I can admit about myself that I write for two distinct reasons: one, I write about deeply personal stuff, perhaps what most people would journal or write in a diary about. I blog publicly instead because my heart, left to its own devices might just belt out “can I get a witness!” in the most awkward and inappropriate ways if I didn’t. I just need someone who will listen with me, to hear what the story is saying, where the Gospel might be hiding, where God is or seemingly, profoundly isn’t. Two: I write when I think I have something smart to say. Maybe no one else is saying in the way I would say it, I try to add a distinctly different view or voice to a larger conversation. The ugly truth that I hate admitting is that I want someone to affirm my position, or at least engage in a dialog with me about it (therefor giving me opportunity to convince you I am in fact, right. Ugh–see, ugly). On this blog, I write about the intersection bisexuality and Christianity, finding places where the two worlds mix or divide.
So this is the place where this story begins; I was feeling quite smart, quite confident in my position laid out: I don’t care for the use of the word “pro-gay” to describe someones stance on an entire community. Not exactly the most controversial thing I have ever said for sure. Out of seemingly nowhere a comment from left field:
Rachel – your anger, bitterness, and self-righteousness seems to ooze out of your blogs. I’ve read your blogs for many months. You are so anti many things…evangelicals, heterosexuals, businesses, churches, pastors…and yet you say you are for love. It doesn’t sound like it. I think your agendas have blinded, deceived, and falsely empowered you. The evangelicals are not your enemy- don’t demonize and generalize them. You become guilty of the very same hypocrisy that you criticize them for. You obviously have been very wronged by them…for which I am sorry. However, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater…most have never spoken as poorly about the GLBTQ community as you have spoken about them.
Knocked completely on my ass, I did two things: asked friends to weigh in and when they did, invited him back to the conversation by emailing him directly. I said, in part:
I have no idea who you are, but my blog is for generative, positive conversation and genuine disagreement with a tone of civility. You, crossed the line, and then backtracked. What is your deal with attacking me? Reading me for months, but never commenting? Who are you?
I received a text from a friend after the first post in this story. They asked “Who was he?” The hardest part about this story, and about my friend, is I don’t think I will ever be able to answer this question. I have no idea what his favorite color was, but I was invited into the depths of his despair. I couldn’t tell you definitively what he did for a living, but I could tell you (and will) how his fear turned into freedom, how his loneliness and my late night emails collided to join two lives together in the most uncommon way.