I was supposed to go on a retreat with my church this weekend, but for various reasons, not the least of which involved the beginning signs of an anxiety attack at the mere thought of spending a weekend sharing a cabin with a dozen married couples, I opted out. I am sure the retreat would have been wonderful, and I mean no disrespect to a church that is very dear to my heart, but in this particular moment, I needed a retreat of a different kind. And so A drove out Friday night, and we had communion on my couch… with heaping bowls of Lucky Charms and episodes of The L Word until the sun started to peek around the edges of the sky. And it was, in it’s own way…. a sacred time in sacred space. Space where laughter fits seamlessly with acknowledgment of sadness, where stories of how we see God working in ourselves and in each other slide right in next to me offering to set up A with the new guy in my apartment complex, if he would just hurry up and produce a girl for me to date. Where it is ok to say I am scared, and this hurts like hell… but I have not stopped believing… will not stop believing, that God is in this too.

This retreat from my heteronormative seminary continued all weekend… a group dinner where the one straight girl present was effectively the sexual minority. My first experience meeting someone, and not initially presenting myself as straight. Attending a church that says “all are welcome at the altar of God,” and then demonstrates it by weaving the needs of all sorts of minorities into the fabric of their sermons. Making my introduction to a fantastic, subversive little pocket of people at my Alma Mater…. the kind I never bothered to look for when I actually went there. Reclaiming the phrase “gay agenda” with A, myself, and a new friend from aforementioned subversive little pocket… as we proudly declared ourself “Team Gay Agenda,” while raiding several stores looking for the tv series “Queer as Folk.” We didn’t find it, but we did add a bunch of stuff to the Team Gay Agenda To Do List…like laugh until its just plain obnoxious…. and mandate that every store carry at least one copy of “Queer as Folk” and “The L Word”…. oh, and of course….rule the world with our evil powers of corruption. I think that next time someone talks about the gay agenda, I will think back to this weekend, and instead of getting angry, I will smile a little bit inside…and maybe suggest that whatever their mistaken impression might be, last I heard, the next thing on the Gay Agenda was a communion of Lucky charms…. where all are welcome at the altar of our Lord.

In short, it was beautiful, this retreat of mine. And I am once again ready to face the world of classes, and life, and midterms (well, the first two, at least). In fact, a couple of times today, when people saw me they mentioned that I looked a little different… glowed, even. It’s hope, I think… I’m trying it on for size.