I grew up in a small farming community where everyone knew everyone. I graduated from high school and did what most people did – go to college, worked, or got married. I was married by nineteen years old. I had my first child by the time I was twenty and I had three children by the time I was twenty-five. This was the normal thing to do and I followed the tradition believing that I would be on the same path to a fifty year or longer marriage to my man.
I was raised in the Baptist Church. In small communities, the church was the center of social activities. I sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and did the normal things that Christians do being members of the church. I believed, I was following God’s will for my life and I instilled the same religious values in my own children.
I was living the right kind of life and had the favor of my family, friends and church. Then everything changed when I fell in love with another woman. Suddenly I was heading down a path I didn’t understand. I read my Bible and nothing I read made any sense because the love I felt for Tori was so powerful that I couldn’t cover up my feelings and let her go.
It wasn’t just the love I felt for her that was changing, it seemed that the whole community that I grew up in noticed the change too and began to show their disapproval for our relationship. Eric, my husband couldn’t tell people fast enough that I had turned gay. His father, a Baptist minister, informed the entire state of Kansas that his daughter-in-law had chosen the sinful lifestyle of a lesbian. In the name of God, he asked the regional ministers to write letters to the court pleading that his son receive sole custody of our three children. Eric’s father was also the pastor of the church my parents attended. They were pressured to disown me because of my alleged homosexual lifestyle and they did! My dad even threatened to kill me if he ever found out that it was true. The church I served and attended with my husband asked me to leave and they began a letter campaign against me to the court stating I was a homosexual and unfit to parent our children. In our defense, Tori and I had no choice but to hide our feelings of love and see each other in secret.
Tori obtained an emergency divorce because her husband admitted in court that he abused her son. Later I sought a divorce and gained custody of my three children because I was found to be the better parent. Everything was going our way until the Judge decided that he would review my custody arrangement after just three months!
Eric was furious over what happened and he once again directed a letter writing campaign to the courts. This time he pressured Judge Ferguson even more by reminding him that he would lose a lot of votes in the next year’s election if he continued to support me as the residential parent. Eric and his church friends started following me around town in order to prove that Tori and I were a couple. He was so angry that one night he came to my house with Mike, my former minister and a deacon from the church and attacked me outside my home. I was on crutches for six weeks and the legal system refused to punish him for what he did, because he had the whole community of voters on his side. Eventually I lost custody of my children. In desperation, I ran with my children and I was thrown in jail when we were found. I lost everything and was forced to live a life of secrets for seventeen years in order to protect my relationship with Tori.
One moment I was loved and admired by everyone who knew me and the next I was the number one enemy of the church because I was a homosexual. I did not understand what was happening to me and I sought God for help. God answered my prayers and led me to read religious history books. He filled me with His Holy Spirit and helped me to understand scriptures about homosexuality in the context according to why they were written in the Bible. He educated me in the difference between love and hate. He loved me even when the whole world hated me for loving Tori.
I wrote about my experience in my new book, I Want to Know My Future. I wrote this book so Christian families would have a guide to help them to stop the persecution and to love their homosexual children.
Many Christians are being taught by the ‘Religious Right’ that it is God’s will to condemn homosexuals for their lifestyle. This kind of teaching is pressuring families to take negative actions towards friends and family members who are gay. They are turning their backs on them and withholding unconditional love. They are taking away their children in the courts. They are persecuting them without fear that the legal system will do anything to stop them. This kind of teaching produces hate for the gay lifestyle and you cannot love what you hate. My experience as a lesbian is the perfect example of why ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’ is evil. You cannot love a person that is in a lifestyle that you hate. Hate is a tool of Satan and he uses it to hurt homosexual families with the help of the church.
Here are five scriptures all Christian families need to know. All scriptures are found in ‘The Good News Study Bible’.
1. 1 John 4: 19-21: “We love because God first loved us. If someone says he loves God, but hates his brother, he is a liar. For he cannot love God, whom he has not seen, if he does not love his brother, whom he has seen. The command that Christ has given us is this whoever loves God must love his brother.” (God is love. If we hate homosexual lifestyle we are not following God.)
2. Romans 8:28-30: “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son so that the Son would be the first among many brothers. And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.” (God is in charge of His homosexual people and He puts them right with Him. It is not our job to condemn them. We are not God and we cannot possibly know God’s purpose for their lives.)
3. John 16:8: “And when the Holy Spirit comes, He will prove to the people of the world that they are wrong about sin and about what is right and about God’s judgment.” (We are not to judge. Only God can judge. How are we to know what God’s will is for our homosexual brothers?)
4. 2Peter 2:6: “God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them with fire, and made them an example of what will happen to the godless.” (It was not about homosexuality. They were destroyed because they did not believe in God. Instead Satan worshipers preformed sexual acts of perversion in worshiping their idols. Let’s not condemn an entire race of people because of the evil rituals of Satan worship.)
2 John 5&6: “And so I ask you dear Lady: let us all love one another. This is no new command I am writing you; it is the command which we have had from the beginning. This love I speak of means that we must live in obedience to God’s commands. The command, as you have all heard from the beginning, is that you must all live in love.” (The first commandment is love. We are not to reject and turn our backs on family and friends because of homosexuality. God commands us to love, not to judge.)
When I was young, I allowed my family and church to tell me how to believe in God. When I was persecuted for being a homosexual, I refused to let go of my faith and believe that God hated me for my lifestyle. Instead, I researched history books, read my Bible and allowed the Holy Spirit to teach me God principles. We must stop persecuting our homosexual friends and family members. We must educate ourselves in the difference between love and hate. We must open wide the doors of all Churches and welcome back homosexuals. We must not allow the ‘Religious Right’ to tell us what to believe and hate what we do not understand. Hate is Satan. Love is God.