Image by Rebecca K Photography
By Kathy Young, Trinity United Methodist Church
I was raised in the United Methodist Church to know that God is a loving God, that all people are created in His image; and that if one believed in God and led a good life, in the end, one would ascend to heaven and eternal life would be granted.
With each year, I knew that I was different. At 16 years old, I figured out why. I was gay. I still subscribed to my early beliefs, but depending on what or who I consulted, the preaching seemed to change and my new reality was now troublesome. It was the early 80s and many gay people lived “in the closet.” I would be graduating from college soon, seeking a career in law enforcement. How would I choose to live my life? Would I be out and open or would I attempt to live two lives, hiding the real me from others? Would I choose light or darkness?
God created me to be gay – this was His plan. I did not choose my sexuality any more than others chose theirs. What was God’s purpose for me? Was it to hide and to live in darkness – or – dare I live in the light, and follow my earlier-installed beliefs?
By 18, I chose the latter - for my God is a loving God. We must all join the battle of life to carry our own loads for our purpose is unknown. Hiding in the darkness, doubtfully, will be a way to fulfill that purpose. As LGBTQ individuals, we don’t have to be activists, but we can simply participate fully by serving our country, our community, and being a good neighbor. This positive example, hopefully, will contribute to paving an easier path for others to follow and contribute to our diverse society.