So the Priest at my Church asked me to talk about Being Gay...

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    Sep 15, 2011 4:54 PM GMT
    So before the Jesus-Haters get going here, Let me just say that I'm still deciding my religious views. But that is NOT what this post is about, so please keep all things Jesus to the sideline or in other posts for now. -Kthanxbai

    Now what I'm writing here to say is that following a brief discussion I had after church 2 weeks ago where the Minister (We're Episcopalian! Holler!) was asking my future plans post graduation and I mentioned my Boyfriend and I are trying to move somewhere together but because of Gay Immigration legalities it's proving to be a bit more complicated etc...

    Anyway, he emailed me a few days later asking if I would feel comfortable giving a presentation at the Adult Education meeting after Church in a few weeks sharing my experiences and perceptions about the currently Climate of Gay rights and being homosexual and all that jazz. I of course jumped on the idea because I'm perfectly comfortable talking about it, and I've been a very active member of the church for my entire life. I'm a certified Sunday School teacher, I was an acolyte for years, sang in the choir.... all that good stuff that good gay little Christians do! So basically, the church community has seem me grow up since I was about 4 years old, and all know my parents and brother and a lot about me... except that I'm gay.

    His thinking is that it'll be good for many of the members to see that Gay is just like them... preppy, from a very 'conservative' town in a very traditional parish, etc etc etc.

    Long story short: I'm just putting this out there to get some feedback and comments or here if other people have been in similar situations and what they may have talked about or what the reactions were etc. I think I'm a BIT nervous, because basically this whole talk is me getting in front of a ton of people to say I'M HERE, I'M QUEER, GET USED TO IT...

    Thanks! icon_cool.gif

    J
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    Sep 15, 2011 5:08 PM GMT
    You should be proud and humbled that he asked you. You must have some fine qualities. And can humanize being gay to your fellow parishioners. Was reared - yes I wrote 'reared', damn it, you raise corn not children - in the Episcopal Church. Good luck to you!
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    Sep 15, 2011 5:10 PM GMT
    Agreed more people need to know who they hurt when they vote away gay rights.

    There are plenty of documentaries on this issue as well, one I can recommend is "so the bible tells me so."
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    Sep 15, 2011 5:12 PM GMT
    I've never been presented with the opportunity but this is awesome and you are awesome for actually doing it.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2929

    Sep 15, 2011 5:22 PM GMT
    I've preached our annual Matthew Shepard Memorial Sermon three times, and was able to help our (Episcopal) church to become officially Open and Affirming.

    You have a wonderful chance to help move things along. My very best wishes.

    BTW - if you need a reading list (I posted on at the rear of our church when I preached, and they went out fast!) or would like a few of our past Matthew Shepard sermons, feel free to message me.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:00 PM GMT
    pixel.gif

    I would avoid this. You have nothing to gain, and lots to lose by being outed before a likely hostile congregation.

    I would be more concerned with the motives of this Minister, who is throwing you up as a sacrificial lamb. Makes him out to look very accommodating, but you're the one who's gonna take the hits, not him.

    Until HE preaches something pro-gay, and you can judge the reception of the congregation to it, I would avoid this like the plague.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:14 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said

    Until HE preaches something pro-gay, and you can judge the reception of the congregation to it, I would avoid this like the plague.


    ^ I'd consider this.
  • smudgedude

    Posts: 260

    Sep 15, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    it's risky, definitely. but he appears to have good intentions, and the congregation has known you forever...it's a test of faith in your church, that's for sure.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Sep 15, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said

    I would avoid this. You have nothing to gain, and lots to lose by being outed before a likely hostile congregation.

    I would be more concerned with the motives of this Minister, who is throwing you up as a sacrificial lamb. Makes him out to look very accommodating, but you're the one who's gonna take the hits, not him.

    Until HE preaches something pro-gay, and you can judge the reception of the congregation to it, I would avoid this like the plague.



    Wow! You're pessimistic outlook on the world at times is nothing short of astounding. What a pathetic piece of bad advice you have offered up. Shame on you!

