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So, THIS is what gay is!

There was a time, before 1970, when God and I were just buds… I was a teen in 1975-ish, when my mom (the Christian Education Coordinator and a pastor’s wife) brought home Sunday School materials reflecting “Contemporary Issues in the Presbyterian Church”. And there they were — in line drawings on a white page — a male couple. Cuddling on a big chair. Holding hands.

“Wow! So, THIS is what gay is!” I thought, with the explosions of happiness going off in my head.

That was Sunday. On Wednesday night, the Youth Leader had his say, Bible in hand. Leviticus was quoted. The word ABOMINATION was used. I came home that night furious and weeping.

“Dad, “ I said, “tell me that is NOT what we believe.”

My father was, in that moment, the voice of Grace. “Of course it isn’t,” he said, “haven’t I always told you, God is Love?”

Before that I never had to think about “belief”. I knew what I knew. In the years since, I have separated belief from faith, word from experience.

I KNOW I am a child of God, beloved. I want every child to know this; to feel it as clearly as one feels cool water on bare feet under a sprinkler in July. I am of Love.

I am so grateful for this faith that has sustained me, all these years. Sometimes alone, sometimes under attack, love in exile from the church. But here I am, here we are, still here, still queer. The troubled waters are beginning to calm. It’s good to have a faith community again.

Will the anger every go away? The pain? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s alright. Love is stronger than hate.


Serena Patterson

(Shared with permission. Photo credit: Wix stock photography.)

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