I'm sorting out the books, web links, and sources into those for GLBT persons (especially youth), inquirers, advocates, and pastoral/program staff. I have depended on you, my online friends, for some of those resources. Because it was a gay man who introduced me to the online gay community, virtually all of my GLBT contacts are men. I've perused some lesbian blogs, but I know of only one here with whom I might discuss growing up gay in a Christian church. She has been a member of our church since birth. I met with her and her mom yesterday.
"Dale" is the daughter of very good friends. She came out to them several years ago, but only recently did they reveal this to anyone. They are struggling to reconcile this new information with the assumptions they had lived with for over twenty years. It is clear that they love their daughter very much, and for that I am grateful.
Dale is an assistant professor of women's studies, and we talked at length about the general topic of growing up gay. I asked what she wanted from our church when she was attending here. Dale said what was missing was a "safe" person that she knew she could come out to. She wants it in print, on our website, and on the door of a staff member that here is someone who is trained to address the myriad difficulties of growing up GLBT.
Dale is the final link in my chain of stories for this presentation. Hers is the face I need to present to our pastors, of one who needed our welcome and didn't get it. She is not bitter (bless her) and wants to know, when the time comes someday for her to commit to a life partner, that our church will preside over and bless her commitment ceremony. That has become another goal for me, to see that she gets her wish.
I feel like I'm a servant in a fine home and that plans for a very important banquet are being prepared for the not-so-distant future. It is up to me to see that there is a place of honor for everyone at this banquet. The meeting is next Monday. If you are so inclined, your prayers would be appreciated.