Coming Out Christian by George McGoldrick

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

I was 17 and about a month away from graduating from high school. I attended a Christian school with very strong values. At this point I knew I was gay and had come out to my closest friends at school.  The environment was very small and I had very little exposure to the gay community at the time.  Our classes began every day with prayer.  One morning I was trying to cram in some last minute studying for a test while a teacher lead the class in the daily prayer.  The teacher was one of the younger teachers and was highly regarded in the school for the way he related to the kids. Coaching basketball, leading pep rallies, calling students "champ" and "chief"; he was a favorite of many kids.  When he was done praying he pointed at me and told me to report to his class room after school.  I went the rest of the day believing I was in trouble for not praying with the rest of the class which was looked down upon and often reprimanded.

I headed to his class room when school let out.   The reason he wanted to see me was actually not about the studying. He had recently overheard me defending gay rights to another student.  I always questioned why anyone should be disqualified from equality in this country and I was very open about it.  The teacher proceeded to tell me that, "Gays are an abomination," and "Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God," and asked if I knew that "Homosexuality is the thing that makes God puke?" At the time I felt very loved by God and I felt the few gay people I knew at the time were also very loved.  Plus the image of the God I believed in vomiting because of me was just a bit too much to handle.   So I came out.  I told him I was gay.  He then told me I was immediately expelled.
George McGoldrick

He said he could not have someone like me around his students, especially the male students. Which was hard to hear because our class had only 27 students and some of the boys were like brothers to me.  He told me I was a pervert. He told me I was going to hell. I went from 17 year old high school senior to sexual predator. I panicked. I thought of my Dad, one of my favorite people, having to learn the truth about his son in such a detrimental way.  I thought of my class mates.  I was senior class vice president and on every committee or club possible. I was looked up to and accepted and now I would be hated and distrusted.   I recanted. I told him it was something I was not sure about and asked what would I have to do to not be expelled so close to my graduation.  He asked me questions: "Have you ever been sodomized?"  and "Have you ever swallowed semen?" At the time I had never been sexually active much less kissed.  I just knew who I was and the person he was asking about was not me.  I responded truthfully: no. He said the next step was to bring my sexuality forth to the board of directors of the school.  Since many parents were on the board I would be outed to people whose kids I sat next to me in class.   The eventual verdict was that I could graduate as long as I met with the principal once a week to discuss my feelings toward the opposite sex.  I did what was required and I graduated.  That same teacher handed me my diploma and I had to shake his hand.

That was about 18 years ago. I went on to enjoy a terrific life that I would never change.  I came out to my Dad that year and he is still my best friend today.  The reason this is my NOH8 story is because to me any question of inequality leads me back to that very scared boy in that teacher's office. When I hear that my rights are in jeopardy I can see why this man thought it was permissible to deny me graduation and speak to me like a criminal. The relegation of the gay community to a second class status with regards to rights give license to bigotry, vicious slander, and even violence.  Policies that deny rights to members of the LGBT community legitimize this victimization.  People feel validated in their hate because it has been declared legal. So when I hear about situations like California, where the marriage rights are so close and then taken away I know it's time to stand up.

So I will fight along side gay Californians until we are equal in every way. This is an issue for everyone who has been denied access to their community for being who they are.  I stood up as a young man for being the person God made me and endured the consequences.  I stand up again now and am fully prepared for this fight.  The boy has grown to a man who will not suffer the indignation of inequality for being gay.  As Anne Frank so wonderfully put: "Why should we who love each other be apart?"

My name is George McGoldrick and thank you for letting me share my story.


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