The time has come to be forthright with all of you, dear readers, and to advocate for something that is close to my heart. To my shame, I have spent too many years living in fear of being honest and speaking up about my beliefs on same-sex relationships, marriage, and furthermore unequivocally stating that I am an ally of the LGBTQ community.
I know some will ask how I arrived at this place, and to that, my only response is the poem from Rumi above. I found myself caught by the Divine Lover in a moment of being woken up.
I moved to Indianapolis in 1996 – a very naïve and innocent young man from a small WASPy rural town in East Central Illinois. My first awakening came from working with a man named Jason, who was flamboyantly and proudly gay. Being a good evangelical “Christian” boy, I was initially put off by him and was unsure how to talk to him about his “lifestyle” and try to “convert” him. However, over time, as I got to know him…as a person…and heard his story and became friends with him, my heart started to change. Jason was not an object to be converted; he was a human being with a story and a family and desirous of communion and friendship…just like me. That was the beginning of my heart changing, and the start of a shift in my attitude and understanding that would ultimately lead me to believe that, like the woman at the well, the Divine is truly everywhere present and filling all things…even those I had been raised to believe were wrong.