You can't change your world from a closet! Accept yourself and connect with others like yourself.
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light shine before the people in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your God in heaven."
Ephesians 4:15, 25: "Speak the truth in love… Laying aside lies, speak truth each one of you with your neighbor, for we are members of one another."
"THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES" 6/23/01)
Here is some of my brochure on "Feeling Good About Yourself: A Guide
to Coming Out."
SOME PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR COMING OUT
You Cannot Predict How Others Will React.
out can be very scary and threatening to you. It can also be very
difficult and threatening to the persons you come out to. Pray
about it. Ask God to give you the words and to show you how to
handle it. Remember that when you tell your parents, family, boss
and others that you are gay or lesbian, they do not have the same
mental picture that you do. Their minds have been filled with
homophobic images from preachers, talk shows, and media anti gay
propaganda. Prepare to be surprised. With God's help you
can handle it! Sometimes the reaction is pleasant, sometimes not.
said that he dreaded telling his mother that he was gay. When he
finally told her, she responded by saying, "I understand. Years ago I
was in love with another woman myself!" Allen, however, said that when
he was 16 years old and asked his father for advice about how to handle
being gay, his father said, "Put a gun in your mouth and pull the
2. Find Caring and Supportive People.
need acceptance and encouragement in coming out. Find other
lesbian and gay people and develop a support network. Join or
start a spiritual support group. See the material on "Start Your Own Group." Remember that
other people need your encouragement too.
out is a process that takes time. You begin by facing and
accepting the truth about yourself. Then you tell at least one
other person. When you finally settle this in yourself, you will
feel so much better! As you gain self confidence, you can help
others who face the same issues and problems.
3. Come Out on the Basis of a Need to Know.
Before you come out to others, consider
carefully why you are doing it. Why do they need to know?
Why do you need to tell them? Coming out can hurt you and others.
Can you handle the results? Think through how you will tell your
truth. God will empower you to tell your truth. Remember,
however, that the truth is seen as true only when you "speak the truth
4. You Cannot Go Back into the Closet.
you are "out of the closet," you cannot really turn back. Some
people try to deny their sexual orientation and play a game of
hide-and-seek with themselves and others. You may have done this
for a while yourself. Many of us have. If you are uncertain
of your sexual orientation, work through it before you come out, even
you need counseling to deal with your sexual orientation, find a gay
and lesbian friendly counselor who will help you to face and deal with
your issues without judging and condemning you. Contact the
nearest Metropolitan Community Church (listed in the local phone
directories) or UFMCC Headquarters
(310-360-8640) for information, or you can contact the author of this site at firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowing and accepting your sexual identity sets the stage for your
future self esteem and peace of mind. Don't panic, but don't
neglect dealing with it, either.
matter how you feel about your sexual orientation, you are not
alone! God loves you, accepts you and is always with you.
Read Philippians 4:6-7 for encouragement.
5. Feel Good About Yourself.
you have come out, feel good about yourself. Celebrate! You
have crossed a great barrier. Good for you! Stop and thank
God for helping you do it. There are many levels of coming
out. Go on to the next level. Be intentional about who you
will tell next. Think it through. You be in control.
Don't let other people or unexpected events push you out. Enjoy
being yourself. God wants you to be happy and to love
yourself. God will help you to know what to say and how to say
it. Always speak your truth in love.
Further discussion of Step 9 can be found in my book Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse in the following Lessons
(Click on the Bible references to see them.)
No. 33. "THE BIBLE BASIS FOR COMING OUT"
Matthew 5:14-16; Ephesians 4:15, 22-25; Hebrews 6:18
No. 34. "SINGING IN THE RAIN"
No. 35. "HOW JESUS CAME OUT TO THE WORLD"
No. 36. "A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO COMING OUT"
On to Step 10
"HOLD ON and LET GO"
Update for February 8, 2004
of my friends told of his church conversion experience. He was
praying for salvation. One brother on the left was urging him
"Hold on, brother. Hold on!" And the sister on the right was saying:
"Let go, brother. Let go!" So he figured if he could hold on and
let go at the same time he would be saved! So he was.
