Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New Chapter

Greetings to the few people who stumble across this blog!

A review...
I have not been posting very much lately. If this is your first time to this blog, or if you've been here before, and you want quick run-down of what's happened here so far without reading all of the past posts, here's a quick timeline. I would highly recommend the timeline over actually reading the posts! :-)

June 2008:
- I "came out to myself" and realize that I should not be content to live in the closet forever. Up to this point I had come to grips with the facts that I did not cause my homosexuality, that I cannot change it, and even that it is sinful. However, I still was choosing to not acknowledge publicly that part of my life, choosing instead to focus completely on my work and to live life as a single man. Well, I realized that this would do nothing to help all of those who struggle with similar things, nor would this be an honest way to live. I chose to begin living as the person God uniquely created, for better or for worse, but either way, honestly and at peace.

- First step was a visit to a gay bar while in a far-away city for a seminar. Had a great time exploring the "Gayborhood" and having a great discussion with a bar tender. (Slow night, sweet guy.)

- Next step was to visit a few bars in a city a little closer to where I live--about a two hour drive away. Just looking and observing. Met a guy and got to flirt a little. Lost contact eventually.

- Then I started this blog and began to contact others with similar blogs.

July 2008
- Met someone online and went out to dinner with them. Don't know if you would call it a date. Went hiking later on. A good experience to have, but haven't really remained in contact.

- Had a extremely stressful month and nearly got to my wits end in dealing with my sexuality while maintaining an intense level of activity at work.

August 2008
- Big news: came out to my best girl friend from back home. We are very close, so I knew I could trust her. Turns out, she thought we would get married some day. Had to break her heart. :-( BUT... she did accept me, though she remains entrenched in conservative church and does not as of yet affirm homosexuality as a valid option. We remain in close contact.

- Visited the parents while at home and became very frustrated with the deck of cards I had been dealt. Became very concerned about how the future may pan out.

September 2008
- Ray Boltz comes out of the closet.

- I discover Rachel Maddow! :-)

- I get deep into schoolwork at my seminary and because increasingly frustrated with "moderate" Christians and their lack of courage on the issue of homosexuality.

November 2008
- I attend a retreat for gays of my denomination in a nearby city. Met some wonderful people at a wonderful church. This experience helped me begin to finally form a support group, and I gained a very special friend and mentor who has helped, and continues to help, me to stay sane and to discover many exciting new life experiences. :-)

December 2008
- While at home during Christmas, I get set up on a date with a girl. I was disgusted by my forced phoniness and angry at the increasing pressure for me to get married.

January-May 2009
- Not much happened during this time, except I completed my degree programs and chose to take an offer to remain at work with the community for which I presently serve.

So, now I am in a new stage of life. Let me re-introduce myself.

- I am a twenty-something, "professional" minister. (As in, they pay me to do this.)
- I work in the south, in a rural community, at a church that is of an evangelical, moderate-to-conservative denomination with only a sprinkling of liberals.
- I am in the closet to most everyone in my day-to-day life.
- I have a few very close friends and I want to come out to them very soon.
- I have supportive friends in a nearby city to which I visit occasionally for outside-of-the-closet fun.
- I don't know if I will ever come out to my parents.
- I long for a dating relationship, but I realize that it would probably suck for the other person because of my situation.
- I would like to lovingly guide my pastor and church family to acceptance of gays.
- I'm not sure how I'm going to do the last thing I mentioned.

That's all I can think of at the moment. I will be posting more, now that I am out of school. I learn something every day about all of this, and I hope that all of us out here on the blogosophere can be of help to each other as we try to shatter down the closet door once and for all, and end the ignorance, misunderstanding, bigotry, and hatred that the church has concerning those in every congregation who are gay or lesbian.

Will you come along beside me? Will you lead me? Will you let me lift you up?

May God bless you with eyes for your heart that are enlightened to see a world at peace and every human soul made whole.


ClosetedBaptistLesbian said...

It was great to see your blog, and know that there are others out there, perhaps closer than you think, that are going through the same thing. Your situation seems a lot like mine, and I wish you luck and will pray for you. Keep your chin up :)

KJ said...

Hey Jx,

I lost your web address when my computer crashed earlier in the year, and spotted your site linked at ClosetedBaptist. I'm baaaack!

The only way that I have seen hearts and minds changed in conservative faith settings regarding glbt has been through "incarnation" -- The coming out of a loved one, friend or family, who lives into their faith, in spite of the fact that those around say that is just not possible. Only then are others challenged to reconsider their preconceptions, stereotyping and bigotry. Just like us, they then have an opportunity to see matters through new eyes. Think of the difficulty we had in that process, and that was regarding our own selves. How much more difficult must it be for one to extend that grace to an abstraction?

Does this come with a price? Speaking from personal experience, I would have to respond with a resounding, "Yes!" But why would followers of Christ be surprised by that? Besides, we're not left on our own, and the Incarnation promises life after death, especially death to ourselves and what others wish we were.

Peace of Christ.