coming out.

approx age 20-25

  • come out to my brothers
  • my brother comes out to me
  • this other thing keeps popping up

so we start this chapter out. i am 20 years old. my brothers are at a sea cadets function, my dad is now working at a pharmacy he bought, and mom is at the local kroger grocery store. by now, i am fully out to my friends, and they advise me that i should come out to my parents as that is causing a suicidal depressive episode.

before coming out to my parents, there was one thing i needed to do. i needed to come out to my brothers. well, specifically one of them. the middle kid. i come out to him one night via a letter that i have painstakenly handwritten. his response was something like ‘i don’t agree with it, and i think it’s a sin, but i support you as my brother’. the other brother at this point is in my opinion a very conservative anti gay person, and i decide to not tell him. not to mention, our personalities are very conflicting and we argue left and right. my middle brother tried to be as supportive as he could be.

this is the day i decide to come out to my mom. she’s at the grocery store or somewhere like that. i write a handwritten letter to her. it says basically ‘mom, im gay. i’ve known this for a while and it isn’t a choice’. her reaction wasn’t the best. she advised me that i should seek christian counseling, aka conversion therapy. she advises me that this is a requirement to live in the house. she also advises me that i am to have absolutely no guy friends over because they might corrupt me. she then states that i should be careful around guys because you never know when someone is going to ‘take advantage’, or rape you. she advises me that she is scared that i will get hiv/aids due to being gay.

by now, i am a bit taken aback with her response, because it really wasn’t what i was expecting. in order to not get kicked out, i attend christian therapy. it goes about as well as one would think, he told me i didnt pray enough and that i am condemned to hell if i continue this way. i advise him that i will not be returning. that his services are no longer needed in my life. i advise my mom that i tried it, and it didnt work out. i also advise my mom again that this isn’t a choice, much like how she didnt choose to be straight. her response was ‘ok’. she still advises me that i am not allowed to have guy friends over. instead, i drive to my friends houses. she also advises me that i am essentiallt bound to get hiv, a fact that i dispute with her.

at some point, she tells my dad. my dad’s singular reaction was ‘i knew it’. again, we go out to lunch to talk it over. he tells me that he is disappointed in me, and that i need to rethink this decision. i then ask him when his uncle decided to be gay, and he had no answer. he advised me that i needed to seek god’s will in this stage, and that i should repent and beg for forgiveness. i advise him that that is not happening, and that i have already had countless nights praying for this to change, which hasn’t happened. i advise him of my suicidal thoughts and depressive moods, and he advises me that he does not wish to talk about this topic anymore.

enter the fundamental baptist church. the then pastor and i had a conversation at the request of my parents. he advises me that he does not agree with the ‘lifestyle’. i advise him that it is not a lifestyle, and that god made me this way. he advises me that i am lying, but says that i am welcome back whenever i want. we go on our ways, and he is still to this day one of my friends.

by now my old pastor has retired, and we have a new fangled pastor from the hyles anderson college in hammond, indiana. he, too, is an evangelical fundamental preacher. by now the church has a statement of ‘we welcome all’ on their website and their sign. in getting to know him, i come to realize he is very fundamental in his beliefs, especially with marriage and sexuality. he somehow finds out that i am gay. he calls a meeting with me and advises me that i am to not return to the church due to my ‘personal issues’. it is at this point that i basically tell him to go fuck himself, i will do what i want to do with my life, and god likely won’t be a part of it. i stop going to church for a year or so due to this.

also, at this age, i have my first real relationship. he is not out to his parents, and i advise him that he should be out to his parents. we start spending almost every waking moment together almost like live in boyfriends. he is my first for a lot of things, and we have a generally argument free relationship. my parents like him, and his parents like me. neither of our parents know we are dating or anything like that. at some point, we break up due to him not being out to his parents.

enter the age of 21. i have now moved to a college town in southwest virginia. their mascot is a bird. i am now in a much more diverse part of the world. i get an urge to return to church, and wouldnt you know it, i attend a baptist church. it, too is fundamental. this is the only environment i know, so i am unaware of there being any other churches out there. the other denominations seem to be too far out there for my current religious belief system. by now, i have returned the closet as none of my friends are here, and no one knows that i am gay. at some point, i turn to my best friend luke. i tell him in a tear filled meeting that i am gay, and am also questioning my gender identity. surprisingly, he doesn’t react like my family has. i think to myself ‘well, that was refreshing’. well, by now i am out as gay to quite a few people, and i dont hide it.

enter 22. my world is about to get changed in ways that i don’t understand. somehow the congregation, and by proxy the pastor, find out about the secret i am hiding from them. they decide to hold a meeting. mind you, i am now at this point a member of this church. in this meeting, which i am asked to not attend, they discuss my homosexuality. at some point, they ask me if i am homosexual. tearfully, i advise them that i am, as i am not hiding my identity. they call another meeting and advise me to not return, as i could ‘corrupt the minds of the children’.

it is in this timeframe that i start attending bcm, or baptist collegiate ministry, at the college i am near. i get involved as a small group leader. i start questioning my gender identity. within a few months of this, i get called into darrell’s, the campus leader, office. i am asked if i know why he called me there. i advise him nope. i am again asked if i am gay. i advise yes. he then asks me if i am questioning my gender identity. i tell him yes. in the conversation i had with him, i was again advised that i should not return. that my gender identity and orientation do not align with what the bible teaches, nor what christianity as a whole teaches.

by age 25, i have moved out west to colorado. i had to move to save my sanity. i chose the city by throwing a dart on a map and moving to the nearest big city. it has been several years since i last attended a church. for some reason, god tells me that i need to find a church.  decided again to try out a church because something was missing in my life. that first sermon i heard was about how gay people are an abomination and transgender people are destined for hell and that they are all freaks. mind you, i’m still only out as questioning my gender to my friend luke. this was also a church that claimed to be welcoming to all. i straight up walked out mid sermon. you guessed it. i’m also banned from that church due to my beliefs.

It is also at this age where my youngest brother, the one that i think is uber religious, comes out to me. by now he is only out to a handful of people, myself included. the parents don’t know about him, and given their reaction to me, he doesn’t want them to know. mind you, i have never officially came out to this brother. it was just a mutual understanding. with him being gay, that leaves one of us to carry on the family name. the youngest brother has a coming to jesus moment, and also realizes that churches are not accepting, and has a similar path forward as far as religion goes as me.

remember me saying that being gay didnt feel right? yep. that thing crept up. this time with a vengeance. stay tuned for the next chapter, where we go over how i realized i was trans, and the few coming out escapades i had.


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