Friday, September 22, 2006

Why the "Flash Back" posts

Some may be wondering why all this rumination, well, I have begun to notice that my thoughts and feelings have really changed from what they were only a year ago. I want to get these thought down while I still remember them.

What is interesting is the way my thoughts and feelings have changed since I have left my church. Well, maybe not left, it probably started when I sent out the letter.

It is difficult to enjoy your time and the person you are with when you are constantly paranoid of someone seeing you together. Now maybe I actually could be called paranoid, I am not ruling that out. But I think there were more things going on.

One of the first things that was going on was my own homophobia. I was still not so sure being gay was a good thing or a bad thing. I still questioned whether God hated me for the person I loved. As such, I didn’t really want to be seen with Nick, at least where people knew me.

I also was afraid that I would be seen with Nick and people would start to make connections. It is one thing for Pr. Ben to be seen with a lady around town, it is quite another thing for Pr. Ben to be seen with some man around town. What was also difficult was the fact that a friend of one of my congregation lived next-door to me. I was afraid of a violent outing, or if not violent, at least unexpected.

As I have said in other posts, upon becoming a pastor, I agreed to a set of standards called Visions and Expectations. Within these guidelines, there is a statement about pastors who consider themselves homosexual are to refrain from any homosexual activity. They hide it under the guise of “non-marital sex,” but of course, as I could not get married, I could not have “marital sex.”

So, when I was out with Nick in my town, I was always paranoid. However, Nick was very understanding.

There were some good things about this paranoia, we found a great Chinese restaurant about 45 minutes east of town!

After I sent out the Letter, I felt a real sense of relief. I didn’t have to worry about who saw Nick and me. I could go out in town and not have to be constantly looking over my shoulder. We even had some members of the congregation invite us over for dinner.

Even though coming out cost me my call, I do not regret it. I often panic when I see how things are going, but still, I don’t regret it. I enjoy the freedom I now feel with Nick. I enjoy not having the fear of being found standing in the way. It is a great thing.

For all the fears of coming out and all the fears of things going wrong, coming out was the best thing I have done. I now know where I truly stand with people. It is a great thing.

1 comment:

Lemuel said...

Sometimes I envy your decision.