Let's put it this way, if you find that you are a lesbian, gay, transgendered, bisexual, or sexually-dysphoric student at the great place we all know and love that is Cedarville, it is eminently important that you carry, on your person, at all times, a color photo close-up of hermaphroditic genitalia. This point can't be driven home too hard. Our stories on this website are so shockingly similar that adding another testimony of samesy, angsty, personal trials and all the praying to "the Jesus of Junk" that mine would work differently seemed more than redundant. Instead, let's focus on you, and get back to that photo I was talking about. You will find it useful, and this is how: you can take it out at any moment, in any polite public conversation or private bathroom stall and prove to yourself and/or others, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God made you this way, and it's okay. You see, there's a lot of what I like to call, "pig-eyed, sack of shit theology" out there running amok, and unchallenged in the world, and Cedarville was one of those places, when I attended it, that absent-mindedly, even lovingly, promulgated said theology in spades.
You've no doubt heard from your mother, pastor, friends, and even that cloying, questioning voice inside your head that God does not make gay people. He only makes straight people in two types: Adams and Eves. Eve's take a little longer and require a rib bone as a starting material, not unlike sourdough bread, but that's how it's done, and it's only in those two ways and only with predictable, rational, loving results, because God never makes mistakes. It is at this very moment in the conversation you are having with yourself or others that your production of the photo is crucial! You whip out that bad boy/girl thing that oozes with the juices of both and you say, "HAH!" with all your might, followed by "What kind of non-mistake, loving, predictable, result would you say this is?" *No disrespect intended to the hermaphrodites in the room.
At that moment, the argument falls apart, as it really needs to do. It needs to fall apart in living rooms, dorm rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms all over this great land we call Jesus Country, in the same way it was important to point out to the Catholic Church that the world was not indeed flat, and that adjusting theology to encompass this newfound reality will not rip salvation right out of your beating heart. Another solid point is that no authors or presenters of said information needs to be burned at the stake.
The faiths of many peoples have been astoundingly ignorant when it comes to addressing the concepts of gender and sexuality, but who can blame them? There is no natural mode for honest conversation about human sexuality to occur. We lie prolifically in bars, bathrooms, gyms, sports fields, bedrooms, campsites, dorm rooms, fraternities and sororities, glee clubs, bath tubs and circuses. But we save the extra special, burn-in-Hades-forever, pants-on-fire lies for religion. These whoppers come flying out of our mouths at church, church groups, church sponsored events and even at meals made from recipes collected at church pot lucks! The cheesy-bake is listening! It is upon this body of lies that St. Peter built his theological tenets of sexuality that I referred to in the first paragraph. It's a predictable formula: oversimplified, peer-pressure driven ignorance in… inerrant, infallible scriptural authority out. It wasn't until the twentieth century that we began asking people to report on human sexuality with the aid of anonymous forms, and boy/girl did we learn what liars we are! This brings us back to that photo.
The results of nearly all of those double-blind, anonymous, psychological studies in the twentieth century confirm what the biological sciences have been telling us about gender and sexuality for years: namely, that it is a slippery slope. Gender and sexuality result from a selection of chromosomes, albeit sometimes an unfortunate selection, that is influenced by waves of hormones washing over the mind and body of a developing fetus. This process formulates the design and function our individual junk and minds when we are born and then puberty starts the engine of this roaring machine. Interestingly, science tells us we all start out as Eve's and it's the Adams that require the extra work. This developmental process produces results that mirror the answers on the honest surveys. Instead of the vast majority of the population being straight, with a small minority of gays, it is more that the vast majority in the middle are variously bisexual with small minorities of straights and gays on the far ends of the spectrum. This perspective on human sexuality has been confirmed for me over and over through anecdotal experiences and honest confessions and testimonies of the faithful and pagans alike.
Now what should you and your photo do about your religion? Many of the people on this website have come to terms with Christianity in a form that does not conflict with their experiences as gay people and have found these communities of faith deeply beneficial to them personally and a source of continued strength and meaning in their lives. If that is a path that you would like to consider, please seek one or more of them out and they will be happy to talk to you about your religious options given your gay reality.
In my case, I did not settle on a traditional religious path. Maybe I felt too "punked" by my faith to go back and give another version of it a chance, and maybe organized religion is just not something that works well for me, but for whatever reason, I ended up agnostic with spiritual interests. The process of parting with my dear old faith was almost more difficult than facing my family and friends and honestly introducing myself to them for the first time. If you find that you are struggling with your faith and you fear you are heading for a steeple-and-pew –free-future, feel free to contact me at . I'd be happy to listen. Fare well, love well, respect those around you and the beliefs they have formed, even if they are the pig-eyed sack of shit variety, and don't forget your photo! It could save your life!