As a shame-filled 20-something, I would recite the New International Version of Philippians 1:20 as my prayer for perfection: "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."
Slowly, as my perceived sins made their way to the surface, I worked incredibly hard to perform my way into pleasing God; to toil for a shameless life.Â I was certain that if I left the parts of self called 'sins' behind, thereby achieving a shameless life, God would be pleased with me.Â Then and only then could Christ be "exalted in my body".Â I didnâ€™t realize it then, but I was suffocating from the notion that love was earned and value was achieved.
I started emptying my life of anything I thought would be offensive to God.Â I disguised my femininity behind walls of paranoia and tales of machismo and labeled any expression of sexuality as despicable to God.Â I left my secret boyfriend of the time by following an escape route from Colorado to New York City.Â Surely my 'same-sex attractions' wouldnâ€™t follow me there, I erroneously thought.
Shame was burgeoning throughout my body like a viral disease because I thought my version of 'God is Love' and gender nonconformity were inherently damaged.Â But while I tried to smite out the authenticity that produced my shame, I was in fact compounding my shame.Â In fact, the more intensely I embraced shame, the more convinced I was paying an appropriate penance unto God.Â Needless to say, I was fixing the wrong mechanism with the wrong remedy.
Many of us have a deep heart, attuned sensitivity, and a strong pull to keep those close to us satisfied.Â We want to please them so that we will not lose their love.Â Relationships feel like a tap dance, whereby love is only felt if flowers are thrown onto the stage and our loved ones shout, "Encore!"Â When in reality, we are experiencing a fraudulent version of love. Â
It is easy for many of us to feel like we are a dry sponge cake that can only be enjoyed if we cover ourselves with an enticing, delectable frosting.Â But let us not forget the intention of our creator!
For me, Pride is a season of exalting God by cherishing the craftsmanship of my wonderful and intended design.Â Pride is a season of letting the truth of Godâ€™s creativity have its way through my authenticity, giving me cause to celebrate the I AM that I am.Â My body cannot be shame-free if it denies Godâ€™s instructions for its very own functioning.
Yes, we want to please those around us, even those who hurt us.Â But true love cannot exist when our loved ones and neighbors only see and know our performances.Â They cannot love a cake by only tasting its frosting.
True love only exists when others experience and connect to the authentic, God-created essence of your being.
During Pride we have an opportunity to allow God to be exalted through our own unique expressions of authenticity, including how we love and our gender expressions.Â To be shameless, or to "have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death," means that I must feel unconditionally beloved while expressing my true self.Â This is that type of self-acceptance I "eagerly expect and hope" for all of us. Â
And this, to me, is the purest reason for Pride:Â I am not ashamed of my authenticity, especially because dropping my performance is the only route to fully loving - even fully loving myself.Â Now that takes "sufficient courage," and that is the premise of Pride we are called to emulate, express, and embrace. Â Â
Walk with courage, for you are already and inherently enough.
- Are you blocking your ability to bond and know love because you are trying to earn the love of others by performing?
- Can you trust that loving yourself is the foundation of and centerpiece to loving others? If so, what parts of yourself must you embrace more full-heartedly?
- Spend time envisioning a version of Pride whereby you are called to courageously emulate, express, and embrace Godâ€™s version of authenticity encoded into your being. With this in mind, how might this change the way you show up in relationships?
Isaac Archuleta is the Interim Executive Director of Q Christian Fellowship.Â He holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), contributes to The Huffington Post, and hosts weekend seminars for couples, individuals, and religious parents of children in the LGBTQIA community.Â He lives in Denver, CO.
Reprinted with permission from Kyle Franklin, Programs ManagerÂ Q Christian Fellowship. Many thanks!Â Â
June 28, 2018.
Click here for the original article.
My parents were raised Lutheran in Germany and East Prussia, Â but joined the Mormon church while single in their late twenties after much investigation.Â They were drawn to the aspect of living prophets and genealogy (saving your ancestors) and eternal families.Â So I was born and raised in the Mormon church.Â As a child growing up I loved the stories of Jesus and accepted Christ early on.Â
My dad was an artist and painted a lot of oil paintings of the stories of Jesus and hung them all over our house.Â I also liked the idea of modern day revelation and living prophets who could guide us in these turbulent latter days.
