When I was a young single mother in the 80’s my daughter was a very determined two year old and we were very poor. I worked two jobs, but it was never enough to cover the most basic needs. I did not have a college education and I had even less skills. I worked as a waitress and a bartender in a very small southern town. Not very lucrative positions there, and both jobs were looked down upon.
Additionally, I went to a very intolerant church at the time, and was often very depressed. During the holidays people kept asking me if I was “getting that baby a tree” and I kept thinking that I needed to “get that baby food” instead. Of course I was not buying a tree. At that point I was so poor that we didn’t have a phone, a TV, or that much food.
My daughter was in daycare while I worked, and she kept insisting that Santa was coming. I felt horrible because I really did not have any money. I planned to go to the dollar store to get a few things for Christmas morning, but then my car broke down about three weeks before Christmas. I had expressed my frustration to a person who was becoming a good friend, a young man named James, who was gay.
I grew up believing that gay men and women had a choice. That choice was to either accept that men and women were made and meant to be together and that marriage was a sacred bond between a man and a woman or they would be doomed to everlasting damnation.
I didn’t believe that men should have these “feelings of inappropriate love” towards other men and the same with women. I knew that if I could squelch my own personal crushes for boys in High School and Jr. High, that a gay man or woman could and should, do the same.
I trusted what my parents taught me was correct, because I thought true happiness started with a marriage between one man and one woman, in a sacred ceremony. I was so adamant about my stand on gay marriage that I lost touch with close friends who didn’t feel the same way I did.
I didn’t realize I had lost touch with so many friends due to my perspective on the matter. It was not until years later when I ran into an old friend from college who told me the way he felt over my rants in regards to the LGBT community. I was surprised and humbled over his admission and complete candor to my utter disregard to the way he may have felt, we were very good friends in college.
Today, Sept. 3rd. 2011, is our 29th anniversary as a committed couple for life. Today we are still not out to many people including our immediate families because of the hate that will be exhibited toward us.
After years of planning, studying and begging physicians to help us, we were blessed with beautiful twin daughters that were conceived by donor insemination in 1988. This was a time when the path to family making for lesbian couples was still being paved. One of us is a professional nurse and the other is a stay at home mother and teacher. Our daughters were home schooled and both received full academic scholarships to college. We parented our girls without any support from the gay community. We live in the middle of the Bible belt and were afraid of having our children taken from us if we publicly practiced a gay lifestyle.
Our daughters always knew they had two mothers and that we were a special family. They were always proud of us and would eagerly tell people they had two mothers when asked which one of us was the mother. When asked “where is your father”, both girls were quick to reply, “we don’t have one.” When they were 11 years old a friend asked them if they missed not having a father and their response was “how can you miss something you never had.” To us they were well adjusted. We had so many compliments on their behaviors and were told how wonderful and respectful our children were.
My name is Tex. I’m a 35-year old gay professional who lives in South Carolina. I struggled with my sexuality most of my life. I can remember being in elementary school and being more interested in the boys than the girls. Even when my friends were making that transition from “girls are icky and stupid” to dating them, I was more interested in my gender. I had always heard I’d grow out of it, but I never did.
I was in love with my best friend. We went through junior and senior high school together and I never told him how I felt. I was afraid that he would reject me and our friendship would be ruined. Even when he went off to boot camp after high school, I just said a teary-eyed good bye and spent the next few months in agony missing him.
I tried to be straight. I dated a few girls, but it was never serious. I dated one girl in high school for almost two years and I even had her move out to Charleston with me when I was stationed there in the Navy. Needless to say, we were “serious” but things didn’t work out and she moved back home after a few months.
I went to church to try and get God to change me. After all, being gay is a “sin,” and I thought if I turned to God and confessed this sin that He would “fix” me. It never happened.
Hi, my name Heather and I’m straight. I have been going to church for a long time and still don’t understand why we are supposed to dislike gay people. I think that is so wrong, people should show how they are, show their true colors.
People always told me, “God loves you for who you are. He doesn’t care what you have done, he always love you.” So if that is true then, God loves all people – straight or gay. So why do gay people get shout down and push out of churches? I think that is so wrong!
I love people for who they are no matter if your gay or not! As long as your true and true to yourself!
I’m a gay teenager, and quite frankly I believe every person on Earth should give a damn about this.
First off, I’m not about to go into this pitiful rant about how my life as a gay kid, for lack of better terminology, sucked. I’m not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me. What I am about to do is try to explain to you the horrendous pain and suffering I’ve had to endure because of my sexuality. What makes it even worse? I’m not even out… and that’s why I give a damn.
