I grew up in South Georgia in a Southern Baptist Church where my mother was the pianist. I went to a major Baptist University out of state and graduated. Shortly after graduation, I got married. In college I went to a Christian Counselor and confessed to being attracted to men. I was told that I needed to marry a woman and that would fix everything.
I did get married but assure you that it did not fix anything. I began working in Southern Baptist Churches as a part-time Minister of Music. I felt called to this ministry and fulfilled in this role. Over time, my wife and I had two beautiful children of which I loved. However, inside I was dying. I was unhappy and felt that my entire life was a lie. I came out to my wife and left her six months later. I resigned from the church. The pastor met with me and told me that I was never allowed on the grounds of the church again and told me that I was a disgrace to the church.
In spite of his comments and the difficulties, I am the one who raised the children. To be honest, I was suicidal for a while. My ex-wife made the decision that I should have the kids. It was her way of making sure I did not have time to date or have fun. Having my children saved me from suicide. I still felt like my relationship with God and my ministry in music was over for ever and this made me very sad.
Several months after the separation, due to major financial difficulties, I needed a part-time job where I would not have to pay a baby sitter. A friend told me of a United Church of Christ needing a pianist. I told her that they surely did not want me. She continued to push me to apply. I applied and got the job. My second Sunday there, the pastor gave me a book of church bylaws and history and told me I needed to read it in order to fully understand their church. I went home and started reading. When I saw that this United Church of Christ church was an Open and Affirming church and that all people were accepted and welcome, I cried for over two hours. I then realized that God still loved me and would use my music ability.
That was 13 years ago, I still work part-time in church music. My children are adults and we are very close. I am in a loving relationship with my husband. Although my state does not recognize our marriage as legal, we are legally married. Life is wonderful and I am fulfilled and happier than I ever thought possible. It does get better.