I attended Brigham Young University for a yearÂ when I was 18 and had the desire to become a missionary.Â When I was 21 I was called to serve for 2 years as a Mormon Missionary in Austria.Â
Austria was 89% Catholic and most people there had lost their faith in God and the Catholic church after WWII.Â So it was a difficult mission, as no one really wanted to hear about churches or religion.Â
I ended up doing a lot of service projects and giving surveys to the Austrian people about what they thought was necessary to be happy in life.Â I liked the LDS (Latter Day Saints/Mormon) plan of salvation in regard to the pursuit of excellence, and that as Godâ€™s spirit children we could become like Him, and joint heirs with Christ.
During these 2 years I began questioning my faith for the first time.Â Many people I had met in Austria challenged me and I became confused at why so many people had different spiritual experiences than mine.Â Some told me about how God had led them to their church and how they knew they got the Holy Ghost when they were baptized into their church.Â Others seemed to believe in reincarnation.
One Swedish couple told me how they prayed to find the true church at 14 but God never answered them.Â I also had a missionary companion hit on me sexually while on this mission and that was very frightening and made me know for sure I was not gay.Â But I was kind and understanding to her and we remained friends until she died about 20 years ago.Â By the time I got home from my mission in 1971 I had pretty much lost my faith in God.Â
I lived in Las Vegas then and was 24 years old.Â I was looking for a husband and was desperately wanting sex.Â I still wanted to believe in God and in the Mormon church so I started praying again.Â I was giving God another chance to redeem himself in my eyes (ha, ha).Â But that is where I was at.
God led me to my agnostic (at the time) husbandÂ and he thought the LDS religion had a rational theology, so he joined.Â He figured the spiritual witness would come later, so he often prayed and fasted about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but never got that spiritual witness of knowing like Peter did when Jesus asked him 'who do you say I am'.Â
Then we had children and got sealed in the LDS temple as an eternal family and marriage.Â The temple ceremonies were strange to us and we never got a good feeling about them.Â
I was asked to teach the adult gospel doctrine class and did a lot of research on LDS church history.Â This is when a lot of things began bothering me about Joseph Smith, polygamy, and church history.Â When I asked questions from church leaders I was told not to question, and that really bothered me.Â
My husband left the LDS church first and I continued attending church but was depressed.Â One Sunday at a fast and testimony meeting, I was crying and asking God why He never gave my husband a testimony of the LDS church and book of Mormon.Â Suddenly I had this thought go through my head 3 times, "Why donâ€™t you go visit that Seventh Day Adventist Church around the corner."Â I wondered where that came from and told my husband about it.Â So, we decided to attend there and met this wonderful pastor who brought us to Christ and showed us how Jesus came to save us from our sins, not our problems.
We attended there for 2 years but could not believe in their doctrine, that the sign of the beast (whether you go to heaven or not) was whether you worshipped on the true Sabbath (Saturday). All of this was very confusing for our 3 kids too, and shook their faith in God.
Just to shorten this, in 2010 we moved to Florida and attended various churches there for awhile. We settled on the Nazarene church for two years until an interim pastor there told me that if I did not reject all of my Mormon friends and family, as well as my gay son and all my gay friends, I would not be allowed in their church anymore.Â Needless to say, we left there and eventually found the church we are in today (United Church of Christ) that God led us to.Â
I have always been a truth seeker, even if it meant facing something painful.Â Leaving the LDS church was painful for me after being there for 60 years.Â Paul's admonition to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good, is my motto.Â There was, and is, much good in the LDS church and I have kept that.Â God also showed me that He works through all churches and people who seek Him.Â That He may lead you to one church at one time and then to another at another time.Â I believe that God does mold us like clay and gives us the experiences we need to grow and mature. I do believe in the second coming of Christ where there will eventually be a unity of faith and one church.
In August of 1984, my youngest brother, who had been my childhood playmate, died with AIDS. Just two weeks earlier, while visiting him in the hospital, he told my husband and I his lifelong secret. He was gay and had always been gay.
I have wished many times since that brief encounter with the person he really was that we could have been granted more time so that he could help me understand this complex reality. But for some reason (possibly my own pious and judgmental attitude that kept him from sharing this secret with me), our time of unmasked openness with each other was limited to a few short hours. Yet it was freeing for both of us to realize that when the secret was out in the open, we loved each other more deeply than ever before.
