Cases Like Mine

Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?

My dad is the preacher at the red-brick Southern Baptist church that I’ve attended since I was seven. It’s just down the road. Sunday school at 9:30, “big church” at 10:30. Youth Group on Wednesday nights. As the preacher’s kid, I know all the ins and outs; I’m the first one at church and the last one to leave. I used to be in the youth praise band (I’d play the piano and sing). I know all the answers, the covenant lineage, the story of Hezekiah and Obadiah and all the obscure prophets. I know the Bible verses by heart. I wore the food pantry t-shirts, the inspirational bracelets; I sang the songs, raised my hands, even cried a few times. I was the model Christian, the one who wears that "Jesus is my homeboy" shirt without any irony.

And then I got my first boyfriend.

Hear me out: I am in no way implying that gay people can’t be fully devout Christians. They, we, can. But when I heard my Sunday school teacher equate gay people with ax-murderers, when my church friends would throw around the word “faggot,” when my own father would speak so openly against the idea of LGBT rights, it hurt. A lot. When you suddenly become ostracized from the identity in which you once felt so comfortable, so at home, you look at things differently....

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