Monday, March 10, 2008

Walkin' in Memphis...again

So, for the first time in over two years, I stepped foot on Memphis soil. The reason for going this time was QUITE different than the first time. Instead of a quest for the Holy Grail that is straightness...this time my trek was about letting my side of the story be told....about sharing truth with others, with hopes of them finding some peace about their sexuality and faith.
The weekend was amazing. Ryan went with me...and was excited and anxious about it. It was hard to be so vulnerable in front of strangers and cameras but even more so in front of someone you love so much. It was hard but so great, too. Partners, spouses, and lovers of ex-gay survivors are to be commended. All too often, I find myself focusing on my past, my healing process, etc...all the while, forgetting that someone else...this great man trying to be in EVERY part of my going through a lot trying to understand. He was blessed to have an affirming church at home and some great friends to help him grow, so he was not even familiar with the ex-gay movement before he met me. I commend him for being so great and amazing...and owe a lot to him.
Anywho...not what this blog post was intended for.
The gathering in Memphis was powerful. From meeting other survivors, seeing old friends, and being a powerful witness to so many by standing in front of Central Church holding affirming signs, letting people know that, "You can't change a Zebra's Stripes." (Thank you Peterson's dad for such a simple and profound quote!)
I was able to share my story in a press conference and with some newly found friends. As I said in the conference, I didn't go to Memphis to have my 15 minutes of fame...I went to share my story and to help educate others. After all...Someone once told me that, "Knowledge is Power."

Thank you Peterson, Christine, the folks at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, and everyone else who made the Gathering so awesome. BTW...The art, Peterson's new play alone were totally worth the drive!!!