I came out to the people I work with. Every week 1 or 2 people share their “life story” with the rest of the staff. Granted, our staff consists of 10 people, so it’s fairly intimate. When my turn came, I decided not to be a chicken (for whatever hair-brained reason!) and included the fact that I’m gay. The thing is, it’s supposed to be our life/God story, and I can’t very well tell a good God story without recanting my experience as a gay Christian. That’s like asking a quadriplegic to relay her experience as a Christian, but please don’t include anything about your disability. Anyway, I just did it. So now that’s not hanging over my head. It’s a good thing, I think.

They were generally supportive. And at the end of my 15-20 minute “testimony”, I opened the floor for questions. I explained that I understood I might be the first person they know who is gay, yet still claiming the Christian faith. Of course this would prompt questions for me if I were in their shoes. There was silence for a while, then a few people asked questions. Some of them weren’t questions so much as “good for you!” type statements. All heart-felt. Then one person asked, “What are you going to do after you graduate?” I was kind of confused, so I asked if he meant whether of not I was going to continue trying to live after Christ. Yeah, that’s basically what he meant. I explained yes, my values and faith system were very important to me and that God did something in my heart long ago that went very deep. No, I won’t be dumping Christianity. I thought this was a fairly clear answer, but it obviously didn’t get at what they wanted to know. So, the next question:

“What about now? How do you feel about the….homosexual….lifestyle?”

I should have been more blunt, sarcastic, wry, anything other than how I reacted. I explained that “lifestyle” is a broad thing to say, and that I didn’t intend on changing anything in my life that I haven’t been doing for the past 20 years. But, here’s a few thoughts. What the HELL does “homosexual lifestyle” mean? Manicures every week and trips to Nordstrom’s? Flipping my wrist and calling everyone “dear”? Rainbow flag pins on my fashionable new man-purse? Or perhaps many lovers and much promiscuity?

Here’s a hint to anyone on the outside of this bubble – don’t ask about the “homosexual lifestyle” or I’m going to start asking about the “heterosexual lifestyle.” You know, (for guys) buying lots of beer, watching football, adjusting yourself, and lacking all social tact. Because,let’s be honest, all straight men are exactly the same.

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