“Nothing is, everything is becoming.” -Heraclitus
I want to give you some context for my story, but I don’t want to spend paragraphs and paragraphs detailing every element as I’m sure at some point I will talk about them individually in greater detail. So I will give a quick snapshot to provide a basic history.
I was raised in a harsh, fundamentalist Christian home. I was afraid of my father and of God. I was the middle child of two brothers and I was very much a tomboy. When I was a young teenager, my family moved from the Midwest to the South. I was an angst-y teenager. I was very involved in my youth group and also in smoking pot.
I ended my teenage years as a student at a private, Christian college. During my time as an undergraduate I was very much involved on campus through many different organization/clubs and served in a plethora of student leadership positions. I graduated, served in a full time position in an office on campus and began graduate school. Throughout all of my collegiate journey, I struggled with who I was and spent some time in counseling working out some of the messier pieces of my life. It wasn’t until graduate school that I made some connections to who I was as a sexual being.
That brings us to present-day. I am finishing up my last year in grad school and trying to figure out what comes next. Which is incredibly tricky with this added layer of identifying as a Christian homosexual (please note the appropriate pronunciation: hom-o-sect-you-ull).
I have often tried to hold the two identities- Christian and gay- in separate hands to decide which would be less painful to lose before realizing that both of them are the kind of things that are intricately woven into the fabric of who I am and cannot be amputated from my person or from each other. I am obsessed with the notion of our being created in the imago dei (in the image of God) and find my deepest sense of worth in my complicated yet constant relationship with God. Also, I do not believe that I was created with an accidental sexual identity that is in need of repair. I very much believe that relationship with one another is a way that we reflect the Trinitarian make-up of the imago dei and so being in healthy, committed relationships are an act of honoring who we are as children of God. Thus, I am looking forward to being in a healthy, committed relationship with another woman.
I will admit that arriving to this conclusion was not as simple as I have laid it out. Though, if you are a Christian and identify as “sexually other,” I suppose you know all too well that painful, self-loathing struggle that takes a lot of time, effort and emotional strain. It is a journey worth undertaking and I was lucky enough to do it in the context of a few strong, supportive friendships. But more on that next time…