    To the OP, what an honor, not to mention a wonderful opportunity to not only represent the gay community in a positive way, but also to open and maybe even change minds. These opportunities coming to you from your priest have come your way for a reason. Your priest must think very highly of you, as well as have faith that you will share openly of yourself in an effort to bring some knowledge and understanding to other members of the congregation --- some of whom may possibly be grappling with similar issues themselves or who have family members or friends who are. Most importantly, you yourself will likely gain as much from this opportunity as those who will be there to hear and learn from you. These sort of opportunities do more than 1000 gay pride parades, petitions, and angry gay-agenda driven marches to enlighten the otherwise ignorant. Go for it, and congratulations for the opportunity to make a positive difference.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 15, 2011 6:22 PM GMT
    I'm going to have to disagree with Art_deco on this one.

    I think you should go into this with a low key presentation. Many members of your congregation already know you. Many of them don't necessarily know that you're gay. You have the chance to put a human face on this reality, instead of The Gays being some scary outsider far away.

    You don't want to be overly emotional, just present this as the reality of your life. You went to the UK for an MBA, and fell in love. You've got a boyfriend who means a lot to you, and you'd like to move somewhere together but it's more difficult because of how immigration treats same sex and opposite sex couples differently. That's a very concrete and understandable difference from what your life would be like if you were straight. It's also one many members of your congregation might be completely unaware of -- you live in Boston, so the fact that you can marry in MA may make people think you'd have all the same rights, but you don't since the federal government doesn't recognize that marriage.

    And good for you. This is probably the best thing that you can do in terms of politics. The best predictor of someone's stance on equality legislation isn't party affiliation, it's whether they have a friend or a loved one who's gay. (Last time I checked, age was second; we do much better with younger people). The more of us who are out leading our own, normal lives -- whatever normal means for us -- the more people will realize that not all gay people are sitcom characters, and that Pride parades are about as indicative of reality as Mardi Gras is.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidWow! You're pessimistic outlook on the world at times is nothing short of astounding.

    Your own pessimistic outlook on me is nothing less. If I said the sky was blue you would dispute me. Your opinions regarding me are ideological, and have no value. Another of your knee-jerk negative responses to anything I post here.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    I would avoid this. You have nothing to gain, and lots to lose by being outed before a likely hostile congregation.

    I would be more concerned with the motives of this Minister, who is throwing you up as a sacrificial lamb. Makes him out to look very accommodating, but you're the one who's gonna take the hits, not him.

    Until HE preaches something pro-gay, and you can judge the reception of the congregation to it, I would avoid this like the plague.


    There is much to gain.

    Episcopalians are one of the more gay friendly segments. Not everywhere, but at least here in CT the Episcopalian church is one of the fighters for gay rights.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    CuriousJockAZ saidWow! You're pessimistic outlook on the world at times is nothing short of astounding.

    Your own pessimistic outlook on me is nothing less. If I said the sky was blue you would dispute me. Your opinions regarding me are ideological, and have no value.


    Im sorry but Im with Todd on this one. This is a great opportunity for the OP to show his congregation what a real gay man is.

    That is all.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    ATC84 saidEpiscopalians are one of the more gay friendly segments. Not everywhere, but at least here in CT the Episcopalian church is one of the fighters for gay rights.

    It depends on the local community. I've already asked if this Minister has ever said anything pro-gay from the pulpit, and how was it received.

    If received well, then fine, and proceed. If not, I foresee some dangers.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:31 PM GMT
    This is a great opportunity! I've often thought about how something like this would go over in my home church (Seventh-Day Adventist aka Baptist lite) but have never had the opportunity. Someone already mentioned the documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So," it is very good. Also there is a website which might prove to be helpful.....no charge to join: http://gaychristian.net/.

    Good luck to you and be sure to let us know how it goes!

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    Sep 15, 2011 6:33 PM GMT
    I think you're going to make some good inroads when you give your talk in front of your other church members. You're in the Episcopal church, as am I. The Episcopal church is a thinking person's church, and as many know already, there are numerous bishops and clergy members who are gay. Gay people are not just tolerated in our church, they are embraced and accepted. I'm open and out in my church. My partner and I are loved and accepted there, and this is one of the flagship churches in the state, right under Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. You couldn't be in a better position. Like you, I was long known in my church and served in many of the ways you did. The congregation knew me before coming out. Once I came out, the waves of love and acceptance came over me in such a way that I'll always appreciate. Go ahead with your plans and let us know how well it turned out.

    icon_cool.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Sep 15, 2011 6:36 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    If received well, then fine, and proceed. If not, I foresee some dangers.



