|Dotti and family
My personal journey of Gay Into Straight America began long before this specific year-long trip. I shared my truth and authentic self with my family in the early 80's. Yes, I was "out before Ellen was in!"
I am a Life & Relationship Coach, writer, trainer and consultant. Click on the following link to read a story, "Coming Home," which offers insight to the journey with my family.
Our churches are often part of our family as well. I share the following information, not as judgement, but to offer reflection on my journey. When family and churches expressed that honesty is a value worth pursuing, I thought they meant it.
My experiences have served as the perfect mirrors for me, for I would have never awakened to the person I am without them. I am grateful beyond measure for this journey of understanding. Click on the links below to read about those experiences.
As I look back on my church experience with Crossroads Christian, I note that I was beginning my journey with Soulforce and non-violent process. At the end of my journey with Crossroads, as I was again denied the opportunity to join, I wrote "I fully chose to accept the potential suffering in this case without retaliation or complaint. I am committed to continue to bring truth in love to the victims of untruth. I realize that 'suffering for others' in order to educate and eradicate the untruths and misinformation of which they (as well as I) have been a victim of in the past, is the path to my own liberation."
WOW! How true it has been during these last six years, as this journey of bringing "Truth in Love" to individuals around our country continues. I have learned that the "debate is over," and I don't choose to engage in the debate. Why? My experience is that people want to use their spiritual 2 x 4's on one another (often from both sides), and all you have is two "dead" people. I have never witnessed two dead people communicating. My experience has been that when we refuse to use our biblical knowledge in this manner, but simply connect on deeper levels through sharing our stories and being in relationship with one another, we connect on authentic levels, and we have the opportunity to transcend and dissolve our differences. That is the commitment Roby and I have made on this journey of Gay Into Straight America.
Many of us have different opinions and/or scriptural interpretations on a variety of topics, including but not limited to, the welcoming, affirmation, inclusion, and celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. What do I say when people use "their interpretation" to diminish me, rather than lift up and empower me spiritually? I simply say, "Some people believe that. I don't." If people are genuinely interesting in coming to a greater understanding about sexual orientation (whether that be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual), and gender variance, then I am more than willing to point them to the resources I have available.
We are deeply committed to engaging minds, not changing minds, and being our authentic self in that process. We call it the "attractor factor."
Click here for an example with Rev. Buddy, a minister "wrestling" with his understanding.
Click here for an example with Ed, a window washer, "wrestling" with his understanding.
Click here for an example with a Kathy, a lesbian, who was "wrestling" with her understanding and self affirmation.