I, Brandon Blackman, a student at John Brown University – no, not just a student at JBU, but a Bible and Theology major at JBU – am gay. I have liked other guys since the eighth grade, and the thought of ‘boobs’ makes me want to vomit. If I was sitting in front of you right now, what would you say? Ask? Think? Feel?
I was not sexually abused as a child. I had a supportive father growing up and I have attempted to date many girls. No matter how hard I try, girls do not arouse me – guys do. Now, what would you say, ask, think and feel? Honestly, think about it.
I believe in God, I love Jesus with all my heart, and I know that the bible counts homosexuality as sin. I did not choose this lifestyle. No sane person would choose to be judged, ridiculed, called a pervert, shunned by his mother, asked to leave his youth group and told by JBU res life not to go public or date – but to hide – like an unwanted dog, or a skeleton in the closet of JBU’s head, heart, hand image.
No way would I willingly choose to feel so alone and unwanted that killing myself is the only answer – as I attempted to do last summer. There are a lot of scary places in this world – lots of things that could kill you, but there is nowhere that even comes close to the scariness of wanting to die – of your own mind being the one who is doing the killing. I am sitting in front of you, completely vulnerable, my soul revealed, my heart racing, palms sweating, tears on my face and voice shaking. What are you going to say to me? What are you going to ask me? What thoughts do you now have about me? What are you feeling?
Think about it!
Now stop. Truthfully, and in all reality, I am NOT gay. I have never been gay, nor do I ever plan on being gay. For a few short moments though, I wanted to be a real JBU student who was 100% gay in your mind. I wanted you to experience what I experienced last week when a JBU student told me he was gay.
All of the above is true, nearly exact quotes from the conversation, except not from me, but from my gay friend. I know there are people who stopped reading this article after the second line, and I will forever be labeled in their head as gay. I don’t care. There are people living among us, people who we pass every day on the quad, that are forced to wear the ‘gay label’ 24/7. I consider it a blessing to so easily wear the ‘straight label’ and not feel rejected by my Christian brothers and sisters.
I told my gay friend that it is okay. My theology says it is not okay, but I told him it was okay – and I meant it. Our theologies don’t have to line up for us to be okay. I told my gay friend that Jesus loves him. My church may not say Jesus loves him, and the hundreds of JBU Christians around him may not portray a loving Jesus in the midst of their labeling and judgment, but I told him Jesus loves him – and I meant it. Why is it always the Christians vs. the Gays? Was it ever Jesus vs. the Prostitute? No. Jesus was in fact a friend of the prostitutes, a friend of the sinners. Any friend of Jesus is a friend of mine.