Every Story Matters

larry_hippieI’ll never forget the night I was surfing the web and came across Impact’s website: Where Faith, the Real World and Gay Life Intersect.  My mouse instinctively directed my fingers to the “Write for Us” tab located in the top far right corner of the screen. “Why not,” I thought to myself, “Maybe somebody will find my musings interesting.”

Honestly, after that first submission, I didn’t give it another thought.  Lo and behold, the editor, Steve, contacted me a week or so later and . . . well, here we are. I admit I wrestle with insecurities at times and wonder if what I have to say is relevant. Self-doubt kicks in.  This is what Steve had to say about the matter: “no one has your voice, your perspective, or your style. Start embracing yourself as ‘unique’.”

Someone asked me not too long ago who my intended audience is.  I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “Honestly, dude, I dunno. Haven’t a clue.”  The answer came to me a few days later when a friend said to me: “L.T., dude, just write! Don’t worry about an audience – just share your story. It’s the message that counts.”

My message is simple. I want to break down walls – get people thinking about things from a different perspective. I want my words to open the hearts and minds of those who are unable to reconcile their faith with homosexuality. I want them to see that being gay is not a choice, not an abomination, not a curse, but rather an integral part of God’s creation. My heart constantly breaks for all of those out there who are struggling to come to this realization. I hurt for all the gay sons and daughters estranged from parents who don’t understand.  I want my words to reach out, grab a hold of them, and bring about healing in their broken relationships.

Penny and I met in Bible College and are still friends twenty-five years later. While we dated, I wanted so desperately to love her the way she deserved to be loved, but I never could. I wrote the following in my journal on December 16th, 1989: “I think it all boils down to the one thing that really bothers me – something Penny doesn’t know about – something which has bothered me for a long time. I’ve prayed about it, but it just won’t go away. Perhaps someday I’ll fall so madly in love with her that it will go away.”  On January 1st, 1990 I wrote this, “I wonder if ‘it’ will ever go away. I guess I need to pray about it more.”

Penny and I have had some pretty intense conversations about homosexuality in recent years, whether it’s genetic or choice – right or wrong. A few weeks ago I asked her if I could write a story about our friendship and she agreed. “Penny” ran last week. At first she was reticent to share the piece on her timeline, and it took a few days for her to muster up the courage to make herself vulnerable. When she finally shared the link, she introduced it with:  “This is scary for me to post. Please read with an open heart and mind. It’s not my job, or anyone else’s on earth to judge, but to love.”

The response was overwhelming. I’d like to share just a few of the many comments.

“You are brave. Thank you for posting Penny. I have a very similar story to write someday. Now I have the courage.” 

“Wow – L.T. knows you really well! What a fitting tribute to a wonderful friend to everyone no matter their gender, income level, sexual orientation. … You truly do not judge but try to understand.” 

“This is a great article about being willing to accept and learn from other people. I believe you are right, Pen, all that is required of any of us is to love. No more judgment= no more fear.”

“I love it Penny and thanks for sharing, I myself being the mom of a gay child I appreciate that you posted this. Very heartfelt.”

“I am not really religious but I have always believed that the Creator loves all His creations equally, no matter what. I don’t believe any man or woman should feel superior to another but should embrace the differences because that is what makes this world a truly wondrous place to behold! Applause to your friend L.T., it takes a great man to speak aloud when others strive to just blend.”

“Penny, you are fulfilling Gods greatest command. Love one another. I found great freedom a while ago when I realized that we were not called to change people, we were called to love people. Keep on loving!! I thought it was a great article.”

“Brave post, my friend. As I was reading, I could so clearly see you and your beautiful energy and love. Life isn’t so simple, is it? I thank God daily for his amazing grace and mercy with me. Keep working on your faith, girl. He has much to teach us.”

“You know, after I read it, all I could say was ‘wow’. At a loss for words and that never happens. It’s not just your story, L.T. and Penny, it’s everyone’s story.”

A profound realization has occurred as I share my story. I realize that it’s not just my story – but the story of everyone who has traveled with me as I journey through life. It’s the story of all those who have faced similar struggles on the road to self acceptance and reconciliation. It’s our story – and you never know what will happen when you start sharing your truth.


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Ex-Gay SurvivorL.T. MILLER was born in a small southern town. While in college, he became involved in ex-gay support groups, and in 1996 was accepted into the New Hope Ministries residential program in San Rafael, CA. During his two year stay, he questioned everything until finally he completely abandoned a misguided ideology that made less and less sense. He found a gay church in San Francisco where he was accepted for who he was, and with the loving support of a lesbian pastor he was able to begin life anew as an openly gay man.  L.T. Miller is the Ex-Gay Survivor.