I am a 76 year old (earth suit) with the mind and heart of a 35 year old….LOL…..I have been married for 54 years to the same guy….who is the GREATEST….My Earth Suit cannot do what my head would like….soooo, I try to live as happy and joyful as I can anyway…I have lived an exciting and wonderful life…and have found it to be pretty dern short….Walking with God has been a huge adventure and continues to be….What a trip!!
I just finished reading “A Peek Inside The Closet: Growing Up Gay in Conservative America”, written and shared by Rick James. I was so in touch with his story that I began to WANT to share my story.
From the beginning of my life, I have been struggling with this issue. I just didn’t see clearly as to what I was struggling with. I always wanted to be a good little girl. But, I knew I was NOT a good little girl. I think I got that idea of HOW to be good from Church and other adults. I am sure that no one meant any harm. Now, remembering back to that little girl, I see the signs of being a homosexual. It has taken me years of “misbehaving” and not being able to talk about it, to come to the realization I am gay. Now I am old, and facing issues that have haunted me for a lifetime. Here is my story.
I won’t go into the childhood part of the story because it is long and complicated. I will start at age seventeen. I lived in an institute for kids from broken homes. There were about 150 boys and girls in that place. Many houseparents were assigned to us. I was asked by the Director to help with Houseparent of the little girls, probably age 5 to 11. I helped a young women, about 23 years old, with the little ones. During that time, she decided that she had fallen in love with me. I loved her, too.
Then she began to make sexual advances toward me. She arranged to have me moved from the older girl units to her place with the little girls. I was both horrified and loved the attention. I did get so upset that I asked for help from my Youth Leader at Church. And I was taken away from the institution and many things happened to me. Mostly, I was guilty of a horrible sin and was going to hell for it. I tried and prayed and tried and prayed to get over being accused of such a terrible sin. And I also grieved from the loss of the love and caring of this young woman. I had a deep attachment to her, even though I knew we were MISBEHAVING.
I lost my own mother three years before. I was only fourteen when she died. She was only 32 years old. When this sexual liaison began with the little girl’s houseparent, I was still grieving for my mom. The conclusion I came to in my mind was that I had transferred my motherlove to this woman.
I graduated from High School and went on to Pepperdine College. I had no same sex relationships and married one of my friends who I met in music classes. We went on to raise a family. I had quit being a Christian at that time as I couldn’t reconcile my BAD behavior with my beliefs. Finally, at 28, I came back to believing again.
DISCIPLE’S SURF CLUB
By the time I was 29, I started surfing. It was such a great joy. During that season of my life, I started a surf club. I named it DISCIPLE’S SURF CLUB. Many kids came to love Jesus through that ministry. (Those kids grew up to be wonderful Christians. They found me on Facebook and started a FB site for the club.) It was a WONDERFUL and FEARFUL time for me.
I FELL IN LOVE WITH A WOMAN AND THE HORRIBLE CONFLICT started. How could I fall in love with someone my own sex. Besides that, I was a wife and mother. This COULDN’T be happening. The friendship I had with this person was nonsexual for a long time. One day she asked me to show her how to kiss. I told her that I didn’t think that was a good idea. I reminded her of my 17 year old experience and that I wasn’t sure I would be okay. She then said, “I am not afraid of you. Kiss me.”
I kissed her. Big PROBLEM. From then on, we were involved beyond that which I could resist. The whole time that was occurring, I was leading kids to Christ and seeing them filled with the Holy Spirit. WHAT A CONFLICT. I kept praying and praying that God would forgive my sinful and adulterous behavior…that I would be able to STOP. I was so worried that my own children, my husband, and the surf club would suffer greatly if they ever knew how I was acting. Not only that, BUT WHAT WAS GOD TO DO WITH ME. But, the SURF CLUB was successful and remarkable. My GUILT and SHAME was a big as my successes. But God kept bringing people to Jesus. And I was blessed He didn’t strike me dead.
During that period of time, my relationship with my friend ended. She got married. I was happy for her, but was also in pain losing her. I began sharing all this with another friend who, when hearing me, began to want to FIX my hurt. Surf Club was over and finished and I was sad and relieved. But now I had this new friend who then became my second lover. She “came on” to me and I succumbed. I was sickened by my behavior, but couldn’t resist her. I loved her, but wasn’t going to do anything sexual. Then I did it anyway. Another experience of OUTRIGHT adultery as I was still married and by then have a fourth child.
For fourteen years my second lover and I carried on. Finally one day, she came to me and told me that she could no longer do sexual stuff. At that time I was 52 years old. Our relationship as friends has continued to this day. But, I had a terrible time with my feelings about her. I wanted to be close to her all of the time but it drove me crazy.
“I wanted so much to talk with my pastor”
I wanted so much to talk with my pastor, but I knew I would be in deep trouble spiritually. So I kept it to myself. When I could no longer trust myself to NOT BE SEXUAL, I became asexual…no more sex anytime or with anyone. It seemed the only way I could be PURE. AND I still loved my husband. He loved me. He still didn’t know about my preference. So, because I could no longer be sexual with anyone including him, he told me to go get therapy or he would end the marriage.
