When I moved into a new place a while ago, one job was to display a collection of my photos on one wall. While getting sucked into a Pinterest search for wall art, my mind drifted back to what I have had on my walls in the past and one particular memory stuck out. While at university, I had a poster displayed above my bed with a baby blue background and white writing that read: ‘Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.’ Having a Christian faith and being LGBTQ+ can make the ‘coming out’ process a lot more complicated.
After university, it took me another 12 years to admit to myself that maybe boys weren’t the issue and to come out as a lesbian! I came out to myself years ago and since then, a light has switched on in my heart and my view of myself and the world has dramatically changed. I finally understand why people write love songs, end up heartbroken or actually choose to grow old with someone!
I grew up in a loving family and, together with my parents and sister, I was heavily involved in our local church growing up. My faith always was and still is incredibly important to me. God is at the very centre of my identity and my faith steers my life decisions. I grew up and still attend conservative evangelical churches (cue guitars, vicars with no dog collar and holy spirit-led prayer times). My experience of these churches has been mixed, with most churches being welcoming of me as a lesbian but not affirming. As I came out to more and more people, it hurt that I was not completely accepted and celebrated for who I was in church.
The key for me was finding Christian communities where I felt completely safe and equal. I am one of the lucky ones; living in London, there are affirming congregations (Two:23) as well as services (Open Table) where I feel I belong. I’m regularly moved at these services, being overwhelmed by a sense of belonging, being loved unconditionally and celebrated for who I am in Christ. Often at these services, it seems as though I
experience a glimpse of God’s kingdom.
The posters on my walls look very different now! No rocks were thrown during or after my university years and incidentally, now I don’t feel under any pressure to marry one of them, I find men a lot less threatening! Asking God to walk alongside me and blocking out the haters is tough. I have been blown away by the many people who I have come out to and have celebrated with me, taken it in their stride and walked with me in this new beginning. I strongly believe in equal marriage and for the LGBTQ+ community (either married or single) to be represented at all levels in the church. I pray and hope for change in our churches.
I was born a lesbian. I choose to follow Christ.