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Esther: The Queen Who Came Out   2 comments

Esther at the moment of decision---Sir John Everett Millais, painter, 1865

The Story of Esther in the Bible means a great deal to me.  On the day I decided to come out it was Esther who gave me the last push.  She was the one who told me–you aren’t just doing it for you.  You’re doing it to save your people.  Every act of coming out is about saving people.  But more on Esther in a moment.

Some background is in order:  I had kept the secret of being gay for five years before coming out—three of them I was gone from the Yukon, a student in Texas, researching whether or not God was okay with me being gay.  He was uppermost on my mind.  If He didn’t like it, I would go through therapy, I would become a monk, I would do whatever was necessary to change myself to fit what He wanted.  Thankfully, not only was He cool with me being gay, it was how he created me to be.  So it was quite a revelation.  However, just because God was okay with it, didn’t mean I was itching to tell my church.  People are unpredictable.

At first, I wondered if I really HAD to come out.  It wasn’t anyone else’s business.  I had known many gays who told me to go live my life and not bother with coming out at all.  Who needs to know?  — Well, I had lived my life pretty open to this point, and it was difficult to keep part of myself from people I loved.  In fact, it was so difficult it was hitting me on multiple levels that I had to come out.

1.  I had become deceptive.  This was hard for me to accept.  That I would have to hide who I was in order to keep the life I had been living, to keep the friends I had.  I was never a liar growing up—and never a liar as an adult.  But suddenly, I was a liar in order to keep the peace, to keep friends, to keep interacting with the church and people I loved.  It made me into a person I didn’t want to be.

2.  I wanted to share who I loved with the church.  They loved me, and I wanted to be as open as I could be with them–letting them know, like anyone else, when I was dating, when I was happy, why I was happy, who I loved.  One day I wanted to stand up with my boyfriend like so many other couples in the church and declare that we got engaged.  The whole crowd would clap.  There would be such a renewal of love and hope in the congregation whenever a young couple announced their upcoming marriage.

3.  God told me, point blank, that he couldn’t use me until I came out.  How could he use someone that had a secret to spill–a secret that might endanger whatever mission he would give me?  And further, how could God put me on any kind of road to minister to other gay christians–when I couldn’t be honest with them?

4.  I was hurting others who knew.  A woman in the church whom I’d told many months before came up to me and said–we can’t keep your secret any longer.  You have to tell the pastor.  She set in motion a pressure that would just increase every day until I came out.  She wasn’t threatening to tell–but she said that the pressure to keep the secret was hurting her family.

And then Esther came along.  I realized what I had to do—but for some reason I thought Easter was the best time to do it.  I knew that I would go from family to family, but just like it’s hard when you skydive to let go of the safety of the plane… I was lingering at the door, looking at the thousand mile drop below me.  I knew if I went to one family, it would get away from me and I would never be able to control who knew what.  The truth would be out and then they could decide to hurt me with it.

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