I’M NOT BUYING IT
The passion to become a teacher started, for me, in early childhood. My playhouse consisted of a make-believe classroom where I taught make-believe students the things I learned in school. I graduated from high school, worked my way through college, and obtained the necessary degree to pursue a teaching profession.
In early adolescence, I realized I had what society labeled as a problem. According to the voices from the pulpits of Southern Baptist churches, a gay man would never be allowed to teach in an American public school. So I turned to religion to solve my problem. Religious instructors said if I prayed long enough, and if my faith was strong enough, God would transform me into a straight man, because it was not God’s will for anyone to be gay. After putting up a personal fight and spending several years in dedicated studies of the Bible, it became evident that the transformation was not going to occur. Nevertheless, I spent years struggling with a guilt complex. Finally, I came to a conclusion: I did not fail religion—religion failed me.
The Christian religion has failed thousands of American citizens. According to statistics, at least one-tenth of the population is born with a homosexual orientation. Therefore, it is a disgrace for a sick society to bring such severe condemnation upon this group that many will commit suicide. Each year hundreds of America’s smartest students take their own lives because they are gay.
I taught in
public schools for thirty-two years fearing that at any time I could be fired
if it was discovered that I was gay. In
order to secure a stable financial future I had to develop a sideline
profession in which no one had the authority to fire me. My solution was to own
a business. After years of hard work, I retired from teaching and sold the
The moment of change in my life came when I took the opportunity to travel. It was necessary to experience how other people worship and to learn how other societies deal with the so-called problem of homosexuality. So I traveled. I ended up in Southeast Asia where alternative lifestyles are fully accepted. Every day I meet people who practice universal love and have no religious restraints on who they can love. I have learned that restrictions on love diminish happiness.
If I’m going to hell because I want to experience true love or because I want to live as a first class citizen, then hell, here I come. If I want my life to mean more than the Southern Bible Belt allows, the evils that befall that choice rest on my shoulders. You can preach all you want about the sins of a gay lifestyle, but I believe they are less significant than the evils of a pulpit that brainwashes people. They are taught that it is all right to hate and such hate is even approved in the eyes of God. I’m not buying it.