To the Christians who feel like being in America persecutes their way of life and their faith:
Try coming out as gay.
Come out as bi.
As any other "alternative" category you can dream up (no matter how the dreams may frighten you).
Watch your family reject you, or, at best, grit their teeth behind a smile. Know what it's like to live with the knowledge that people are always hoping and waiting for you to change.
A dear married, gay friend shared recently that her dad, who was formerly supportive of her, is starting to question himself. He's starting to wonder if maybe he was wrong about his only daughter, and she really is living a terrible, sinful life. V and I photographed this friend's wedding, and we have a picture of him dancing with her. It blew my mind. (Nothing compared to a later wedding we shot, with both brides' extended families in existence - wow!)
Watch yourself monitor your speech every day, in every situation. Run through the mental gymnastics of audience, timing, appropriateness, stress level, consequences, before saying
"My wife and I."
"Actually, we don't go to church."
"I love both of these people."
"I appreciate your concern, but the bruises aren't from abuse."
"I believe just as strongly, but in a different God."
"Last week, at the gay day at the park."
Is it worth it?
Will three or four words sever a relationship?
What you say is irrevocable. The wrong phrase - or email, or text, or glance at a computer screen, or novel - can lead to questions, accusations, consequences.
They might change your life for the worse.
You're better, being your true self. You're living an honest life.
That doesn't mean it's always easy.