Authenticity in Anonymity: Why I Choose to be a Ghost

I figured this would be a good time to address the 800-pound gorilla on this page.

My anonymity.

For those that find the ghost blog approach to be a form of cowardice, I kind of agree with you. If I publish a post that the reader in any way finds offensive or misleading, they can throw out a comment, put their point out there, but it’s very hard to have a serious debate with a ghost. There is no response you can write that will result in any public repercussions on my end. It doesn’t seem fair to those that actually take the time to read.

And it’s not as if I didn’t ask for the attention the blog has been getting lately. I started revealing several personal stories within this site that friends and family resonated with and felt needed to be heard by more families of lgbt children. So, I passed along my blog to Rachel Held Evans, who felt that the story about my dad needed to be brought into the light even if I remained in the shadows.

So, the question is: why do I blog in the first place? The answer- I have to.

My walk is much like that of soldier through a minefield. With each step I take, I can never know if the person I confide in will accept and love me, or reject and expose me. Being in the closet beneath the shadow of our faith can bankrupt a person of the ability to trust. To those within my inner circle, I have expressed my desire to finally be free of the shame that shackles me down, to be open and get the gossip over with. The response I have received has been one of full support coupled with a cautionary warning: once those words are said, they cannot be taken back.

I hate to say it, but they’re right.

And it is nothing short of sad. Sad because I am still slim on courage, but also sad, and perhaps worse, that I must have courage at all. While others may be more than happy to probe the issues that I face, most won’t ever be open about their own. Transparency is hardly existent or prioritized within the faith community today. And we understand why. Transparency is a threatening thing.

While secular culture continues to speak out on my behalf and make it clear, in a very personal way, that they love me, the faith community has been more nuanced. It’s hard to feel love when someone says, “love the person, hate the sin.” It’s hard to feel warmth when someone says, “we welcome you, but we don’t affirm that part of you.” Why a disclaimer is superior to a simple declaration of radical love is completely lost on me. And judging from many of the response I have gotten, its lost on others too.

These are the reasons I blog. I have so many scars that I cannot show in the light of day, and I have so much energy to engage in gorgeous dialogues about the gospel. I have a desire to one day enter a worship service without folks whispering.

Luckily, I have had the pleasure of already engaging in a deep and profound dialogue with a fellow blogger. The author of www.incitefaith.com , Julie,  reached out to me via email and asked to know more of my story, without requiring me to reveal my identity. We have discussed how important it is within the context of community for transparency to flourish. This is ironic, since I am not being fully transparent with all of you. But Julie has encouraged me to continue sharing my story because it does come from an authentic place. I have been moved by her words and her concern for me, while at the same time, in awe of her complete transparency on her own blog. She has a bravery that’s tough to rival. Her story, mine and yours need to continue to be shared because that is what Kingdom Come looks like.

So for now (hopefully not forever), I hope you will accept the “flavor” of my writing without requiring the “recipe.”

Additionally, I’d like to allow you to get to know me in a more personal way. The way I see it, you shouldn’t have to only share your story with me via a comment or a “like”, but more directly and privately.

Here is my email: registeredrunaway1@gmail.com

Shoot me a question or criticism.

 

Or even your own story.

No ID needed.

RR

 

*Photo Credit

Walking like a Runaway

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As a Christian sexual minority, I have found that the most powerful way to move forward in life is to share myself with others. Sharing all of my past, especially the painful parts. When the road I was traveling was nothing more than a treadmill. When I didn’t feel safe until I heard the close of the bedroom door and felt the covering of blankets. When the journey took me to the heart of the junkyard.

Making these moments transparent is how we truly find liberation. Liberation from shame and self-neglect and liberation from the lies that pursue us on a daily basis. In the weeks following my coming out, my Aunt and Uncle asked me out for appetizers and beer. They wanted to hear my story. They wanted to be let in. The testimony I gave them was the authentic product of my acrimony. Simply put: fate cheated me of life. My white picket fence future was disappearing in the distance. The God that made (or allowed) me to be gay was asking much more than he should. And when the shit inevitably hit the fan, my world would descend into a catwalk through gossiping circles. My friends would be long gone and I would be forgotten.

They didn’t take the bait to break apart my hypothetical future with happy verses nor did they offer their condolences or call me courageous. They just sat with me and appreciated my vulnerability. Refusing to interject their own personal feelings was their way of honoring my story. And I felt honored.

On the ride back, my Aunt, for the first time ever, let me in on her own adventure as an outcast. I remember her, continually clearing her throat and reining in tears. Here’s a paraphrase of what she told me:

“You know, I don’t in any way try to compare my story with yours. They are vastly different and come with their own set of complications. But I have felt the burn of the scarlet letter on my chest and heard voices hush when I entered a room. I’ve been there, maybe not where you are, but I’ve been there.

When we roll up our sleeves and trade tales of our bruises, we deny the lie that we’re alone. My Aunt’s life has not been a cake walk, but she has found the clearing in the woods. Thing is, she chose to not emphasize that part, and I think it is because she understood that I didn’t need to see the photo finish. She saw it is better to pass peace through the touching of scars than flashing the before and after shots.

Sometimes, its just enough to know that our fellow runaways have already trampled before us. It’s enough to know that the thorns in their soles cleared the way for thin-skinned soldiers like me.

Walking till the gravel turns to grass,

RR