No, I was not suicidal or depressed. However, I was hiding myself from myself, my family, and my friends. My joy, happiness, and hope were being covered by fear of a church that was silent. A church that said it believed in reconciling the whole world to God but had no voice of people who are homosexual. A church that did not want to speak to or about people who are homosexual. I was questioning my sexuality when I came across the writing project, and thought the Christian Church (DOC) was silent about including people who are questioning their sexuality. I was and am aware of part of the church that was speaking about homosexuality. What I heard the church saying was I would go to hell if I lived out my life.
Until one day two years ago, with a heightened guard and thinking I was alone, I found GLAD using a laptop in a closet of my house. I found the Easter writing project and was excited to find that finally:
People were speaking! They were speaking in one collective voice with passion. They claimed proudly theirsexuality as something created by God. I asked, “Could I write too?” The answer came back, “yes,” I could write. I could write about my experience without admitting my sexuality. I could read voices of people identifying themselves as Gay, Straight, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender. I could read voices of not just people, but clergy and biblical scholars and see in their words, read their stories, and discover experiences being lived out. I could read a different understanding of the Bible and hear of love and an open communion table. I could share about a closed table and the experience of that practice.
Two years later, in the third year of the writing project with a clearer understanding, (and a life being “out” to most of my family and friends), I can write about what marriage means to me and how the church should speak about and for equal rights for all people. I can also read other people’s thoughts and see that hell is not the only answer the church is giving people. The church is still divided but seeing these voices has helped restore my own voice. My voice and my life have value. My sexuality is only one part of that but it is loved by God none the less.