The Power of Honesty

I occasionally get emails like the one below. I'm publishing it simply to say one thing in this nerve-racked time, especially on the issue of homosexuality. Gay people have the power to transform their own lives - and the world. In fact, only gay people can really accomplish the kind of change on this issue that we need. This revolution does not happen on the streets - but in living rooms and kitchen tables, in offices and schools, at church and at the movies. It's happening more and more. And the power of honesty is extraordinary:

With your inspiration I found the strength to come out to my mother and father today. I have dreamt of this day for years. I have spent countless nights over the last 15 years (and I am 28 years old) going over in my head how it might be. I have read Virtually Normal three times. I have tons of gay friends and a partner of almost three years.

But finally today, I clutched my copy of Virtually Normal in my childhood bedroom, said a prayer to my God, and walked into my parents' living room and revealed to them this secret that I have held for too long. I know it will take some time for them to understand, if ever, but I know that the only way that I can live a fulfilling, honest life is to be honest with those who have sacrificed so much for me.

It's a simple and beautiful way to think of it. I remember another gay man who persuaded me two decades ago to come out to my own parents. He said a simple thing: "Don't you deserve a mother and father?" At first, I said, well of course I have a mother and father and they love me. And then he said: "But do they really even know you? All of you? How can they love someone if they do not know him? Why are you shutting yourself off from the love of your parents?"

And so I told them. And their love has sustained me for two decades, and still sustains me, and celebrates my relationship. You ask me about Christianity? This is Christianity to me. That's why that book is dedicated to my mother and my father. I owe them everything. But I once feared their love.

Be not afraid.