Radio silence. That unnerving sound of nothing where one expects something, reason to eventually change the channel, go in search of the sound of something.
I experience the internet equivalent of radio silence each time I search for “Taylor University” and gay.
Today I received a note from my niece, referencing a friend of hers who came out as a gay man while attending the conservative church school I almost went to instead of Taylor.
She describes him as the perfect Christian before he came out gay. He subsequently reexamined his religious beliefs, converted to a world religion other than Christianity, and now describes himself as an atheist. “I know his story is not yours,” she writes, but I’m wondering if you can offer me some perspective on how to respond to him.”
She’d contacted him recently to ask his help in trying to understand how the once-on-fire-for-God man she knew had become a person who no longer believes in the existence of God.
“He responded with a 16-page letter,” she writes. Her friend traced his growing-up experiences, the ways he cried to God for deliverance from being gay, the radio silence he received in response. “I don’t want to convince him to come back to God right now. I don’t think he needs that.”
I wrote back to her at length, and quickly, and noted the energy I have towards people who come out to themselves within a religious setting. I know what it was for me to make such a journey while at Taylor University. I know how very alone and abandoned I felt. I was met with condemnation and/or pat answers. No questions except, “How could you?!”
Taylor University has taken a public stance against lgbt persons. From my perspective as an alumnus, that’s about as far as they wish to take it. They say little else, are content to keep a low profile on the issue. Their choice. But this doesn’t mean I can’t make some small gesture towards raising awareness of the issue, towards pointing out that there are other ways of looking at the issue, that there are those within the larger Taylor family (or on the outs with it) who have personal experience and histories that veer wide of the official line.
My initial energy in creating this blog is to break the silence, be a voice crying in the wilderness of cyberspace, to say to other lgbt Taylor University-affiliated persons “you are not alone.”
Breathe Feel Love
Know in your soul
Like your blood knows the way
From your heart to your brain
Know that you’re whole
And you’re shining like the brightest star
On the midnight radio