When my wife discovered I got down with men I quit going to our family church and chose another where I could get peace and reflect.
Actually it was relief. When I dated my wife I joined her faith, which was conservative and decidedly anti-gay. It was not unusual for a minister to thunder some line like, “We believe in the Bible and Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
“Amen Brother! Speak the truth,” several congregation members would respond.
Plus my wife wanted me to set up regular meetings with some of the church leadership to monitor my sexual activity and confess if I had any “urges.” That was a joke to me. At least two men in church leadership had already hit on me. The minister had had an affair. And one day when I was doing volunteer work I found a used condom back in the utility room.
Someboy in church was fucking…
So while I was working through my sexual issues I decided to go to a more gay-affirming church. The last thing I wanted to hear was a message of intolerance against gay people.
But last summer, a few months before I separated from my wife, I got a phone call from “Sister Evans,” one of the oldest and most respected members of my wife’s congregation.
“I want you to drive me to a Bible study at one of our sister congregations,” she said. “Just pick me up and take me. It will be like going on a date. Don‘t stand me up.”
Sister Evans is a little bit nosey but still a nice woman. I genuinely missed her although she irked me by coming to the house to tell methat I was in threat of going to hell because I had changed to a congregation that was different from my previous faith. Still I promised to pick her up and take her to the Bible study.
On the appointed day I picked her up and another sister from the congregation, “Sister Mariel” and we headed to the church service.
Imagine my surprise when I got there and found out it was a lecture on gays in the church. And the white man giving the lecture was a notorious official from the ex-gay movement who claimed he had lived a life of sinfulness as a gay man but through God had turned his life around.
Sitting on the front row was his Asian wife, looking all demure and content like he was giving her the best dick on Earth.
“The reason why we have gay men and lesbians is because children are not getting enough affection from their male or female parent when they are young and they crave it when they get older,” he said.
“We have to learn how to love and show affection to our children so they are not looking for this in the same sex,” he went on.
To prove this he pulled some guys out of the audience and hugged them. But he was holding on to them a little too long and too tight. And he still had very effeminate mannerisms. So all that prayer he had done to go straight had definitely not butched him up.
My developing gaydar was spinning like crazy.
“Ex-gay?,” I thought. “Who is this motherfucker trying to fool. He is still sucking dick.”
The longer I sat there listening to his lies the madder I became. My face grew warm and my heart was beating so hard I could feel the blood throbbing in my ear drums. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.
But I just kept my cool and stared straight ahead as the “ex-gay” guy espoused hate and ignorance and the audience said “Amen” in approval. I glanced over at Sister Evans sitting to the right of me and she had a self-satisfied smile on her face that said, “Gotcha!”
I reached down and pulled out my cellphone and texted my wife. Yeah, I know you are not supposed to text in church but I was pissed.
“Did you know this was a program by somebody in the ex-gay movement?,” I texted.
“No, I thought Sister Evans told you. I assumed you knew,” she texted back.
“Do you think I would have come if I knew,” I answered. “We have already discussed this matter at home.”
“I’m sorry,” she said.
But I knew she wasn’t sorry. My wife is very passive aggressive, a trait she had that I had grown to hate over the years and was part of the reason I had disengaged from me. She had clearly set me up. That was cool. I had hurt her and I guess embarrassing me like this was her way to get back.
Several members of my old congregationwere in the audience. A few kept glanced over at me with a looks that smacked of satisfaction, superiority and just plain sadism. I was determined not to go out like a punk bitch.
What’s that saying? Never let them see you sweat?
Still a part of me wanted to stand up and interrupt that closet fag and challenge his archaic notions of what causes homosexuality. But then I thought, “Why make a scene?” I sat proud, erect and calm.
Then after awhile I turned to Sisters Evans and Mariel and calmly said, “I’m ready to go home now. I’ll be driving you home.”
And I loaded them busybodies in the car and dropped them off at home. We didn’t talk too much about the lecture. Just exchanged pleasantries and promised to get together and worship again soon .
When I got home I went online and read up on the white guy who gave the lecture. I soon discovered he had lost his license to practice therapy. His Asian wife was an arranged marriage through Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.
Oh, and before I forget he was not totally “cured.” He had had several male lovers since marrying the Asian chick.
That night I lay in my king-sized bed, my wife on one side and me on the other. We were only two feet apart but the chasm between us deepened that night. It might as well have been as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon.