad our paths crossed..Merry Christmas..Sue