I asked TMD, ‘Hey, what sort of person signs their text message with the word “blessings”?’ She thought similarly to me – Christian or Pagan. We chatted a few more minutes, then moved on with our lives.
She went to work, and I took the kids over to their friend’s house – and my new friend, the one who offered me blessings. I met them a few weeks back at a large home ed gathering and we ended up talking because Coco really hit it off with one of her boys. I liked the kids, I liked the mum, I scored her digits and BAM. Playdate time, baby.
It turns out she is Christian. The sort of Christian that has all these cute amazing crafts hanging up that her kids have made, but they all reference Jesus. Lots of Bibles.
And, you know, that’s fine. Except that super Christian people don’t always love gay people. And I don’t remember if I came out to her when we met.
Now, the whole should I or shouldn’t I coming out debate is not one I often participate in. The decision to not come out is one I very, very rarely take. I can remember once or twice in the last thirteen years I’ve let someone assume I was straight. My long blonde hair, style of dress, etc often means most people assume I am straight. So I am very practiced at coming out, and usually work it pretty early into a conversation because I find it’s better to let people know they are in conversation with a queer bee, otherwise you end up in awkward conversations where they are asking about your husband and you tell them you have a wife and they are horrified they assumed wrongly and apologise and tell you all about their gay friends. Seriously. Better to avoid.
But this lady? We met at a farm. Our kids played together a lot. We looked for baby chicks together. My son smashed his face into her kid’s head on a trampoline and we couldn’t get the bleeding to stop. So I don’t think the gay thing came up.
I try to assume the best of people. There is no reason to think she wouldn’t be okay with me. The amazing Aussie is Christian and she is a staunch defender of civil rights of all shapes and sizes; she is the sort of right on, activist person I think Jesus would have totally dug.
So, should this lady ask, of course I will come out. But today? Today I kept my mouth shut.
Because all the Bible quotes and crafts made me feel a bit uncomfortable. A smidgen awkward. A mite squeamish. I wouldn’t have minded them at all if I knew she knew I was gay and invited me over anyway.
Generally, Christians in Country B are much more progressive than those in Country A. My experience with Christianity, in many flavours, in Country A, has left me with pink scar lines running across me. People have hurled insults at me, made vitriolic comments, told me I was going straight to hell, and much, much worse. My own mother would have nothing to do with me, all in the name of Christianity. A blog reader once told me she liked me even though I was gay, then emailed me a five page letter about my sins. I spent twelve years in a Catholic school that wasn’t shy about their ideas on homosexuality. It’s made me automatically register when people mention they are Christians in a way that I don’t react to Jewish people, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, whatever. And perhaps that is wrong of me, but I also have no firsthand experience with Christian Christians here in Country B.
The Christian toys, art, books, etc that were everywhere, combined with the blessings text, make me assume she is a Christian Christian. I look forward to coming back here and telling you all she is super okay with me and my ‘lifestyle choices’. I hope none of you call me a Christian basher. But it is true that much of my life is spent reading, listening, and observing what Christian people think of homosexuality, and a lot of is a poisonous.
I don’t assume all Christians, or even most Christians, feel this way. I’ve been personally involved in a great Anglican church, various Quaker meetings, and Unitarian chapels. But there is no denying that I have a self protective mode that makes me hyperconcious and uncomfortable….it is also a way I rarely feel anymore, now that I am older and more confident, now that I am surrounded by people of my choosing.
I had a great time today at her house. Our kids still all get along well. I like this woman a lot; she’s warm and gentle with her kids and seems really genuine. So I will be inviting her to our home sometime in the next couple of weeks, and I genuinely hope a real friendship can blossom.
But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about telling her I’m gay.