I want to apologize for my homophobia. For the fact, that I used to believe that you were an abomination; worthy of death and Eternal Hell because of your sexual orientation.
I don’t want justify myself for my horrific opinions, but I’ll try to explain why I feel the need to apologize.
First off, I’m a heterosexual. I knew from eight years old on, that I wanted nothing more than to fall in love with a girl, get married, and raise a family. In fourth grade I was ridiculed when our teacher asked in circle time what we wanted to do when we grow up. I said I wanted to get married. The whole class erupted in laughter, but my teacher (who was not the most gentle of persons) chastised the class and told me that she admired my future ambition.
As for being aware of same-sex attraction, I didn’t become aware of the idea until high school. And then, it was just a joke to call someone Gay or Fag. We all thought it was just a big joke-I mean, in our minds, who would ever want to have sexual relations with someone of the same-sex? I just couldn’t even comprehend the idea, so I dismissed it.
The only other time I ever heard about same-sex attraction, was at church. It was always with solemn warnings that God hated this sort of behavior. In the Old Testament, God hated it so much that he commanded anyone caught in same-sex relations to be executed. Since I was taught to always trust the Bible as the inerrant word of God, I thought the matter was black and white. Case closed…
At college, I met and became friends with young men who were openly homosexual. At first, I was really cautious, because I assumed that they might be attracted to me. I also worried that others might see me with my “Gay” friends and assume I was a homosexual. I’m ashamed to admit, that I thought I was being so “radical for Jesus” or “loving the sinner while hating the sin” because I would take the time to relate to my new friends.
I used to believe that AIDS was Divine punishment of homosexual activity. I repeated this after having heard some Dr., with an English accent, teach on the subject at my local Calvary Chapel.
Back on campus, I was telling a friend about the good Doctor’s teaching on homosexuality and AIDS. One of my classmates blurted out that we should just “take a baseball bat and smash in their heads”. I saw the hurt slowly come across my friends faces, who were only a few feet away in Freshman Choir. I’m sorry, I should have said more than I did….I was a coward and somewhat confused. Why would you want to hurt someone who was Gay…but then again, God wanted to hurt them too!? I was confused…and it was easier to push it away then to wrestle with the issue.
Even in the New Testament, the writers would regularly condemn those “homosexual dogs” and those who “lie with a man as a woman” and vice versa. Homosexuality was on the same list as liars and drunks. I instinctively chose the Bible over the very good and decent people who were being verbally assaulted. For that, I am sorry.
I’m sorry for all the pain you’ve endured.
I’m sorry for the condescending sneers you’ve received by classmates, teachers, employers, and preachers.
I’m sorry that I judged you, because you were not like me.
I’m sorry for the shame and condemnation that has been showered on you by Christians and the Christian Church.
I’m sorry that I bought into political narratives that demonized you as monsters and public enemies.
I’m sorry that it took me so long to care about you as people.
I’m sorry that I saw you as a sub category of people, that had forfeited their rights by “choosing” to be homosexual.
I’m sorry that I thought your sexual orientation was wrong and sinful.