(Thanks to Rev. Troy Perry for this.) Thus begins the mystery of
spiritual personal experience.
spiritual life and growth are a mystery and are different from one
individual to another. No two people have exactly the same
spiritual pilgrimage, and this is one reason that we can all learn so
much from each other if we will share and listen. And this also
is the reason why we cannot force our experience on anybody else.
your real self with honesty and enthusiasm is always a great
triumph. I greatly enjoyed this statement this week in Planet Out
now called a gay activist and I quite like the label. It sounds rather
important -- more important than just being an actor -- don't you
think? No one ever thinks actors have anything important to contribute,
and for the most part, that assumption is entirely correct, I included.
... Also, coming out was a huge relief from that dreadful, stressful
sense of lying -- or not being completely honest with the people around
you. All that angst is gone now."
--Gay actor Sir Ian McKellen to the Vancouver Sun, Jan. 9.
Ian is one of the most prominent and honored actors of our time.
His nominations and awards are many. I have always enjoyed his
movies and especially his portrayal of powerful men in "Gods and
Monsters," "X-Men," and as the super wizard in "Lord of the
See my material on "Coming Out" in link below. It deserves a second look.
HOLD ON AND MOVE ON
usually say "Let go and move on," but there is also a lot of reality in
holding on and moving on. Don't let go of who you really
are. Don't let go of God. Don't let go of your best
self. Hold on to your to your values and your dreams. Then
move on. Let go of the negative spirits that tempt and limit
you. Let go of your fear and jealousy. Let go of your pride
and selfish ambition. Make a list. It will be a long
one. Let go of hate and despair. Let go and move on.
all means, move on! Don't wallow in self pity and despair.
Wallowing is never attractive or productive. Moving on, however,
is both attractive and productive!
I moved to Atlanta in 1981 after I was dismissed from the Charleston,
SC, Baptist University where I was Professor of Religion, I went to
First MCC where Rev. Jimmy Brock was pastor. My life and my
emotions were in turmoil. I had been outed by a trusted former
lover. Jimmy became a great friend to me and helped me to "hold
on and let go"! His favorite admonition to me was, "Buddy, don't
throw another pity party!" My "woe is me" song got tiresome
really fast. So I learned to sing another one, which was the
Bible Studies that later became my web site and book.
LIFE IS COMPLICATED
life is complicated. One problem with religion is that religion
always tries to over simplify everything and in the process becomes
irrelevant and useless. Reality is never drawn in sharp contrasts
of right and wrong or good and bad. "There is so much good in the
worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that it ill behooves any
of us to criticize the rest of us!"
hold on and let go at the same time sounds quite contradictory, but it
isn't. It is the reality that we live with every day. We
hold these truths to be self-evident that all people are created equal
and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We also let go of prejudice, tyranny, mean spirited criticisms, anger,
fear, despair and self-loathing. We always hold on and let go at
the same time.
do we also always "move on"? Not necessarily. Sometimes we
lack the courage either to hold on or to let go. Sometimes we are
unclear as to where to go when we do move on. What a
dilemma! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Paul said
in Romans 7:24-25) Jesus Christ was the answer for Paul.
How about for you? Read all of Romans chapters 5 through 8.
(See link below for Romans 8.)
THE COURAGE TO MOVE ON
want so much to be accepted and loved that I usually hold on to really
destructive negative relationships long beyond the time that they are
obviously over! I imagine that you are much too mature ever to do
that, of course, but I do. I have great difficulty in letting go
of negative people in my life. I have sometimes let other people
control me and drive me into despair before I was willing to make any
kind of break at all. Usually breaking off from negative people
comes through circumstances and not through my own willful decision to
let go and move on.
Jesus had the
same problem. Jesus let Judas stay close to him and have control
over him for much too long! The relationship of Jesus to Judas is
very important. See my discussions of Judas in lessons 28 and 38
of my book. See also the relationship of Jesus to Peter in the
conflicts described in the "Great Confession" story in Matthew
16. See link below. (See how Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd
Webber pictured the relationship of Jesus and Judas in "Jesus Christ
Super Star.") See the information about Judas in the Gospel of
John in links below.
