Tuesday, November 04, 2008
This afternoon, I got an interesting phone call. I was a little hesitant to answer it because of all the problems I have had with creditors. But I am happy I did answer the phone. On the other end was a person I had never met before. This person was given my name as a contact to help with the whole process of coming out in the ELCA.
I had realized that I hadn't really talked much about how the coming out process has been going.
Sometimes it is a moment by moment kind of thing. When I am at work, there are times that I really must work to not let my anger overflow. When I look at what I am doing, I have difficulty NOT feeling some kind of resentment. Ten years of college and I am making coffee for Starbucks.
I try to see this as a sacrifice that I am making so that I can serve my congregation. And generally this helps to keep me on an even keel... But there are times when I just want to be a priest. I just want to do what I went to school to learn to do. I want to be able to spend more time getting to know the people in my congregation and spend more time doing the study and the work to put together sermons I can feel proud of.
I have been more out at work than I have ever been. I decided that if I treated my relationship as something to hide, then why should others treat it with respect. So I have just started to discuss my relationship with Nick in the same way others would talk about their spouses. I have also stopped hiding my relationship at church. I even discussed my thanks for having a loving partner in the church newsletter.
If we keep hiding and are afraid of how others will react, then we will never gain the acceptance of others. I decided I was going to speak of Nick just as others speak of their husbands or wives.
To my friend on the phone: I look forward to speaking more with you. I also will keep you in my prayers. The journey you have embarked on is immense. There will be troubles, but there will be peace in your life that you have yet to realize! It is through the courage of people like you that we all can move forward. It is through the strength of people like you that we all can find the strength to stand up to the bigotry of the world.
To paraphrase the Desiderata, we have a right to be here! And the more we stand up for our rights, the more the world must take us seriously.