This week, here in San Diego, is PRIDE week. Just like the past few years, our church, Missiongathering Christian Church, has put up a billboard in an effort to communicate God’s love for ALL.
I was talking with one friend yesterday who was bringing me up to speed on how, for the first time in SD history, servicemembers will be marching in uniform in the Saturday PRIDE Parade. (This effort has been led by another friend of mine, Sean Sala. Attaboy Sean!) What a fantastic moment that will be!
Naturally, my mind was taken back to last September when DADT was repealed. And if you know my story, you’ll remember that on that night I posted on my Facebook page a link to an article announcing DADT’s repeal, with my caption of, “Glad this day finally came!”
And, as fate would have it, I was then ceremoniously fired from my job seven days later when my church discovered my beliefs on sexuality and the Bible.
But then ALSO yesterday, another friend of mine sent me an email with a link to this incredible story about two gay servicemembers who just recently got married (er, um, “civil unioned,” excuse me… ergh…). They had the first publicly announced gay civil union or wedding ever to take place on an American military installation. It’s a fairly lengthy story, but well worth your time. Such a sweet story.
Something stood out to me, though, and that is the reason for this post.
The two men, Will and Erwynn, had been secretly dating each other for a while, but neither could be open about it because they were both active servicemembers and DADT was still in full force. However, the night DADT was repealed, while I was busy getting myself fired, they ALSO posted on their Facebook and announced their relationship for the first time publicly.
Check out this excerpt from the article:
But last September, on the day DADT was repealed, Will and Erwynn celebrated by coming out on Facebook. They posted pictures together and declared that they were engaged. The news immediately sparked a wave of surprise through the Behrens family (ed note: that’s Will’s family). His aunts reached out to him. Since Will isn’t on speaking terms with his parents, he had assumed that no one in the family wanted anything to do with him. Facebook allowed him to reconnect with his father’s family.
How amazing is that?
On the same night, while I was sharing about DADT’s repeal and unknowingly setting in to motion my termination, Will and Erwynn on the other side of the country were simultaneously sharing about the repeal, but THEIR status update led to some beautiful reconciliation.
Mine led to death.
Their’s led to life.
Mine led to pain.
Their’s to healing.
And you know what? I’ll take it.
Any day, I’ll take it.
If just a little bit of my “white-straight-male” privileged self gets taken away, damaged, or broken, but it can mean in some small way that two gay servicemembers find a path to healing, hope and reconciliation… then I’ll take it.
So I lift a glass to you Will and to you Erwynn. Congratulations on your marriage, and may you share a life of happiness together.
And I’m honored that both of our lives were radically altered back on Sept 20th when we both decided to post that night to our Facebook page.