April 13th, 2010


A GBLT story...

In my early 20s, I met a girl we'll call Noelle. Noelle was very pretty, very smart, very friendly. I enjoyed her company and considered her a friend. Noelle met Sarah through her roommate (Sarah was her roommate's sister). The two quickly fell for each other, even though up to that point, Noelle had considered herself heterosexual. Noelle and Sarah were a neat couple, and I liked watching their relationship grow.

BUT (and isn't there always a 'but'), Noelle and Sarah weren't allowed by their families or their churches to be together. Obviously, no one could physically force them apart, but the constant nagging and indoctrination attempted by many people in their lives began to wear on their young love.

One day, someone at Noelle's church convinced her to attend a special gay conference -- the type where the church indoctrinates people with the idea that regardless of their feelings or instincts on the matter, being gay is a sin. Noelle, who had always taken her faith very seriously, immediately decided she had to stop seeing Sarah. It didn't matter that she loved Sarah already (they'd been together several months) or that Sarah loved her. All that mattered was that she'd been convinced that God would never accept her if she continued in the relationship.

Sarah was devastated, but nothing she (or any of the rest of us) said would change Noelle's mind. She believed her sin had been revealed, and she had to cleanse herself before she would be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Noelle met a gay man at the conference, as well. He was HIV positive. The two of them formed a friendship based on their experiences in the 'gay world' (as the EC folks like to call it), and eventually they got married. I don't know the ins and outs of having non-HIV positive children, but somehow they managed it. I haven't heard from them in years, so I have no idea how they're doing or if Noelle's husband is still alive. What I do recall, whenever I think of her, is how a certain light left Noelle's eyes for good when she turned her back on that part of herself. Yes, I think she was 'successfully' indoctrinated and truly believed that she was doing the right thing, the righteous thing. In that sense, I think she found peace and joy. Plus, her compassion for others -- especially those suffering -- had always been very strong. I believe marrying her husband and knowing that he needed her both physically and emotionally gave her a purpose in life she didn't have before that.

But...in a perfect world (or Robin's interpretation of that), people would be allowed (and encouraged) to seek out their soulmates regardless of gender. (And I'm not assuming that her husband wasn't her soulmate -- I really can't know...but I suspect, based on the changes I saw in her, that he wasn't. As far as he goes, he clearly loved her, but he never seemed 'in love' with her.)

My thoughts on this subject today were inspired by April Lurie's book, The Less-Dead -- which has an excellent (the best I've found) research section at the back on Christianity and being GBLT.