I went into therapy at age 58. It was very special in the healing of my sexually abused childhood. But it never changed my sexual orientation. I finally confessed to my husband my affairs. He was very gentle to me and asked me why I had carried the PAIN, SHAME, and GUILT for so long without telling him. I said that I was afraid he would hate me and leave me. I also reminded him of the attitude he had about homosexuality. I asked for forgiveness and he forgave me.
You might wonder how I could love my husband and still be gay. Believe me, when I say I don’t know, that’s the truth. But he is such a wonderful soul.and it is hard not to love him. And I am glad he is still loving me in spite of my sexual orientation. We went on raising our children. All four grew up and went onto their own lives.
“my daughter told me that she was gay”
Then one day, my daughter told me that she was gay. I told her that I thought she was brave to come out of the closet. We went through a turbulent time together, my sweet daughter and I. I became obsessed with the BLAME GAME. I was sure it was ALL my fault she was gay. Finally she told me that I had nothing to do with her being gay, that she was born gay, that she chose to live as she felt she must, as a gay and that was that. I cried almost constantly for her. I didn’t want her to go through the PAIN I was going through. And as I was still in denial that I am gay, I saw that she had come to a peaceful place in her life. I wondered how that could be. LORD, I cried, HOW CAN SHE BE A CHRISTIAN and STILL LOVE YOU???? But she did, she still loved the Lord, and quit fretting about trying to make it all line up with the scriptures….
So, on the years passed by, and the PAIN, SHAME, and CONFUSION went on. I could rest knowing that God still loved me…and in that promise, I could find some peace. I knew the scriptures. I had been told I would go to HELL. Someone thought Kingdom of Heaven meant the heaven where Jesus sits on the right Hand of God. So my conclusion was. I am NOT gay…
“I was ABLE TO ADMIT what I had been HIDING”
THEN I found a woman pastor at an Episcopal Church. After 3 years of her counseling me, loving me, seeing my gifts, and supporting me in my PAIN, I was ABLE TO ADMIT what I had been HIDING from all those years…now 75 years old…I AM GAY and have always been.
It threw my whole WORLD VIEW into a tornado, or a whirlwind. Whatever it’s called!! I had to rethink WHAT I REALLY BELIEVED.
I had to start all over again and DECONSTRUCT my DOCTRINAL beliefs. I would NEVER quit being a BELIEVER in the Lord Jesus..or the Father or the Holy Spirit. I just went back to simplicity. THEN I had to tell my HUSBAND.
I told him that the Pastor wanted to talk to both of us together. When we arrived in her office, I was really afraid my husband would leave me for sure this time. So after prayer with Pastor, I told him the whole story. I again asked for forgiveness. Then he told his part of the reactions he had had through all the years before. He said he really should have gotten a divorce long ago. He shared all pain I had caused him. I just listened and listened until he was done. I was so surprised how much he told us. things I had never realized he knew.
Now it was my turn to speak. I told him that I was so sorry to have hurt him. No excuses!! No defense!!! Just SORRY for his PAIN. Then I asked him to forgive me if he would or could.
He said that he forgave me long ago, but that maybe he should divorce me because he didn’t want to live with a LESBIAN. My response was to remind him that he has been living with a LESBIAN for more than 53 years. I then asked him gently if I could still stay married to him, as I had chosen to stay with him all these years. I walked over, leaned down behind his chair, and hugged him with my face next to him, cheek to cheek. His answer was sweet to hear, “You’re my SWEETIE.” That comes back to me again and again. Now we have been married for 55 years. And we are BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!! I love this man because HE IS A WONDERFUL PERSON. BUT I AM STILL GAY!!!
I write this to let EVERYONE know WHO I REALLY AM. I write this because many have loved me NOT KNOWING WHO I AM.
I write this to let anyone who is GAY know that I understand the BATTLE to come out in this world.
I write this to tell the WHOLE CHRISTIAN world that God loves ALL who come to HIM. JESUS died for ALL PEOPLE!!
Most of all, I write this to ALL WHO MISTREAT another human being, straight or gay, to STOP and THINK about the PAIN words and hatred cause.
To all those who know me, especially Disciple’s Surf Club folks, you are so much a part of me, BUT you still have the RIGHT to disown me. I trust that instead, you WILL HOLD ME GENTLY in your hearts, and that you will see and listen to the GAY COMMUNITY with GRACE and CHRIST-LIKE love. It says in the SCRIPTURES that Jesus DIED for all. To accept Jesus Christ into your hearts, you have the only DOCTRINE that God asks of you to be BORN AGAIN. GENDER or sexual preference does NOT send you to HELL….REJECTING God’s love, forgiveness and sacrifice, the LORD JESUS CHRIST, is the only DOCTRINE that we have that will save us. I am not sure of anything else as I am of that…THANKS, JESUS!!
PLEASE, for the LOVE OF GOD and the LOVE OF JESUS, DO NOT JUDGE US!! Don’t throw SCRIPTURES at us.
Not one of us ASKED GOD to be born gay…though I thought at one time that that was not so, I know now, that it is very possible that we are.
I DO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. What I know is that JESUS HOLDS ME GENTLY in His arms.
There are many books available to try to explain the Bible verses about this. Look at the BIBLIOGRAPHY at the conclusion of the article written by Rick James referred to at the start of this BLOG…..
MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU…and if you are gay and afraid, I pray for you and UNDERSTAND!!! And so does GOD!!!
You can connect with Barbara on her Facebook page or via her email firstname.lastname@example.org