Two years ago today, I published I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay. Today, more than 15 million people have stopped by and read it, and that just blows my mind. Not that so many people would read it, but that it’s a message that 15 million people saw a title for and felt strongly enough, in one way or another, to click on the link.
One year ago this month, I came out to my friends, my family, and to all of you as something other than straight (bisexual). That was by far, hands-down, the scariest day of my entire life, and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve faced death multiple times, I’ve watched my life crumble seemingly before my eyes, I’ve even watched as a potato came flying at me at 300 miles per hour. And nothing has been as scary as that day was. Nothing has been as scary as that moment was, when I hit publish, and knew I could never take it back.
I thought my good relationships with my family would be over. I thought my greatest friendships might come to an end. I thought dating would be impossible and no woman would ever be able to accept a man who happens to find some other men sexually attractive. I thought my son’s mother might make my life hell for it. I thought my neighbors would shun me. And, if I’m being honest, I thought it would damage my readership so badly that I’d have to find some other profession in a hurry.
These were all very real fears… They were the cumulative mental crisis I was experiencing after more than twenty years of burying these “shameful” parts of me and pretending they didn’t exist. They were the finale of all the self-loathing thoughts of two decades, all suddenly crashing in on me at the same time. After all, I had learned and been taught my entire life that the very thing I knew deep down that I am was two things. A choice. And a repugnant and damnable sin.
But more than that, I learned that many of those in Christianity really are some of the most loving, giving, sympathetic, and amorous people until they meet or hear about or come across someone who is different.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I wrote I’m Christian Unless You’re Gay because I knew that the day was approaching when my own self-hatred of whatever I was would make me do something irrational and permanent. I wrote it because I was desperate for my world around me to change so that I could somehow survive in it before that ugly time came.
And this world is getting better. More people are coming to accept me and my LGBT brothers and sisters around the world. They’re beginning to learn how to judge a person for their heart and not for their sexual orientation. They are beginning to realize just how wrong people have been for so long.
But we’re far from there. So far sometimes.
About eight months ago, I was invited to dinner. I was supposed to be hanging out with a gay friend and his boyfriend that day, and so I asked if they could come along. The inviter, who I thought was making great strides in acceptance, gritted her teeth and said, “sure. As long as I don’t know they’re gay while they’re here. No holding hands. No kissing. No dirty stuff.”
I didn’t end up going that day.
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