This is Part 1 of a story I wrote about a young woman named Jen. At one time in her life, she realized that she might be gay or bisexual. She fled to a Christian community that promised her that if she believed in Jesus then God could make her “normal.” They assured her that she really could Pray the Gay Away. And she did. It seemed to work. For a while.
But eventually, as many other victims of the Religious Right, the Anti-Gay and Ex-Gay movements can attest, the Ex-Gay/Anti-Gay/Homophobic thing falls apart and hopefully, hopefully some of the movements’ victims find the knowledge, strength and support to rebuild their lives.
This is the first story I have EVER posted online or shared with another person. I hope you like it. Part One is not very steamy. Part 2 gets a little juicier. Part 3 gets very hot and juicy. But first things first, Jen has a lot of shit to sort through.
In case you are wondering, this story is not autobiographical, although my fictional character, Jen, and I have shared some similar experiences. Which ones? I’ll never tell.
Content Warning: This story (in various parts or chapters) will contain same sex romance, kissing and hot, explicit sex between 2 females. Jen’s story is critical of evangelical religion and deals with faith, religion and LGBTQ identity. If you have a problem with same-sex relationships and explicit sex, LGBTQ relationships or any of the aforementioned topics please stop reading now find a different blog to read. You will not be happy here. Thanks!
Part 1 of Jen’s Story, below, is Rated PG and doesn’t contain explicit sex. (Sorry, you will have to wait until part 2 or 3 for more sexy details.)
However, due to the other chapters of this story please be 18 years and older in order to read this story.
My Frozen Heart: Jen’s Story, Part 1.
“This is about Us, isn’t it,” Sarah says, her eyes piercing me.
I take a step back, trying to recover my personal space, like a buffer zone of safety, my mind reeling.
“No.” “Absolutely not!” I spit out quickly, walking backwards and stepping behind the podium installed in the front of the room. I shakily try to pull out my ever placid “minister’s” face, the front that I have worn for the past 3 years that fits like an eye-pleasing but life-constricting Victorian gown.
“It’s not like that,” I mumble glumly, looking down at the empty surface of the podium, as if I can find speech notes there to save me.
Silence overtakes the room. I stare at my hands.
Sarah has always been the quiet and gentle one. She never pokes or prods but I know that this time she is not going to let me out of this room until she has the answers she needs. The answers we both know she deserves.
I feel breath in my ear. With one hand she touches my shoulder and with the other I feel her small, strong fingers intertwining with mine. Tenderly and gently, she turns me away from the podium and into the circle of her arms.
I refuse to look at her, inspecting my scuffed black work boots.
She pulls me close, so her lips are almost touching the side of my face. The warmth from her sweet, heart shaped face radiates onto the side of my face and the curve of my neck. I feel her warm moist breath tickling my ear.
I pretend my body is encased in ice. I command my body to feel nothing. “Please don’t do this to me,” I think silently.
Her small mouth speaks clearly, calmly, forcing my heart to listen to her. “Jen.” “I am going to ask you something, Jen. Please, please be completely honest with me.”
“Of course.” I creak out. “I’ve never lied to you.” I resist the urge to turn and whisper this into her hair.
Still gripping my shoulder, the strength of her deceptively tiny frame restrains me in her embrace. With her other hand, she grasps my chin firmly, and pulls my face toward hers, giving me no choice but to look directly into her eyes.
“You’ve been a full time campus minister for the last three years . . .”
I nod, gulp and break eye contact, knowing and hating where her line of questioning is going. My heart race speeds up and I resist the urge to move away or flee. She deserves to ask these questions. I owe her that.
“In the past, you shared your testimony about how God changed you from being gay or bisexual . . . I remember how you used to share your story when you preached on campus. . .” She continues in her softest voice, “I haven’t heard you tell that story for at least a year.” “I need you to tell me how you feel about me. About us.”
She gazes directly into my eyes. She hasn’t asked her question but she doesn’t need to. I know what her question is and I am afraid to answer it. And there is no way I can avoid answering it. What does Sarah mean to me? Everything. She has been my closest friend for years, has stuck with me through thick and thin, and I treasure her friendship more than anything in the world. She is also kind, honest and . . . beautiful.
Sarah is absolutely gorgeous and perfect. She has a shy smile that lights up people’s faces. She has a tiny, energetic body that is always striking yoga poses in the most inappropriate places- the grocery line, the library, the DMV. And she has perky, full breasts that I never, ever think about. She has a cute tiny butt that she jokingly shakes in my face when doing the aforementioned inappropriate yoga poses. I also do not think of her cute little butt, ever.
I have seen men and a few women checking her out and it makes me want to whisk her far away from anyone that would try to put moves on her. In addition to the things I avoid thinking about, I avoid wondering why the thought of Sarah getting married makes me want to shoot out all the windows of every church I have ever been attended. This is not irrational at all. But lately, I can’t push these thoughts away. Slowly, all the things I try to NOT think about are swimming before my eyes. I don’t want to face what is happening to me but the life I have been trying to lead is close to falling apart. Whatever it is I have been doing. . . I just can’t do it anymore.
I feel a panic attack coming on. An involuntary tremor is rising from inside me. I am afraid if I can’t take control of this shuddering that I may finally break, permanently this time. If I break, like I did years ago, I don’t know if I can be put back together again. The truth of my soul feels exposed to the light and there is nowhere for me to hide. My practiced look of “peace” and “joy” has fled from me and I don’t think I will ever find it again.
I had considered telling Sarah that I was leaving the ministry and that I had already tendered my resignation as Director for Campus Missions. Instead, I did the mature thing- I disappeared from our usual haunts, “forgot” to charge my phone and skulked around campus avoiding Sarah with maximum effort.
I had successfully avoided Sarah for the last 2 weeks. It was ridiculous for me to think that I could just disappear for the summer, find a new job and never come back. The only thing I could think of was escaping the cage I have built for myself. I am terrified. I am terrified that the life I have built for myself over the past decade has been a terrible mistake and the remnants of it will come crashing down shamefully and publicly upon everyone I know, and on her… Sarah.
So here she stands. She still holds my shoulder in her grip and watches the struggle reflected in my face. I take one deep breath after another and Sarah waits patiently, as always.
Sarah is waiting for an explanation. Waiting for THE explanation. She is waiting to hear two things. First, will I stick to my story that God saved me from being bi or gay? Second, am I going to admit that the feelings between us transcend friendship and that a fire is building between us, a love and passion and insatiable hunger that neither of us can quench or deny?
“I’ve made a terrible mistake…” I choke out.