There are dozens like it in my inbox, but this is perhaps the most eloquent of those "voices crying in the wilderness" -- voices I hope the "communion-at-any-price" folks will weigh before they consider sacrificing the justice the prophets have called us to do for the uniformity the primates have blackmailed us with.
"I am still in the process of reading the Special Commission's report in anticipation of the 2006 General Convention. As I read, however, a feeling of not only disappointment, but actual heartbreak is coming over me. One reason for that may indeed be that as a performing arts major, I can be overdramatic (hey, it's what we do!). But part of that comes from realizing that there is still so much to be done to work for the actual full inclusion of GLBT people in the life of our beloved Church.
Allow me to share a bit about myself. As a 21-year-old college student, many people have told me that I have yet to experience what the "real world" is like. But I beg to differ. The real world is full of joy and happiness, yes, but also disappointment and heartbreak. Somewhere between the age of 12 and 14, I figured out that I am gay. But fear kept me from saying anything about it. In fact, I went the opposite direction. In my later teenage and early college years, I affiliated myself with conservative organizations such as the American Family Association, Forward in Faith NA, the American Anglican Council, the Network, one very conservative Episcopal diocese, and even some in the continuing movement. Not only was it a lie, but it threw me into some
very deep depression.
I had always tried to make myself attracted to, even love, girls. At times, I played the part extremely well. But upon going to college there was one person who caught my attention, someone I eventually developed very deep feelings for. I had to opportunities to begin a
relationship with him, but was too afraid of my own Baptist family and the rest of the world around me. So I stayed in the closet. My coming out was too late, I had lost him to fact that life changes and people cannot wait for something they are not sure will ever happen.
The Episcopal Church was one place that I thought I could count on for support and acceptance. My family cannot accept me as I am, but I thought for sure that my spiritual family would. The executive summary to this report says that if we have to choose between communion with members of the Church here in the U.S. and Anglicans in other parts of the world, then we will choose to jettison members of the domestic Church based solely on sexual orientation.
Because I have the capacity to love someone of my own gender I have to take a back seat to those who would seek to divide the Church. Rather than celebrate the fact that I have the capacity to love at all I may very well be asked to keep such a thing "private," to use the words of the Report.
I have already decided that I have to put off seminary until I can figure out how all of this works--being open and honest is not one moment, but an entire process. Do I now have to be driven to the back of the bus to appease some African bishop who says I'm unfit? Do I have to act as though there is something wrong with me, as if love could ever be wrong? Fear has already cost me the possibility of a very wonderful relationship. Does the Church want a part in causing that fear for other people like me?
I am doing the best I can not to lose faith. I will never lose faith in Christ--He is the constant. However, I am quickly losing faith in the Church. I hope the Episcopal Church does not precipitate that, for I am not alone in this." -- April 8, 2006