Stories…

25 09 2012

There are people in your faith community right now who are either gay or love someone close to them who is gay. Contrary to popular belief – gay and faith can coincide nicely. The majority of people of faith are loving non-judgemental people – the problem is that they seem to be louder than the rest of us. Read the short stories below (which all come from the Straight for Equality website – www.straightforequality.org) and think of the faces you see each Sunday morning. Some of these are not very different from some of the people you see on Sunday – I promise you that is true. They just have not figured out you are a safe place to share their story yet…

“I had many conservative friends who were wonderful, generous

people, but whom I felt had a huge blind spot when it came to

gay people. This created a crisis for me when my brother came

out. I became emotionally agonized by the conflict between the

people I respected and loved on the conservative side, and the

people I respected and loved who were gay. For the first time,

I found myself asking God to help me reconcile these things

and to help me seek the truth. I believe that God answered my

request. I found a local church, and told the minister I needed

to find a place with people who can help me seek God, and who

also would accept all of my family as they are. With the help

of that minister, I joined the church, and our congregation has

begun a journey to becoming open and affirming of gay people.”

~Sister of a gay brother

 

“When our daughter came out, we worried about letting people

at church know. We didn’t know how they would respond.

We even considered going to a new church, but we had been

members for our entire lives. Our children were raised in our

church. We couldn’t imagine our lives without the community

created by our faith family. When we finally got up the courage

to start confiding in a few people at church, it was much better

than we expected. While our faith is not open to LGBT issues

yet, the members of our church were very supportive.”

~Mother of a gender-variant daughter

 

“I heard homophobic remarks in church from both the

members and the pulpit. The minister told my family that the

congregation, including him, was afraid of us. For a while the

local wildlife refuge became my sanctuary, and then I heard

about a small, welcoming Episcopal church. The new church’s

members continue to surprise me – even offering space in their

bulletin for my PFLAG literature.”

~Mother of a gay son

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New Tools…

24 09 2012

We spent the weekend at a PFLAG Conference. It was really quite amazing!! I am still trying to digest it all. You know that feeling like you have gotten so much information that your head just might explode? I will try not to explode it all over you right now…

The Key Note speaker was a man named Bob Minor, who has a PhD in religious studies. I wish there was a way to describe what transpired at the conference inside of me! I will say – if you get a chance to read his books or see him in person – go!! He is well worth any amount of driving time it would take!

Just to share a few tidbits and not overwhelm you – one of the things he said was “when our kid comes out as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, or anything else – we can thank them. We can thank them because it causes us to face our own issues about these things!” Isn’t that the truth? Yep – just ask this former bible beating homophobic mother!! I will FOREVER be grateful for the journey this has taken me on. I have never loved so deeply, not just my son, but all of humanity. I know I have not arrived, I am still trying to figure things out – but what a lovely journey to be on – one of love and acceptance instead of the one of judgement and “being right” that I was on for most of my life.

I think that I also came away feeling much more empowered to have a discussion with those loud, obnoxious, religious people who make me cringe. I am empowered because you know what? It is NOT my job to convince them of anything – because they do not want to learn and grow. They are stuck – and it is because of their own issues. One day – when equality happens – and it will my friend, it will, that day they will be forced to face their issues or stay miserable the rest of their lives. I used to think that I needed to help them on their journey – but I don’t. That isn’t my job!! Most empowering words ever: “some people interpret the bible that way – I don’t” or “I know some people believe that way – I don’t”. period – done – end of discussion!!! I don’t have to argue toe to toe about scripture!! You know why? Because they don’t want to nor will they even hear me anyway – again – their issue – not mine! Empowering huh? THANK YOU DR MINOR!!!

Are you familiar with PFLAG?( Parents, Family, Friends of Lesbians and Gays – also includes bisexual and transgender) PFLAG is mostly about stories. We are not mental health professionals counseling people. We are people coming together sharing our stories. Through telling our stories, we begin to heal and to also help others. Over the next few weeks I will continue to share stories about this past weekend. I hope it will bring you hope and empowerment!





Big Move

17 09 2012

Well, it is done – my kid has moved to New Hampshire. I have mixed emotions. I miss him terribly, but somehow it feels wonderful knowing he is in a place more diverse than we are here. I am happy he is following his dream as well, but since this is a blog about being the mom of a bisexual son – I will stick with that theme.

He ended up leaving 5 days later than was originally planned. We were waiting on a part for his car. Every day felt like a bit of a gift – one more day with him before he left. I know for me, those days made the transition much easier – somehow through the five days I got more and more ready to let him go.

The last day he was here I woke up that morning and we knew the part had come and the car would be ready that day at 5pm. I texted Jake and asked if he wanted to go eat chinese and then go to the tattoo shop. He has several tattoos he has wanted for sometime. It just seemed fitting on his last day to go together. It ended up being a beautiful day. His younger sister was with us, and I think it helped her ease into his leaving as well.

I want to tell you why there is a part of me that is relieved he is in a “safer” place. Now, I know that anything can happen anywhere. I also know there are places where same-sex couples are often seen in public, holding hands, etc… Where we live is NOT one of them. So, we sat down to eat and I immediately noticed a man who was staring. Not the brief stare, it was the kind of stare, that even when you make eye contact, they do not look away. It was actually more of a glare than a stare. I was wearing my “Christian + Gay = OK” button – but he was too far away to have been able to read that. We talked a bit about it through our menus, finally laughed it off and just enjoyed our meal. The glaring continued throughout our entire time there. When we were finished, I got up to go pay, and the kids followed me in a few minutes.

