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My Audacity to Love God While Loving You
by Joselyn Parker
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February 18, 2020

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My Audacity to Love God While Loving You

Credit: @_blk_intellectual

Imagine being the daughter of a pastor, from a very strict Christian household, and the praise and worship leader for your church, while secretly being gay. The fear of this inner truth getting out is enough to keep many people with similar circumstances in the closet. Unfortunately, for a very long time, I was one of those people. It wasn’t uncommon for me to hear church folks referencing scriptures about abominations. Or listen to preachers speak about homosexual spirits jumping on individuals. I was fearful of saying anything about my internal secret, so when I was alone, I would plead with God for the “spirit” that must have somehow jumped on me, to go away.

The older I became, the more impossible it was to hide the truth of who I was. I found myself dating men as a cover-up, and then made up various reasons to break up with them once I realized things were getting too serious. It was a vicious cycle. I began hating myself for not being able to be freed from this “thing” that was going to keep me out of entering the gates of heaven.

Related: What Living Out Loud Taught Me About Self Love and Heritage

After many late nights and early mornings, some serious soul searching, and long conversations with God, I realized his love for me never wavered. Despite my sexual orientation and the things, people tried to force me to believe, the creator knew who and what I was long before I took my very first breath. It took me many years to unlearn the toxic religious rhetoric that kept me in bondage for the majority of my life. Age-old rhetoric passed down from previous generations that are incredibly toxic within the Black community.

It took me many years to unlearn the toxic religious rhetoric that kept me in bondage for the majority of my life.

Courtesy of Ash Tree Images

Fast-forward to 2017, when I moved to Columbus, OH, and met my fiancé Chyna. We worked for a local nonprofit organization, and although cliché, I was smitten the first time our paths crossed. I previously dated two other women, but I guess as the saying goes, “third time’s a charm.” Initially, we only hung out as friends, and each time I saw her or engaged with her in some way, I felt grateful for the opportunity to be in her presence. It was evident I was falling for her. On the other hand, Chyna never dated a woman, and the idea of our blossoming love was scary in her eyes. She certainly made me work for her heart, but there’s no denying that she is absolutely worth it.

The crazy thing about same-sex attractions is that it genuinely makes people uncomfortable. People don’t understand that we are like any couple who love each other unconditionally. The stares, the whispers, and the unsolicited advice made us quickly realize this after we officially began dating. At the time, our burgeoning relationship caused a strain, both personally and professionally. 

Related: How to Build a Foundation for Love

The built-up tension from our employer to numerous family members and some of our friends led Chyna and I to make tough decisions. We had to leave many of those relationships, in the past, exactly where they belong.  

Courtesy of Ash Tree Images

I believe many people struggle with same-sex relationships because they solely make it all about S-E-X. Still, there’s much more to our love than that. We enjoy each other every day through the simple things that life has to offer, such as watching our favorite shows, making dinner together, or enjoying inside jokes. (You know, just like any regular, heterosexual couple.) Despite it all, we have remained consistent in each other’s lives, and the push back from the world around us has only strengthened the bond that we share. We do well together because she is everything that I AM NOT, and we know how to bring the best out of each other. 

The crazy thing about same-sex attractions is it genuinely makes people uncomfortable.

Although it’s been a long, complicated journey, I’ve come to realize that my only desire is to love myself enough that I am ALWAYS able to give her the best parts of me. You have to love yourself before you can wholeheartedly love someone else. I still have a few people who are close to me that say things like, “living as a homosexual is wrong.” 

Their views are their own, and I respect that. We are all created to be something different. My truth is obviously not everyone’s truth. But it is the truthfulness that I was called to live because I can only live the life that was designed for me. 

Related: The Marriage Mindset: Preparing for the Relationship You Want

I can’t live my parent’s truth, and I certainly wouldn’t be any good at trying to live anyone else’s reality. Once I was able to understand this concept in its entirety, I embraced the freedom to live a fearless, authentic, and intentional life. 

My experiences with church, religion, and homophobia have played a significant role in my decision to further my education in pursuit of studying Multicultural & Equity Studies as a Doctoral candidate. I hope my research raises awareness on the effect of rejection toward LGBTQ people of color and their experiences around “belonging” and “suffering” in the Black community. People must recognize the damaging effects of using God as a vehicle for personal biases, especially in our culture.

People must recognize the damaging effects of using God as a vehicle for personal biases, especially in our culture.

Courtesy of Ash Tree Images

I was once convinced that God didn’t love me anymore, and it almost took a major toll on me. Regardless of the challenges we’ve faced, Chyna and I haven’t turned our backs on God, and we don’t take for granted the favor that he’s shown in our lives. There are far greater things to worry about than our sexual preferences. I’m spiritually at peace and emotionally wealthy. As far as the church is concerned, we are still looking for a home where we would be welcomed and have the freedom to “come as you are.” Without the attached stigma of “as you are” changing the circumstances if it makes others uncomfortable. We know that it may be difficult for some people, and it’s not our desire to get into a war of “right and wrong.” Until then, we continue to pour into each other and strengthen one another in all aspects, especially now as we embark on our marriage journey.   

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