Everyone in my immediate family was happily married by the age of 22. I am the black sheep. Your thirties is that time of life when everyone seems to be getting married and you seem to be waving goodbye to them all from your dusty shelf. What do I have to look forward to?
Choosing celibacy over same-sex relationships is a good thing according to the Bible. For me personally, choosing celibacy was like a bereavement. Saying "Bon voyage" to my sexual expression and identity, the hope of finding a long-term partner and physical intimacy. For a number of years, I couldn't help but experience this as a major loss.
TFT has done much in its 40 years to decrease stigma in the church, but we would all agree that there is further to go. In this article, Donald shares some positive experiences of being included by the church, to show what can be done when we aspire to inclusion.
In our culture, people still assume everyone wants a husband or wife, or at least a partner. The majority view is that being in relationship is preferable to being single. We often refer to people as happily married. But when did you last hear someone described as happily unmarried?
I’ve always been pretty open about my struggles with sexuality, so I was up front from the start when I arrived at my church 9 years ago. In those days, there were only a few of us and we met in the minister’s house, so it was very easy to get to know people and build positive relationships.
Although I'm not from a Christian background, I did grow up in a loving family. I listened intently to Gospel messages when I was 10 years old and started going to the church youth group, where I experienced God's love and started to grow in faith. My first memories of attraction and sexual feelings as a child were towards guys.
Being in an accountability relationship has been a source of great blessing in my life and, therefore, writing an article on the topic is a positive step forward for me. I am aware, though, that this subject is not always one that is met by others with the enthusiasm I view it.
From around about the age of 10 or 11, I became very conscious of being attracted, both emotionally and physically, to my male school friends rather than to my female school friends. I hadn’t chosen to have those feelings and I spent most of my teenage years fighting against them and tormenting myself with guilt over them.
A well-meaning Christian friend put this question to me and I confess that it made me quite angry. I was surprised by the strength of my reaction and have spent some time subsequently reflecting both on the question and my response to it. I want to focus on changing my orientation towards God, towards myself and towards others.