by Heather Smith
Greetings in the Name of Christ!!
If you clicked on this link, it must be either because you wanted to know more, want to bash, or maybe you're just plain curious to see where it led you.
The dictionary says that a homosexual is: "Of or having sexual desires for persons of the same sex."
I define it simply as "Loving the one who God gave me to love."
Why must love have a title or a name other than simply "Love." It's basic human nature. It's not anything to hide or be ashamed of.
It wasn't always easy for me to admit that I'm gay. There was a time that I hated myself for it. I tried to commit suicide a couple times. I thought I was sick, insane, and just plain messed up. I know now that I'm none of the above.
My Mother found out back in 1998. (Unfortunately, not in the manner that I wanted her to.) She is being great about it. It will take her a lot of time to get used to it, but it sure is a relief no longer having to hide and lie to the one who taught me to value truth. I love you Mom. I don't want to hurt you. Thank you for loving me as me.
I was raised in a church that teaches that homosexuality is an abomination, a direct path to hell. It instilled fear in me, as well as a deep hatred for myself, and for God. People have told me that I'm not really saved or that I am going to burn in hell. But God saved me the day I asked Him into my heart!! I no longer need saving from anything, except the cruel and ignorant pity of people.
I've heard all of the lectures and bashing that there can possibly be. I've been called every name in the book, and a few that are not. I can, and will not change myself to suit anyone. I have no regrets about my sexuality. I know that God loves me "Just as I am."
I'm sorry friends, not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief, rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, is as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes.
I wasn't "recruited" by anyone. No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older and wiser than me had taken me aside and said, "You're all right, Heather. You can grow up to be anything you want to, just like anyone else. You're not crazy or sick or evil or going to hell. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends - all kinds of friends - who don't care who you fall in love with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it."
But no one ever said that to me. I had to find out on my own, with the help of my friends (both straight and gay), and a Christian Gay-Affirming Church. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but the world is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don't consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren't radicals or weirdo's. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies, and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the street. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it's all right for you to like me too. You're O.K.
I know I can't tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it's not. It's not hiding behind words like family, decency, and "mainstream" Christianity. It's not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It's not judging your neighbor, nor is it an instant gate into hell or a path to destruction.
Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion, and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion, kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought joy into my life, and I like it here. I like it.
There's not much else I can say, except that I'm the same Heather you've always known and loved. You just know me better now. Please accept me as me. I can't take the hiding anymore.
A special thanks to Darlene, Paula, Sue, Lynn, Eddy, Amy, and all of my friends who have stood by me all of these years. You do make a difference!! Thank you all!!