On Sunday, my church discussed issues that were changed during this summer’s general assembly and gay marriage was one of those topics. After listening to several minutes about how this change is not based on scripture and that this may disrupt the order of the family, I could not hold it in any longer. It was as if many of these people did not know a gay person. I shot my hand up, not knowing what I would say, but I couldn’t just sit there and let ignorance persist. That’s not how change happens. When I was called on, I had no idea what I needed to say. It felt like I was just pouring out words without even thinking about what was next. My leg began to shake as it often does when I’m extremely nervous, but I remember saying specifically that homosexuals aren’t the spawn of satan, that each and every one of them are equally loved by God as everyone in the room, and that the best way to discern this issue was to be educated. I quoted a lecturer that had visited the church before I even became invested in this congregation, stating how the definition of marriage has been changed throughout history, and how that included polygamy in the Bible. I also reiterated the fact that ‘homosexual’ wasn’t even a word in the original language that the Bible was written, so how could we take the translation at face value? This last idea was introduced by the pastor, so I knew it would help translate well with the group that I’m not just some uneducated man with a gay agenda. Then my ‘word vomit’ continued and it shocked me.
“I myself have been kicked out of churches because I’m gay..” I lost it. My voice started to quiver and the muscles in my face did the same as I was trying to hold back the rush of tears I knew were waiting to be released. This time I wasn’t alone, I couldn’t let them take control of what I needed to say. As I spoke, you could tell I was on the brink of bawling, but then I felt a woman behind me start patting my back and stroking my right shoulder. Then one of the ladies in the choir I sing with started gently patting my other shoulder and as I wrapped up what I had to say, I felt a huge weight start to lift from my heart. I know without a doubt that I would not have been able to speak if I had not gone through the heartache from previous churches that told me I’m not allowed to lead worship because I’m gay. It was then that I realized I had become so much stronger than I thought I was. When I finished, this older lady sitting in front of me simply nodded her head and said ‘amen,’ then a group in the far corner of the chapel began to clap. I still have no idea what’s going to happen and I don’t really care, I just know that if I didn’t speak my testimony, no one would have given it a second thought.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9