I’m not a psychology grad student. Nor am I in divinity school. But I do feel that I can relate to the stories and “collective instability” happening on this blog. My story, though different, echoes the stories of those around me who don’t have a voice, or who haven’t found the strength to use their own.

It seems that lately there has been a striking lack of hope circulating through the veins of my lesbian and gay sisters and brothers. Not that I can take the pulse on a national scale, but I do have the perception that I’m in the middle of a whirlpool of gay and lesbian issues. Here’s my story of hope. In telling it, maybe someone else will at least feel a glimmer of the hope that I do right now. Because in the end, this fight is not worth fighting without hope.

I’m gay. I’m 20. I go to a conservative Christian university (sound familiar, anyone?). I chose to return to the school on a whim that I could make a difference, defend my right to be in this community, and change hearts and and minds. I got back, and after an initial “high”, plummeted. I hit rock bottom fast, losing the mustered hope that I had for the year. But then things started to turn around. Without much warning, stories started emerging around me. Stories of peoples’ courage, and stories of peoples’ pain. With courage I rediscovered my own. With pain, I found that I could just -BE- and that was enough. This transformed me in ways that I’m still discovering.

The support that I have does not end with peers and friends. I am in a high-profile leadership position at the university now, and people expect certain things. What they do NOT expect is someone in this position to be a nonhetero. Surprise! As my superiors began discovering this, God must a love into their collective hearts. I have found support, love, and acceptance in the MOST unlikely places! And now? Life suddenly seems manageable again. I don’t expect this to last, but what more can I ask for than surges of hope?

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