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Mary Pearson – Confessions of a Christian Lesbian

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.

Read moreMary Pearson – Confessions of a Christian Lesbian

Update to Scott Williamson Catches a Glimpse of Heaven

See Part 1 here

April 2018 Update:

Rev Scott Williamson and partner Joe CurrySince 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.

The nagging feeling that I was being called finally got the best of me. I consulted with the minister of the United Church of Christ that I was attending and went into a time of prayerful discernment. Still not sure, the pastor suggested I take a leap of faith. So I applied to Vanderbilt Divinity School. I told God, if I get in I will answer your call. I thought it was a safe bet, there was no way I was going to get into such a prestigious school as Vanderbilt. To stack the odds in my favor, I did not apply to any other Seminary or Divinity school.

Weeks later I received a letter in the mail that began with the words "We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted..." I laughed. Cute God, I thought. But I was not out of excuses yet. Vanderbilt is so expensive, I can't go. Nope. Not going to answer the call. I placed the acceptance letter on the desk and thought nothing more of it. A couple of weeks went by and a return trip to the mail box would bring yet another God size surprise. My mailbox was stuffed with letters from United Church of Christ congregations offering me scholarship money. How did they even know about me? I was confused. Then it hit me. "I get it God. I surrender!" Off to Vanderbilt I went.

That first day of class was a marvelous, life giving experience. I left that day wondering why I waited so long to say yes to God's call. I had no idea where this all would lead, but I was finally willing to walk into it. My past contained so much shame. I had struggled so long with my sexuality and was determined to reach out to others. So my Masters Thesis was based on the idea that pride was not a deadly sin, but was redemptive and it was shame that was the sin. Since graduating from Vanderbilt in 2014 I was ordained in the United Church of Christ and have been called to serve as Senior Pastor of one of those churches that had mysteriously sent me a scholarship. My congregation is predominately heterosexual and this helped me realize that shame is not just an LGBT issue. I am not a perfect pastor, but I do my best every day to walk into my calling and to continue to speak out on the topic of shame and pride. 

Not much has changed with my parents. I continue to give them unconditional love because this is what I desire from them and can’t get what I’m not willing to give.

You may want to check out my blog on this website as I will be writing some posts on the topic of shame. My hope is you are redeemed by pride and pass it along to others!

 

Rev. Scott M. Williamson, M. Div

Senior Pastor
Pilgrim Congregational Church, UCC
400 Glenwood Dr., Chattanooga, TN 37404 
(423) 698-5682  www.pilgrim-church.com

Pilgrim Church

 

Rizi Timane - Part 2 - F2M Trans Singer, Actor, Coach, Advocate

Rizi Xavier Timane is a female-to-male transgender singer, actor and trans-specialist coach who advocates for transgender rights. He was born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa. Rizi realized at age eight that he was a boy living in a girl's body and approached his parents about this dilemma. His parents, converts to fundamentalist Christianity, responded with attempted exorcisms and other reparative therapies that sought to "pray the trans away." This rejection and disapproval carried over to the community-at-large as well as peers at school making Rizi the victim of bullying and harassment driving him to years of alcohol and drug abuse and suicidal ideation.
 
After enduring many years of being told that God/Source was opposed to him being LGBT and undergoing numerous exorcisms to pray the trans away, Rizi embarked on a spiritual journey to discover where he really stood with God or Source. After many years of studying religion, the Bible and attending seminary at the Claremont School of Theology, Rizi was delighted to realize that God/Source is accepting of all people, LGBT persons included. Thankfully, Rizi is now 10 years free from alcohol abuse and 12 years clean from using drugs.
 
As an ordained Jesusian and Humanist Minister, Rizi is wary of the prevalent hypocrisy and hatefulness made manifest in the name of organized religion. He encourages Christians and others, regardless of their religious backgrounds, to explore a spiritual path that embraces a life modeled on Jesus' example, one in which "love thy neighbor as thyself" is the resounding message. In his memoir, "An Unspoken Compromise", a best-seller on Amazon, Rizi shares his spiritual insights along with details of his journey from his childhood discovery of being trans through his gender transition in his 30's and his eventual reconciliation with his family.
 
Armed with his life experiences and a keen desire to support his LGBT community, Rizi founded The Happy Transgender Center in 2012 to provide much-needed support to trans individuals and their families during the transition process. That same year, Rizi enrolled in a Masters of Social Work program at the University of Southern California and is currently a pre-licensed psychotherapist working towards his LCSW license.
 

