Natalie LaFrance Slack, so much of your experience growing up as an Evangelical feels similar to my own.
The secrecy, the patterns of deception, the internalized shame — all of that is what I grew up experiencing because of my sexuality.
Except that as a gay man, things were somewhat different.
I did not have the experience of seeing most of the men and boys in the church “sinning” like I did. Which only reinforced the shame, of course.
Oh, I’m not saying there wasn’t any same-sex behavior going on. There certainly was. It’s just that it wasn’t anywhere nearly as common as opposite-sex shenanigans.
I will never forgive the Evangelical world for injecting me with that kind of shame.
Btw, and of no real importance, Jerry Falwell Jr and I are the same age, and my father used to be a minister in the senior Falwell’s orbit.
I met Jerry Falwell Jr when we were both teenagers, and it was obvious then that he had a “rebellious” side to him, to use evengelical language.
Around his peers he was daring and a little scandalous. Around his father, he was the “perfect” Christian.
But then, I suppose he was instilled with his own necessary patterns of deception and shame.