Tag Archives: coming out

"Wish Me Away"

I watched a heartbreaking and inspiring documentary last year, Wish Me Away.  It follows Chely Wright, country music star, on her two year journey to come out as a lesbian.  And not only come out to her millions of conservative, Christian country music fans, but also to her friends and family.

Chely was speaking with her spiritual advisor,
Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, regarding her fears of how her fans will react to her coming out.  It was an honest and realistic conversation acknowledging that some people who live for Jesus may not respond to her news as Jesus would, with acceptance and love.  Some would respond with judgement and condemnation, believing she was a sinner and would go to Hell.  He said, “There’s nobody quite as mean as people being mean for Jesus.”

WOW.  That was quite a statement that snowballed on me.  The more I thought about it, the more truth I felt in it, the more examples of it I remembered in this world.  Although they were specifically talking about a Christian fan base, I would extend this statement to many more religions, even to atheists.  How may people have been ridiculed, hurt or even killed in the name of someone’s god or for believing in the “wrong” god or for just believing in something/someone?

Lots of people talk to us about Jesus and tell us what Jesus thinks of our “sins”.  But how many of us are being Jesus?  How many of us see Jesus in each other?

In the documentary, people close to Chely were interviewed about gays both before Chely came out to them and then again after.  Two of those family members really stood out to me: her dad and her nephew.  Her father was raised in a church that taught him homosexuality was a sin, was of the devil.  Her nephew made jokes about gays and talked down to them.  I think it’s easier for folks to have those discriminating thoughts when they believe they don’t know any gay people.  And I say “believe” for a reason, because we all know at least one gay individual.  You may not know they’re gay because they haven’t come out or they haven’t come out to you, but you know gays.  Family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, church members.  It was eyeopening to these two male family members when homosexuality gained a face.  A face that they knew and loved.

Oprah asked Chely’s dad what changed in him about what being gay meant when Chely told him and he replied, “I knew her.  I knew her heart, I knew her soul, her whole life…I would tell others, ‘Don’t close the door; open your heart’.”  Chely’s nephew choked up on camera and said that he really regrets how he spoke about and treated gays before finding out about his aunt.

I’ll end this post with another quote from Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, “What I came to believe is that the GLBT Movement is like the Civil Rights Movement because discrimination is the denial of one’s right to be, to be who that person is.”

Going Public

Even though our decision to HS had been made over Christmas break, we were not ready to tell everyone.  None of our friends nor family members HSed.  We didn’t have all the answers to all the possibly questions that would be asked.  We didn’t know which curriculum we would use or if we would use one at all.  And I wasn’t ready to face any possible skepticism or negative reactions just yet.

The hubs really wants B to finish out the school year, so we decided not to tell Ben about HSing until this Summer.  B does love going to school to be with his friends.  He loves Math, PE, Music and Art.  The hubs was worried B would not be happy about HSing when we told him b/c he would not be with his school friends all day.  We also did not want B to tell everyone at school that he would be HSed in the Fall.  Our decision was not made b/c we feel the school is doing a poor job and do not want any teachers feeling slighted.  We figured the news would go over much better during the Summer, especially when everyone else went back to the school building in the Fall and B got to stay home.

As excited about HSing as I was from all my research, the hubs still had his doubts – another reason to not go public with our decision.  We had joined The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers at the beginning of January and registered for their annual conference that took place March 12-13.  There were so many interesting session subjects that the hubs and I split up in order to capture it all.  It was a great weekend for us as a couple, just to get away w/o B.  Plus, the hubs now got so much information that I had been getting for the past few months.  The more he learned the more convinced he was that we had made the right decision.  He gained confidence that he could and would teach B just as much as me.  On the way home from the conference he said we were ready to “come out” and could handle any and all reactions.  It’s been great to see the hubs turning so many everyday activities into learning opportunities w/o B even realizing it.  ;o)

One day while B was doing his homework he said to the hubs, “I wish I had a say in what my homework was.”  The hubs told me that night that he almost let it slip to B that he would soon have a say in everything he learned!  He saw then that B would not be completely bummed about our decision.  Last week B came into my room to get me up and I was not happy.

Me: I can not WAIT until this school year is over. (I mumbled as I got out of bed. B evidently heard me)
B: Me, too!  I wish I never had to go back to school after this year ended.
Me: (Blink.  Blink, blink.) You don’t.
B: (whole face lit up and big grin) I DON’T?!?!?!
Me: Nope!  Daddy and I are going to teach you at home!
B: (face fell fast and he looked at the ground) Oh.
Me: It’s going to be great, B.  You are in school for 6.5 hours a day and we’ll only need an hour or two at home.  And it won’t have to be all at once.  We’ll learn everywhere, not just at the kitchen table.  We’ll go on field trips and you’ll get to make decisions on what we learn about.  It’s called “homeschooling”.
B: Hey, I’ve seen books all over the house with that word on it!
Me: Yup.  I’ve been learning, too.  
B: But Mama?  What about Music class?  ‘Cuz at school, sometimes we play instruments in Music class.
Me: Well, we can see about that.  Plus our music class could involve going to concerts and listening to music and reading about composers.  So, do you think we can do it?
\: YEAH!  (pauses)  So, can we start now instead of in the Fall?
Me: I feel the same way, buddy.  I’m still workin’ on your daddy…

Before B headed off to school, I told him in no uncertain terms is he to tell ANYONE about HSing.  I don’t know why I expected him to do something that I myself was unable to do, but I hoped for the best.  A friend of mine said to me, “You just told him he doesn’t have to go back to school in the Fall, he will only be learning for an hour or two a day and will have field trips.  Suuuure he’s gonna keep that jackpot to himself at school!”  But he did.  He actually forgot all about HSing when I asked him if he had told anyone else yet.  :o)

This week I am administering the 1st grade California Achievement Test (CAT) to B.  It is an approved form of Evidence of Progress that the school division requires each year to show that your child is learning at home.  The hubs has promised that if B passes the CAT then we can talk about pulling him for the rest of the year.  He has completed all language arts sections so far and will complete the math sections today and tomorrow.  I know his results will not be back before Spring Break is over, but it should not be too long to get them.  I have complete confidence that B will pass.  He is bright and has a great 1st grade teacher!  Will let you know the results as soon as I get them!

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