Reflections Part 6: Other Relationships

Posted: November 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I knew there would be relational fallout due to my coming out.  I had mentally prepared myself to accept the fact that there would be people in my life that would not handle the news well.  Despite the mental preparation, I definitely was not emotionally prepared for what would happen.  I secretly hoped that we could all continue to get along and be friends…but that just didn’t happen.

The best-man from my wedding decided we couldn’t be friends anymore.  He quietly dropped me from Facebook and has not called since I came out to him.

Several church “friends” decided that we can’t be friends anymore.  They have dropped me from Facebook as well.  One publically ridiculed me on my Facebook wall before deleting me.  That was such a loving, Christian thing to do!  Another person that I was very close to at my former church sent me a message saying that I was bringing him down and that he had to cut all ties with me. 

One formerly “good friend” has spent a lot of time writing to me and trying to convince me of the error of my ways.  Support is definitely NOT what I am getting from him.

I’ve met with a few friends one-on-one and told them what was going on.  They seemed like they were surprised and could “agree to disagree” but I haven’t heard from them since.

And then there’s my parents.  They have stressed over and over again that they are “not mad because I am gay”.  BUT…they are mad at me…mad because I broke up the family…mad because I have stressed out everyone in the family…mad because I am not doing so well financially…mad because I “lied to them for so many years”…mad because they had to deal with this in their 70’s rather than in their 40’s.  It has been almost a year and they have yet to meet my partner or come to my new place.  They are keeping a distance from my new life.

Thankfully, while there has been all of this fallout in relationships, there is good news too!  There have been some very supportive friends who have continued to be friends even though my whole life has changed.  I am very thankful for all of them (many of you are reading this right now).  And…I have NEW FRIENDS!  And despite what many might think, all of the new friends aren’t all gay!!!  I have been able to surround myself with gay, straight, single, married, Christian and not-so-religious people…all of whom accept me and like me just for who I am.  So in the past year, I have found out who my real friends are and I have made a bunch of new friends.  It has been a difficult process and there have been relational casualties along the way…but I am not lacking in the relational department at all.  God has provided a strong support system for me.

I am so thankful for my friends, new and old, who stand by me and love me for who I am!

  1. Mitch says:

    Chris, you hit me where I am with each post. I served as music pastor for more than 30 years before making my announcement. The most painful part of this journey is that my 3 grown daughters will not communicate with me at all. My second grandchild was born a month ago and I was never notified. Any suggestions how to deal with this? I am struggling however I will NEVER turn back… I’ve been liberated! Keep up the posts!! I look forward to each one.

  2. Ron says:

    I’m glad that new friends are making the difference for you. I lost only one friend in the process — my best man from my first wedding. He has been a life long friend and still excluded me when dying. I feel the hurt of this loss 2 years later. Prayers for your healing and mine.

  3. Michael Bush says:

    I am so richly blessed to be counted among your friends — and always have been! Love, Michael

  4. Mike says:

    Hopefully in due time everything will mend. Cherish the friendships and relationships you have right now.

  5. Alex Haiken says:

    As a Jewish, Christian and gay man (yup, all three!) who was the board chairman at my church when I integrated my rich Christian man with my sexuality, there were many who decided they could no longer afford our friendship. But there were some who had the courage to trek with me through the journey.

    Though it was surely at times difficult and painful, I can also say in retrospect it has been the most fruitful journey in my Christian walk. I learned that refusing to recognize what you know to be true about yourself because you fear the opinions of others is a recipe for complete self-deception and takes you on a road to nowhere. It will deceitfully draw you not to a life-giving oasis, but deeper and deeper into a spiritual dessert.

    Of course, it never comes without cost: The JEWISH community has problems with me because I’m a Jew who believes that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Many CHRISTIANS are not happy with me because I’m unapologetically gay, without secrecy or shame. And the secular GAY community dismisses me as insane for my continued association with what they perceive to be a homophobic religion.

    But I’ve learned that to live as a man of God and a follower of Christ means above all to live with personal integrity. And I now get to live an honest and authentic life, before God, before man and before myself. Unless we can be true to ourselves first, we cannot be true to anyone else. I believe Shakespeare got it right when he said: “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

    -Alex Haiken

  6. Larry S. says:

    This experience must be deeply painful. Sometimes for something new to be born in our lives, something must die. In a sense, you have died to some people but are being reborn to others.

    There’s seems to be little benefit to this suffering that you are going through on a regular basis but you will be a better pastor to those who need you because you know how God and the good friends he sends to you can help you through the time of trial. Blessings to you and to all to whom you minister.

  7. Dan Sloan says:

    I had a similar experience after coming out to friends at Azusa Pacific. Several bluntly told me that St Paul said that they are not to associate with “unrepentant sinners” and cut ties. Others just disappeared. It was deeply hurtful because I can’t think of anything more sinful that cutting someone off, even if I disapprove of a decision they’ve made.

    In time though, several came back into my life. I can’t say that any are supportive of my sexuality or my “outness”, but they valued our friendship more.

    It may take months or years, but you’ll be surprised at who contacts you. In the meanwhile, enjoy the healing you’re receiving from your new friends. HUGS.

  8. Jon says:

    I have just started reading your blog – and I wish SO badly that I had seen it over the last few years, as I gone through (and continue to go through) a journey so similar that it’s eerie. I can’t even begin to tell you how much of it lines up – it’s almost like I was writing the entries. All of it – the counseling (with Joe Dallas, too!), the prozac, the emptiness, the pain, the attempts to be perfect, the (justifiably) hurt ex-wife, the children – all of it. I can’t wait to continue reading your journey to learn more about mine. I don’t see an “email me” icon on your blog – is there any way to communicate with you?

  9. Patrick says:

    “True friends walk in when all others walk out”

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