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From Praying to Staying Gay

It’s been more than 15 years since I came out to my family and friends. I had no idea how my family or friends would respond to me telling them I was gay. I just knew I didn’t want to hide anymore and it was too painful to hold in my true self. I was living with so much fear back then – the fear of being ‘disowned’ by my family and being shunned by my friends; the fear of feeling (more) isolated; even the fear of being hated by my God.

I remember many conversations with God – ones that included a bargaining and a begging to please not make me gay in high school. I thought God, family, and friends would be disappointed and make me feel like an outcast. I believed those thoughts so strongly I spent my high school years feeling depressed. I made myself an outcast to myself. I told myself I was unworthy and believed that too.

So, I understand people when they say hateful things about gays and believe them – I believed those thoughts too and found ways to make it true 20 years ago. The mind will find proof with thoughts we put out into the world. If you tell yourself you are unworthy, you will find all the ways this is true and the mind will confirm it. And if you tell yourself you are a loving being of God, the mind will find proof for that too. As Byron Katie says, “The mind’s job is to validate what it thinks.”

Today, I choose thoughts of love and watch how love flows into my life. I am blessed to have a life-partner for 17 years. And the love from my family and friends is beyond words. All of this has only brought forth more love and acceptance. It started with me loving myself. My fearful thoughts led me to pray not to be gay. My loving thoughts allow me to be grateful to be gay and for all the expansive love.

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to all those who are scared to come out and the NY State Senate to put forth a vote in favor of the Marriage Equality Act.

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