1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Now Out to my Bishop

Discussion in 'Coming Out Stories' started by padre411, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. padre411

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southwestern US
    I've been trying to describe the look on my Bishop's face when I told him I was gay. This is what came to mind:

    One copy of “Coming out Spiritually” by Christian de la Huerta: $14.95

    One hour of psychotherapy with a really good therapist: $165

    The look on your bishop’s face when you tell him you’re gay: Priceless.


    I think the look on his face was fear at the idea I had already acted out inappropriately and there was now a mess to deal with.
     
  2. Revan

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    7,817
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Canada
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Lol, classic.
     
  3. postulant88

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Mike,

    I have been so inspired by your story. I am a closeted 23 year old man. I am also a postulant for the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. I was just granted postulancy on Saturday. That announcement has brought about tremendous changes for me.

    I don't know where to start. I am currently in a long term relationship with a woman. We met in college. She's a beautiful girl whom I love very much. She's funny, smart, articulate, caring, and worst of all, she loves me too. I have known since 7th grade that I was almost exclusively attracted to men but I have for so long tried to convince myself that it was only a phase, that I could make it pass if I tried hard enough.

    I have finally come to the end of my rope. I am starting to realize how I've never been attracted to a woman in my life.

    I don't know what to do. I don't know if I can accept this part of me. I feel so deceptive, walking around my local parish talking about how I'm so proud of the Episcopal Church for our recent decisions on gay and lesbian people, and yet living a life that's a lie.

    I am so terrified of breaking her heart, disappointing my parents. I am so overwhelmed I can't even name all of the fears.

    What if she gets angry? What if she can't handle the news and hurts herself? What if my parents refuse to talk to me? What if my bishop feels that I was deceptive to the COM and Standing Committee and therefore strips me of my postulancy? What if I lose my job as a youth minister at my local parish? What if people think I'm just deciding this on a whim? What if people just don't understand?

    I have never in my life felt so called to something as I do the priesthood. I know that is a part of who I am. But I also know I am gay. I don't know how to meld the two.

    I need your advice.

    Faithful and hopeful,
    Jake
     
  4. padre411

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southwestern US
    Jake -

    I'm sorry for the delay - I was looking for this in private messaging but I'm no longer a community resource person and can't PM with newbies. Jim1454 is a good friend and advisor and you can PM him.

    It would be an honor to be whatever help I can be. I'm happy to do that directly if you are willing. I gave Cecille and Jim my contact info to pass on to me.

    My resignation as rector at my parish is effective November 7. And I can tell you it has been a year of hell since I came out - but only from a few angry people with homophobes at their core who were no longer parishioners. But this was an exceptionally unhealthy parish. All could have ended will but I am under a bishop who proclaims inclusiveness and support but will do the bidding of whoever holds the checkbook. The irony here is that he thinks he's answering to the checkbook people but he is not. They are in the parish, they are ardent supporters and they are pissed.

    But God has a wicked sense of humor. Since October 16, I have been invited by Nominating Committees into 3 different bishop searches. It is insane. I've never aspired to be a bishop in my life. I did throw out a hail mary application to Pittsburgh on September 30, the last day of their nomination period. I expected nothing of it but it gave me a chance to articulate my vision of being a bishop. To my surprise, I made the initial cut and have a phone interview on Thursday.

    I'm was unexpectedly invited an encouraged by the Nominating Committees in Atlanta and New Hampshire to participate in their search.

    These opportunities solve so many family and personal dilemmas that my wife and I haven't resolved yet. We've moved very slowly. This will be the occasion when we set up two households.

    Tammy, my wife, was up and down with anger - sometimes intense anger - from February through August of 2010. Things have been good since then. A vast majority of the parish and all of my family have been actually pleased I arrived at this place of peace and wholeness. It has allowed me to make much more of who I am present in my ministry - especially my preaching.

    I'd need to know your diocese and you'd have to help me know your parish to discern the reactions. You wouldn't be the first postulant to stay under the radar until landing somewhere hospitable. As for your girlfriend, you're doing greater harm by "sparing" her this temporary anger. And yes, it will stab.

    Perhaps she will want to continue the relationship. That's been done as well. The "open marriage" approach is common. I've not been able to reconcile that with my ordination vows and I take those seriously. I've never broken them. I nearly died of depression keeping all of my vows and concealing who I was, but I kept them.

    Again, Private Message Cecille if you'd like my personal contact information.

    pax profundis,

    mike+
     
  5. Fintan

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Congratulations Rev. Mike!

    I'm an Anglican/Episcopalian as well. I grew up in the church and while it has always been reasonably accepting, its really nice to see the US Church and parts of the Canadian church begin gay marriages and allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the priesthood. But, there are some older priests out there, especially in rural areas, that are hold outs.

    Anyway, despite all this, it really would have been nice to have known an openly gay priest when I was in my teens trying to figure things out. I often find solace in my faith, but coming out was a struggle. I just hope there are more priests out there like you that just by being open, makes it just that much easier for them to accept who they are.



    Jake,

    I am not much older than you are and I won't pretend to give you advice on how to deal with your girlfriend, bishop, parish or diocese.

    But, I will say this: God has called you to this office. He knows who you are and what you are because he made you. Know that he has called you to serve Him.