I first told someone about my sexuality while sitting in a dorm room at a Christian college in Middle America. The couch on which we sat had seen better days—frayed along the edges of its arms and missing its feet so we had to sink quite low, almost to the ground, to finally meet the seat cushions.
I can’t remember why I chose that night to tell someone after 19 years of silence. Perhaps I felt particularly lonely or maybe my spirit was as low as that couch. I also can’t recall the words I used to share this secret part of me. I imagine they were halting and slightly evasive—just enough to set the scene, but not give away too much of the back story.
In this week’s Monday Musings, I want to share with you about a book I’ve been reading. Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships is written by Tim Otto, a gay, LGBTQ affirming Christian who has personally made a public vow of celibacy. Tim is a pastor at the Church of the Sojourners, a live-together Christian community in San Francisco.
In the first chapter of Tim’s book (which you can preview here), Tim shares about his life growing up as a missionary-kid in Uganda, and moving back to the U.S. at the age of eight. He speaks of his growing awareness of his same-sex attractions through his adolescent years, and of bullying and unintentional unkindnesses experienced from friends which kept him closeted, trying very hard to “act straight and cover up any evidence of being gay.” Continue reading