Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement to make. I am in a relationship. It’s something really special. No, we didn’t make a mad rush to the courthouse to get married before election day. But despite the devastating outcome of California’s Prop. 8 (same-sex marriage ban), my relationship is still valid. I guarantee it is real. I’m not just pretending. Jeff is a real, live person. He and I have been together for over three years. He is a man and I am a man. We are a couple. No amendment to the state constitution can change that.
I first came out about 10 years ago. I came out to friends and family about 8 years ago. Yet, after all this time, I am amazed at how many people still don’t take it seriously. Folks, I’m gay. Sure, I went to Bible College and even “dated” a few girls, but, let me be clear: I am gay.
In reflecting over the last 16 years since I went to college, I felt like many of my friends from that time deserved to know what happened with me. After all, I spent a lot of time in college lying to myself and to them. We all deserved some honesty. Why did I leave the Church? How could I be gay? Over the last several years, I have spent a lot of time explaining myself to my friends from Bible College. For the few that actually read this blog, let me say: I’m moving on. No more apologies for past lies. No more sugar-coating things to make you more comfortable. With the passing of Prop. 8, I’m officially done. I tried to do the right thing and apologize for any hurt I may have caused. I’ve realized that you cannot always trust people to do the right thing. Now, hopefully we can trust the court system to protect us.
I realize that very few of my college friends actually live in California and couldn’t even vote on the proposition. But, many have made their feelings clear anyway. They don’t want equality. They don’t even want to validate gay relationships. They do this every time they call Jeff my “friend,” every time they suggest that I “date Jesus.” Whenever someone whispers “gay” as if it’s an inappropriate or dirty word only to say it loud and clear when they are using it to mean “stupid” or “dumb,” that is offensive.
Please understand that we will eventually have the right to marry. One day it will be considered completely normal for some people to be gay and society will not force that same part of the population to make unrealistic and devastating decisions about their sexuality at such a young age. I hope that when it happens and you feel for the 1,000th time that this country is falling apart; I hope that you remember you contributed to those struggles. I hope that you look up and see your weapon of choice, the Bible, aimed aggressively at me. Maybe then you’ll realize that you can’t make everyone see the world as you do.
Actually, I’m not asking for your acceptance or support. You don’t even need to agree with my beliefs. I’m just asking for you to cease fire. Stop attacking in the name of God, country, and, family. I can’t think of anything that would be more productive to your cause.
I should mention that some of the most supportive and loving people that I know are friends from Bible College. I am so thankful for those few. You right the wrongs with your love and kindness toward the gay community. Thank you.
Please take 6 and 1/2 minutes and watch Keith Olbermann’s eloquent, passionate, and powerful commentary on the passing of Prop. 8.
Wow, never saw Keith Oberman so passionate like that before.. I thought at one point he was tearing up. Tyler, I knew you were gay in college.. before you “came out” which I didn’t know you did till I read your facebook. I love you and I still miss all your silliness. You crack me. Have a great weekend!
Well said and well written. You know you have my support 🙂 I stayed up so late into the night to hear the results of the vote on Prop 8 and literally felt sick when I had heard that it passed. I hope that I can one day be treated as an equal and have the right to marry in my lifetime. But regardless of what any laws say, it never makes our relationships any less equal or valid.
I’m so proud of you honey! You are the love of my life no matter what laws are passed.
Best to you and Jeff. I have also undergone a long road to leave the church of my childhood behind. So many hateful and prejudiced assumptions to shed to get to a place of real fairness, love, and acceptance of those who are from different cultures or embrace different ways of living or who were born with different wiring than I was.
I am glad to be in a much better place without dogma, and in coming generations–yes–we will see civil rights for all. Gay rights are fundamental–something that restrictions should be torn down in recognition of, rather than laws erected to burden.
That was incredibly powerful. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone without any stakes in the results argue so passionately for our cause. It was quite moving. I don’t know who watches his program, but I hope he’s not just preaching to the choir.
Tyler, I’ve always loved you and I always will. I mean, seriously, how could I be who I say I am and then turn around and “hate” you.
I’m hoping someday I’ll end up on one of your flights and you can just sit with me for a few hours. Oh wait, you’d have to work. dang.
I am absolutely shocked at this messge. I read it and contiplated and finally decided, what, You went to Bible College?
I can’t imagine what you have gone through.
It wasn’t the best decision for me to go to Bible College. At the time I just really wanted acceptance and I was in love with a music performance group that the college had. I really wanted to be a part of it. In hind sight, I’m OK with that part of my life because it made me a stronger person and I had to decide whether or not I was going to be true to myself. In the end, truth won out.