ALWAYS DO THE LOVING THING
will never regret doing the loving thing in a relationship.
Sometimes the loving thing is to let go and move on. Sometimes
the loving thing is to hold on and move on. The main thing is to
keep moving. There are no rules or requirements for love.
Your heart has to tell you what to do. Follow Jesus, who said to
his friends: "I give you a new commandment that you love one another
just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this
everybody will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one
another." (John 13:34-35) See link to John 12 and 13 below.
THE STRUGGLE OF THE SOUL
own personal struggle to find and follow the will of God for you is
never easy. Far too many people want to tell you what you should
and should not do. Only you can decide what is best for you, and
you have plenty of help from the Spirit of Jesus and from the presence
of the image of God within you. Look within and listen to your
inner convictions and the still small voice that God already has placed
in your mind and heart. You do not need any person, religious
organization or ancient book to tell you who you are and what you can
do to hold on, let go and move on.
February 8, 2004
to R.R. and to A.R. for some much needed financial help with this
ministry. As you know, the Internet is becoming cluttered and
sometimes slowed to a crawl by worms and viruses. Keeping my web
site on and keeping the Internet functional is an increasing
challenge. Any financial help you can give to me at this time is
Thanks to Chris Purdom for 9 years of information and inspiration on
religion at critpath.
Chris has decided to close this very helpful list. I have
benefited greatly by the special work of Barbara and Chris
Purdom. Chris always sent my updates out on his list also.
Thank you Chris for all you have done for me and multitudes of
others. Chris Purdom continues to operate the site for Interfaith
Working Group (IWG): http://www.iwgonline.org/
Judas in the Gospel of John
John 12 and 13
Jesus and Peter
Update for 11/13/2002:
thanks to every one of you who wrote to me expressing your concern and
prayers about my surgery! The surgery was a complete
success. All of the cancer was removed and my surgeons stitched
me perfectly so that there will be almost no scar on my nose. My
surgeon said that I will be gorgeous! I replied that the only way
I could be gorgeous would be for him to do a total face transplant for
me! But I am very grateful for the success of the procedure.
I was recovering from surgery, I got behind in answering my
e-mail. If you wrote to me and I did not reply, please write
We also have adopted two wonderful baby kittens. To see their picture: Click HERE.
election this month gave a slight majority to the Republican Party in
Congress. Somehow this has been interpreted by many as a
"mandate" for the President and all of his extreme conservative
policies. Bush is still a President elected by a minority of the
voters. His right-wing religious supporters and advocates are
still wrong and dangerous to our freedom.
recent election is simply a reminder to all of us that we have to do
whatever we can as individuals to get the truth out to as many people
as possible. You can begin by "coming out" and identifying
yourself for who you really are. You can encourage others and
support others in their own process of coming out. See my web site material on coming out. You cannot change the world from the closet!
THE ECONOMY AND GLBT PEOPLE
disastrous collapse of the national economy during the past two years
has had a devastating impact on LGBT people. When millions of
people lose their jobs, you can be sure that a large percentage of the
first to be fired are openly Gay and Lesbian people. As economic
troubles multiply, contributions decline to services for people with
HIV/AIDS and other medical and social problems.
When Gay men with
AIDS lose their income and medical benefits, the result can be painful
and deadly. Cutting the economic security for Gay and Lesbian
people can amount to a highly refined governmental form of
genocide. Every day I receive e-mail from GLBT people who have
suffered pain and rejection from their own families because of the
abusive religious conditioning of their parents and brothers and
sisters. The frustration and anger of our LGBT brothers and
sisters is catastrophic in many multitudes of personal lives.
