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Memories from Michael

In 1988, I was 14 years old. I was a member of a fundamentalist extremist cult. I was also so deeply in the closet I had no idea what queer or transgender were. I was just a tomboy, and no matter how much makeup I wore none of the boys thought I was pretty.

Gay was something nobody talked about except us kids in hushed voices, when the adults were not listening. I was completely erased, I had no sense of myself at all, not even as an abomination. Gay didn’t exist in my world.

One day a boy from my cult came to youth group and he was buzzing. He had news! He pulled me and my best friend aside.

“Did you hear about the United Church?” he whispered in horror.

“No, what?!” my best friend was pretending not to be impressed because this boy never wanted to talk to her.

“The United Church is ordaining gays!” The boy spoke as if the world were ending.

And though I didn’t know it, my world had ended. My world of isolation and erasure and not belonging, had been punctured by a cupid’s bow. Love came and found me.

Years later I was looking desperately for a community of faith. I remembered that the United Church ordained gays. God had sent me a message all those years ago. God loved me, just the way I am.

Signed, Michael

[Shared with permission. Location anonymous.]

light shining through the treetops

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