(I am only out to 3 family members, but coming out to this aunt and uncle represents a big step because I am closest to them; my uncle was my legal guardian after my mother passed away, and they continue to look out for, and care for, my sister and me.)
Last Thursday seemed like a better time than most. (And I’ve been told that there will NEVER be a ‘good’ time to come out to family.) It seemed like a good time because 1) we hadn’t planned on meeting them but my sister smsed me in the day and asked if I would be free to have dinner at their house. So it seemed like I was being presented with The Opportunity to meet with them and talk to them, just when I’d been thinking about it. And 2) They seemed to be in a good mood. Light-hearted and friendly. And 3) I was all psyched up after talking to Sandy and Janet, this lesbian couple from California; Sandy’s a pastor, and Janet is a missionary, and they came to visit our church and spend some time with us the week before last. And the main message that spoke to me the most was the fact that we are not here on earth to please other people. We are accountable only to our Heavenly Father. And what’s more, She has a great plan for us. And the fact that She created us Special, as LGBT people, means she wants to use us for Extraordinary things.
There are other Very Good Reasons why I shouldn’t make an issue out of coming out to them. Like the fact that I am an adult; I don’t depend on them for a place to stay; they can’t disown me (not being my parents in the first place); and I am doing nothing wrong by being gay.
But somehow, something always stops me from blurting out the words. I can’t seem to gather the courage. I tell myself that there is no reason to change the way things are right now. I anticipate that they will think less of me. Somehow my resolve falters, and I change my mind, and think ‘Maybe there will be a better time to tell them’’
When LUSH first started, I thought to myself, ‘But I don’t think that being gay is a sin. So that means that I am not conflicted. So I won’t have anything in common with the other girls in the group who DO think that it is a sin to be gay.’
But as I thought about it more, I realized that ‘being conflicted’ doesn’t simply mean thinking that being gay is a sin. I realized that my eternal struggle to proudly come out to my family is a reflection that I am also conflicted in a sense.
And this is one of my struggles. I continually search myself. Do I really claim that ‘I can do everything through Him who gives me strength’ (Phil 4:13)? Psalm 139:13-16 says ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.’
And yet, the turmoil within me churns on…