When we got to the car, Jake said, “It was my toes, mom.” Me: “what?” Jake: “that man – when I got up, he looked down at my painted nails and shook his head back and forth and then just glared at my face. I stared back, smiled at him and left.” I was immediately angry! In fact, if we hadn’t already been driving I probably would’ve gone in there and confronted him. I don’t know if that would’ve been smart or not – but DAMMIT!! Who the hell does he think he is? He is NOT the judge and jury of mankind – I hope he gets an awakening to that fact very soon. Karma can be a funny thing sometimes.

So, we did go on and enjoy our day. Now, you know why I am a bit happy my son is in a place where even straight guys paint their nails sometimes and no one thinks much about it. I am still here though – in a rural place that has ways to go as far as education about LGBT people. I have many people in this valley I know and love who are LGBT. That is why I will keep wearing my buttons, and keep speaking up. People should be able to go and enjoy chinese with painted nails if they want to without being glared at!! By golly, this is America after all!! 😀





Life

6 09 2012

Life isn’t easy. It can be wonderful sometimes, that is true. I have heard it said, “everyone is either just getting out of a crisis, in the middle of a crisis, or heading into a crisis”. Isn’t that the truth? Life never stays boring for long.

When I was younger, I always thought “once I graduate, things will be better”, “once I have a good job”, “once we have kids”, on and on and on. I don’t want to be a downer – but the truth is, it doesn’t matter, there is still always another hurdle to climb just around the corner. I have stopped thinking so negatively about it though. One thing that has helped me change tremendously is having a bisexual son.

If you have read my other posts you know that I used to be very afraid of and judgemental toward homosexuality. When my son come out, it did feel like a crisis. Now, it feels like one of the best things that has ever happened to me! I feel like I was living in a dungeon with no light and now I am out on the street with the sunshine beaming down on my face. I now realize that the reason I was in that dungeon was because of untrue doctrine and lies I had been taught. Not much different from being shunned as a Christian if you choose to not be Republican! I know this time of year I shouldn’t even go there, but it MUST be said – Jesus is NOT a Republican or a Democrat!!!

I am not going to try to argue or convince anyone of anything. I can’t. People must find their own truth, just as I have found mine. All I can tell you is that since I have stopped judging and started loving, I have NEVER felt more free and more alive spiritually than I do today.

Hey – Crisis around the corner – come on baby – I may not enjoy you, but I know that I will grow into a stronger, happier, freer woman than I am right now – so let’s get this show on the road!! Bring it Baby and teach me some more about who I really was meant to be!





Bon Voyage Sweet Baby

5 09 2012

 

My baby is moving 2400 miles away. Well, he really isn’t a baby anymore, but to me, he will forever be my baby. I fell madly in love with him the moment I first heard his heartbeat. Of course I didn’t know who he was back then, didn’t even know if he was a girl or a boy. I certainly didn’t know he was queer. God knew though.

I hope that we can remain friends after I share with you that this bouncing baby boy was born after 15 minutes of hard labor. Of all three of my children, his birth was by far the easiest. The hardest part was trying not to push until the Dr actual walked through the door and got his gown on. I really wanted a boy, but at the time of the sonogram they couldn’t tell what sex the baby was. I was told that chances were he was probably a girl. You can not imagine the screaming that went on when that boy showed up!

He is a precious gift – he was then, and he is today.   

I had no idea that he was queer. I sometimes think it will be fabulous when they figure out the genetic testing for sexuality. I hesitate because I wonder how many Pro-life supporters will suddenly have a change of heart on that belief when they find out they are giving birth to a queer kid. I think it would be helpful for parents. We could’ve been more aware of making sure there was less “gender” pressure on our son. We could’ve gotten him more gender neutral clothes and toys. WAIT?!! What a novel idea! We are entirely too gender specific in our American Culture. Boys CAN and SHOULD wear pink and girls CAN and SHOULD play with cars and trucks. A test isn’t necessary to figure out this small intelligent choice. Kids need to be more comfortable with who they are, even if they are straight. Boys don’t automatically have to feel pressured to play football instead of piano, and a girl can grow up and be a car mechanic! Why not?!!

OK back on track… Reasons I am sad he is leaving:1) He has the greatest laugh in the entire world. 2) He has a generous spirit and reminds me to be mindful of those who are less fortunate. 3) He is an amazing big brother, and his little sister is really sad to see him move so far away.

Reasons that It really will be OK that he is going: 1)He will be home for Christmas – and let’s be honest – Christmas will be here before we know it! 2)He is following his dream of composing music and going to a college of music, something he can not do here. 3) As much as I will miss him, I would never do anything to hold him back from his dreams. I have no idea what the future holds, but I do know that this boy is destined for something big.

Bon Voyage, my sweet baby, Bon Voyage!!

 





What Jesus Said about Homosexuality

3 09 2012

Truth!

 

It was exactly a pamphlet like this that first opened my eyes to the truth. Of course, the first time I saw it – I didn’t believe it! I was a bit insulted and exclaimed in my head “that CAN’T be true!” But there began my journey of research. I started with all of Jesus’ words – you know the RED ones in the bible? HA!! and sure enough – it was Truth!! He said NOTHING… not one word about homosexuality – which was a common occurance in His day. That should tell us Christians something – especially if we are actually followers of Christ.