Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fish Can't Fly


Here's the good part of writing a book: New Connections. New Friends. New Knowledge. Tom and Stephanie shared their projects with me. They'll inspire you, too.

Fish Can't Fly:
Tom emailed to offer me his DVD about ex-gay stories. Talk about timely. Brian meet Tom. Tom meet Brian. http://www.fishcan.

I've been wanting to hear stories from people who've tried to become ex-gay. The religious right is all jazzed up about promoting ex-gay ministries, but LGBT people report -- "It almost never works." Still because of the stigma of being gay in America, desperate people try and try to rid themselves of what Mel White calls, "The blessing of being gay."

Thank you Tom for introducing me to your work. I look forward to learning from the stories you have gathered.

Seven Passages:
Stephanie emailed me: "Let me introduce myself -- I'm a straight professor at a fairly conservative Christian college where i teach theatre. I've spent the last few years interviewing about 150 gay Christians about their experiences. I am taking these interviews and turning them into a piece of theatre that will be produced first by a small (local) professional company and then tour in the next year.
"Nearly 90 percent of the interviews come from people I've met right here in this small midwestern city. The stories are so moving and sometimes funny and sometimes heartbreaking. It's been just an incredible journey to do this project that began as just some conversations with my gay students and blossomed into something that is much larger than myself. The goal is to educate and produce empathy and understanding."

Thanks for partnership in justice-making,

Lars

2 comments:

Timbo said...

Dear Lars,

You don't know me but I've been checking in with your efforts now for quite some time- as well as keeping your family in my prayers as we all deal with a very scary wild fire season.

I have so much admiration for everything you've done with your life and that in spite of so much persecution, your life just overflows with joy, love, and a well of compassion. I thank Jesus for you, for your family, and the courage you have.

I am an "ex" ex-gay guy...In fact my participation in Homosexuals Anonymous Meetings was required for me to remain enrolled at the Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle (Now Trinity College). Later, when I attended Seattle Pacific University, the former head of Metenoia Ministries, Doug Houk, was busted three times at area adult bookstores doing stuff you wouldn't do if you were really "delivered" from "the homosexual lifestyle". I gave up on HA in my senior year at SPU because it just seemed no one ever found serenity. The guys and gals would hook up after meetings and then the following week there'd be a guilt fest, and all this misery... for what? Living in suspension, waiting on a "recovery" that for most never came?

I myself went to a regiment of counseling, HA meetings, an exorcism (which I've written about much to my family's dismay...
http://www.highmountainranch.com/SomeDay/Ch14.shtml

to try to be straight, to be accepted, and to gain their approval. Four years of my life were spent trying to be what I could never be. By the time I got out of college, I was so sideways I had to spend 17 years on the road trucking to get my head together. I couldn't find happiness or love in the evangelical community, and I was completely alienated from the urban gay scene because so much of what I encountered ran contrary to my upbringing and my faith. It was like trying to swim upstream with weights.

My father is a conservative Lutheran Minister who is now retired, but for years my sexual orientation was the biggest issue in my family. My little brother, who is also gay, saw what I was going through and choose alcohol, crystal meth, and pot rather than coming out. Although he eventually did come out, he has never found full recovery from substance abuse and I believe it is because our parents have never fully accepted us. I remember one time my mother suggested it would be better if I was castrated than engage in same sex relationships. I believe messages like that coming from your folks or the church just leave incredible scars and I can't imagine they originate from the Holy Spirit.

Anyway, there is a happy ending to all of this. I now live in very rural and very rugged Pend Oreille County and I've been completely accepted if not adopted by several localy ranching families. In 1999 I returned to SPU as an out man, and graduated from the school even though at least half the campus believes I am on the fastest road to hell...

But most importantly, my faith in Jesus sustains me. Unlike many of my gay friends from Bible College, I never lost sight of Jesus and His grace has been biggest source of light helping me find my way. The incredible gift, especially in the Northwest, offered to us from our creator stands as a blessing in every direction I gaze. I guess this is long enough, but I just wanted to send you a big ten four in all you do...and to say thanks. Your witness is blinding.

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