Sunday, August 1, 2010


From about a year after my healing, I began to share my story freely and openly (within safe ecclesial settings, at least) because people needed to hear it, needed to have the door open to discuss all sorts of issues connected with homosexuality.  But after a time, I came to feel that my story, while poignant, was atypical, and gave false hope to those struggling with SSA.  That is to say: I'd come to dramatically undervalue my experience, and consequently all that God had done for me during that time.

Well, this weekend I attended my first Courage event ever: their annual conference!  I don't remember how or when this clicked in my head, but before walking in to the first talk I was somehow aware that my experience was not so singular after all, but simply typical of a different group that might be helped by Courage.

So you have five principal groups here (leaving aside questions of gender identity and the transgendered): 1) Men with SSA who've embraced the gay lifestyle; 2) Men with SSA who are trying to live chastely; 3) Women with SSA who are trying to live chastely; 4) Women with SSA who've embraced the lesbian lifestyle; and 5) Women without SSA who've embraced the lesbian lifestyle.  This last one was once me.

 Because of my recognition that my experiences are so much less than those of anyone with SSA, I'd steered clear of the Courage Women's Meetings throughout the conference, and instead only attended the talks.  But a friend invited me to join the Women's Meeting for the session with parents of active lesbians, so I did.  This meeting was a turning point for me.

I knew already that my experiences wouldn't match up with those of the valiant women seated around me who had borne this heavy cross for years.  But it was a blessed reminder to see quite how much of what they were saying I could relate to, and even to be able to speak wisdom from my own experience to a parent who was struggling with how to relate to her daughter's partner.

It was also humbling to accept the honor of being perceived as a Woman of Courage from the parents and priests who'd been in that session.  They all expected that I, like the other women in that session, struggle with SSA, and were inspired by my witness as much as that of all the other women.  Though the fact is that SSA has never been part of my cross, the truth is that because of that relationship, I shared in a piece of that cross, and these parents would feel no differently toward me were I to "correct" their understanding of my past.  Still, it was humbling to be accorded with the same respect as these women whom I respect so greatly.

It's a new day.  I understand that the wisdom gained from my experience is worthwhile, and its cross real.  I understand now my place in the grand scheme of those who carry the cross of this type of disordered sexuality.  And I am grateful.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.

No comments: