With my return to Founder’s Week 2012, I’ve reconnected to my roots at Moody Bible Institute. As I expected, the issue of homosexuality is one that can be a “stumbling block” in any relationships with friends from that part of my life. Several people offered… promised… threatened… to “friend” to me on Facebook and I don’t want them to discover my perspective on being gay without some kind of road map. Below is at least an outline of my development over my life. Some events below are discussed in more depth on my blog on Gather.com through the links.
1975 – My first specific attraction to a man, a male teacher in junior high school. I was 12 years old. All of my previous teachers had been women.
~1979 – I have never found reference to the specific episode, but in the sitcom “One Day at a Time” Julie (or Barbara) has a friend who is gay and they discuss it on-screen. This was my first moment of understanding the word, and of identifying myself as gay.
1982 – Graduated from high school; started at the University of Waterloo in Physics.
1983 – Became a Christian.
1985 – Transferred to Moody Bible Institute. Although I knew I was gay, I had not acted on that knowledge. I had only told one person of my orientation.
1986 – Was counselled for being gay at Moody’s student services. This lasted about 6 months. After that time I was told that although I might still struggle with thoughts, I should be able to marry a woman and live as a heterosexual.
1987 – Graduated from Moody and moved into the JPUSA Christian community. They did not know (officially) of my orientation. (I don’t know how many guessed.)
1988 – Married my wife. I told her of my orientation when we got engaged; we hoped that our marriage would complete my conversion to heterosexuality.
1998 – My wife left me, citing irreconcilable differences. She said that I had never really reached the level of emotional and physical connection that is expected through marriage. I had not, at this point, ever acted on my orientation. However, now having tried to live by standard rules, I felt that it was necessary to go “outside the box”. I did not believe in divorce, but had failed in my first marriage. So I started the “coming out” process in Pennsylvania.
1999 – Moved to Arkansas, where I became more comfortable in the gay community.
2000 – Discovered gay rodeo; competed as an entertainer for the rodeo (as Mr. DSRA). Volunteered as Rodeo Director for the 2001 Rodeo. Met the man who would become my husband.
2001 – Was in a car accident and coma for six weeks, just before my first rodeo. Recovery from this experience took several years.
2003 – Started working with the the Metropolitan Community Church: MCC of the Rock. Eventually was put on the speaking rotation, preaching about once a month.
2004 – Was co-founder of “Arkansans for Human Rights”, a group that aimed to block Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 3. We failed: but I was graphic designer and starred in a billboard that appeared at the intersection outside my place of work.
2005 – Volunteered to be Rodeo Director for 2006; Brokeback Mountain opened
2006 – Produced my second rodeo; moved back to Canada.
2007 – Started attending MCC Toronto; married my husband.
2009 – Changed jobs to work for the Ministry of the Environment. Left MCC Toronto due to differences of theology and practise. Started attending St. John’s York Mills Anglican church.
2010 – Started working with the Pride Network.
2011 – On the executive of the Pride Network as the Co-chair of the Outreach Committee and the Coordinator of the Speaker’s Bureau.
2012 – attended Founder’s Week at Moody Bible Institute; reconnected with several friends.