A Progressive Christian Blog

Raise a Glass to Will and Erwynn

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Naturally, my mind was taken back to last September when DADT was repealed.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 However, the night DADT was repealed, while I was busy getting myself fired, they ALSO posted on their Facebook and announced their relationship for the first time publicly.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But last September, on the day DADT was repealed, Will and Erwynn celebrated by coming out on Facebook.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.


10 Responses to “Raise a Glass to Will and Erwynn”

  1. Mary Adamo

    I believe yours also lead to life and healing…….a new life in San Diego and healing that allowed you to move on to your new life doing exactly what you are supose to be doing and living exactly where you need to be right now.

  2. Emily

    Colby Martin: A dirty hippie liberal. I love it.

    We went to WBC (CU?) together, though I doubt you remember me. I was shy and sort of uncomfortable during my time there, and you were like the dreamy popular worship leader guy. It’s too bad, because reading your blog (which I found super randomly and was like, wow, I know him), I really think we should have been friends. I also wish I could steal your wife and force her into being my bestie. She could teach me how to be a mom because I only have one little boy and I am already losing it. Yes, of course I have already stalked her blog.

    Anyway, I’m thrilled to know there are people like you and Katie who are so bold and strong and . . . well, rogue. My husband and I live in LA and when we make the inevitable trip to the SD Zoo or Legoland, we will try to pop into your church.

    • colbymartin

      Hey Emily! Well, I’d like to consider myself SOMEWHAT of a hygienic person… but I’ll take “hippy liberal” as sufficiently apropos!

      In spite of my ridiculous ego at the time, I definitely remember you! And trust me, it’s better that we become friends NOW, because I was kind of annoying back then, and only closely resemble who I am today. If I read a blog like this back in 2004 I’d be the guy who jumps in on the comment section to tell the blogger how much of a heretic they are, and how they’re leading people astray, and how they don’t read their Bible or take it seriously… blah blah blah.

      A lot has happened in 8 years… ha!

      And yes, my wife is pretty friggin’ amazing. She would make the BEST bestie! She’s the best person I know. Easily.

      Anyways, thanks for stopping by and saying hi (how DID you wind up here?). Feel free to engage in the conversation any time!

      • Emily

        Kate, I’m glad my nerdy/creepy comment made you smile. I so wish we lived closer.

        I don’t know how I found you, I forget. The 7 degrees of the Internet. I will try to figure that out. Look at your analytics maybe. I get into crazy wormholes online.

        We also go to a DOC church! Well, we did, in Burbank, but since moving to West LA we have realized it is too far so we will be trying the DOC/UCC churches here.

        Oh, and you are being way too hard on your younger self. I doubt you had an ego, you were just young and learning so much and yes, we all have much to be embarrassed about. Don’t get me started. But seriously, have some grace on yourself. I hope my teasing about being the “dreamy popular worship leader guy” wasn’t hurtful. Or inappropriate, now that I think about it.

        Anyway, good to find you and thanks for responding!

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