A few nights ago I spoke for the very first time about my newly released book, “Life AFTER the Down Low.” The crowd was predominantly gay and it felt like some of the men came prepared to dig their claws into this woman who would brazenly write a book about such a topic. Funny, when I first accepted the assignment, I wasn’t quite sure what it was that I would say to such a group. “What am I going to say to THEM Lord,” is the question that I kept asking myself. How is MY book going to help them? It turns out that many of them were glad that I came and in the end called me, “brave” for writing such a piece and subsequently speaking out about it.
As I wrapped up my evening, a woman came to me and commended my delivery and asked, “If you knew a brother struggled with his sexuality NOW, would you enter into a relationship with him?” My answer was emphatically, “NO!” And then I clarified with her. When I met my ex-husband, he shared with me of a same sex experience that he had while in college. I didn’t blink an eye. I wasn’t troubled by his sorted past because the fruit of his present seemed to suggest that he was living a life that was righteous. My frame of mind had been that I understand we all come with baggage. I mean come on…look at our first Black President. He has a past littered with drug and alcohol abuse yet Michelle Obama saw the apparent fruit of deliverance and healing. He wasn’t the President of the United States. He was a man who was rid of his flamboyant lifestyle and walking in victorious power.
We all have stuff that we aren’t proud of. So if I am to avoid dating because of the things that one would have experienced from his life before the knowledge of Christ, I will always be alone. I didn’t judge my ex-husband. I was protective and loving; giving all I had to make sure he understood how much I valued him as a man. That unfiltered trust was violated with the deception of the down low – a lifestyle he lived before we said “I do,” until only a few years ago – 15 years. To understand the degree of hold that spirit had on him, the depth of lies and disregard, there is no way that I could volunteer myself into that again – as it relates to same sex attraction. Now…I know that isn’t every woman’s commentary as it wasn’t mine initially. It is undoubtedly possible to find true love in spite of one’s past because we are all fallen. None of us are perfect. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). I think it just depends on WHAT things people are willing to take on. I took on the past of my ex-husband and accepted him, yet my choice was still stolen from me. I was held hostage in a relationship that probably wouldn’t have progressed at the rate it did had I known. Even with that, I wouldn’t say to a woman, “Don’t do it!” What I would say is, if you do pursue a relationship where the other party had some questionable behavior traits, be cognizant of the voice within that would attempt to warn you of things not right – listen…don’t dismiss what could be an obvious truth for fear of losing something that really may have been lost from the beginning.
Pursue love…it is how we are wired. But move forward with wisdom. Your heart is depending on it.
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