    Dangers? Seriously? WTF are you so afraid of? The congregation has far more to learn from someone like Jeandeau who can represent the gay community in a positive and honest way than a priest who will only be coming across as a priest.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:40 PM GMT
    Jeandeau saidSo before the Jesus-Haters get going here, Let me just say that I'm still deciding my religious views. But that is NOT what this post is about, so please keep all things Jesus to the sideline or in other posts for now. -Kthanxbai

    Now what I'm writing here to say is that following a brief discussion I had after church 2 weeks ago where the Minister (We're Episcopalian! Holler!) was asking my future plans post graduation and I mentioned my Boyfriend and I are trying to move somewhere together but because of Gay Immigration legalities it's proving to be a bit more complicated etc...

    Anyway, he emailed me a few days later asking if I would feel comfortable giving a presentation at the Adult Education meeting after Church in a few weeks sharing my experiences and perceptions about the currently Climate of Gay rights and being homosexual and all that jazz. I of course jumped on the idea because I'm perfectly comfortable talking about it, and I've been a very active member of the church for my entire life. I'm a certified Sunday School teacher, I was an acolyte for years, sang in the choir.... all that good stuff that good gay little Christians do! So basically, the church community has seem me grow up since I was about 4 years old, and all know my parents and brother and a lot about me... except that I'm gay.

    His thinking is that it'll be good for many of the members to see that Gay is just like them... preppy, from a very 'conservative' town in a very traditional parish, etc etc etc.

    Long story short: I'm just putting this out there to get some feedback and comments or here if other people have been in similar situations and what they may have talked about or what the reactions were etc. I think I'm a BIT nervous, because basically this whole talk is me getting in front of a ton of people to say I'M HERE, I'M QUEER, GET USED TO IT...

    Thanks! icon_cool.gif

    J



    Good for you. Christians need to understand tolerance instead of judging what they don't understand. (By the way I'm Christian and I like the gay community.)
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:42 PM GMT
    IF this were the chapel at Liberty University(Jerry Falwell's) I might have some hesitancy but this is an Episcopal Church.....only slightly less open than the UNITARIANS.

    And Jeandeau was INVITED to speak. Hardly a sign of hostility.

    Jeandeau, My only advice is to try to enjoy yourself........and don't feel any pressure about your messaging skills. The burden our collective gay rights is not upon you.

    The message of one human being choosing to love another, facing the challenges in doing so, is worth delivering from time to time......and appreciated by anyone along the spiritual path, Episcopalian or otherwise.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    Art_Deco said
    If received well, then fine, and proceed. If not, I foresee some dangers.

    Dangers? Seriously? WTF are you so afraid of? The congregation has far more to learn from someone like Jeandeau who can represent the gay community in a positive and honest way than a priest who will only be coming across as a priest.

    Dangers to the OP. I still haven't heard that this Minister has said anything pro-gay on his own. And how the congregation feels. Just "Get out there and say some gay stuff." Talk about your classic "Jump! Jump!"

    Well, perhaps the OP will hit a home run, and I hope he does. But taking a big risk. Perhaps my military training at work, that says you don't throw yourself into harms way until you know what you're facing. You first analyze the situation, discover what's in front of you. Seems to me this is going into something blind.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Sep 15, 2011 6:44 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    CuriousJockAZ saidWow! You're pessimistic outlook on the world at times is nothing short of astounding.

    Your own pessimistic outlook on me is nothing less. If I said the sky was blue you would dispute me. Your opinions regarding me are ideological, and have no value. Another of your knee-jerk negative responses to anything I post here.


    I cannot help that you, once again, feel "victimized" merely because someone calls you out on your sad downtrodden view of the world at times. Something that could be so positive you immediately turned into some sinister plot by a priest...

    Art_Deco said
    I would be more concerned with the motives of this Minister, who is throwing you up as a sacrificial lamb. Makes him out to look very accommodating, but you're the one who's gonna take the hits, not him

    I would have reacted the very same way had this been any other member. It was not a knee-jerk response at all. I simply vehemently disagreed with something that I deemed as horrendously poor advice.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:48 PM GMT
    Yeah I hate to Agree here, Art, because I do feel like you get a lot of undue discredit on this site, but your post seemed to be very "Alarmist."

    I live on Cape Cod, very close to Provincetown. It's in Massachusetts. Yes my town is more of the "yuppy pretentious" town on Cape Cod, but these are my friends and to an extent my family. I think the opportunity to share my experiences with people who already know me and have been a part of my childhood can do nothing but good.