Like many, I grew up in a Christian household. We went to church every Sunday, said prayer before bed, and went to Vacation Bible School during the summer. I had the typical Christian childhood. Then one year puberty hit, and I started noticing that girls made me a little more nervous than they used to, and they seemed more shapely and alluring. In time I'd learn I was gay.
But what's a gay girl to do when she's been brought up to believe that homosexuality is wrong? After all, I just kinda grew into it. There was no traumatization, no bad influence from some pedophile adult. I just was what I was, and all of a sudden Jesus hated me for it.
I am originally from Nigeria, West Africa, where homosexuality is completely forbidden and illegal. I was also raised in a Christian home and faced great conflict when I realized that I was a lesbian.
My family tried praying it out of me đź™‚ and later on, we fell out completely. They basically told me I was disowned and would only be allowed back into our family when I decide to go straight. They were all so angry, so let down and so hurt and I was so brokenhearted. I packed up my stuff and moved to the USA by myself with no family contact at all.
Almost a year later, they reached out to me to make amends and we are still healing right now.
by Mike DomĂnguez (aka "Acorn")
I was born in 1973 and raised by my aunt and grandmother in a tiny fishing village called Delacroix Island in St. Bernard parish on the outskirts of New Orleans. My mother had married a Pentecostal preacher with five children, and believed my aunt and grandmother would be able to provide for me and give me the continued stability and attention that I needed as an only child, and which she wasn't able do anymore. I have always remained close to my mother, and to this day she is my closest friend and confident. My aunt and grandmother were traditional Roman Catholics, and made sure that I received the best Catholic education.
For as long as I can remember I have always known that I was gay, and I positively embraced that part of myself. I officially came out to my family when I was 16 years old. They accepted me and encouraged me to be proud of who I am. My stepfather would come around eventually, three years before he died, but he let me know that he loved me, and God loved me and accepted me just the way I was. I wish we would have had more time to develop a deeper relationship.
For someone who has not lived this life, it is impossible for that person to fully understand. I am sitting here trying to think of some other current condition in life to which closeted homosexuality can be compared - I cannot think of one other condition that comes close.
Nevertheless, I tried to put some things down on paper because I wanted to help you understand to some small degree what life is like for people like myself, people who because of the position of society, their family, and the Church feel they have to hide their true nature.
"I knew at a very early age that I was different."
THE PRIEST'S heart was pounding in his chest. His hands were icy cold.
He was nervous. More than usual. The pews were nearly full as they are most Sundays as he walked up the middle aisle of St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda to celebrate Mass.
It was just after 9 a.m. Children squirmed and latecomers slid into their seats as the morning light poured in through the stained-glass images of Mary, Jesus, Joseph and the saints.
Going through the ritualistic motions of Mass, the priest struggled in his mind with the decision he had made. It's the time, he thought. It's the right place, the right people.
by Craig Dean
Perhaps no topic stirs the imagination as the legalization of same-sex marriage. In this veritable minefield of tradition versus progress, twenty years ago attorney Craig Dean filed the first discrimination suit to legalize same-sex marriage in over forty years when his marriage license application to his partner was denied by the District of Columbia because both parties were men.
Since then he has been speaking out on issues affecting gay and lesbian couples and has become a powerful advocate for legalization of gay marriages. His presentation gives a historical background to same-sex marriage, places it in the context of society and the modern gay civil rights movement, and discusses what the future may hold.
Note from Mary: Bridget is a well-loved member of our Social Group, the straight mother of a gay son. She has been a blessing to us all.
Disclaimer from Bridget: This is what I believed at one time, however my beliefs have evolved, and I am no longer a member of the Mormon Church.
When our youngest child, Johnathan, was around 16 years old he suddenly took a dramatic turn that was very disturbing to my husband and I. Jonathan was a very kind and loving child growing up. He was always well-behaved, cheerful, and optimistic. He was a very spiritual young man who loved the Lord. He never swore and he always got on his friends' case when they were swearing. He wanted to be a missionary when he turned 19.
Note from Mary: Bridget has been a well-loved member of Christian Gays for many years. She is the straight mother of a gay son, whose faith history includes the Mormon Church. She has been a spiritual mother and mentor to many of our family, especially our Mormon family.
