A million years ago, I was the alto soloist at a large Protestant church. My friend and classmate Justin was the tenor soloist. We loved the church, loved the people. Because neither of us grew up in that faith, we took an Alpha course, and at the end of the course we thought about joining the congregation.
And then he had a difficult discussion -maybe multiple discussions, I'm not sure - about his sexuality and where it fit into the teachings of the church.
I remember him saying that it was okay that he was gay, but he couldn't act on it.
I remember him saying he still wanted to join. That we needed to join. That it was time.
I remember being so confused. Thinking "so, I'm allowed to fall in love, have sex, get married because I'm attracted to men. But, Justin isn't allowed to do any of that, because he likes men too?"
It seemed blatantly unfair.
We joined the church.
We unjoined the church after a few years.
Neither of us go to church very often nowadays, come to think of it.
I'm still angry that they abandoned him, these million years later.
Angry that they couldn't allow him to live fully.
That they couldn't recognize how wonderful he was, exactly the way he was.
I am happy that Justin has found happiness - a wonderful spouse, two creative, gratifying careers.
I just wish he hadn't had to work so hard for something that I was privileged to take for granted.
SCOTUS, do the right thing.
Edited: Many thanks to my dear friend Justin Gomlak for allowing me to share this story. I love you, sweet friend.