    They aren't going to run me out of town with the pitchforks and torches blazing (because first off, it would be with the Xeonon Headlights in the Prius and the Range Rover blazing, not torches on cape cod!) but also because if I can show them that a person they already respect, and who's parents they know to be good honest people who have been active members in the community, they might learn that "Gay" isn't as "far from home" as they may think. We're not all glitter shooting flamers riding floats down 5th AVE NYC. I Pop my collar (and the bitches do indeed holler..), I wear boat shoes on a regular basis... I'm pretty much your typical New England Prep. So I think that people seeing me, who so many people have been trying to set their daughters up with for YEARS, and realising that "Gay" isn't that big scary queen in the corner (nothing against them! I love my queens! Just mean that old ladies might be like WTF IS THAT?!) they might actually begin to realise how normal and un-scary we are!
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    CuriousJockAZ said
    Art_Deco said
    If received well, then fine, and proceed. If not, I foresee some dangers.

    Dangers? Seriously? WTF are you so afraid of? The congregation has far more to learn from someone like Jeandeau who can represent the gay community in a positive and honest way than a priest who will only be coming across as a priest.

    Dangers to the OP. I still haven't heard that this Minister has said anything pro-gay on his own. And how the congregation feels. Just "Get out there and say some gay stuff." Talk about your classic "Jump! Jump!"

    Well, perhaps the OP will hit a home run, and I hope he does. But taking a big risk. Perhaps my military training at work, that says you don't throw yourself into harms way until you know what you're facing. You first analyze the situation, discover what's in front of you. Seems to me this is going into something blind.



    Going into something Blind? I have known these people for my entire life. I'm not walking into a Tea Party meeting and saying "WATCH ME GET A BLOW JOB FROM SARAH PALIN'S SLUT DAUGHTER'S EX BOYFRIEND!"

    I'm talking with family and friends, trying to enlighten them to my experiences, and put a more familiar face on an often distant issue, which nonetheless, people have strong sentiments about.
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    Sep 15, 2011 6:53 PM GMT
    I think this is a great opportunity for you to make a difference. I truly appreciate all of the people in our community who reach out to other communities to try build partnerships.

    There are many people who have not had an opportunity to know a GLBT person, and once they do they realize how much we have in common with them. It goes a long way in building bridges and ending discrimination.

    Whether the pastor has preached on this topic or not, there is always a small opportunity for some negative reactions. However, the opportunity for a successful outcome is much greater. It definitely takes a real man to put himself out there for all the world to see.

    There is nothing in life worth doing that does not come with some risk.

    The only question I have is have you spoken to your boyfriend and family about this? Not that they should dissuade you if this is something you want to do, but it would be good to get their feedback.

    I'm sure they will ultimately be very proud of you for being so brave, but it never hurts to find out how they feel first.

    Good luck!

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    Sep 15, 2011 6:53 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    I would avoid this. You have nothing to gain, and lots to lose by being outed before a likely hostile congregation.

    I would be more concerned with the motives of this Minister, who is throwing you up as a sacrificial lamb. Makes him out to look very accommodating, but you're the one who's gonna take the hits, not him.

    Until HE preaches something pro-gay, and you can judge the reception of the congregation to it, I would avoid this like the plague.



    You poor, unhappy, misguided individual. How sadly pathetic of you to try to negate this man's invitation to speak before other parishioners at his Episcopal church. He is already a member of one of the most accepting churches in the world - a church that is full of all kinds of lesbian and gay people - in their highest positions. He will find acceptance there. Your allegation that the priest is "throwing you up as a sacrificial lamb" is pure nonsense and damned irresponsible.

    I have offered you some avenues for help in the past. I'll do so once more herein. Please avail yourself of this help, which in my view, and from my observations of some of the vitriol you repeatedly post - you sorely are in need of. It is apparent you are reaching out in a desperate cry for attention. I'm not sure what you hoped to attain by posting your often meandering, sometimes disturbing invectives here - on a fitness and health site. I would like to offer some assistance that might be beneficial to you and your elderly partner. I'm aware of three mental health counseling centers there in your area:

    * Bayview Counseling and Wellness Center (954) 630-1498
    * Treatment Solutions Network (954) 417-6237
    * A. Lewis & Associates, PA (954) 565-5141

    These are all located near you in Wilton Manors. Your Senior Center can be another source of help for you. Best of luck to you. I hope that with a good course of counseling and/or medical intervention, you find some peace and comfort that will lead to happiness for you.