When I was fourteen I was caught in the arms and bed of a sexy little boy just three years my junior. Problem is I was also a boy and this was the 1970’s. I mention this story in my book Silent Cries, A Memoir. Why do I mention this here? I am starting to advocate more for gay youth as I know the first hand challenges they face. What was it like to be excommunicated by the Pastor and Youth Pastor? It was very difficult as a teenager to understand what was going on and why. The family attended an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church with strict adherence to the bible. Being gay wasn’t allowed nor would they discuss it with you.
Before I was excommunicated the church had to take certain steps. First I met with the pastor who told me I was living a life of sin and I had to turn away from it. I refused, but the boy with whom I had been caught with had already moved away. I was given a timeline and when I refused to capitulate, the pastor and another member of the church talked to me. I refused to turn from my wicked ways as they called it. Some weeks later they came with the preacher and two other witnesses for their church discipline records.
I was at school and was called to the preachers office. I was this isn’t good so off I went. As I arrived at his office his staff said I was there. He called me in and told me, I could accept the discipline of being excommunicated in his office or in front of the congregation on Sunday, which was about two-thousand six hundred every week. To save my family the embarrassment, I allowed them to do it in the office. We lived in the country and my home was twenty-five miles from the church. I called my parents and they said I had to wait. The preacher said I had ten minutes to be off of school grounds. Since my parents were unwilling to pick me up, I called my grandmother who showed up as quick as she could . I went back in and asked to sit in the office as it was raining and told them my granny was on her way, but it would take her thirty minutes. They allowed me to wait until she came in and signed me out. Because we were nearing the end of the school year they let my final grades stand. That evening while at my grandmothers I was told I would be living with my grandmother.
This song, All By Myself was me throughout all of my youth as I felt abandoned, alone and scared. After being excommunicated many…