In working with the trans community, Rizi has encountered many trans youth and adults who desire gender re-assignment surgery, but cannot afford it. As a response to this truly heartbreaking situation, Rizi established the Rizi Timane Annual Transgender Surgery Scholarship in 2014, which provides financial support to others as they transition. The Scholarship is funded exclusively with a portion of proceeds from his music and book sales. To date, five trans surgeries have been funded through the scholarship, with hopes of many more to come. To learn more about the scholarship or to apply, please click here

 
When Rizi is not advocating for trans rights or working with the trans community as a coach and pre-licensed therapist, he is pursuing his other passion as an entertainer. Throughout his challenging life growing up trans without adequate support, Rizi found solace in music and acting. He wrote his first song at age six and created the first-ever drama club in his high school in Nigeria. Rizi notes that as long as people were listening to him sing or laughing at his improv performance, the bullying stopped and he was able to feel he was just like everyone else.
 
The passion to entertain remained with Rizi well past his high school years and he has since released five albums and numerous singles to date. His music genre spans pop, EDM, gospel and hip hop and all his songs feature positive lyrics that encourage the LGBT community to live authentically no matter what challenges they encounter.
 
Rizi has performed at over 40 Pride festivals and LGBT events in the US and Europe. His latest singles, "Feels Good to Be Free" featuring trans star, Miss Candis Cayne and his Trump Response single "Love is All We Need", are viral on Youtube.
 
Rizi's acting career is also thriving and includes a guest star role on the Emmy-winning Venice: The Series; a recurring co-star role on Decker Unclassified (airing on Adult Swim Network in September 2017), and upcoming appearances alongside known actors including action star Danny Trejo.
 
Whether he is advocating on behalf of trans people, coaching or singing, Rizi's message to the LGBT community is twofold: "First, be your authentic self—it's the only way to inner peace and happiness. Second, if you are in search of a relationship with God, a spiritual path to unconditional love and acceptance does exist for you, free from condemnation and negative judgement."
 

A Little Woman With Big Dreams (by T. James)

T. JamesLike 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.

So like many, I spent numerous years struggling. I tried to ignore my attraction, which is a lot like trying to hold your breath for the rest of your life. Then I attempted to not be a Christian, what with the two being incongruous. But I knew Jesus long before I knew what "gay" even was; if ignoring my sexuality was impossible, so was turning my back on my spirituality. And so the years of battling went on. I loved God, but was told that God didn't love me as I was. I sought help in prayer, in the bible, in time even turning to an ex-gay ministry. I soon learned that was not the answer for me either.

It's taken a lot of time, a lot of tears and pain, a lot of rejection and fear, but I'm happy to say I have finally gained my peace, spiritually and sexually. I know now that God loves me and my sexuality, for it is a blessing OF love to be able TO love. Despite the nay-sayers around me, I know by faith that I am accepted in God's fold.

This new tranquility and strength is what I wish to both express to the world and share with my kindreds. There are many who are struggling between their sexuality and spirituality, believing that God won't receive them as they are. Oh, but He will! Those who seek Him will find, and will be welcomed.

Through my Journey it has become my belief that sexuality is a non-factor in being a Christian. Being gay, straight, bi, or asexual doesn't matter to our Creator, for love is a blessing. What does matter is how we manage our sexuality. Gay or straight, we must walk in obedience to the convictions God has placed within us. Sexual immorality isn't about your sexual partner, but about your sexual behavior. As Christians, we must ALL handle ourselves with honor and restraint, for this is what is pleasing to our Lord, not simply the pairing of man with woman.

Thus, DEFINED BY FAITH was created. Laying in bed one evening it was placed in my heart to create a way to help tell the world that gays can indeed live a Christian lifestyle just as well as anyone else, that orientation is not a roadblock to righteousness. Many will agree; many more will not. But the fact is that this is a truth for masses of people, people who have struggled and won their freedom from self-hatred and fear of God's hatred. This store is for them, for you. Announce to the world your truth, that you walk with Christ and live by his dictates, that being gay doesn't make you immoral. But above all, tell the world that you're proud of your Christianity and your sexuality, and that you're a whole person because of it.

Revelation 22:21 "May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen."

Note from Mary: Please visit T. James' DEFINED BY FAITH Online Store.

Scott Williamson Catches a Glimpse of Heaven

Scott WilliamsonScott 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.

Scott's journey in reconciling his faith and sexuality began while he was a student at David Lipscomb University. Scott loved his college years. While Lipscomb wasn't exactly an affirming college for GLBT students, he loved the fact that he was taught to look at the Bible critically.

According to Scott, "They want you to explore your faith, to question it, so that it no longer would be your family's faith, but your own. I loved it!"

So Scott began searching for a deeper faith. He met with professors, he asked questions, and he immersed himself in study. Oftentimes that meant he looked to the original Greek and Hebrew words of Scripture and most importantly, their context. He soon realized that not only could he apply this research method to verses about Christ and salvation, but he could also apply them to the verses of Scripture that been used to condemn him and his sexuality.

