Thursday, October 14, 2010

Growing Up Gay Just North of L.A.

This is National Coming Out Week. In celebration of this week, we had special chapel services and I was supposed to give a testimony for today's service. I decided to write a poem that kind of sums up everything I've been going through the past few months. This is my journey:

Growing Up Gay Just North of L.A.

Welcome to my life.

A life of half-truth and darkness,

Where the light dares not shine,

For shame.

Because I have been taught to be ashamed of myself,

Because my parents have learned to despise me.

Because the people cry out,


“Those who sin in the eyes of God,

They shall surly burn in the fires of Hell for all eternity!”

Why wait?

I can feel the fire now,

Growing inside of me,

Red hot with indignation,

Crying out for vengeance,

Raging against the injustice!

A creature of hatred and shame,

I have become the monster they so want for me to be,

A crooked mirror that can’t help but do what it was designed to do,

To reflect back a broken image,

A relationship broken,

A people divided,

Because we are all God’s children,

United in our belief that we are better than the other,

Because my light is better than yours,

And we will let our righteousness burn the fuel of our existence,

Until all that is left are the charred remains of a once promising future.

But, I have seen a different kind of light,

The light of open doors and stained glass windows,

Burning with a flame that moves us to embrace each other,

And squeeze so hard it almost hurts.

A fire that keeps us going,

A fire for the living,

For life,

For love.

So, I choose to burn with the love of Christ,

I will shine with the love of God’s good creation,

And I will light a new kind of fire,

And draw everyone around me with a beacon of hope!

I welcome you in!

Welcome to my life!


  1. Charles - it's a beautiful poem! I'm so glad you were able to share that with everyone the service. I love you. :)

  2. Awesome poem! You are so talented.

  3. This is beautiful Charles, thanks for sharing it. Heather G shared it on her FB page and I'm a better person having read it. Gabby

  4. Thanks everyone! I almost started crying in the middle of it while I was in front of the congregation, but I managed to get through it. It's weird how differently poems affect you when you're practicing them vs when you actually perform them.

  5. Very well written and insightful. Thanks for sharing it with all of us, Charles.

    Dan Robertson