Recently we got such a message from someone who found Christine Bakke and me through Beyond Ex-Gay. The writer of the e-mail is a Christian and identifies as an ex-lesbian who has nothing to do with LGBT people except to try to steer them back into the fold.
Regardless of what I wrote her, each one of her long e-mails (five in total) served as mini anti-gay sermons with the same talking points I used years ago when I was ex-gay and tried to sort out anything queer in the world.
In her last e-mail she said she did not understand how I could accuse her of being “disrespectful and hateful” and invited me to re-read all of her e-mails and get back to her.
I imagine many of us have gotten these sorts of messages from family and ‘friends,’ and sometimes the temptation for me is to respond to each argument and point and get involved in a dialogue (ie debate) that goes nowhere fast. I have since learned that it is more important for me to point out exactly the nature of the correspondence, call it what it is. Below is my response.
Dear Xxxx, As I wrote to you before, if you are happy as an ex-lesbian and with your relationship with Christ, than I am happy for you. Sadly I do not believe you can extend the same happiness to me in regards to the peace I have found with Christ and my sexuality.
In my previous e-mail I said I found your words disrespectful and abusive. I never said ‘hateful.’ I have no doubt you feel love in your heart and believe you reach out in love. Although loving, you have taken the role of abuser. You stand over me in the position that your Christian walk and your choices about your sexuality are morally and spiritually superior to mine, and in the name of Jesus, you impose your sexuality on me. You do not recognize the happiness and peace I have. Instead your words seek to invalidate my faith in Jesus and the sincere journey I have been on. I will not allow myself to get drawn into an abusive relationship.
When you are ready to have a sensible adult conversation with someone you can respect as an equal, let me know.
Your brother in Christ,