CBC’s DNTO to air my story on Coming Out to My Church for “Lost Causes”   2 comments

Definitely Not the Opera, (DNTO) a CBC Radio One program devoted to the art of storytelling in Canada, asked me to tell my story of coming out to my church for their Nov 3 show “Lost Causes”.

I had pitched the idea to them last year for a different show called “Making Enemies” but withdrew the pitch because a) I don’t think I meant to make enemies, nor do I think I have made enemies; and 2) because I didn’t want to restir a pot that has finally calmed down.

But they remembered my pitch.  And they sought me out.  Which is humbling, and cool.  We recorded on Friday morning and they are editing my lengthy story to 3-4 minutes.  I appreciate Andrew Friesen’s belief that my story was important and needed to be told.  I feel like the story is more appropriate under “Lost Causes” because trying to reason with people who don’t want to listen to you, or discuss with you–and believing that you alone have to spark change–well, it can feel like a “Lost Cause”.  But in the end–and the end hasn’t come yet–who knows if the cause is lost?  I think every person who says the church must look at the evidence, must consider the Christian testimonies of LGBT folks in the discussion, is a step towards change.  We need more people who realize how many people have fallen away from the faith, have decided against Christ, have been repelled from the church, and who, sometimes when there is no hope left, taken their own lives, all because the Church has historically refused to consider the scriptures in an accepting light–and this causes their members to refuse to accept their children in an accepting light.  This splits familes.  My God and my Christ are not what I encounter when I come into a Baptist Church anymore.  I daresay they wouldn’t recognize it.  Churches are not all one defined Mass though–as many churches are beginning to change their minds about LGBT people.  Episcopals, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Canada–all have begun seeing that this is just the next issue the church has to rethink.  As it did slavery, race, and its treatment of Women.  And divorce.  Change comes when people inside churches decide they can’t hold false doctrine anymore.  Christianity and Faith are not the problem.  Interpretation is.

________________________

I was inspired to come out three years ago by Esther–who came out to save her people, Martin Luther who pushed for change in reforming the Catholic Church from within, Martin Luther King, Jr. whose life and work reflect a tireless push to cause social change for his people, and from Christian Music artist, Ray Boltz, who came out despite the controversy and the upheaval it would have on his life and career.  I am now even more recently inspired by Ai Weiwei the Chinese artist who exposes the flaws and the need for change within the Chinese government.  I saw the documentary, Never Sorry, on his life and was inspired to do more pushing.  DNTO came as an opportunity before the documentary, but I can’t help but think that it makes me want to try harder to push the church to answer for its actions towards LGBT people–

  • the historic denial of communion,
  • the false witness born about how God feels about LGBT people,
  • the enforced celibacy that the church now requires of LGBT people,
  • the withdrawal from support of marital relationships when they learn someone is LGBT,
  • the early brainwashing that the Christian Church does to youth about same-sex feelings being from the devil (or inappropriate or a sin),
  • the wall they are attempting to construct to keep LGBT people outside the church.

Change in the church can only happen if people see the need for that change and unite behind this cause.  Lives are at stake.  As long as it’s only the gay people asking the church to change, churches will always consider this to be a minor issue.  I am thrilled that there are so many straight allies out there and I urge you to confront your church about this issue.  Ask them “Where does our church stand on the life of LGBT Youth and adults?  Are married or dating LGBT people allowed to fully participate in the life of the church?”  Do not accept an answer that makes LGBT youth or adults into lesser, sinful people. We could be as Christian as you–if we find churches who truly love us enough to accept us.

If you are in a church, and you realize how much good the church does in the world, how much friendship and community you have–imagine being torn between your child and that church. Please speak. For more on my story, please click on the link to Talking Dog, my resource page for gay Christians, the church, and families of glbt children.

DNTO airs on Saturday between 1:30-3:30 here on CBC NORTH.  DNTO in their own words “invites you to make discoveries about who we really are – flawed, funny, and beautiful – one story at a time.”  They seek to reflect the diversity of population in Canada.

For the full recording, DNTO has recorded this podcast. 

2 responses to “CBC’s DNTO to air my story on Coming Out to My Church for “Lost Causes”

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  1. I’m so happy for you, Jerome! You are a strong man, and I’m proud to call you my cousin!

  2. The DNTO story is beautiful, Jerome. The church is such a mixed bag. I know Catholic priests who support having women in the clergy and who fully support the LGBT community, which of course isn’t what the “official” church professes at all. Thank you for sharing your story.

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