Coming out as what?
A Queer Christian.
I was raised Christian, and once I was able to make decisions for myself, I chose Christ. I chose the fullness of joy that exists in the presence of the Lord, and I chose to believe that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
I chose to believe that God chose me to play a small role in His purposes for this world. And after being baptized at 7 years old, I chose Christ for myself on December 31st, 2012 on my knees at the altar. I chose water baptism as a true believer on April 26th, 2015 and I have continued to choose life in Christ every day. I’ll never undo that choice; it is the best thing I’ve ever done.
Part of choosing Christ has meant choosing His church and His people. So it’s probably understandable that when I found myself in a relationship with a woman in 2012, I was overcome with shame and confusion. There was no way to reconcile it; I was surrounded by people who loved God so much and all we wanted to do was live for Him. Our conservative/evangelical theology dictated that there was no room for “homosexuality”.
So I prayed. I fasted. I cried. I confessed. I prayed in tongues. I sought wise counsel. I had “ex-gay” mentors/friends. I went to the altar. Leaders laid hands on me. I read the scriptures. I wrote blog posts. I went to Christian counselor after Christian counselor to figure out how to not be gay. I almost chose a Christian counseling Master’s program (where the admissions application asked about personal habits such as masturbation, pornography consumption, and premarital sex) in order to surround myself with a community that would surely help me “pray the gay away”.
I didn’t go there though, thank God! Fast forward 3.5 years, and I am learning to love and accept all parts of me and embrace a theology that is not based on exclusion but true inclusion. I came out to myself, some family and friends in September/October of 2018. I am coming out to you, internet friends on October 11th, 2019--National Coming Out Day.
Why come out?
Because representation matters.
Because I don’t believe that I was created to be small or quiet.
Because if I allow shame to silence me, then the enemy wins.
Because I need to tell you that God still loves you and that there is a Christian community that exists with a theology of radical inclusion and we are willing to embrace you.
I am so blessed to be at this point, where I know without a shadow of a doubt that God loves me and calls me His own. He has given me both natural and chosen family that are living and breathing examples of agape love, and the expansiveness of His providence is evident.
Where I am today is 7 years in the making, and though I don’t want today to be about rehashing the pain and loss that it took to get here, I will share that with you soon. Be encouraged. You are loved, worthy, seen, known and valued. If not by the people around you, by God Almighty, always and forever. Happy National Coming Out Day <3