My freshman year of college I met one half of my best friends, a beautiful girl by the name of Sacha. I didn’t know she was gay when I met her, I was just a college basketball player who wanted to be friends with hot girls. Though I waited until I graduated college to tell her I wish I hadn’t. It probably would have helped me a lot. She has been nothing but instrumental in the maintenance of my sanity for the past four years of our eight year friendship. I also met my second best friend Rosa through her as well and they have been nothing short of angels from heaven in my life.
After spending so many years in spiritual turmoil, even spending some time not believing in a God at all, I saw Michael Beckwith on Oprah. He was talking about God in a way I had never heard before. The God he talked about loved me. It was as if everything he was saying was being downloaded into my soul and my spirit had begun to awaken again. I found my way into a place that was more conducive to my spiritual growth.
I was still a little skeptical because in my 23 years of life to that point, I had never heard anyone talk about God, love, and homosexuality in the same sentence without mentioning hell or repentance. I had to know where he spoke or taught and Sacha had been going there for a while and took me to Agape. This was nothing short of divine intervention, the true nature of what “God” really is, calling me to where I belonged.
After leaving there it felt as if my soul had reawakened from an extended hibernation and that “God” didn’t hate me; hell, I can’t even say with 100% certainty that God even exists, just like you can’t, so why should I continue to torture myself? But something blessed me with an unbelievably compassionate spirit that I don’t think I would have, had I not been born this way. I think if more people could see the world through the eyes of any person or group of people who have ever been mistreated simply for being who they were born to be, we would live in a much more compassionate, loving, caring world. You would think the black community if any, would understand that more than any. They Don’t.
Do I believe the Bible and religion is doing just as much harm, if not more, than good to people and the world? At this point in time, absolutely. You have an entire group of people who alienate and persecute a minority group of people because of one Old Testament verse while casually ignoring all of the other “abominations” in that same book on a daily basis.
Listening to a woman I worked with who ultimately inspired me to write the book I wrote last year say such vile, hurtful, baseless, things about someone because they were gay hurt so much to hear, especially knowing they were her family member. What hurts the most is listening to someone say things like that and they not know they’re talking about you as well and you feel you can’t defend yourself directly and have to pretend to be taking a stand for “someone else”.
I was fortunate enough to be blessed for lack of a better term, with the ability to mask the homosexual side of me allowing me to avoid judgment from the outside world. But who are we to assume someone is straight or gay? There are so many kids and teens that aren’t lucky enough to walk around wearing a mask of heterosexuality and they are being teased and bullied on a daily basis to the point where they are killing themselves. I feel I have a responsibility to do something about it.
In September and October alone of last year, over 10 people as young as 12 committed suicide for being bullied for being gay and the saddest part is some of them weren’t even gay, they were perceived as being gay. These bullies don’t learn this stuff on their own. They learn it at home. And that’s not even taking into account the hundreds of kids beaten up every year and who drop out of school from fear of being bullied, then some of them have to go home and be bullied by family and parents.
Writing my book took me on such a deep journey into myself that I believe it was God’s way of truly opening me up to who and what I really am because I learned so much more about myself and the world. I was afraid to write it initially because I wondered, “well what if people ask am I gay” or if it forced me out of the closet. But I kept writing anyway. When I reached the end I knew I had done a great thing and that people needed to read what I had written. It helped me truly love myself for the first time in my life, and had I not done it, I probably wouldn’t be writing this.
After reading the stories of such brave young men and women who had been beaten or killed or suffered through brutal attacks, I felt it was time for me to step up to the plate. The heaviest stone I have carried my entire life is finally being put down as if Atlas was finally able to take the world down from his shoulders.