Over the past few months in America, the gay community has come under fire for various reasons. Even conservative gays (believe it or not, they’re a real thing) who post online or talk with others offline are under attack.

Christians and non-believers alike don’t know what to think. The gay community (and those otherwise experiencing same-sex attraction) have gone through ridicule, hate, lies, and rejection from the Church and society for centuries, but still they persevere.

Why is it that we have to go through so much hell just to live our lives the way we want? Very few of us are fortunate enough to have an ally in our lives to help us through the difficult times.

My brother and a guy from church named Rick are mine. So many in the LGBTQ+/SSA communities don’t know about the Stonewall Riots and all the hell those individuals endured from the police, society, and local government. All they wanted was to be left alone to live their lives with equal rights like “normal” people.

Where were their allies? If they were there, they also probably would have been accused of being gay and beaten up.

More recently, the Pulse nightclub killings occurred in Orlando seven years ago. Unfortunately, the community is still dealing with the pain, especially every anniversary of the massacre. Though I wasn’t there for either Stonewall or Pulse, I have nothing but empathy for those affected because of my own dealings with family, friends, the Church, the military, and society.

If it weren’t for people like my brother and Rick, I don’t know how I would’ve survived. They’ve both accepted me for me and shown me nothing but love and given me great godly advice when needed.

I can’t help but think how Jesus would treat me if He were here today. How much more must we continue to take from the world before acceptance actually becomes a reality for us?

People in the LGBTQ+ community want to be able to love who they want to love, live where they want to live, and do the things they want to do just like “normal” people, and for the most part they can do all those things because they are normal. But there are still parts of this country and the world where those things are only a dream. They still have to live a life of secrecy and shame because of family and/or cultural differences, and that’s sad.

How can this still be a thing in the 21st century?!

A couple months ago after a community-wide Zoom call, a fellow YOBBER called me. As we were talking, he asked me why I never cuddled or snuggled with any of my three fiancées. I told him because I never loved those women; I was only going to marry them to fit into society. I was so afraid of what people thought of me that I was willing to hide who I was from family, friends, the world — and to some degree, myself.

I was willing to live a life of lies to be accepted. I explained that’s just how things were back then. Sadly, some people are still living this way.

Now, at age 61, I’ve decided that I just don’t care what the world thinks of me anymore. I don’t say everything, but if anyone asks I don’t hide. I tell people that I lived such a hidden life for 29 years and do currently experience SSA, and I give them more information if they ask.

I recently did such a thing one Wednesday night with a member of my local small group. He thanked me. Yes, I’ve hidden such a vital part of my life from my family and closest friends for decades because I’m afraid of losing them.

I couldn’t imagine having to hide something like this from a wife and kids or someone in church leadership for fear of losing a position. It must be so agonizing to go through that every day.

This might be wrong of me to say, but I think being gay or SSA should be something we’re all be proud of, something we don’t hide. It’s because of the Church, family, and society that we don’t.

I think most people would be fine with who we are. Some would even end up as allies. We don’t have to try and shove our sexuality down people’s throats to get them to accept us. It’s the radicals they don’t like; there has to be a balance.

We have to show the Church and society that we are indeed like everyone else in the world. Our stories need to be told. They’ve been hidden for far too long. The world needs to know that we aren’t people to be feared or hated, but loved. Especially by our families and fellow Christians, because we could always use more allies in our lives.

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

2 Corinthians 4:8‭-‬9 (ESV)

How do you feel about Pride Month? Are you proud of who you are? Do you feel seen and supported by your loved ones and the Church, or do you still feel hidden?

About the Author

  • Hi, Michael. One phrase in your post resonated with me. “I was willing to live a life of lies to be accepted. I explained that’s just how things were back then.” I’m 62, so I’m part of the same generation. Being in the closet was hard, but safer than being out. I sometimes feel envious toward the younger generation of LGBT+ individuals who have allies, a support system. They are blessed, even though they face similar challenges.

  • I also kind of feel caught in the middle on Pride month; I’m grateful that I don’t really have to fear for my life or my job anymore, but I also believe in the traditional sexual ethic.

    I can’t say that I feel proud of who I am in regards to sexuality, although I guess I’m living it out okay and supporting those like us along the way.

    Since I’m in my 30s, I tend to have a lot more people my age that know, accept, and support me. I think that the Catholic Church as a supports me in principle, although I’m still nervous about what my community will look like as I get older. The Lord will provide, but I’m still scared.

  • Michael, thank you for sharing. I’m very sad for you and others who have experienced persecution because of your sexuality. I relate to a life of loneliness and hiding, but thank God, that continues to change, bit by bit. As I kick the shame habit and grow in community with brothers who know and love me as I am, my “pride” in who I am and who God made me to be grows, as does my ability to receive and love every part of me the way Jesus does. I find my desire to be known (including my sexuality), even if it’s not fully accepted by the ones I’ve so wanted accepted from (family of origin, church, wife and sons on some levels, etc.), is growing. Confidence in Jesus’s love for all of me, and being seen, known, and loved by other brothers is making that desire grow.

  • It feels good to be seen and no longer hide such a piece of myself. Grateful for family, friends, and church folks who have all contributed toward my being proud of who I am. I can’t imagine not having anyone know about my sexuality at this point in my life. Seems crazy, even absurd, to consider how this was once something I was going to take with me to my grave. God has a way of bringing about impossible things. What a journey it’s been, and continues to be.

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