Self-destructive attitudes and actions are the frequent result of
rejection and abandonment of LGBT children and youth.
homophobic legalistic abusive religious establishment continues to make
great gains in political power and in public access on television,
newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and thousands of church
pulpits. Public opinion against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and
Transsexual people continues in spite of the accurate information that
is readily available to any honest, clear thinking person from
thousands of reliable sources on the Internet, in publications, and
from the various legal, medical and psychological professions.
has so polluted the social atmosphere in America than the truth is
being suffocated and the rancid air of abusive misinformed religion is
choking the minds and distorting the hearts of millions of people every
a long time before you give your support to any traditional form of
religion, no matter what it calls itself. The medieval thinking
and forms of worship that dominate abusive religions today are
barricades against the truth and hindrances to any realistic personal
experience with the God, who made you in God's image, and with the
Spirit of Jesus, that is already within you.
let any religion jerk you around and convince you to reject
yourself. You are accepted and beloved of God, no matter who you
are. God's unconditional inclusive love is clearly extended to
all people without reservations according to the words and actions of
Jesus in the Gospels.
religious establishment contends in many forms that it is called of God
to convert the world to certain points of view and spiritual
demands. When I say that I don't believe in your God it does not
mean that I don't believe in God. It simply means that I can see
through your deception and misinformation and refuse to honor your
trashed version of Christianity that you have been conditioned to
demand and defend.
than ever, I am convinced that small groups meeting in homes and
unfettered by traditional religious controls can open new redemptive
doors to multitudes of people who are willing to give the time and
effort to study, dialogue and meditation in a new beginning of
churchless discipleship in following Jesus.
have we become brainwashed into believing that we have to have some
kind of ecclesiastical authority in order to follow the spiritual path
that really fits us today? It is high time for all of us to let
go and start over. Let go of everything that tries to do your
thinking for you. Let go of all inappropriate religious
authorities and powers. Let go of traditions that don't really
fit you today. Let go of anything that separates you from the
love of God and from your own self-acceptance as the child of God.
LOOK TO THE FUTURE
hope for the future does not rest in any political party or in any
current movement, no matter how effective it may seem now. Your
hope for the future rests in God and in the Spirit of Jesus, who
already dwells within you. Your decisions are totally up to
you. Nobody else can decide the spiritual direction you should
take. God is with you, as promised. Let God show you what
to do and what path to take.
already have your own personal answers and empowerment within
you. You do not have to go anywhere to find God. God is
already as close to you as the air you breathe. In fact, the air
you breathe is evidence of the presence of God with you and within
you. You are alive because God breathed into you the breath of
life and you became a "living soul".
REJOICE AND BE GLAD
already have all you need. I cannot give you any more than you
already have. All I can do is to remind you of who you really are
and encourage you to trust God to guide and empower you to become the
person God created you to be. You have the Spirit of God.
Does the Spirit of God have you? That is the only question that
you have to answer.
See my book on "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" for
accurate information, guidance in starting a home study group, and
material for a weekly series of lessons for a full year of group
"THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES" 6/23/01
June 24, 2001, is the thirty-second anniversary of the Stonewall Riot
on June 28, 1969, that sparked the GLBT revolution and our journey out
of the darkness of the closet and into the light of truth and freedom
that is every person's inalienable right under the U.S. Constitution
and before God.
PRIDE IS MORE THAN A PARADE
is a way of life. "Pride" is defined in Webster's as "a
reasonable or justifiable self-respect." Pride in the form of
self-respect and self-esteem has often been an elusive quality of life
for multitudes of LGBT people who have been victims of misinformation
and spiritual violence from many people and groups.
mission in life is to help my LGBT sisters and brothers feel good about
being themselves and quit hurting themselves and each other.
Accurate convincing information has been the method of this mission
from the beginning.
I received a letter from a new gay friend in South Africa who had been
given my material and was encouraged to accept and feel good about
himself. He has recovered from his low self-esteem that had led
to a suicide attempt.
GOD GIVES PRIDE
in the form of arrogance and the rejection of others, is often
condemned in the Bible. Healthy self-acceptance and self-esteem,
however, are not. You are made in the image of God. You are
not a mistake. You were not created as you are by accident.
God always acts intentionally and for a good purpose. If you
believe in God, you can believe in yourself. In accepting
yourself, you are accepting God. It's that simple!
religion has done more to undermine the self-esteem of Lesbians and
Gays that any other factor in our culture. Misinformed religion
has produced self-destructive behavior and suicide in our midst, and we
have no choice but to challenge and change it for the sake of our very
survival. This is not just a polite debate about the Bible,
religion, politics or family values. It is a matter of life or
death, the ultimate battle for reality and truth.
CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
Accept and celebrate who you are! Help others to do the same.
University in Greenville, SC, where I graduated in 1956, just approved
a policy of granting same-sex partners the medical and other benefits
that are provided for all employees of the college! Furman is the
first college in South Carolina to do this. This action was
possible because in 1992 Furman Trustees were able to disconnect from
the control of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and begin to
select their own trustees.
lot of progress has been made. This news made me recall a sad
experience for me at Furman when I was a student from 1952-56. A
well-liked student named Bruce who was active in fraternity and college
life was outed as gay and forced to leave the University. I knew
that I was a closeted homosexual myself, and I identified with the
pain, shame and embarrassment heaped upon Bruce. I remember how I
was grieved for him and for what was threatened against all of us who
were homosexual, though we did not know each other back in those days.
CAUSE FOR ALARM
as we have much to celebrate in our increasing visibility and
acceptance in our society, we also have much to fear and avoid in the
growing harshness of misinformed abusive religion that is used by the
largest religious bodies in our country to diminish, ridicule and
condemn us on the basis of "what the Bible says." Religion has
turned our own parents and families against us. Abusive religion
has infiltrated politics and turned our elected representatives against
us. Abusive religion has found a persistent uncorrected voice
against us through radio and television that is proclaimed nonstop 24
hours a day 7 days a week on thousands of stations.
deadly of all, abusive religion has turned many of us against ourselves
producing depression, dangerous lifestyles, suicidal thinking and
death. Pointing out these facts to the rest of the world is both
our privilege and our obligation. As long as homophobia is the
deadliest disease of our age, we have no choice but to expose its evil
powers and do whatever it takes to conquer and eliminate it.
We now have the clear support of the American Medical Association and all other national professional associations of
psychology, psychiatry and law.
USE WHATEVER MEANS YOU HAVE
letters, make phone calls, sit down with your parents and explain
things, talk with your pastor or other religious professional you know,
tell your story wherever you can. Be yourself. Be true to
yourself. Accept who you really are and celebrate what God
created you to be. Most of all: come out of the closet and
encourage others to do the same. When you come out, you will feel
better about yourself than ever before in your life.
Gay Pride thanks to all of you who receive these updates. By
letting me share with you, you have ministered to me and encouraged me
beyond anything you can imagine! Thanks for listening to me and
giving me the opportunity to listen to you whenever you write.
Special news report today (6/23/01): Belgium today has joined the
Netherlands in making legal marriage available to same-sex couples.
Update for Sunday, 1/11/04
"RITES OF PASSAGE"
RITES OF PASSAGE
of passage have been part of every culture and in every age of human
experience. Arnold van Gennep in his book on "Rites of Passage"
(available at Amazon.com) outlined the basic concept for us in a
seminary seminar that I enjoyed and that was led by Dr. Wayne E. Oates,
Professor of Psychology of Religion, and by Dr. John Carlton, Professor
of Preaching. Dr. Mahan Siler also was in this seminar and later
performed he first known holy union for two gay men in a Southern
Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Siler's new book
telling the story of the Holy Union for same-sex couples that he began
at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church is soon to be published.
studied the rituals associated with the birth of a child, the entrance
of a child into adulthood, marriage, divorce, choice of vocation,
serious illness, death, grief, etc. It was a very helpful
practical look at the kinds of experiences that we all face as pastors
and leaders in the churches. The seven sacraments of the Roman
Catholic Church provided a patter for this study. Mountains of
literature are available on this subject.
MEANINGFUL RITES OF PASSAGE
Gennep compared the rite of passage to going through a door or
portal. There is a time of separation, a time of passage through
the door and a time of reentry on the other side of the door.
This is dramatically illustrated by the rite of passage in some
primitive cultures by which a boy becomes a man by killing a lion or by
some other clearly defined act. The boy moves from the house of
the women with his mother into the house of the men by this highly
refined and culturally demanded act of passage from boy to man.
The Jewish bar mitzvah is also a rite of passage from boy to man.
