A little different

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Joined in 2009
March 17, 2009, 17:07

My name here is hepperchaplain however my name is Tanya. I really need to talk.

I am straight, married and a Christian. Don’t worry I am not in denial of my sexuality or want to come out in the future!! D I really am straight!! ) My story is a little different as I was brought up by my atheist mum and dad until their divorce when I was about 8 years old. From then on I was brought up by mum and her girlfriend, so my life was lived in the world view of the gay and lesbian lifestyle and 70’s feminism. Without God. My dad was and still is a great man and is still an atheist or maybe agnostic. In those early years he struggled through my mums sexuality issues however stayed close to her and her girlfriend for our sake and also because mums girlfriend was awesome.

I had the most wonderful fun years with mum and her girlfriend and was very devastated by their break up. My mother now says she is straight and has gone totally into denial about her sexuality which is very sad – as I don’t think she has been happy since.

Fast forward to my 18th – 19th year and I was ‘saved’ at Calvary Chapel Greenacre in Sydney. This is when my open world view discovered the ‘church’ world view. To my horror the church had staunch views about gays and lesbians. I can still remember the horror at finding out that this ignorance and judgement felt like a knife through me. How could they talk about the people I loved and cared for with such hurtful words. oops

I was at Calvo for a few years from 1987 onwards, married an idiot in 1990, had 3 kids, went to St George Christian Life Centre, then a Church of Christ church in Bexley North, went to Frank Houstons church – Waterloo Christian life centre in about 1995 – 1996, met my husband, moved to Minchinbury Hillsong Satellite church, later Hillsong main church, then to QLD 2001, Garden City Church, Apostolic church in Redlands, Faith Church and now a conservative church where we have been – happily for the past 2 and a half years.

It has taken me a lot of years to walk through my Christian world view and feel happy with my convictions. I can’t say I have ever felt ok about the anti gay and lesbian church views – and still don’t. In fact I detest it. This is not a reflection of the Jesus I know and the God I would want to serve. My faith has evolved over the last 22 years and I hope continues to evolve.

My eldest daughter has gone through a number of sexual identity crises and decided a couple of years ago she was bi. Then fell for one of her friends and decided to be lesbian. Now she is with a boyfriend. So where she ends up I don’t know and don’t really care – as she is assured always of our love and support what ever sexual orientation she is. We have a very open home and I always have shown my children that sexual orientation is not a reason for judgement or isolation from others.

I am now 40, work in the community sector and have been asked to take on same sex attracted people within our congregation to help them through their issues. I have a wonderful friend who attends Metro church who I will be asking to help me. I am worried that my church will want me to lead these young people in a way I don’t feel comfortable with. I am not ok with the church in generals attitude so I have made sure that I have mentioned that I have no black and white answers on all of this, am not a lesbian myself but was brought up in a lesbian partnership, are there as a safe place for anyone to come to without fear and judgement and will do all I can to help them explore their issues.

I cannot with any conviction say that they are not going Gods way in their sexual orientation and I don’t want the church to have me do that – as I will not and have NOT over all these years. I do remember as a raging new believer that I went to one of my closest friends who was transitioning at the time and told him he needed to repent of his sins – not at all talking about his sexuality or transgendering – just being free to know God. As you can imagine it didn’t work out well.

My life has come full circle. There is nothing more wonderful than being part of the community my mum and her friends forged all those years ago. I need a place of understanding for this task at hand and I have just ordered the book by Anthony – which I cannot wait to get my hands on. I cannot place one sin in front of another or ostracise people due to their perceived sins. I am a blundering fool of a Christian and have made and will continue to make horrendous mistakes throughout my life. I work with GLTB people through my work and share my life with anyone and everyone.

I do not preach though my dad called me ‘Billy Graham’ when I was newly saved. I trust that my love and acceptance of people far out weighs anything else. I also would love to be a bridge between the church community and their ignorance, however if and when that ever happens I don’t know.

All I know right now is that I have found this place – due to a flyer on the NSW aids council door – last year. I knew back then that I put the phone number in my phone for a reason. For that I am humbled and thankful and I hope I can have lots of help along the way. This is the most amazing site. Thanks for having this safe place.

