I apologize for how long it has taken me to contact you since our last meeting. Time was taken to gather my thoughts as I did not want my words to come across as offensive. If they do so, I sincerely apologize – such definitely is not my intent or the emotion behind what I am writing.
That being said, after having met with you, I realized that it was not yet time for me to return to church. I know it is almost impossible for you to understand, but it is not a safe or healthy atmosphere, being told and expected to struggle with who I am.
I am gay. I do not “struggle with same-sex attraction.” I do not “struggle with same-gender attraction.” I am gay. I fall in love with men. My most compatible spouse and parenting partner is male.
Trying to force upon me the false perception of challenge, temptation, burden, etc. by trying to invoke guilt or shame; inferring that such is what God expects; emphasizing possible excommunication; invalidating my feelings and sense of self-worth; or advising or counseling with the implication that you know better than I is emotionally abusive. While I understand that you and the Church are not purposefully acting in an abusive manner, the atmosphere is nonetheless abusive, and such is augmented significantly when my willingness to live a celibate life is still deemed not good enough to be a member of equal standing to any other member.
For example, in order for me to be fully trusted as a representative of the Church (as would any other member), I must revert back to a lower sense of self-worth, believing myself to be flawed and handicapped in a way I simply am not. I must hide an integral part of who I am, which part has substantially influenced my strong relationship with God.
I am confident in who I am, in my relationship with God, and in understanding how valuable I am to God and His children. I will no longer surround myself with advisors or churches who would ignorantly tear this down. If my sense of self-worth and relationship with God is not appropriate for the Church, then the Church must resolve such within herself if she truly wants me to return to her pews.
The Church was made for humankind, not humankind for the Church. The Gospel was made for humankind, not humankind for the Gospel. I will not confirm to or obey the doctrines, claims, and teachings of any church or gospel that would make me – or anyone else – less of a human being.