“Within the typical secondary school curriculum, homosexuals do not exist. They are ‘nonpersons’ in the finest Stalinist sense. They have fought no battles, held no offices, explored nowhere, written no literature, built nothing, invented nothing and solved no equations. The lesson to the heterosexual student is abundantly clear: homosexuals do nothing of consequence. To the homosexual student, the message has even greater power: no one who has ever felt as you do has done anything worth mentioning.” -Gerald Unks, editor, The Gay Teen, p. 5. From Famous Gay People.
It’s difficult for gay Christians to come out because they don’t see a place for themselves in the world–because frankly, all the past gay people have been erased from history, or had their gayness washed away. What could you accomplish, really, as a gay or lesbian in this world?
Famous People who were gay
There are some hugely famous people who were gay. In fact, as an English Teacher I could design a syllabus of American Literature solely with GLBT authors and you’d think it looked like every other American Literature survey in colleges: Willa Cather, Tennessee Williams, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman (of course), James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Henry David Thoreau, Countee Cullen, Adrienne Rich, just to name a few. These are hardly the marginalized authors of American literature–these are The Canon. You can’t do a survey course without Whitman, Melville, Williams, Dickinson, Hughes, Emerson and Thoreau…you can’t. Our culture has been interpreted and refined through their pens and their lens.
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–a poem for the seekers
In the glow of the computer screen you search
for biblical truth, having already made a deal
with God, that he not strike you dead for researching
But you have to know if you’re really
going to Hell or if you can one day have
a boyfriend, or a husband without impunity.
And here, at midnight, when your parents are asleep,
you look for scraps of scripture which will boost your hope,
make you a believer again.
These gay Christians sound authentic–
they pray, and they love God
and they read their Bible every day,
and they are as worried as you about screwing
up everlasting life, except they’ve found a way to have
their husband and their Father too.
How did they do it? Can they teach you
in the next thirty minutes before you think
about the boy that asked you to kiss him, how he leaned
his face close enough for you to feel his warm
breath and the heat of his arm, before you hate
yourself, and let the guilt swallow you
in the dark.
Can God give you an answer soon? Because
if you’re going to die for this, you need to know.
You’d rather there be a loophole, somewhere.
You’re no theologian, but you can’t ask
your parents, or your pastor. And you don’t
want to hurt God either. If He gets upset at a kiss,
you wonder if He’s really paying attention
A thump down the hallway makes you scramble
to click the pages, erase your steps, turn off
your lamp and sit breathless at your desk
in a darkened room, where all you can see
are your mother’s socks blocking the light
under the closed door, as she stands
waiting for you to either stop squirming
or come out.