Friday, July 20, 2012

Claim

Growing up, I heard a lot of "If you were at gunpoint, would you stand for Jesus or would you renounce him?" We all pledged that we would be like the missionaries and high schoolers who chose death over denunciation. We were told that we would never know unless the moment happened, though.

I still think about this a lot. The thing is, though, my brain has replaced "Jesus" with "wife." We live in a decently liberal city in a conservative state; I still live on edge sometimes about being gay. The scenarios in my head aren't usually life or death, but it's the same principle. If a police officer stops me for speeding and asks where I'm going, do I mention I'm on my way to pick up my wife? To the wrong person, that could be me asking for trouble.

It frequently occurs to me, since I love to be so vocal about having a wife, that I could be asking for my food to be spit in, or my speeding ticket marked up to the next price bracket, or, more casually but still hurtfully, would-be friends and acquaintances to walk away. It's always a risk.

I read once, I don't remember where, about how for LGBT people, holding hands on the sidewalk is never just that. It's so true; it's true of so much more than holding hands. One word could change anything and everything.

Despite all the stress, I'm glad the word isn't "Jesus" anymore, though. I'll take my wife, any day.

8 comments:

  1. I hope that asking that question will seem ridiculous within our lifetimes.

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  2. Without putting it so eloquently, I've had much of the same thought process myself. We were invited to my wife's (conservative, used to be a pastor) grandfather's wedding early this summer and were slightly apprehensive about going, especially with my wife so obviously pregnant. My brother in law told us that we were too uptight about things, and that people should just have to accept us as we are. It was hurtful, to be accused of not being comfortable with one another, but then I was angry at him for not understanding how much is really at stake when we do choose to act "like ourselves" out in public. We too, live in a fairly liberal city in a very conservative state, and the fear lives on in us.
    Now, even more alarmingly, I have to consider what repercussions our daughter will have to endure. Not to mention that I never want her to feel like she should be embarrassed of having two mothers - that kind of rids our ability to hide by pretending we aren't a couple, should the situation warrant it.
    Life is always a complex thing, no?

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    1. It's so easy for people to tell us to be less uptight. I've found that they even think they're being "on our side" - not condemning, but encouraging us to live out loud! My dad told me, not too long after I came out, that if this was my choice, I shouldn't hide it. Nice words, except that I would've gotten kicked out of school.
      Growing up, like a lot of middle-class white kids, I couldn't really relate to the idea of privilege. But being a minority has made so much real. It's terrifying to live with fear.
      Like Sierra said above, I hope this is a moot point by the time your Ever is old enough to deal with it.

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  3. Ah, memories. Growing up, I always felt like I was a weak Christian because it seemed like I was the only one who didn't have a knee-jerk "Sure, I'd let someone shoot me in the face for Jesus" response. I had no aspirations to martyrdom whatsoever. It made no sense to me when my peers and their parents would talk about Christian persecution coming in our lifetime and actually seem excited at the prospect.

    As an adult, I still identify as a Christian, but I think if I were faced with a gun-waving lunatic, Jesus would understand if I were more interested in talking the shooter down than giving a theologically correct answer. And I am *not* worried about mass persecution of Christians happening in the US anytime soon.

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    1. To your last point - SO true.
      The logic never really made sense for me. Yes, I could take a dramatic stand (and maybe convert people by my death?), or I could continue living, so that I could be a witness and good example.
      Plus, this was youth group. None of us wanted to die until we'd had sex.

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  4. I read every post, but I just had to come in and applaud this one. Thank you for being awesome.

    Jessa (the woman who found you from Offbeat Bride)

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    1. Thanks! I like being told I'm awesome. I'm glad you've stuck around. :)

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