Leviticus 18:22 by Hannah A Dunn

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(Three different speakers each read one scripture. I stand in front, looking at my Bible as if reading the scriptures)

Leviticus 18:22- “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

Romans 1:26-27- “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10- “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor catamites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Hannah: I was raised with these words. The Bible was the backbone of my life, and I believed whole heartedly everything it said. My family was very conservative, so I grew up with the ideas that “the gays,” people who had abortions, and basically anyone who didn’t subscribe to our version of Christianity were doomed to hell. I accepted that doctrine without question, judging anyone and everyone as I had been taught.

In middle school, I realized that I was, well, different. As all my friends started going out with their first boyfriends, I found myself looking at my friends themselves. I would think about how pretty my friends were, not how hot the boys were. It was confusing. What did it all mean? Could I be gay?

Perish the thought! Gays were sinners, they were destined for hell. The Bible says so. It calls them detestable! There was no way I could be gay! I was the pastor’s daughter, the perfect child—I couldn’t even consider the possibility.
As the pastor’s daughter, I lived in a fishbowl. I was expected to be more than perfect. There was no “just being a kid.” With my Mary Janes and perfect Sunday school answers, model interactions with my family and respectful nature, I was the model child. But even as the model child, everyone in the church would watch just to see you slip up, to catch you doing something that would somehow prove you were human.

The idea that I was somehow different filled me with fear. I couldn’t bring that shame on my family. What would they say? What would the church say about us, that my family had raised me to live a life in sin?
My mom spends all her energy trying to live up to the insane expectations steeped upon us. Anything that could threaten her status was eliminated. I asked my mom once what she would do if I told her I was gay. She said that I’d never step foot in her house again. Even me, her daughter, can’t stand in the way of her reputation within the church.
I continued through life, and as time passed, I continued trying to suppressing the thoughts, hiding the truth from myself. I thought that if I fought it hard enough I would be able to turn normal. But I could never suppress all of the doubts and insecurities.

So, I tried to rationalize it. I studied scripture, prayed, and doubted. I realized that the new covenant created through Jesus threw out the laws of judgment and damnation preached in the Old Testament. And the verses in the New Testament weren’t necessarily referring to homosexuality, but maybe to incest and bestiality. We don’t know.
I came to this conclusion—the Bible does not have any concrete verses against homosexuality. Some may claim that it does. This includes my family. They don’t take Jesus’ message of love and acceptance as the highest law.

As I work at coming out here on campus, people might not always like what I have to say. My family doesn’t know yet, but it’s a process. Other Christian groups here on campus might not even agree with who I am, what I’m doing, or what I stand for. People judge me because of my sexuality, without even getting to know me, or changing their minds based on one little fact.
My confession—I don’t care what others say. I am a Christian, and I am gay. I’m not ashamed of either of these things. God loves me just the way I am. I don’t need the church to accept me or my family to stand behind me. I know that I am a beloved child of God, no matter who else I love.

Performed live in the Hahne Theater on November 16th, 2010 with The F-Word Ladies show conFessions.

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