Disclaimer from Bridget: This is what I believed at one time, however my beliefs have evolved, and I am no longer a member of the Mormon Church.
Sept 20, 2011 - In 1 Peter 3:5 of the New Testament it says, "....be ready always to give an answer, to every man that asketh you, a reason of the hope that is in you...." Therefore, I would like to share "the reasons for the hope within me." The following are my hopes and beliefs and why I have them.
1. I believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light, as He said He was. I believe He is the Son of God literally. It is my firm belief that lasting happiness and peace can only be achieved by accepting and following Him.
May 18 2017 - "I'm sorry I'm running late, church got out late," Chris Weaver, also known as drag queen Nedra Belle, said as he entered the gay bar. He came straight from performing in two church services with the praise team to the gay bar for his weekly show Sermon.
"But you know black church," he said, pouring his makeup bag all over the counter in an unused service area of the gay bar. "We always running late."
Born and raised in Long Island, NY, 29-year-old Chris Weaver says it was his godmother who first took him to church. "When I was about three, my godmother used to take me to church. I would come back and put on my dad's shirt and preach the message we heard that day," he said.
I am a member of the Gay/Straight Alliance (we call it the GLBT Club) at my local community college where I am a student.
I am interested in participating at blogging on your website, ChristianGays.com. I do not have any credentials other than a High School Diploma, but when I was only a few years younger, your website saved my life.
I was going through a hard time as a gay man, and the part that did not sit well with me was that I was a Christian, and I have always been taught that being gay was a sin.
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."
by Darren Theoret
The following is the letter I emailed to my friends, family and Catholic Church officials advising that I have decided not to become ordained as a Deacon. It is dated 16 January, 2008.
When I rededicated my life to the Lord, I was 19 years old and living a very high-risk lifestyle. I was trying every vice in order not to feel the pain of being different from societal norms. You see, since I was a young boy, I knew that I felt things and saw things differently than other boys. As I got a little older I found the word for it. It turns out that I was gay whether I liked it or not.
When I came back to the church, I was told that God loved me just the way I was but that He had a plan for my life which included curing me of homosexuality and making me a straight man with a super testimony that would bring many people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This happened in a Pentecostal church in Montreal.
RALEIGH - Ray Vester was raised in a Pentacostal Christian home in Rocky Mount, N.C. It was there that he developed a devotion to the music and teachings of the Christian religion.
At the age of 19, he recorded his first record, "Come Soon Jesus," which was released in 1979 and subsequently re-recorded by several other groups. In the years that followed, Vester found success with various gospel groups: The Faith in Action Singers, The King's Messengers and The Gospel Laymen.
The Gospel Laymen recorded two albums during the three years they were together.
In 1985 Ray joined yet another gospel group, The Monarchs. Although he wrote and recorded "This Man from Galilee" on the group's "Naturally" album, which garnered major airplay on multiple gospel stations on the east coast, the effort would be his last for nearly 18 years.
Now he's back on the scene again, preaching and singing the message of his beliefs across the United States and Canada. But where has he been all this time?
Every once in a while I have people ask me what my multicolored (rainbow) wristband means. My usual response is: it means that one is either gay, or gay friendly. I don't usually tell them that "it's a pride thing," although it would be an accurate statement. My typical response is usually enough information for them, and then they move on.
If I thought these persons were really interested in hearing more, I might tell them that for most gay people the wristbands, or rings, or bumper stickers mean a couple of things. First, they are a way to inoffensively self-identify. Secondly, they are a way to show a rather small amount of pride in who we are as individuals, as a constituency, and as a part of a greater community.
On this day five years ago my life was changed forever. It was on Wednesday 24 April 2002 at 7:30am I got a call from my doctor saying the blood test had come back and that he had to see me. I said to him, "It's positive isn't it? Otherwise you wouldn't call me." To which he replied, "Yes but I'm not supposed to tell you on the phone." I went in at 11:30am to see him and he told me that I was HIV positive (HIV+).
For many years I have been on a journey. Â This journey began with my being raised in a Congregationalist church. Then I became "Born Again" and became an Evangelical. Â That was followed by my being "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Â Thus I became a Pentecostal/Charismatic preacher for 34 years before retiring and leaving the Pentecostal faith.
