Friday, March 05, 2010

My Wife and Kids


I have to write a "getting to know you" piece for the bulletin at new church where I will be starting next week.  I HATE writing these things.  It is not that I can't do this, it is just that we have the "wife and kids" thing.

Do I not say anything?  Well, that is a red flag 'cause everyone talks about their "Beautiful Wife and Three Awesome Kids."  (Doesn't anyone have an ugly wife and mediocre kids?)  But if I say, "I have a wonderful partner of 4 years.." immediately, some people are put off and I am not around to do any damage control.

I always wonder why it has to become such a big thing.  Granted, I am gay, but it is not the ONLY thing in my life; it is not even the most interesting thing in my life.  But the moment I say it, it becomes the thing people latch onto.  And if I don't say anything about it, people accuse me of "trying to hide it because I am ashamed of it."  Neither of these are true: it is just part of who I am, like I have brown hair and a paunch. 

I don't know.

The picture at the beginning of the post is the new piece I just finished.  I kind of like it!  But do you know how hard it is to find male nude patterns?  Female nudes are everywhere, but men are mighty sparse.  And then again, comes the whole thing on the appropriateness of a priest making nudes.  I don't know if I would feel the same way if this were a female nude because those are accepted by society.

I am probably just overthinking everything.


Lemuel said...

I'm not sure that I would recommend hanging your new work in the office of your new parish. At least not for a week or so. ;)
Did the judicatories indicate to the new congregation in any way that you are gay? Has the congregation or it's council been advised of your relationship status? Or are you walking into this situation cold? Perhaps the answers to those questions might help you decide how or whether to talk about your relationship. I think it is fair for you not to discuss it until you can be there in person to handle reactions.
I raise some of those question about the denominational leadership informing the congregation in part because of a recent situation with a pastor who is a friend. In the denomination of which I am still officially a part (though no longer participate), pastoral assignments are made by episcopal fiat. I learned recently that a friend of mine is being appointed to serve a congregation that I once served. It is a troubled group and he (like myself) is not the person to be sent there. They are extremely right wing and intolerant of many things. Among other things he also has M.S. but the official has ordered him to silence on the matter and never informed the congregational leadership about it. I know this congregation. They will make this friend's life a hell until he is moved. Oh, and add to it all the fact that my friend's brother is gay.

Urspo said...

I like the artwork.
I don't like those kind of letters either. there is always a dilemma of raw honesty versus social tact. I worry the later could be a sign of shame in my part. so I tend to write truthful, if not very interesting essays. may I suggest you write about your education, your recent struggles to get a job and how it affected or shaped your faith? I suppose most people would be satisfied you "wrote anything " - a few more astute people might recognize you didn't mention a wife or kids. these would be the leave you alone or ask you directly - then you can " say it as it is" in deal with the damage control right then.
Good luck on this.