I posted something elsewhere on the Forum taken from a blog and headed "Secretly Gay-Affirming Pastors" (about a pastor having difficulty 'coming out' as affirming).
One of the comments to that blog was from a 'Robert' and I thought he made some good points about our journey which are worth sharing here. Here is what he says .. .. ..
This post (re Secret Gay-Affirming Pastors) has generated very mixed emotions in me.
First, the amount of love and tenderness, caring and compassion displayed throughout this blog and the responses is heart-warming. I fully appreciate the love generated… because it means to me that humanity is growing… becoming more human.
As a gay person, I have often thought that people missed the point regarding homophobia (and racism, sexism, etc.). Most people assume that by being homophobic, they are defining and demeaning me. But the reverse is true; they are defining themselves as hate-filled people. It took me a long time to shed the hate that others piled on my back… and it will likely take a lot longer for them to rid it from their hearts.
The second emotion related to the posting is…???? I don’t know. I sense the fear… the fear of losing one’s place in the world, the fear of economic disadvantage, the fear of rocking the boat, the fear of being ostracized, the fear of being hated.
I have gone through this level of fear in my life, repeatedly, every time I come out as a gay person.
The thing about coming out is that it is not a one-time event. It is a continual process. The first time I came out was based on timing. I waited until the last semester of my senior year in college. I waited until my parents no longer had any control of me. The next few years were based on my assessing my environment. But I was never actually sure about the outcome.
Each time I came out… I was fire walking… taking a step into the unknown.
In the end, the coming out process has made me stronger. It forced me to become courageous. Not because I am filled with courage but because I practiced taking courageous actions. I also learnt that whatever price I would pay for living a life of integrity and honesty was worth it… it was better than living a life based on fear. A life lived in fear is a life not lived.
Good luck on your journey… there is love at the end of it… and people may surprise you… they did and still do surprise me.