I always knew my brother held something inside that I wasn’t a part of, a secret of sorts.
In high school, he seemed happy and had many friends – mostly girls, who were cute and adored him. He was a fantastic tennis player and has maintained friendships with the guys he played with throughout the years. He attended prom his senior year with a lovely gal that he considered a best friend. He was then, and he still is, a normal guy.
And he was born gay.
We were never the type of siblings who shared our deepest truths but yet I knew my brother more than he thought I did. I think I seemed to personally withdraw from him at times; not because I didn’t love him or accept him for all his wonderful qualities, but because I felt our distance. Now I know it’s the secret he was keeping, but sometimes I still feel it. I wonder if I have let what others think cause this. I wonder if it is time to look him in the eyes and tell him how deeply I care about him. As his big sister, I feel a little like his protector, even in adulthood. But maybe he thinks I won’t fully accept him because I love Jesus. Maybe he thinks that because I believe in Jesus I do not want to see him marry a man.
These are the things that have circled my mind for years.
I don’t recall the exact date but around 21 years ago someone shared with me that my brother had a boyfriend. My brother didn’t tell me. I found out from his friend who didn’t realize we were even siblings.
I’d like to think that was the reason I went home and cried that night. That he couldn’t tell me himself. But I also worried some would argue his “choice”. Not once did I think, “My brother is a sinner. My brother is going to hell.” It never crossed my mind because I knew my brother was gay before he ever said it to me, weeks later.
The protective sister kicked in. I knew many would not agree with how he lived. I feared them for his sake; I still fear those who live with hate inside for any person who doesn’t live or believe the way they do. I think I find myself silenced at times because I don’t want to debate with someone who says the bible tells them how wrong this life my brother has “chosen” is. I think we can find scripture to support many ways of thinking and it boils down to the ones we choose to live by. Who really knows which scriptures are relevant to our current culture? Who do we think Jesus would walk with, in today’s society? I don’t know for sure and chances are you don’t either.
Against what many in the church would say, I know my brother was born gay.
It is a fact, and for most my brother’s life he knew it as well but kept it hidden inside. I also firmly believe God loves him. I have peace knowing God has called my brother into a world that, on many levels, is not accepting; a world that doesn’t want to extend certain rights to him based on whom he loves. I do not know God’s plan and my brother doesn’t either, but yet God loves us both.
I wonder if God is watching us, shaking his head in sadness, seeing how we treat the homeless, the foreigner who lives on “our” land, the mentally ill, the broken, the atheist, and yes, the gay.
My brother recently got engaged and is planning his wedding with a wonderful man. Some Christians will fight, arguing my brother should choose to love a woman or not love at all because no one is born gay. And many will say God doesn’t want a man to marry a man. My brother is constantly judged based on these beliefs and it hurts me. I know being supportive of this union means I am different than some Christians – and they would say I have let this world shape me and not the bible, the way we are “supposed” to.
I know I can’t change someone’s thoughts and what they consider their values. I leave that up to God for I still believe in Him. I pray my brother knows God loves him too, despite the Christian messages he faces, and that I accept him. And I hope he knows he doesn’t have to keep secrets from me anymore.
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