I was born the son of a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor and his wife a homemaker. I realized I was gay in my teens, came out as gay to a fellow gay freshman at an Adventist collegr. After this friend took his own life I decided to stay in the closet. Meanwhile I was having an internal struggle about my spiritual identity. After exploring the charismatic movement then abandoning that path as I became more at odds with my evolving beliefs I joined a Humanist leaning Unitarian Universalist church in 1986. I came out in 1987 to co-workers and friends. In October I came out to my parents after the big October 11th March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights and AIDS care. I soon entered AIDS/HIV work as both a client advocate and prevention educator. Entered into a 7 year relationship with a wonderful man and had a "look who's comming to dinner moment" when he came along to Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and my sister and her husband who had left the SDA church for the Lutherans later became a Roman Catholic before reverting back to the SDAs several years ago where he is now a pastor. In any case, In any case after my relationship ended and I moved to the Southwest from New England. I worked for the state Dept. of Health until being forced by disabilities into early retirement. I have moved to being more open about being a secular humanist and that's how I found this group. I am looking to "hear" from other ex SDAs who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender and who are non-theists.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for sharing. It's nice to hear other peoples' stories.

Being gay (bisexual, really) was what saved me from being stuck in the church forever. It's the usual story: I knew there was something different about me from a young age, I didn't have a name for it because I was so isolated at boarding school, finally got to college and discovered there were lots of people just like me!

I found a great group of gay friends in college; they were fantastically supportive, and when I realized we were all just people, that's when I finally let go of being afraid of being punished by god for being gay. I just couldn't believe in a god that would create a world in which people are gay, and then punish them for being that way. (Around the same time, I discovered the beauty of evolution, so I let go of creation too.)

I am not out to my family (as an atheist or as bi). I am in a relationship with a man (I'm a woman), so I think that the news would just be confusing and perhaps not useful. My relationships with women haven't been long-term enough to merit a whole "coming out." The only two people that I still know from my academy days do know that I'm bisexual...they're my two closest friends. Nobody understands you like another ex-SDA! 

 

I had my first lesbian experience when I was a colporteur the summer after academy with another colporteur. (Colporteuring was selling expensively bound copies of Ellen's books door to door. It was very common back in the day as a way to earn $ for college. I'm guessing the word got dropped sometime between then and now. Anybody else done that?-- I mean the selling part, not the L word, though I'd be glad to hear from another X-SDA lesbian. :-))

Jerry, still not a gay guy, but you got yourself a card carrying lesbian who is legally married to her wife and living happily after all these years. On that note, we have been amazed to find that it has made a difference in our lives together. It feels a bit more secure, sturdier and we've done better about choosing to let go of all the variations of "If only she would stop doing or being like that." We had a beautiful unrecognized wedding a decade earlier that has given us wonderful memories but not the sense of being "in it together" until death do we part that our legal marriage did.
Jerry, thank you for this post! I'm glad to be here with you and others in this group. I've looked for a long time for an online X-SDA group NOT talking about how they saw the light and ditched SDA's because their buybull study led them to change denominations.

While I am not quite ready to define my sexuality I am questioning. I grew up in a conservative SDA family and attended SDA schooling my entire life. . I am still trying to recover from being taught that homosexuality is an abomination/addiction/wrong. While I in no way believe that anymore it was still hard to get past the feeling that by exploring my sexuality I was doing something wrong. 

I find it sad and frustrating that doctrine that was taught to me for so long can still affect me even though that is not what I believe. 

I am currently living with my parents as I am finishing up a few college courses and have not come out as athiest or LGBTQ. Which will not happen until I leave the house. 

It is nice to see an LGBT presence here. Not many can completely understand what it is like to be raised SDA and be who we are. I am transgendered am just beginning to live my life free of religion and the gender identity that I have been at odds with nearly my whole life. I have just recently finished my contract with the army and am impatiently working towards becoming comfortable in my own skin.

I recently came out to my family because they had come under the impression that I am a depressed alcoholic. So to quench those fires I came out to them and tried to convey the idea that going out on my b-day for drinks does not make me an alcoholic.

As much as I would have liked to start transitioning as soon as legally possible, I find that starting it now is really not so bad because I am setup well enough that I can do my thing without being financially dependent on anyone else. This also makes it a lot easier to come out to people since I am not relying on anyone, and if people can't handle me then they are free to leave my life.

Hi all. I hope things are going well for everyone. I'm an ex SDA, and an LGBT supporter. I have an atheist podcast, Facts Before Faith. We're going to be talking about the Supreme Court's DOMA hearings soon.

I'd love to hear your input on why the issue is important to you. Also, if anyone would like to do a small interview and be on the show via Skype, that would be great. I'd love to hear more about your stories.

Thanks,  

Martin.

Small world. I've never been to Bauer, driven past it plenty of times though on my way to GVSU. I have been to Holland SDA a few times. That was back in the 80s and early 90s.

I left the SDA church when I was around 17. So about 1991. I stayed a believer until about 2 years ago.

Part of the reason I became a Christian and later an SDA was that I had some bisexual experiences in the late 70s when I was young. Shortly after that, the AIDS epidemic exploded. I spent several years in a state of sheer terror, and I thought that God was punishing me. When I tested negative I assumed it was a miracle and that I had to turn my life over to Christ and find the True Church. Yeah, it sounds pretty stupid now, but you have no idea how terrifying those times were.

I don't think that sounds stupid. Or if it is stupid, it's a form of stupidity that I can identify with. I had so much sex related guilt put on me by church and church school that when I was an early teen and got a heat rash, I thought I'd given myself a sexually transmitted disease through masturbation. Proof that I shouldn't touch myself!

Fear can make us grasp at life ropes that aren't necessarily there.

I hope you're living a happy and healthy life, straight, bi or whatever.

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