Dr. Wayne Oates said
that one rite of passage that clearly marks a move into responsible
adulthood in our culture is getting a driver's license. This
allows the boy or girl to become independent and free to travel beyond
the control of their parents and to be on their own in a new liberating
sense. Dr. Oates suggested that pastors find a way to help young
people celebrate this event and "rite of passage" of getting a driver's
GLBT RITES OF PASSAGE
most obvious rites of passage for GLBT people is the process of "coming
out" at the various levels in which this takes place. (See my web
site and book material on Step 9.) The first step in coming out
is to come out to yourself. You don't have to come out to
God. God already knows you are gay, because God made you that
way! Then you come out to at least one other person, to your
friends, parents, extended family, at work, etc. Then you come
out by joining GLBT groups like MCC, the Gay Center, Names Project
Quilting group, or become a GLBT activist in politics, religion,
community activities, etc.
rite of passage for me when I moved to Atlanta after I left the Baptist
College in Charleston was the first time I went to a gay bar. It
was Bulldogs on Peachtree St. and I later move to an apartment half a
block away. My first trip to a gay bar was awful! I felt
like wallpaper and spoke to nobody, and nobody spoke to me. But
it was the beginning of a new life through a door I could never return
to enter again.
COMING OUT AND MOVING ON
week I received an e-mail letter from a gay man who has been writing to
me frequently about his process of accepting himself and feeling good
about himself. The subject of his letter was "I AM OUT!!!"
He had finally come out to his parents. It was a wonderful letter
of celebrating his new found sense of being his true self. It was
a "rite of passage" into a new happier world. I rejoice
with him and with many thousands of others who have told me of similar
experiences of passing through the "coming out" door into the brave new
world of being themselves and accepting themselves for the valuable and
positive people that they are as GLBT children of the Creator.
I was pastor of MCC Nashville, we had a group study and discussion at
my apartment every Wednesday evening. We discussed coming out in
one of our sessions. A man spoke up and told his experience of
coming out to his mother. He told his mother that he was gay
because he had a new boyfriend and wanted her to meet him. His
mother's response was unexpected and totally supportive. She
said, "I understand, son, I was once in love with another woman
myself!" So his mother's response to his coming out was to come
out to him as a lesbian! You never know ahead of time what the
response of your parents will be when you come out to them.
have also known young men in Atlanta who came out to their parents and
were told to leave and never come home again! One of my gay
friends in Atlanta told his father that he had a problem and wanted to
discuss it with him. When he told his dad that he was gay, his
father said his advice was to put a gun in his mouth and pull the
trigger! Needless to say, the boy left his home in northern
Georgia and went to Atlanta. He had no marketable skills and had
not finished high school. He had not had time to grow up.
He was a "throw away child" and he lived from place to place with older
men. Later, when I moved to Nashville, I learned that he had
AIDS, and he may be dead now.
DO WHAT YOU CAN TO HELP
you are part of the GLBT community, you have many opportunities to help
others travel the distance to and through the door of coming out, the
door of entering into and leaving relationships, and other "rites of
passage" that you and others are facing at this time
I write this, I am both leaving and entering into a relationship, and
the complications that this activity presents are truly
staggering. You may be dealing with the same kinds of
things. Whatever you are experiencing, you are being prepared to
help others deal better with the same thing! Nothing is happening
to you by accident. The Creator who made you and is using you to
make a better world is giving you a path that leads you into adventures
you never before imagined and that leads you down "the road less
you are not alone. Many of us are traveling along the same path
with you and understand and support you in what is happening to
you. You are part of a great company of committed people who are
marching to a different drummer and who are able to see a bright and
beautiful future for all people everywhere. You keep going
because you have no other choice. The doors are being flung open
before you as you move along.
Trust your instincts. God put them there. You already know everything you need to know to go through that next door.
"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For you are with me,
And your rod and your staff will comfort me."
