Dear Rosene

Dear Rosene,

Yes, the source of my pain has a name.

I thought she saw something special in me.

I thought she saw me.

13-years-old.

Thick green carpet lined your office.

I remember because all I could look at was the floor.

You showed me the flowers on your desk and said they were from someone like me.

“But now they’re free. Just follow my lead.”

So, I did.

You told me about a man you saw on the news.

You warned me I would become like him if I didn’t repent of my sin.

I thought you wanted to talk because you saw something special in me.

13-years-old.

Tears were dripping in my mouth as I gasped for air.

“I’m gay!” I confessed for the first time.

Our Sunday meetings continued.

One year passed.

You promised me freedom.

Two years passed.

You promised me freedom.

Three years passed.

You promised me freedom.

Four years passed.

You promised me freedom.

Five years passed.

Is this freedom?

18-years-old.

I didn’t know how to love but I did know how to settle.

For any man.

Tell me, pastor, what’s it like to be sure of who you are?

What’s it like to be taught that the one who created the stars loves you just as you are?

Tell me, pastor, what’s it like to know who you are is good?

21-years-old.

My eyes began to open.

After all, a castle built on sand will not last. Right, pastor?

And the waves of truth are hitting fast.

Each wave carving out room for a solid foundation.

Each wave declaring, “God loves you as you are!”

My sandcastle fell.

23-years-old.

Now I knew what is true, so, I summoned you.

I forgive you for all the pain, I said.

Your eyes were dead.

“God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”, you replied.

Forget the cliches. What about me?

You still can’t acknowledge your evil deeds.

29-years-old.

I ascended to the great hidden mountain.

Seeking healing from my pain.

There, I found a fountain.

The water was pure.

I drank from their well.

Freely they gave, expecting nothing in return.

I felt thirteen again.

Scared but now scarred.

Can I trust you?

Are you another Rosene?

Fear aside, I showed who I am.

They sat in silence, listening.

Then, from the silence, “Brother, may I heal your pain?”

This teacher has a name but she doesn’t seek fame.

“Not only does the one who created the stars love you for who you are. You are the stars. Nothing is far. It’s all in you.” She proclaimed.

That’s when the movie began to play in my head…

“Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”

“Love the sinner, hate the sin!”

“Leviticus 20:13!”

“Turn or burn!”

“Repent or perish!”

The movie screamed.

This sister touched the earth to heal our pain.

Rosene, that’s when I realized the freedom song you sang was all in vain.

Your gaslighting no longer worked.

My light is too bright.

That’s when I took flight.

For the first time in my life, I saw clearly who I am.

I am good.