While Scott was still a student, and despite this new insight, he still felt if he could find the right Church of Christ girl, his feelings for men would eventually disappear. So he developed a relationship with a girl and was engaged for two and half years. When he graduated, he moved back to Michigan and found a job while his fiancé finished her last semester at Lipscomb.

During that last semester, she fell in love with another man and mailed the ring back to Scott in a big box uninsured. Thinking it was a big care package from his fiancé, everyone at work gathered around him as he opened it. It didn't take long for those gathered to realize the unfortunate news ahead. According to Scott, "To this day, my father says I am gay because of the hurt she brought into my life."

Shortly thereafter, Scott's parents retired and moved to Kentucky. Scott came with them and found a job as a teacher at a Christian school.

"Of course, the biggest problem about living in a small town in Kentucky is that as a young single man, everyone in town who knew anyone single brought them over to Mr. Williamson's class," says Scott. But Scott threw himself into his faith and became completely uninterested in dating anyone.

At that time, Scott was not out to his family. However, at night, since his parents had a computer, he would go to their home and chat with people on line.

"One night, I didn't log off from a session, and my Mom came in and started chatting with the same guy I had been chatting with...so, at the age of 27, I was outted. It was the best and the worst day of my life. I kept hoping I could come up with a lie of some kind, but before I knew it, out came the words, 'Yes, I'm gay,' and I immediately tried to shove those words back in my mouth. My mom cried. My dad was gagging like he was going to throw up."

The emotional level of his father escalated to the point that his mother had to ask him to leave.

"I went back home and laid on the floor in the fetal position and cried hysterically for hours. The one saving grace was my cat Nixon who never left my side."

In the process of trying to understand their gay son, Scott's parents reacted very differently.

"My mom asked a lot of great questions in the beginning but seemed more concerned how others would treat me and how rough my life could be. My father has a tendency to ignore what he doesn't agree with. So for years, he would point out a variety of attractive women."

Following this, Scott again began to turn to the Scriptures for strength. He went back to his college days of looking at the original Greek and Hebrew words and what they meant in that context. He also found www.ChristianGays.com.

According to Scott, "I affectionately refer to the woman who runs it as 'momma.' She is the one who really showed me that even though I am gay, I can still have a relationship with Christ, that I can still love God. I see my sexuality as part of who God made me to be. I never saw it as a gift, but now I accept it and embrace it. Who I am, my whole being, is a gift from God...not just part of me."

In early 2007, Scott and his partner Brian moved to Nashville so Scott could begin his job as a guide at Belle Meade Plantation. In September of that same year, Scott had a life-altering surgery. Since birth, he only had partial hearing in his left ear. Scott could hear high pitches and low pitches. But common, everyday sounds like the human voice, or music were not heard.

Brian felt it would be a good idea if Scott's parents were here for the surgery. So he put them up in a hotel without their knowledge of his good deed. The visit was going well. Everyone was laughing and having a great time.

However, as Scott was coming out of the anesthesia, he could tell his father was having a violent reaction, but had no idea what could be causing it and due to the anesthesia could do nothing about it. Later he found out the reason. Brian had been holding Scott's feet as he was coming out of anesthesia. His father felt they were "flaunting their sexuality in front of him." It was "sick," "disgusting," and they were going to hell because of it. Scott's father became so enraged that he threw Brian into a near-by curtain.

The anger Scott's father felt had apparently been building because what set him off was the fact that on the way to surgery, Brian hugged Scott, again, "flaunting" their sexuality in front of him. Scott also hugged his niece and parents. But there was apparently no sexuality flaunted there.

Scott's parents were so upset they said he and Brian were no longer welcome in their house. Brian responded with "I share this house with Scott, and you are no longer welcome here either." Later, Brian regretted saying those words.

"On the way out of the hospital, my father turns to me, pointed his finger, shaking like a leaf, eyes glassed over and said, 'You are going to hell. You know you are going to hell!' and he left. Those are the last words he has spoken to me," says Scott.

This Christmas, Scott and Brian were not invited to Scott's parents. However, Scott's oldest sister did invite them over. According to Scott, "My oldest sister doesn't agree with my 'lifestyle,' whatever that is supposed to mean, but she says Brian and I have always been respectful and we could come to their house for Christmas."

Fearing any further backlash from the parents, they opted to remain in Nashville. True to form, his sister did receive some flack from the parents, but she responded with, "Scott is my brother and I love him no matter what."

Since then Scott has offered to sit down with his parents to look at the Scriptures together.

"Come with your questions, I'll come with mine. We can look at it all together," he says.

They refuse. They say he will only "twist" the Bible to mean something else. Of course, the Bible can be twisted in more ways than one.