My journey then took me into the Episcopal Church and then finally into the Catholic faith. Â It has been a journey of learning, discovery, change and progressing closer to, and becoming more like Jesus.
by Susan Duviella (brwneyes)
I was born and raised in a Hispanic Pentecostal church in Brooklyn, NY. I've always known that I was different, but kept it to myself. In fact, for a long time, I denied the possibility that I was a lesbian. I even fought anyone who dare call me gay.
For many years I knew that I had been attracted to other women. Even when I dated guys, my eyes would wander as a beautiful woman walked by. But I was a Christian and those feelings were sinful. I continued to live a lie for so long.
Finally, when I was in my early twenties, I could not deny my feelings any more. I confided in a friend and she seemed to understand. We eventually became a closeted couple. We struggled with our relationship because of the teachings we both have learned. We would end the relationship and get back together several times. Finally, we decided to come out to our friends. That was a disaster.
Christian Gays has come about as a result of many years of turmoil and depression at being unable to reconcile my sexuality with my Christianity. It is a labour of love with the mission of reaching other hurting gays who believe that they cannot be Christian if they are gay. Trust me. It IS possible to be gay AND Christian! I am a born again Christian lesbian!
At the age of 12, I fell in love with my swimming counselor at camp and from that time on, I knew I was "different". This incredibly wonderful (straight) woman has remained a faithful friend to me for over 60 years now.
by Linda Smith
January 7, 2012
My name is Linda and I am 56 years young. I am a Late Blooming Lesbian and only discovered myself about 5 yrs ago. I fell deeply and sincerely in love with a wonderful lady.
I have lived a very painful and difficult life... brutal alcoholic father... poverty... parental lack of education... too many kids, etc. etc. etc. Enough about that.
When I try to reflect back to see why I had my lesbianism hidden, I lack answers. All I can think of is my Catholic upbringing, brutal father, lack of knowledge about sex education... whatever the reason I am here now.
by William Spangler
I am 46 yrs. old. I grew up in VA. right on the Bible Belt. I attended a Pentecostal church. I was miserable. During all my young adult life I had to suppress my real self. I constantly felt condemned, I witnessed firsthand the shame my church brought upon others who dared to venture out of their shells and let the church know that they were gay. So, needless to say I was a very depressed, angry, and ashamed young man. I did not know who to turn to, I mean if God hated me, then there was nowhere left to go. I prayed, and prayed and prayed. No result. So, I left the church. I figured if God did not want me, then I would live my life my way. WRONG!!!
by Stephenie Robinson
So if you think that I got to look like I do in this photograph easily you can forget that, it is not true, it took dedication, work, tenacity and all the things we have to do to get a result in any given situation. It was over hell and high water to reach a stage of public acceptability. You might well ask why go to so much trouble? Well, here's the thing: Back in the old days around 1979 Dr. John Randall (A psychiatrist at the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic in London) was a stickler for detail not to mention a God-like control over his patients. My first meeting with John Randall in 1979 was a culmination of seeking help due to extremes of testosterone-driven violence and mental disruption.
This morning, I received my daily visit from a community nurse, who is coming to terms with the suicide-death of her adult, gay brother. In an attempt to help her, and to explain the shameful and desperate aloneness, involved in growing up as a gay man, I have decided to commit to paper a reflection upon my own experience, growing up as a gay boy, in a world, still deeply and entrenchedly homophobic. And I thought I'd share it with you. Because this reflection is based in my own experiences, growing up as a gay child, adolescent, youth and adult man, my terms of reference will be gay males; this is not, however, in any way, intended as a slight against, or lack of respect for, gay females. It is, however, the first time I have ever made any public disclosure of my deepest fears that began, as I vividly remember, when I was only five-years-of-age.
Homosexuality is in and of itself not pathological; like heterosexuality, it is a complex expression of multiple personal and historical meanings. For me, growing up gay meant being scapegoated, shamed, ridiculed and subsequently hidden. It meant internalizing my negative self-esteem. Only after thirty years of age.....and with the help of my one-and-only lover, the most beautiful man I have ever known, the late Singaporean Jeffrey.....did I begin to learn how to "manage" my homosexuality and grow into some kind of acceptable me!
