I absolutely want to write something meaningful and true about my experience. I rarely actually talk about "my story" with anyone, though most of the important people in my life know about my sexuality and I'm pretty open about it now with new people that I meet. I've become so, so much more comfortable with who I am in the years since I studied at Cedarville (2015, BM Church Music). Realizing that choosing to accept my truth meant pursuing church music may no longer be the career path for me, I decided to leave my suburban Dayton, Ohio home and move to Nashville for graduate studies and career as a professional musician.
The last five years have been filled with more challenges, growing pains, and questions than I faced even as an undergraduate student struggling at Cedarville. Finding my way in an industry of self-expression pointed out my need to find the answer to one major unknown: who am I? No really, who even am I? Not the figure I was told or thought that I should be, or who I shouldn’t be for that matter, but rather the person I am when there’s no shame or guilt, no longer a need to sugar coat and hide the truth – the person I am when all need for an idealistic façade is stripped away and all that’s left is just me. Many begin to wrestle this subject in the teen years, but I had only really started to begin my journey of self-discovery and acceptance during third and fourth years at Cedarville.
And like many of us, I am still learning. Through my journey so far, I have uncovered 3 non-negotiables in seeking to live authentically as both a proud Christian man and a proud gay man: 1) I will never lie or pretend to be someone I’m not, 2) I will never ask permission or forgiveness of others to be the person I am, and 3) There is no room in my life for anyone that hinders my commitment to 1 & 2. If you find yourself at a crossroad starting the journey of self-discovery and acceptance, find strength in community and hope in the journey ahead to something, and maybe somewhere, greater.