LGBT Feature: C.V.’s Story
In our feature, the term gay refers only to the attractions and orientations of individuals and not to their sexual activity. The writers have left out any reference to positions on moral and political questions to avoid polarizing discussion.
For those of us who are not LGBT, we hope these stories provide a glimpse into the lives of some of our brothers and sisters at Calvin. For those of us who are LGBT, we want you to see that you are not alone, and the Calvin community cares deeply about you.
Many of the students who are LGBT have not experienced a supporting, caring community at Calvin, but after we hear stories and place a face on an issue, we may still take our differing positions, but we will refuse to do battle. Join us as we listen attentively, respond thoughtfully and love graciously.
Currently a resident assistant in Knollcrest East apartments, this student is a senior from out of state. At Calvin, he has been a member of various bands and ensembles and served as a Barnabas.
Chimes is withholding the name of this author online for future career considerations.
Of everything that has happened in my life, I can think of one thing that has brought me more happiness and yet also more sorrow, tears and angry nights than anything else: my sexuality.
I first realized that I was bisexual in sixth grade. While I was beginning to notice girls in ways I never had, I also began to see beauty in men as well.
I came from a background in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and had heard about this “gay” and immediately went to my school counselor.
For three years, she was the only person who knew. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone else.
I was filled with shame — shame of something I didn’t understand. I was paralyzed with fear — fear of what could happen if people found out. I was filled with hate — hatred at myself for something I never chose and could not get rid of.
In high school, when I was at a point where I felt so completely isolated from the world because no one knew the true me, I finally talked to my mother.
She reassured me in my faith and her love for me, a priceless gift that I was silently pleading for. She advised me that it would be better if I didn’t act upon those homosexual feelings.
I went to a Christian high school, where I cannot remember this topic ever being discussed until two students came out during my junior year.
The school board was forced to make some quick decisions, and the choices they made about these students scared me so much I swore I would never reveal my sexuality to anyone ever again, no matter how much pain it caused me.
I thought, “I do find women attractive, so I will just find one, marry her and never have to deal with my sexuality.” But try to put yourself in my situation.
I hated a part of myself — a part I had not chosen and could not get rid of. I laid awake so many nights in my room, begging and pleading to wake up and not have those feelings and thoughts anymore. But that was not how God worked in my life.
Calvin is where things began to change for the better.
My experience at Calvin has been wonderful. I have made many wonderful friends that I trust with my whole story. Finding one or two friends to trust with everything gave me the space to talk through the things I had never been able to say before.
I slowly began talking to spiritual counselors and then to my roommate and friends about my sexuality my sophomore year, and I received nothing but positive support.
Opening up and speaking aloud my struggles gave me room to grow and see how my sexuality is not a weed that is wringing the life out of me, but instead has been put in my life so that I can see the world through a view that is not often talked about.
Through my journey with my sexuality, God gave me a desire to really look into the Bible, he taught me to trust people and he taught me how even pain can come with a lesson to teach us.
My journey with my sexuality has also given me a heart to help others deal with this issue and come to their own decisions.
I came to realize through my own story that I didn’t need someone telling me what to do. What we all need to begin with is someone who is willing to listen and love unconditionally.
While people may hold different views on this topic, I know in my life it has been a lesson from God himself. God has used this one aspect of who I am to teach me so much in my life.