I guess I finally realized I was fully gay in eighth grade. I had that cliche moment where something finally clicked and I realized my sexuality. I’m currently 18, and about to start college in the fall. I live in a backwards, pitiful, small town in the South. Like most kids around here, I was raised in the church. I’m there every Sunday morning; I’m even an usher…go figure.
I was raised in an old school Irish Catholic family. I remember the first time I was ever discriminated against, it was by my Uncle Kevin and I was 5 years old. It was my birthday and my whole family came to my grandmother’s house to celebrate. I had always been the liberated child that gave away free hugs (of course that was only if they had a present).
I was running around to all my aunts and uncles, playing with my Aunt Patsy’s hair and asking my Uncle Mark for bear-hugs. It was a day full of laughter, cake and presents. My Uncle Kevin drove there on his motorcycle, you could hear him from all the way down the street. I was so excited for my friends to meet my rebel uncle. As soon as he opened the door, I ran to him with my arms open when he put his hand on my shoulder stopping me from going any further. “Men shake”, he said holding out his hand as if the handshake was going to cure me of all my childhood gayness.
My mother was reminding me of that story the other day. It’s wierd because you would think I would have been embarrased, or sad that he wouldn’t give me a simple hug. I simply just moved on to my Uncle Tommy, he was a better hugger anyway. In retrospect, I realized how much love I had standing behind me; even at such a young age. My big Irish immigrant grandfather, who served in the war let me go as far as putting blue extensions in his hair. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones because in a family who’s religion was primarily against anyone living an “alternative lifestyle,” they pretty much focused on the one verse “Judge not less ye be judged.”
I too, like many of you, grew up in the church, in fact, for most of my young life. I “took myself” to church while everyone else stayed home. I ended up going to a Southern Baptist, where I felt led to go in the ministry, which I did. From that point I prayed daily for God to take away this horrible sin that I was dealing with – - needless to say it didn’t happen. For nearly 7 years, I was an associate pastor and battled with feelings of guilt – guilt to the point of a near suicide.
In April of 1998, I finally looked in the mirror and said out loud “you’re gay – YOU ARE GAY!” and that was that. I left the church that August with a great deal of anger toward God for not banishing these feelings.
In recent months, I have wanted nothing more than to get back into church work. Knowing there are ‘gay’ churches out there makes it much easier, because when I DO go back, I’ll not be ashamed of who I am, gay church or not.
My mum’s Christianity is very important to her. She has tried to bring me up living as closely to it’s values as possible.
When I was 9, we were watching the television and a girl kissed another girl. At the time I saw it I didn’t really think much of it; I found it a bit unusual but that was simply because I had never seen two people of the same sex kiss before. However my mum was disgusted. A year or so later I was watching a reality series and two guys embarked in a relationship. Mum walked in and was once again disgusted. This and similar occurrences made me believe homosexuality was of the devil.
A few years later I realized I had a massive crush on a guy. I kept on looking at pictures of men on the Internet, although I was also gaining an interest in women. I hated myself for the feelings towards guys. I spent a while believing these thoughts would vanish and that me feelings toward women would outgrow them but after a few months I recalled moments in my childhood where I fancied male celebrities, and there were more of them than women. I finally admitted to myself that really liked that guy at school. I came out to myself. I’m bi.
I was 13. A few weeks later, and after informing my closest friends, I couldn’t keep it from my mum any longer. She didn’t take it too well. She told me it was just a phase and then prayed that it would go away. It never will, of course. She kept on hassling me about it so I told her that I was straight so it would end. She preferred her beliefs to me.
I’ve since abandoned organized religion. Too much of it makes no sense. And I can’t be fully out until I’ve left home. I’m 15; in my country I will be allowed to leave legally next year. I’ll have to stay for a while though. I can’t just up and leave.
I have had a great deal of trials within not only my High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (as one might imagine), but many trials with acceptance with my bisexualism.
I first found out that I was bi when I was about 15 to 16 years of age. My parents (one a conservative Republican, my father whom I absolutely love dearly), and my mother (not as much a Conservative Republican as my father is — she voted “no” on Prop still, I personally feel they cannot come to grips or terms that I just so happen to be bi.
I personally feel that not only the Roman Catholic Church (in which I wasn’t raised within — I was baptized and technically raised as an Episcopalian — don’t ask why I confirmed myself as that Roman Catholic… call it that “structure thing” that I so desperately needed within my life), needs to also come to grips/ terms that love just is… plain and simple.
My father (God love him), thinks that this is “…just that passing faze, and one day I’ll get over it…” My mother, not so much. When I broke the news to them, I was 18, and I felt like I was “comfortable” enough within my life that I was able to express this towards them. Go figure.
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Many faiths espouse values such as commitment to social justice, love and acceptance. But unfortunately, some also use their doctrines and guidebooks to attack, condemn and discriminate against gay and transgender people.