I was at a bible study. I was 13. I was a proud “ally,” to the LGBT community, still years away from accepting my place in it.
I don’t remember the first time I went to church, but I know it was before I could walk or talk.
Probably before I could think. I remember glimpses of toddlerhood at church. The playground.
Collecting acorns on Sunday mornings in the fall. Animal crackers dispersed on paper towels at snack time, puppet shows telling bible stories. I repeated the Lord’s name a hundred thousand times before I understood the weight of it on my tongue. I could recite John 3:16
(forgodsolovedtheworldthathegavehisoneandonlysonsothatwhoeverbelievesinhimshallnotperishbuthaveeternallife) before I could spell my middle name (Elizabeth).
It was the last bible study I went to voluntarily and the first one I left crying. I don’t even
remember how the topic of “homosexuality” came up, but I knew I entered the conversation with no small degree of confidence. I’d prepped. Read a few articles. I was absolutely certain I could get the entire room on my side.
I learned a lot that day. First of all, it doesn’t matter how many articles you’ve read if your
audience doesn’t want to listen to you. Second of all, the love of the Church I was raised by was not unconditional, like I always thought. It was actually very easy to lose. I just had to be gay.
I don’t want to talk about the confrontation. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to give
those people my energy. I was a sobbing 13 year old. They were adults. I don’t care how firmly they believed that all gay people go to Hell. They didn’t have a right to humiliate me like that. They didn’t have a right to take away the sense of safety I always used to feel under the cross.
playwright – Rebekah Farris
performed by – Rebekah Farris
dir – Stephanie Miles
Produced by Thtr 296 Introduction to Playwriting and Comm 300 Stand Up Speak Out
for Marymount Manhattan College’s
Stand Up Speak Out
Arts + Social Justice Festival Fall 2020