2009 was a turning point in my life. At the end of 2008 almost no one knew that I was gay, or “struggled with same sex attractions.” However, by the end of 2009 I was out to my parents, my priest, my roommate, and also discovered another same-sex attracted friend. My home was safe, my dorm room was safe, my spiritual community was safe, and I was no longer quite so alone in my struggle. The stage was set for the walls of my closet to fall away, and by the end of 2010 I was writing publicly about my experience as a celibate gay man. After 10 years, the closet now seems remote and distant, the ghost of a past life lived through the lens of near constant fear. My secret is no longer my secret, my shame is no longer my shame, and my loneliness not quite so lonely.
The closet allowed me to believe fundamental lies about myself and my relationship with others. The closet told me that I was un-loveable and that my shame and self-hate was justified. In the silence of my closet I believed the lies that I told myself, and the echo chamber of my fear was deafening. When someone told me, “I love you” I knew they couldn’t really mean it. They couldn’t mean it because they didn’t know that I was gay. I believed that nobody could love me because I was gay, so therefore their love was contingent upon my secret being secret. Most of these lies had no basis in reality, but in the closet you can easily mistake shadows for monsters. Everything becomes distorted in the dim light and you believe that outside the closet is scarier than the darkness you’ve surrounded yourself with. Read More
“Most often, the rehashing and restating of the Church’s concrete theological positions grate against me. It pains me not because I personally disagree with its conclusions; rather, I find it lacking in practical advice or teaching that actually helps make sense of the life I’m called to live. Discussions around celibate relationships, committed friendships, life in community, sexual abstinence, and many others just don’t happen. I’ve found the Church leery of engaging in these gray areas for fear of somehow failing a test of “Orthodoxy.” Simply even engaging with the lived experiences of queer people in the Church is dangerous, or has the possibility of contaminating what is seen as “pure” theology.”
My latest over at Orthodoxy In Dialogue.
Source: SEXUAL MINORITIES IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: TOWARDS A BETTER CONVERSATION by Gregg Webb
It has been a difficult season for me. I’ve been transitioning cities, working through heartbreak, living with nearly constant heartache, beginning the long-term career job hunt, and learning to live life without the basic structure provided by classes and coursework. Many of my friends are also struggling through difficult break-ups, divorce, depression, addiction, and […]
via A Call to Empathy — Spiritual Friendship
This summer I am taking a short two-week class studying the book of Job. One assignment for this class was to write two laments one personal, and one about something at a distance. I chose to write this latter lament on abortion. I know that this is a controversial topic and that it stands outside of the general subject of this blog, however I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share this beyond my class. During my undergraduate years I had the opportunity to volunteer and intern with a crisis pregnancy clinic in Columbia, MO. My time there was an eye-opening and heart-rending experience forever cementing the lives of the unborn and their parents deeply in my heart.
Copyright Gregg Webb 2013
Holy Lord, you are our Father and bridegroom. Hear our cries as we struggle to understand and help your suffering daughters and their un-born children. You know your children and their hearts before they were ever knit in their mother’s wombs. Hear our voice in the absence of their stifled voices and bring an end to this madness.
We know you are a faithful and loving father, yet when we see mothers who can’t bear the thought of feeding one more mouth turning to abortion to escape bringing another life into such hell, our hearts are shattered and rent at such a choice ever having to be weighed by your daughters. Why, O Lord do children die at the hand of their desperate mothers? Why does poverty have such a grip on their lives, and hopelessness so deeply grip their hearts that taking the life of their own flesh and blood seems like a sane choice? There surely is no sanity in this, no reason other than pure desperation. Why are so many people’s hearts hardened to the point where they would laud such a choice as a right or as an undeniable privilege? They try and make this discussion seem reasonable and almost holy. How long will you allow children’s lives to be profaned by such words? This seems like such madness and troubles our souls beyond words.