Dear Aunt Sue,
Thank you so much for the beautiful sympathy card. Losing both grandmothers in such a short span of time has been a very strange kind of sad. But if anything can be gained from the heartache, it is the reflection both deaths have brought, the challenge to savor each moment of my life as a positive experience and the clarity to figure out who and what is truly important to me (and who and what truly isn’t).
I also really enjoyed the DVD of ex-gay testimonials you included with your selfless condolences. Thank you for sending that along! What a story! My partner, Dean (whom you will never meet) was particularly moved by the account of the leather party, where the former homosexual saw a demon fly out of the chest of a potential dance partner.
Boy! Have I been going to the wrong parties or what!
I just wanted to write and let you know that your ridiculous idea of Christian charity…has worked! You must have put some sort of black magic curse on your envelope, because somewhere in the middle of watching the DVD, I saw a demon fly out my own chest.
The demon was a boy, around the age I was when I first made the conscious decision to be homosexual (June 25 1997). This demon looked at me and said, “You’re beautiful just the way you are, Stephen. Please don’t ever hurt yourself to be someone else’s idea of a human. Love is free. Anyone who tries to tell you what God’s rules are is only playing God themselves. People will pretend to have the answers because they’re tortured by their own questions. ‘Satan’ is just another word for cruelty. ‘God’ is just another word for kindness. As long as you don’t forget the real difference between the two, you’re gonna be just fine the way you are, kid. Oh and by the way, I’m really sorry to hear about your grandmother-”
But just then, Jesus appeared. Fire came out of his eyes and mouth and the demon was destroyed. And now, we’re cured! We don’t feel happy, but we do feel right. But we’re so busy bangin’ chicks, we hardly even notice each other anymore!
We had also been planning a wedding for this summer. So, we’ve decided to keep our reservation on the tent and just celebrate our new, correct sexualities! I would LOVE to have you and Uncle Tony there. If anyone else drops out, I’ll be sure to get your invitation in the mail. But if I can’t squeeze you in, please accept a donation in your names to PFLAG, NOH8, the HRC and the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign as some small consolation.
And Aunt Sue, I just want to thank you again for reaching out to me. It makes me feel so much better to know that you’re thinking of me and ways I might be improved. Your kindness reminds me of a favorite verse from Exodus 23:2, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.” My grandmother, your mother, may she rest in peace, taught me the true meaning of these words. And when I hear them in my prayers, I know she is proud of the man I am today.
But only because I’m straight now.
Your hospitality is like a beacon of light during this dark time. You were right when you wrote that it is “never easy to say goodbye.” Although, sometimes, it might be easier than you’d expect.