Dec 30th, 2013, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2001
ĎI CANíT BE GAY IN NORTHEAST LOUISIANA.í : Incredible Letter to Phil Robertson
ĎI CANíT BE GAY IN NORTHEAST LOUISIANA.í A ULM STUDENTíS POWERFUL MESSAGE TO PHIL ROBERTSON
Bob Mann recently wrote a post from the perspective of a young lesbian girl that really painted an accurate picture of LGBTQ life in Ouachita Parish. But I couldnít share it on my Facebook.
It was too gay.
ďItís fine for you to stand up for the queers,Ē my grandparents will say, ďbut God help you if youíre one of them.Ē
I am, it appears to be, the last gay man still in the closet to his family. Thatís why this post is anonymous. Thatís why my sexual orientation is blank on Facebook. Thatís why I use gender-neutral pronouns when talking about my significant other.
I canít be gay in Northeast Louisiana. I came out to my parents, and theyíve shoved me back into the closet.
ďThe family isnít ready to hear that,Ē they said.
The family isnít ready. Well, I suppose in all fairness it did take some getting used to myself.
I live in West Monroe, and Iím a Mass Communications student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). I moved here because itís more progressive than my hometown, also in Northeast Louisiana. I mean, it has two gay bars. Look out San Francisco.
But West Monroe is also home to the most famous anti-gay person in the world: Phil Robertson. Iíve never met Phil. But I was raised by a Phil Robertson.
My Phil Robertson told me that I was an asshole for being so selfish to come out of the closet to my mother.
My Phil Robertson told me that my boyfriend will never be welcomed to his house, as if he were diseased.
My Phil Robertson threatened my life because I had the audacity to be who I am.
Iím 21 now. I first realized I was gay when I was 13. Iíve known that I liked boys since I was eight. And I will never forget the day that I decided I wasnít going to be gay.
I was in Sunday school, and Iíd been daydreaming about moving off to San Francisco, because my dad had told me ďit was full of ******s.Ē It sounded like the place for me.
Then it came to be my turn to read the Bible. And I read the verse aloud.
ďThou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.Ē
That didnít quite click with me, so I asked what it meant. And my Sunday school teacher said, ďIt means that being gay is a sin.Ē I felt sick. It was fine if my dad hated gays, but now God does, too?
My future caved in around dreams of sunny California and San Francisco, until all I could see were the fires in the pit of hell.
I was 13 years old.
So, I became straight because I didnít want to go to hell, and any time I strayed from the path of heterosexuality, I prayed to God to heal me of my sickness. And, then, after a while, I still liked boys. So, I prayed harder. I prayed more. I cried. Until eventually, I stopped believing in God altogether.
If there was a God, surely he heard my prayers. So, he either is wanting me to be a sinner or he doesnít exist. Either way, itís not a god I wish to believe in.
I was 16 when I lost my faith. I was also 16 when I met my first boyfriend. It was like being James Bond in Podunk, Louisiana. Weíd sneak off to the soybean fields just so we could be together. It was all a magical experience of holding hands under blankets and secret signals for ďI love you.Ē Ah, to be 16 again.
I had my first kiss, my first time and my first heartbreak. I was being the most abnormal person in school, but I was finally living what I thought was a normal life. I was being me. Even though ďmeĒ involved leading a double life.
Long story-short: I regained my faith. In fact, Iíve been considering becoming a minister. I am very much still a gay man. And I believe God has called me to minister to other gay people to let them know that God loves them just the way they are. Iím to undo the hurt caused by the Churchóthe same hurt caused to me.
Gay people, more often than not, throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to religion. But we have a good reason. Weíve been scarred. Religion has damaged us. And I try to share with them the light I have seen in the Episcopal Church. But every time I get close to a breakthrough, something happens that brings out the worst in people.
One year it was Chick-fil-a. This year itís Phil Robertson.
Thanks to Phil, I now know where everyone in my family stands on the issue of whether or not Iím a human being.
I even saw a ďfriendĒ of mine post something about how gay people canít be Christians. Wow. Not only will they keep us from having equal rights, but theyíll keep us from equal salvation. We canít just be second-class citizens. We have second-class souls.
I drive through town, much like the girl in Bobís story, and I see everyone talking about how right Phil is. How they have Christian values by excluding about 15 percent of the population from their religion.
Phil claims to love everyone, and I have to believe that he has the best of intentions for saying what he said. But he must realize the damage that those words do to people like me.
He encouraged Ė hopefully unintentionally Ė a two-week-long ďfag bashingĒ in Monroe and around the world. He made me feel unsafe in my own home. I canít count how many times I heard ď******Ē over the Christmas visit home.
All of this is in a state that still has laws against, and still arrests people for, having homosexual relations.
I remember hearing about Matthew Sheppard. I remember learning about Harvey Milk. Iíve never been under any impression that northeast Louisiana is safe for gays.
And people say Phil is being persecuted for his beliefs.
You donít know persecution until youíre a 12-year-old boy sitting in a church pew when your preacher encourages everyone to vote to make gay marriage illegal because they think you donít deserve the same joy of raising a family due to your depravity.
You donít know persecution until youíre told that God doesnít love you because of how He made you; when Christian fundamentalists are tied up to the back of pick-ups and dragged down a back road because they believe the Bible. When you know that, then you can talk about persecution.
I try really hard to not get angry over this. But itís hard for me not to see red when I think about my grandparents, whom I love, who will never be able to be a part of my life because of their own ignorance. I doubt my parents come to my wedding one day. All because my love is different than their love.
But my love isnít different. It isnít unholy. It isnít wrong because a man with a beard said so in a GQ article.
My love is real. And itís not going away.
-one of those "bad" Williams fans that everyone keeps talking about
OFFICIAL BLACKSMITH OF THE ROYAL COURT
I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public!
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
HTML code is Off