Wait! Did that year just happen? Yup.
Coming Out … Again
2015 was a remarkable year. After 23 years, I came out of the religious ex-gay closet on January 12th, 2015. 352 days later I am still as gay and Christian as I ever was, but hopefully with a bit more understanding of what that means in the context of my entire life which encompasses more than those two labels.
When I came out, I lost a few friends, not nearly as many as I did in the years from 2011 to 2013 when Exodus was coming to and eventually closing. My coming out was too much for some. A few “I’m outta here!”‘s were a surprise, but most reacted the way I expected. One manifestation I didn’t expect, and I won’t go into detail here, is that I haven’t been to church regularly since Spring.
Honestly, I feel so much healthier for it.
The previous sentence isn’t a condemnation of the church (my past home church or the corporate church at large). It was/is a healthy decision for me not to attend church regularly now. Many Christians of all flavors have been very loving and supportive. Many non-Christians of all flavors and varieties have been very loving and supportive. It’s among these folks that I see and experience Jesus outside my personal worship of Him. They are my church now. Will I end up back in a church in 2016? Probably, but it’s good “as is” for now.
Dating & Running
On to other things … let’s see, in the spring, I had fun dating a great guy for about six weeks. Then I started talking to, dated and fell in love with Mr. Boyfriend for a little over six months. While he is currently Mr. “Friend”, I still love him. He helps me be a better man and opened my heart toward relationship, beauty, creativity, intimacy, communication, and joy in ways I didn’t even know I needed to experience. No regrets, all love, always.
Ok… I kinda’ regret my inner 17-year-old girl’s addiction to emoji’s :p
Oh, and to try to impress him I forced myself to start running….like outside and crap. Seriously! I hated it at first. PROBABLY didn’t help that I started doing this in AUGUST … in FLORIDA. But, he is super handsome, and men like me, in love, do stupid things sometimes. Stupid things like trying to start the habit of running when it feels like a steam bath in hell outside! Again, only did it to try to impress him. Now, I love running, and I run 5 to 10 miles a week. Sometimes more. I also ran an official race! The Turkey Trot 5k Thanksgiving morning in downtown Orlando.
Now, whoever Mr. Future Thomas-Husband is… he better know how to run fast because I’mma catch ’em!
This year I did quite a few (not a huge amount but a few) interviews; notably the BBC (around the 27:20 mark), The Atlantic, and The Advocate (here, here and mentioned here). Gay marriage was legalized, and I participated in the NOH8 campaign. I also enjoyed dancing with the crew at Audrey’s wedding and another time at Blue Man group. Then there was that time in April when I was at a gay nightclub dancing with a bunch of youngins (20 & 30 somethings) to Arianna Grande’s “Break Free.” That was a very appropriate song to dance to for my first time in a gay nightclub in 23 years. It’s a vivid memory and the only Arianna Grande song I own.
You know, it’s fascinating how much more dancing I do now. #DanceaRanda = #HappaRanda
I also enjoy work at the little PR company I have been with for a little over a year now. I enjoy the creativity we engage and projects we accomplish. I love stalking Morgan (with her permission of course) and telling inappropriate jokes to Sarah, Tom, LouBoo, Sheryl and … well … everyone. My unofficial title is “That Sassy Bitch In The Corner.”
Heh… 🙂 Yes, long ways away from my ministry days. Although I was called quite a few colorful names while I was there. Come to think of it, the list of names those folks have called me has grown exponentially this year, but moving along.
Speaking of friends, I have made a lot of new ones and enjoyed a new depth with others that have been here through thick and thin. I have met many new friends on Facebook and had the good fortune of meeting with a few offline, too. Plus, I have been tremendously blessed by others with similar experiences to my spiritual path. The love, wisdom and support they have given this past year has been incredible. I have also been blessed to meet with a few gay leaders/activists and had more than a few quality conversations that helped me realize my passions on how to contribute positively to our community.
I’ve had so much fun with this year’s Christmas Card list and am loving the unity and camaraderie that is developing offline and on. It’s been a tough year, but I honestly feel freer than have ever been before. This place of freedom and growth has been helped by the love and support of good friends, new and old :).
In 2015, it’s been great to fight for life, and enjoy it, instead of being run over by my past legalism and other’s expectations/unnecessary burdens. Thank you for being amazing. I am grateful.
[callout]For a variety of reasons, I have turned off the comments section on my blog. I *love* discussion, but I have found that those discussions work best on social networks. So please join me on Facebook, and Twitter. I would enjoy connecting with you there.[/callout]