Despite the negativity surrounding Scott, he remains positive. He says, "I still love my parents. I respect them for their interpretation of the Bible because that is exactly what I want from them. That is the core of Christianity. Our job is not to change people's hearts. That is God's. Our job is to shine the light of Christ and love people where they are. Jesus takes us right where we are, but He also loves us enough to not leave us there."

"I know they may never come to a point of acceptance, but God will still have a blessing in it for me. My job is to continue loving them. I have to let go and let God love them...and that always works out for the good," says Scott.

As Scott recovered from surgery, he was anxious to return to Holy Trinity Community Church where he is a member. Think about it. Since birth, Scott had never heard music in stereo, the way most of us hear it every day. Never before had Scott heard the full force of congregational singing. The day would prove to be a memorable one.

"I wish there were words to describe what I felt that first Sunday back in church. I literally cried through the entire service! It was like seeing everything in black and white your entire life and all of a sudden seeing everything in Technicolor. It was then that I realized my hearing loss had been a huge blessing. Had I always heard out of my left ear, I would have never had that moment...and I think that moment was a small glimpse of heaven."

I think Scott Williamson has set a standard that many of us, gay or not, Christian or not, would do well to strive to attain. He has a beautiful ability to see the silver lining in the midst of some frustrating and intimidating black clouds. Scott truly lives with the confidence of knowing God will give him a prosperous hope and future no matter what.

by Allen McAllister
posted 02/01/2008 in "Out & About Newspaper"
Used With Permission

Read the 2018 Update on Rev Scott Williamson

 

A Peek Inside the Closet Growing up Gay in Conservative America

Mom,

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.

Read moreA Peek Inside the Closet Growing up Gay in Conservative America

The Hard Lesson of Suicide

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."

Read moreThe Hard Lesson of Suicide

Christian Drag Queen Nedra Belle Finds Acceptance in Church

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.

Read moreChristian Drag Queen Nedra Belle Finds Acceptance in Church

A Lesbian in Nigeria - Disowned By My Family (by Rizi Timane)

Rizi timaneI 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 🙂 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.

Read moreA Lesbian in Nigeria - Disowned By My Family (by Rizi Timane)

A Miracle of Healing

by Mike Domínguez (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.

Read moreA Miracle of Healing

ChristianGays.com Saved My Life

by James

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.

Read moreChristianGays.com Saved My Life

Unapologetically Christian, Unapologetically Lesbian

by Anita

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.

Read moreUnapologetically Christian, Unapologetically Lesbian

Attorney and Plaintiff in the First Same Sex Marriage Lawsuit of the Modern Gay Rights Movement

by Craig Dean

Craig DeanPerhaps 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.

Read moreAttorney and Plaintiff in the First Same Sex Marriage Lawsuit of the Modern Gay Rights Movement

Un-sync-able

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.

Read moreUn-sync-able

Gay and Catholic - by Darren Theoret

by Darren Theoret
Ottawa, Canada

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.

Darren TheoretWhen 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.

Read moreGay and Catholic - by Darren Theoret

Does God Hate Me? - The Road to Finding Peace With My Sexuality

by Heather Smith

Heather SmithGreetings 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."

Read moreDoes God Hate Me? - The Road to Finding Peace With My Sexuality

Losses - And New L.I.F.E - Living In Faith Everlasting

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.

Read moreLosses - And New L.I.F.E - Living In Faith Everlasting

My Discovery - My Journey To A Place I Should Have Been All My Life I Am Here Now - Never Look Back

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.

Read moreMy Discovery - My Journey To A Place I Should Have Been All My Life I Am Here Now - Never Look Back

HIV and Me - A Story of HOPE - Turning Scars Into Stars

by Yowee

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+).

Read moreHIV and Me - A Story of HOPE - Turning Scars Into Stars

My Salvation is Based on Christ Alone

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!!!

Read moreMy Salvation is Based on Christ Alone

15 Reasons Why I Have Changed My Mind (by Roberta Showalter Kreider)

Roberta Showalter KreiderIn 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.

Read more15 Reasons Why I Have Changed My Mind (by Roberta Showalter Kreider)

Why I Wear A Red Ribbon

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.

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A Priest's Confession

"I knew at a very early age that I was different."

Father Rich Danyluk 1THE 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.

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Gay Pride - by Rick James

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.

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Notes on Gender Role Transition - My Personal Experiences

by Stephenie Robinson

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.

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Reflections of a Gay Boy

Jack GafflesThis 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!

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Gay and Christian - Ray Vester Proves You Can Be Both

Ray VesterRALEIGH - 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?

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When Matt Became Jade

Matt - JadeMany 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.

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Bridget Night - My Hopes And Beliefs, And Why I Have Them

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.

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Bridget Night - Her Mormon Background, Her Book, and Her Gay Son

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.

Read moreBridget Night - Her Mormon Background, Her Book, and Her Gay Son