“I thought I hid it really well...”It is hard to know what to say to words like these other than to offer prayers to God for Ray and his family.
“I didn’t know people could see what I was going through, the darkness and the struggle. After I came out to my family, one of my daughters said she was afraid to walk in my bedroom because she was afraid she’d find me — that I’d done something to myself. And I didn’t even know they’d picked it up.”
“I thought, ‘Well, I can just do what I always do and hide the truth or I can take a risk and be honest.It’s hard to say I came out because I didn’t have all the answers. I just admitted what I was struggling with and what I was feeling. It’s hard to go, ‘This is the point where I accepted my sexuality and who I was,’ but I came out to them and shared with them what I’d been going through.”
“I’d denied it ever since I was a kid. I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore … when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’”
“You get to be 50-some years old and you go, ‘This isn’t changing.’ I still feel the same way. I am the same way. I just can’t do it anymore. I basically lived an ‘ex-gay’ life — I read every book, I read all the scriptures they use, I did everything to try and change.”
“I was so good at pretending/like an actor on a stage/but in the end nobody knew me/only the roles that I portrayed/and I would rather have you hate me/knowing who I really am/than to try and make you love me/being something that I can’t” (from “God Knows I Tried”).
This too is a truth we Christians probably would rather not hear about! It does not seem to fit in with our reading of the Bible or our neat formulas for "a life victorious" , going from "glory to glory" or being "overcomers"! Yet there are those among our loved ones or acquaintances who have felt similarly isolated and afflicted.
May God give us the grace to be attentive to their stories, sensitive to their needs, partners in prayer and quick to offer consolation instead of judgement.