The Landscape of my Life

Reconciling my faith and sexual identity were not part of my life plan; however two and a half years ago I became a child of God and started a journey to reconcile my Christian faith and sexual identity.  This is no easy matter considering for 50 years I believed that I was born a lesbian.  On any given day one would be most likely to find me either organizing or participating in gay rights or gay marriage equality rallies or events, as I was a poster child for gay rights activism.  I would like to start by offering you a snapshot of my life.  I was not raised in a Christian home or church environment.  The landscape of my home life was explosive.  My father was a walking time bomb and I was often the target of his rage.  On the other hand my mother was distant and cold.  Both of my parents physically abused and sexually molested me well into my teen years.  In addition, they made it understood that I was not who they wanted because I was born a girl; they consistently spoke these two messages.  “Why aren’t you a boy?” and “You were supposed to be a boy.”  Yet by the virtue of being born a girl I had failed to please my parents and felt deep rejection early on in life.  My parent’s rejection of me as girl drove me to be as much like a boy as possible.  As far back as I can remember I was determined to prove to my parents I was faster, stronger and smarter than any boy could be. 

By 11 I had my first girlfriend and my parents separated.  It was decided that I would go with my mother.  It was during this time my father stopped the sexual violations.  I wanted nothing to do with men.  My only exposure with them either involved violence or being used by them for their pleasure and most often in a violent manner.  My mother on the other hand became more aggressive in her behavior towards me.  I hated home, I hated my family.  During my teens I spent as much time away from them as possible.  I started partying with college aged people even though I was 10 years old, and started seeking out relationships with older women as friends.  These women were emotionally available; something my mother never had been for me.  They genuinely accepted me as an equal.

In my late teens I had a brief encounter with an organization that was loosely associated with Christianity.  However, there was no emphasis on salvation or living for God.  Spirituality was based on what the leaders viewed to be right living, hard work and sacrifice for their own personal gain.  Yet in spite of this, the care and concern expressed towards me from the members of this group impacted my love-starved heart.  I was obsessed with one of the women in my group who took me under her wing.  Shortly after meeting these folks they were called back to their headquarters in East Texas.  A year later on my 18th birthday I dropped out of school and left home permanently to join my friends in Texas.  I became quickly disillusioned, as key leaders of this group would berate me about being gay and lusting after women in the ministry; at the time I was not acting out on my desires.  The leadership mandated me to pray and fast and forced me to openly confess in front of the leadership.  No matter what I did it seemed I could never please God or the leadership of this group because I couldn’t change who I was at the core.  I separated from this group and left behind the few friends I had.  At first I tried to be involved in a few churches, yet each time I revealed the secret of my struggle I encountered one of two responses.  I was either shunned and asked to leave, or told I had demons and prayed for with no change.   At this point I abandoned Christianity for good.  I felt rejected by a hateful God and his intolerant, critical people.

Shortly thereafter I would immerse myself in the gay community for the next 20 plus years.  My politics aligned with those to the far-left, and I passionately fought on the front lines for gay rights.  Over that course of time I organized rallies for anti-discrimination and fair housing for gays.  I became a community educator for anti-bullying, and HIV/AIDS prevention for young people.  I contributed to gender-mapping curriculum and helped lead and organize camps for GLBT-identified and questioning youth.  I advocated and fought for gay marriage equality.  For me being gay was more than a lifestyle, it defined who I was.   

On a personal level I sought peace by aligning myself accepting and gay affirming churches and by practicing Buddhism, Shamanism and seriously considered converting to Judaism, yet peace evaded me.  Over the course of time I had several meaningless encounters with women and two long-term relationships with women significantly older than me.  My last relationship lasted 12 years.  In 2006 I had a car accident in which I sustained a traumatic head injury that would change the course of my life.  I lost the ability to read or write, lost my job, and resigned myself to a life filled with doctor’s appointments and 31 medications daily.  This of course put a strain on my relationship with my long-term partner and our relationship slowly began to come undone.  Over the next three years we went from being completely in love to vicious cycles of anger and fighting.  I was lost and felt as if my soul had been murdered.  I desperately wanted peace and yet saw my life as meaningless.  I sought help through counseling and new age practitioners.  Nothing seemed to help!  In 2008 during the Jewish High holidays I sat in temple one night and cried out to God that if He was there I needed His help.

~ by hopespassage on August 13, 2011.

7 Responses to “The Landscape of my Life”

  1. We as Christians have a beautiful relationship with our Creator. It’s weird to me how some are so misled in their beliefs. I mean, telling people they are demon possessed because of their choices in life…weird. I want to be more than that, to genuinely help people out of love. Love for the individual , love for Christ and through His love that flows so freely through us. I’m really praying that we are daily led by the Holy Spirit in our new venture at Lifebridge. Love you Hope!
    In Christ

    • Brian two things, the power of life and death are in the tongue. Secondly when we humans do not understand something we think to react with what we do understand.

  2. achingly beautiful, Hope. So what happened after you sat in the temple and cried out to God? I have known you for more than 30 years and will never stop loving you. I wish you knew back then.. I always had your back. xo (and i believe God did, too…)

    • Shawn my friend, I will be sharing what has happen in up coming installments. I was just thinking about you this weekend. I am glad to have reconnected with you. Yes God has had my back all of my life. I know you were one of the folks who cared about me back then Girl you are loved by me.

  3. wait. Let me say it another way… I KNOW God had your back too!

  4. Hope,

    Your story is one of a true overcomer! As you unfold it to others, it will be a true testament of God’s grace and power that will undoubtedly help others who are searching for answers to their own pain.


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