Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Have Found My Peeps

I am now part of a secret society. It's a private Facebook group for mom's with gay kids. It's private because we all have come from some sort of church background, and many still haven't "come out" to anyone in their real lives. But what has been very fascinating and beautiful to see, is how we are coming out to each other in all kinds of ways. Coming out of the closet means you stop hiding and pretending your something your not; even when you know this carries a huge risk of rejection and judgement from others.

There are times in our lives where things get confusing. We feel lost, disorientated; and it seems that there is no stability or security to be found. Not many people actually talk about it; but I'm pretty sure it's true at one time or another for just about everybody. For most people in my secret group, having a gay child is what rocked their religious world and made them question certain "truths" they always took for granted. Not for me. My world was rocked years before my daughter came out; she was just the blessed straw that gave me permission to say good-bye to my religious institution.

My husband and I were the darlings of our church. He lead worship, I taught Sunday School, our kids sang in the Christmas pageants...the whole shebang. Not to make it sound like it was all show, because it really was everything to me. I wanted nothing more than to live for God; but the more I sought Him, the more clearly it became that certain things I was told I had to believe and what I was reading in the Bible didn't add up. Things didn't fit. It felt like an itch in my soul that I could never scratch.

I'm not going to go into what those questions were, or the answers I believe I found. I will say that finding those answers was the most beautiful and the most terrible thing that has ever happened to me. I knew I had now become a "heretic", because my beliefs no longer toed the Christian party line...but at least I no longer had the itch in my soul. Those itchy questions, though, only opened up a whole new set of questions. They weren't itchy in the sense that I knew something wasn't fitting...they were now achy, because this new way of seeing things opened up such a huge expanse of wonder. Wonder has three very different meanings: 1) to think or speculate curiously 2) to be filled with admiration or amazement 3) to doubt. All three fit; but #3 is the achiest. 

In all this pain and confusion, I have found solidarity. Condoning gay relationships gets you kicked out of safe zone Christianity just as fast as not believing in an eternal hell, (oops, cat's out of the bag) so we are all on the outside together. One woman in the group isn't a mom to a gay child, but she is there simply because she relates so much to this "outside" feeling.

On the Facebook page, you might see a post like this: "my whole world felt upside down-I felt like everything I depended on was being taken away from me...I didn't know where to turn or what to ask for or who to ask. I felt alone and lost". This is one way we are coming out of our closets; we have stopped pretending we have total assurance and are rock solid. With this group, I can say "I want to follow Jesus but I don't think I'm a Christian", and nobody even flinches. It's a good place to be.