Double TBT 

I’m posting draft pics until I get tired of doing it. This is from November 11, 2016,in observance of Veterans’ Day. It’s also a picture of my beautiful husband. 

Thank you for your service. 

Something amazing happened last Thursday. It went down like this:

Cashier at West End McDonald’s drive through: you’re not a veteran, are you?

Me: No, but I’m married to one. 

Cashier: your wife is a veteran? 

Me: no, my husband is. 

Cashier: your husband… 

Me: yes, my husband. 

Cashier to manager: does that count? He says his husband is a veteran. 

Me: wait, wait! I’m not asking for anything. 

Manager hands me back my credit card: yeah, it counts. Go on through.

I’m lovin’ it. 

An Act of Love

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This is asking a lot. I know what it’s like to open yourself to scorn and ridicule. But I want to give folks an opportunity to stand up for love, support Pam, and Belmont United Methodist Church.

The comments section is open for this latest coverage from News Channel 5.

http://www.scrippsmedia.com/newschannel5/news/Minister–318740601.html?lc=Smart

Belmont Blvd

It’s difficult to distill a story down to three minutes, but WSMV Channel 4’s Jennifer Johnson did her best today as she reported for the Nashville NBC affiliate. The story aired this evening: “Pastor suspended 90 days for marrying same-sex couple“.

There are two pieces “the husband” and I wish could have made it through the editorial process.

The first is how much we need people to know how supportive Belmont UMC has been to the two of us, not just in regard to our wedding, but also throughout these fifteen years of church membership.

Through the years we have taught children, youth, and adult Sunday school classes, Disciple Bible Study, served as youth group leaders, chaperoned youth trips, and sung in the choir.

We do not list our involvement at Belmont in a boastful way. Rather, we are grateful to our church for accepting us and loving us. And not only Frank and me, but our four children (now adults) aslo grew up learning about the limitless love of God from Belmont’s faithful members and staff.

God through Belmont has blessed us beyond measure, so yes, we wish that could have been communicated in the news segment.

The second thing we wish hadn’t been cut was when I turned to the camera during the interview and said, “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.”

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Related links on icanhasgrace:
Extravagant Grace
Resolved: Pastor Charged for Officiating at Our Wedding
A Wedding and Two Sisters (video short by Anthony Scanio)
Just Married

It’s Time to Claim Your Power

On Friday, in a five to four vote, the Supreme Court of the United States made same-sex marriages legal in all fifty states. While it took decades to arrive at this point in time (one could even argue the entire history of the human race), it feels like reality has changed overnight. Never did I dare to dream this new reality would come to be in my lifetime and yet, here we are.

The generations behind me will have an easier time adjusting. Honestly, I look to them to know what to expect and how to act. As a gay man, I have lived my life as if I had a kind of disability. Depending on my surroundings, I hid the fact that I was gay.

I have never considered myself an activist. When I came to terms with my sexuality and voluntarily surrender my credentials as a pastor I did so out of concern for my children. When I traveled with my husband to Asheville, North Carolina to get married, I did it only for personal reasons.

For fifteen years, I have never kissed my  partner/husband in public. I haven’t hugged him or held his hand in a park, restaurant, or grocery store. That kind of guardedness has to bleed over until it becomes the expected and normal thing to do. Doing otherwise starts to feel too bold, too in your face, too shameful.

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This past week I was on a trip for work in Orlando. Some kind of foresight was at work in both Frank and me, and he decided at the last minute to fly down and join me. We did not want to be apart if the court ruled. We were at breakfast at 10 am on Monday, repeatedly refreshing our SCOTUSblog twitter feed in anticipation of the news. My phone rang just as I read “Same-sex is a right!” Even then I didn’t understand; I couldn’t believe this was it. It took my sister who was calling to say it had happened for me to realize it. I dropped the phone and walked around the table, crying, to hug and kiss my husband. She told me later that she heard a waitress asking if I was alright. I didn’t hear the waitress. I was shaking with sobs. Eventually my sister hung up.

I spent what time I could the rest of the day watching Facebook as profile picture after profile picture turned rainbow colored. The White House lit up with a rainbow. The bridge in Clarksville, Tennessee, close to my hometown, changed its lights. I felt completely overwhelmed. I still do.

Frank and I had the same flight out of Orlando. At the airport, I realized that while everything had changed, we had not changed. I didn’t touch him during the trip home. I didn’t hug him or hold his hand. As we walked around and waited to board our plane, I even thought about it. Old habits die hard.

It’s time for me to claim my power. Others have done it for me long enough. I am only as disabled as I allow myself to be. I am not perfect, but I am perfectly gay. And there is nothing at all wrong with that.

I’m going to watch for Frank to get home from work this evening, and I’m going to meet him in the driveway and give him a hug and a full-on kiss on the mouth. If he doesn’t read this at work before he gets here, he’ll think someone died or something. He’ll be right. Something has died. And something amazing has been born.

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