Scott Williamson is one of the most positive individuals I have ever met. His amazing ability to see the glass half full is unparalleled and makes him well-liked by anyone who knows him.
Despite some less-than-ideal circumstances surrounding his life, Scott remains upbeat and committed to his favorite verse of Scripture which says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Scott grew up in Clarkston, Michigan with his parents and two older sisters. They attended a Church of Christ where his father eventually became a deacon and served on the Board of Elders.
See Part 1 here
April 2018 Update:
Since the running of the article in Out and About Newspaper a decade ago much has occurred. I am no longer with the partner mentioned in the article, but am happily engaged to a wonderful man named Joe who also brought into my life his daughter Brianna. Joe and I have been together for six years and plan to marry sometime in the next year. During the writing of the article I was fighting a call into ministry. By the time the article ran, I was sure that God does call LGBT people into ministry, but just was not willing to believe God was calling ME into ministry.
by Rev. Tessie Mandeville
The Cathedral of Hope was honored to have Mary Lou Wallner with us this past Sunday May 11, 2003, in Dallas and Oklahoma City. Mary Lou shared her story of tragedy and how God helped her transform that tragedy into healing, not only for herself but for thousands more. Mary Lou's daughter, who was a lesbian and a Christian, committed suicide in February 1997. Anna took her own life after years of struggling with being a lesbian. Her struggle came in part because of the fundamentalist teachings that she received from friends and family that homosexuality is a sin.
I was deeply moved by this story as I recognized that I walked a very similar path at one time in my life. I know many of us have walked this path and we know the struggle. I heard and learned so many things from Mary Lou but there is one thing in particular that I hold up for us today. It is the lesson of compassion. For you see, Mary Lou, shared that she did not show compassion to her daughter or to her daughter's homosexual friends. In fact she said, "I had no use for them."
Taken From Ellie's Blog
Used With Permission
...it starts with a niggle in the deep recesses of your soul that all is not quite right with the world as you know it and from there it grows... and there was I... one day I realised I was no longer in sync with my world, my family and the church culture I'd been brought up in. Put simply I felt I had become un-sync-able! This blog is to work through some of that seasoned by honesty, grace and love...
What about me? (no not the Shannon Noll song)
A little background on me ... I might include some more detail in later posts on certain parts but to keep this kinda short I'll give you a summary.
When I wrote that phrase some time ago and as I write this post today I'm thinking of you who believe there's no such thing as a "Christian lesbian." You consider the term to be a contradiction of terms but more than that, you regard it an offense to the Gospel. You believe if someone identifies as a Christian they would seek repentance from homosexuality and would do all they could to change and short of change they would at least commit to not "practicing" homosexuality.
I also have those of you in mind who, even while doubting such a thing as a "Christian lesbian" exists have haltingly admitted to yourself that while you love Christ and are committed to the Christian life, your desire for an intimate and loving relationship is with another woman. Because of this apparent conflict you feel as though there's a choice you'll have to eventually make, to either walk away from your faith in God or deny, reject, or attempt to change your attraction to other women.
Many at Northern Secondary School were surprised when Matt H. announced last year that he was running for student council president. A somewhat lonely boy, he didn't fit the model of the popular, extroverted student leader. Everyone seemed to know the outgoing president. Matt was more reserved - he liked playing on-line games and writing. He was on the ninth revision of a fantasy novel.
Everyone told him he didn't have a hope of winning. But he got the signatures needed for a nomination. For his election campaign that spring, he made a funny video, an instant teenage classic that showed him drinking a smoothie made from everything in his refrigerator. On stage at an assembly, where he stood tall, at 6 foot, 4 inches, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, he made a short satirical speech that parodied campaign promises: "I'll prevent a gigantic meteor from crashing into the school," he boasted. He won a standing ovation. It was a narrow margin - 16 votes - but he won the election.
People often ask me why I wear a Red Ribbon. Some people ask the question simply to find out what the ribbon means, but other people are really asking a hidden question: they wonder what experiences in life has moved me so that I would want to wear a Red Ribbon, a visible reminder to all who see me of the continuing battle against HIV and AIDS. They are asking why I, a Priest, would choose to take an often unpopular stand, instead of quietly going about my life. Unknowingly, they are asking about my former partner, Alan.