See also my material on "Same Sex Marriage"
"A HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL"
Update for Halloween 2004
I was growing up in Clinton, South Carolina, we always had a big
community Halloween Carnival at the local armory. This event was
fun and was a time to see friends and family and enjoy food, costumes,
contests and the usual small town celebration that went with special
coming weekend I will probably join the thousands of GLBT people who
gather every year in the Castro to celebrate Halloween San Francisco
style, which means exaggerated and outrageous! Why is Halloween
such a big event in the Gay Community? Is it because so many of
us have had to "wear a mask" to hide our true identity for most of our
lives? Or is it just another opportunity to have a party!
Probably it is for many reasons.
WEARING A MASK
Wearing a "mask" is serious business. The New Testament word "hypocrite" is from the Greek word for "mask" and means
that "hypocrites" pretend to be something that that they are not. See Matthew 23
for a detailed discussion of hypocrisy by Jesus. You might also
like to read again the Edgar Allen Poe short story: "The Masque of the
Red Death." (See links below.)
out" as a LGBT person means taking off the mask. It can be a
great relief. It can also be a great disaster. See my
material on "Coming Out" in my website and book. Coming out
regarding your sexual orientation is far more than just "taking off the
mask". Coming out involves your own self-image and self-esteem,
your relationships with family and friends, and can have a profound
effect on every dimension of your life. Your occupation, your
religion, your reputation, and even your safety as an individual can be
It is far better to plan and take the initiative to come out on your own terms than to be "outed" by somebody else, as
I was in 1981. Read all of my website material on "Coming Out" and "My Story."
"TRICK OR TREAT"
my children were young, we took them to neighborhood homes on Halloween
to wear their masks and costumes and let our friends see them and give
treats. One feature of this event that really sticks in my mind
is how in the dark, the children could not see very well, and with the
masks on they would often trip over shrubbery and other obstacles that
they otherwise would avoid.
the mask of being in the closet as a GLBT person can be just as
distracting and threatening for you. Your mask not only obscures
you own face and who you really are; it also can blind you to what is
going on around you.
COMING OUT AS A CHRISTIAN
one time, coming out as a Christian in the Roman Empire was as
dangerous as coming out as a homosexual is today. When
Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Empire, this suddenly
changed. Today, the question for you and me is not just coming
out as a Christian, but it is the question of what do you mean by
"Christian." Is a Christian a legalistic closed minded
fundamentalist, or is a Christian simply one who follows Jesus in
loving, accepting and affirming all people as having equal value before
God and in your world?
question is not just, "Will the real Jesus stand up," but is, "Will the
real GLBT Christian stand up!" I get as much abusive critical
e-mail from ignorant closed minded fundamentalist "Christians" as
ever. One of the greatest problems I see world-wide is the
powerful destructive forces of religious fundamentalism to mislead and
abuse GLBT people in every culture and every society.
religious zealots from multitudes of churches have infected every
"mission field" in the world with the ignorance and legalism of
traditional Christianity and have made life miserable and sometimes
impossible for LGBT people throughout the world.
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE
religion won't! Religion is always a binding and limiting force
that is based on a rejection of logical objective realistic practical
thinking and that fights modern science and resists and rejects changes
that could set suffering people free from the bondage of wearing "The
Mask of Sanity". The book: "The Mask of Sanity" is by Dr. Hervey
Cleckley, who is a partner with Dr. Corbet Thigpen and co-author of
"The Three Faces of Eve". See links below. (If you look up
Corbet Thigpen on Google, you will be directed to my website material
on Dr. Thigpen's opinion to me about being gay!)
a mask throughout your life blinds you to who you are and limits
greatly your relationships and communication with others. Masks
always interfere with reality. If you want to see God, look in a
mirror. You are already made in the image of God. If you
want to see Jesus, look at the person next to you. "Inasmuch as
you have done it unto one of the least of these my brothers and
sisters, you have done it unto me." Jesus in Matthew 25:35-40.
this Halloween be a liberating experience for you. Take off the
mask so that you can see clearly and so that others can see you clearly
and recognize in you the love and truth of Jesus that you represent in
201 W. Washington St. #805
Greenville, SC 29601
See the complete text and other information related to "Masque of the Red Death":
See Dr. Hervey Cleckley's book "The Mask of Sanity" summary:
On to Step 10