I am gay and choir member
“While in the western churches, Homosexuality is being discussed and some churches like the catholic church have been making steps toward understanding and welcoming gay Christians by making the church more open, the African catholic church in some countries still need time to confront some topics like homosexuality .”
I had just finished high school I had the enthusiasm of being independent and building my own life. However, I was confused. I knew I was gay and I had tried to keep my faith at all cost. I was so confident about my faith and I was convinced to be on the right track though I never felt a link between my sexuality and my faith. I felt so suffocating. I wanted to know what the church think about it, I wanted much clarity about faith and my sexuality. I tried looking for a priest who would help me to deepen my faith, to be honest, I was seeking answers to understand myself maybe also someone to tell me” Yes you are on the right track, you are doing great as Christian ” Something to make me feel better.
That summer, I went with my choir for a retreat at Gitega, the central part of Burundi. After two or three days we had a day for confession. As we were lined up to meet the priest, I told my choir master seated in front of me that I wanted to talk to tell the priest something serious, she looked at me and she said: “free yourself to him”.She couldn’t help herself, she started smiling because she knew about my sexuality already. The priest was too young he has one year of priesthood. I walked in holding all my breath and did the sign of the cross then went on with confession. After confession, I told the priest I had something else to tell him. My hands started shaking and I could feel all my body shivering, my throat became all over sudden dry, the voice to small. With a lot of courage, I managed to compose myself and said: “I think I am gay, I am attracted to men”. In the shock, he looks at me for a while, and asks me” You mean you love guys?” I looked down and replied “Yes!”.He took some seconds and look at me again and looked so confused and said” I don’t know what to tell you, it is my first time to encounter such a situation…I don’t know what you expect to hear from me you” He kept looking at me with a smile which really showed confusion on his face.” You don’t have to tell me anything I wanted just to share it” I replied, giving an excuse to get out quickly from the confession room. I faked a smile and left.
I was feeling so empty, fear-filled my mind and I was feeling so stupid.” Why did I go to him first of all? who wants to know my duty side of Christianity” why can’t I learn to keep my mouth shut? is it that hard to just keep quiet? why am I always that stupid guy?” all these thoughts were running fast in my mind…I started remembering another similar situation a few years before(2 or 3 years), I went to ask a priest to be my spiritual father and he gave me an appointment to meet him another , when we met he asked me why I thought I was in need of a spiritual father, after a long explanation I also added that I wanted a spiritual father because I feel attracted to guys then told me ” I have many people I follow, try to look someone else.” On top of that remembered the priest who was teaching us religious in the final year of my high school. One day not only said how disgusting gay people are he added to not understand what must be in their mind.
After remembering all that, I told to myself ” I am done with priests and religious people!” I wasn’t feeling angry neither sad. I was feeling not myself, I decided to go to the chapel. As I entered I looked to the tabernacle and started complaining about everything, but some strange feeling came to me which calm me down and felt like offering all to God in a conversational way. I poured my heart out, I presented all my confusion to Him. As time passed I was feeling so lite, my heart was being so free. When I finished I went out feeling happy and understood. I didn’t know how to explain but I all seemed to be in control.
I am a gay and choir member. I continued being available for church activities but any preaching that wouldn’t add value to my Christian life I would take it to God and tell him how it was hurting, in one way or another I would feel close to Him and would calm me down with some energetic peace in my heart. Slowly I would get clarity on how to deal with some situation which could make me feel excluded, unworthy, or the unforgivable sinner, feelings which I would always be carrying deep down.
With the help of some Christians close to me I realize that I am not a second class Christian but one like others. They were 3 simple Christians but committed with their faith but with them, I saw Christianity differently through their support, kindness, and presence. There may be many things I haven’t understood and a lot to learn but what I know, I am not what Love doesn’t cover, I am God’s son because his grace is always with me, this is the key of why I feel confident with my faith.