On the heels of Christian music singer Jennifer Knapp’s public revelation of her homosexuality, comes the news that country music star Chely Wright is also, as one generation of gays and lesbians might put it, “a friend of Dorothy.”
Now, I may not be a beautiful country singer, but I have a lot in common with Wright. We both grew up knowing that we were gay—and we both prayed fervently to not be that way. We also both seriously contemplated suicide at one moment in our lives—she because she couldn’t reconcile her sexuality with her singing career in a conservative industry, and me because I had not yet been able to reconcile my sexuality with my spirituality.
What we all have in common—myself, Knapp, and Wright—is an ongoing relationship with God that has not seemed to waver despite the insistence by those on the religious right that we must be either gay or Christian, but definitely not both at the same time.
Wright, in an interview on the Today show, tells about the morning after she nearly used a gun to kill herself. When she awoke the next morning – the first place she thought to go was to God – but not with the prayer she had prayed for all those years:
I got on my knees and spoke out loud to God and I stopped praying for what I always prayed for, which was help me figure out a way to still have my career.
“I changed my prayer, and my prayer was, ‘God, give me a moment’s peace.’ I got up off my knees and got my moment’s peace. I didn’t hear God’s voice, I didn’t see a guy in a robe, but I heard God say what he’d been whispering in my ears all along: ‘I expect one thing of you, and that is to tell the truth.’”
Are you listening Dr. Rekers?