12/02/2013 07:42 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

'Where Were You?' (VIDEO)

Last April I published a piece of my poetry, entitled "Where Were You?" I shared this spoken-word poem after hearing the increasing amount of presentations on homosexuality, many which came from my own denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist Church. When I attended an SDA conference called "Gays in the Family," I walked away feeling more than ever that my church was talking at me instead of with me. Why were we only hearing one side? Dogmatic books, polarizing conferences, and countless panels that had no queer folk involved, or only the ideal "ex-gay" person -- I was tired of it all. And I still am tired. It's exhausting to have a church continually silencing and marginalizing me and my brothers and sisters, pretending we don't even exist.

But I am here, and I have a voice. I cannot stay silent when the homophobic message perpetuated by the church has hurt me and countless other LGBT Christians. Homophobia under the guise of love is still homophobia. The message of silence will not work.

Now I use my voice to ask how you can stand in your pulpit and speak as if you know what it is like to be queer, to know that you'll either be broken and accepted or whole and rejected? Have you ever been physically shunned from your place of worship for nothing more than being honest?

Open up your eyes and finally see that you do not know what it's like to be me. Open up your ears and listen to the cries of children as they take their lives thinking of the harmful words that leave your tongue. For once just listen and think about the question, "Where were you?"

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also visit The Trevor Project or call them at 1-866-488-7386.