First reactions to the coming out of a spouse are typically gnashing of teeth, screaming in anger, and raising hands to the heavens, crying, "Why me?" I'm not going to ask you not to have those types of reactions. You're human, for crying out loud! What I'm going to invite you to do is try a few new thoughts on for size, thoughts laced in love and understanding.
In a talk I recently gave at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, I was asked to discuss the challenges and opportunities that I faced during a career as a physician who is also gay. These issues came alive for me as I was writing my talk when I found a letter I wrote to my father years ago:
I think about Harvey's impassioned plea quite often. It whispers in my brain with both inspiration and reservation -- inspiration because, as an out woman, I have experienced what only coming out will teach you, and reservation because, as a Christian, I also know that coming out and purging all secrets can be a dangerous, painful prospect.
Abby took her girlfriend home to Minneapolis over Labor Day weekend, and, at the insistence of her father, her girlfriend joined them for the family lunch with Grandpa. After an awkward beginning, with Grandpa not knowing who Abby's surprise guest was, Abby's dad stepped in and began the conversation.
As far as equal rights have come in the last few years, up to a third of LGBTQ people are still subjected to "conversion therapy," among the most damaging forms of psychological abuse a person can endure. Conversion therapy encompasses a range of dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.