Wednesday, February 21, 2018

in)(between

I have been feeling a little "in between" lately like I'm not sure whether or not to run or listen. I have been spending a lot of time with other gay Christians, in safe sacred spaces and it's been both uplifting and challenging. Sometimes I feel like "I'm happy, and this is where I belong" and then I hear all about Side B and how the church doesn't want us to have sex and how pretty gay boys can't get married and how no one is allowed back home to their families. Worse comes to worse when they start saying things like they feel like they can't stand God anymore. That really hurts me : ( The whole thing makes me mad and angry and overwhelmed and afraid. I don't know how to respond.

To be honest, I thought leaving that church would make this easier, as though I was shielding myself from all the pain of homophobia. But it's not. It's only made things much, much worse because now I am immersed with people from my community, unable to ignore their pain, unable to dismss their voices. But is that what I was doing, at the other church? Was I ignoring the closeted people who came out to me by not addressing their fear in the church? Was I ignoring my community by not addressing what was being said about us (to us?). I feel so messed up...

A friend of mine recently wrote to me. She is traveling abroad and although she is six thousand miles away, she is very much caught in between two very different people. I find myself encouraging her to lead with love and yet it's so hard for me to do the same. Another friend of mine who is so gifted in her understanding, she is so good at thinking things through has written to me a letter of encouragement that is numbered with wisdom and truth, enough to put steel in my spine and make me sit up. She reminds me (with gentleness) that change is slow and I need to focus on the things from God, not the bullshit from man.

(Side note: instead of dwelling on the pain I've been listening to 00s R&B and it's made me smile.)

I don't want to run away. I don't want to throw up my hands and say "this shit is wrong" and act like it's not my problem and not my responsibility to fight. But I'm not sure I have the ability to do so.

Praying for grace.


I recited poetry the other night. A friend of mine is a professional poet (and she's great!) and she invited me to a poetry reading. So I went. Half the guests were from my old church. It was interesting to hear others read, their thoughts and passions - sharing words. I read my poem at the open mic and loved it. It was so cool to hear my voice and my words tower over the audience. I want to figure out how to write better and more poetry so that I can share more. There is something special about reading in a shared space like that. It feels sacred. 



FYI


Sparky and Friends

I doggy sat these cuties again. Sparky, the dog pictured on the bottom is my favorite. He is stern and terribly frightened and very protective and only wants your love and if you decide you'd rather love someone else (Max pictured above), he is okay with that. He literally walks to the other side of the couch and lays down. I like that Sparky's eyes are so big and that his ears are bigger than his face. He likes to sit really close to me, close enough where moving is a challenge. So grateful I get to spend time with these dogs.


A slow build


I've been spending more time with a good friend lately, which for lack of a better phrase, means so much to me. I've been here for almost three years and I'm just now starting to get this sense of LA being home. In SF, it happened right away. My friends and co-workers quickly became the framework of my world and I felt much more at ease. It's taken me much longer in the City of Angeles. I'm so grateful when I get to spend time with the same friends whether at church or at a brewery in the Arts district or in WeHo sauced -  it all begins to piece together a comforting and welcoming experience with this city.


The artist

My grandmother started painting in her late 70s and she is quite talented. I have her paintings all over my office and all over my apartment. I am so encouraged everytime someone walks by and checks out her work. I love my grandma. 



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Coming Out


I came out when I was twenty-one and still living in North Carolina. I really never spoke about how I came out until I met another lesbian Christian, about a year ago. I met her at a Bible study on finance at an unaffirming church (I am taking the class for the second time...). Towards the end of the class, she came out to the group about how conflicted she feels about being gay. Mind you, the woman has been in a loving relationship with another woman for a long time. They have a kid together. But there was something about her that made me go... "Hold on now, we aren't doing anything wrong." I felt inexplicably protective of her. So we made time to chat about it and in the conversation, I told her about what it was like for me to come out. Perhaps seeing someone else's pain made me less afraid of my own.

Anyway, because of the above movie starring these two Hollywood ladies, my mother finally understood what it was like for me to come out to her and my family. Because of "Jenny's Wedding" (2015) the lesbian experience is a little less strange. I am so grateful that stories can do this, that they can put you in someone else's shoes and help you understand something, you wouldn't otherwise comprehend. And that they can make us grateful for when God gives us the courage to live honestly, even when it costs us so much to do so.