Joined in 2006
March 17, 2009, 19:07

In all honesty Tanya I have been waiting for a story like yours, thankyou so much for sharing and having a conviction to help us 😀 God knows we need you to be a voice for us, if thats what you want to do, along with others who think like you. Thankyou.

Joined in 2005
March 17, 2009, 21:20

Welcome Tanya to Freedom 2 b[e]…the place to be for sure!!

I would love to help you in any way I can. I guess for me, I’m all about asking the right questions as Anthony did with me and helping the person find who they are for themselves rather than us telling them to accept themselves as gay and to get on with life (as one such community worker did with me).

Its amazing what inspires one to get into community work I guess…lol. I have used that bad experience to motivate me to get into that sector so that I can help those that want it and to be there for them while they discover who they are.

Hope to see you at MCC Brisbane soon.

Yowee 😀

Joined in 2007
March 17, 2009, 23:49

Hi Tanya,

For me, the overwhelming need I had when I was resolving the issue of my orientation, was to know that God loves me. I think all of us are the same in that need and desire to know that we’re still accepted by God.

I remember breaking down in tears the first time I visited MCC Brisbane, because that was exactly the message I heard. I don’t think I’d even realised until that night, that that was what I so desperately needed.

Joined in 2008
March 18, 2009, 08:48

Yeah definitely. I think Magz hit the nail on the head there. I just REALLY needed to know, and still do i guess, that God loved me THE WAY I WAS! and that i was not a mistake, or demon possessed lol

willing to help in anyway that i can

Shane Cathcart
Event Coordinator
Joined in 2009
March 18, 2009, 09:43

Hi Tanya,

Thanks so much for your story, there needs to be alot more people with your experience out there making a difference. One of the biggest problems in my struggle was that I was made to feel that it was wrong, even though I didn’t have any idea where my feelings were coming from. I was not to embrace it and had to choose celebacy.

I’m only now just starting to find out what feels comfortable for me and my relationship with God, and that’s how I would encourage other gay christians who feel the same way. There are some things I’m not sold on yet, such as relationships, but I know that talking about how I feel, and not running from it, has made me much more free and less ashamed of who I am.

Joined in 2008
March 18, 2009, 10:10

Thank you for your story. In fact reading yours prompted me to copy and paste my original post in the Supporters Forum to this one.

We’d think that as Christians, having experienced the grace and truth of God would free us to look at life, well, more freely.

Like you, my understanding of God and my views about the Church’s views of faith and practice have been challenged and have evolved over time . It is sad to see and hear how easily we put words into God’s mouth and call that truth ….and totally miss God’s nature and heart.

Seek and you shall find; ask and it shall be given; knock and the door shall be open AND the Truth shall set us free – not always easy but it is a more freeing way to live, by God’s acceptance rather than by human’s interpretation of that acceptance.

I too would like to see the local church attend to same sex attracted people within the congregation to help them work through their issues….without a reparative agenda……since that may not happen sooner than I desire I am working through the power of One (God) and one (available me in the capacity He has placed me).

My thoughts are with you in your given role and your prayers (plus other F2B’ers) for mine would be appreciated.


Joined in 2005
March 18, 2009, 14:03

hey calvary chapel is my old haunt and there a few people that have come on here in the past from chapel chapel… as my son called when he was little.

Nice to see you on here. I just wish yoiu could be my parent right now as I prepare to be married to my partner of 9 years and my parents are not attending…

people like you seem to have the biggest impact and for that I thank you

Joined in 2006
March 18, 2009, 15:31

oooooooo a wedding 😀 😀

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
March 20, 2009, 22:30

Hey Tanya……it is so great to have you post here. I’m currently in the UK but returning on april 1st.

If you think it would be helpful to catch up then I’d love to meet with you for coffee. I know of a number of people in similar situations that I could connect you with……just for some encouragement and to know you are not alone on this journey.

BTW…..that telephone number you have is mine.

you may like to join us one Friday for one of our chapter meetings……always first Friday of the month.

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