Reconciling: Why it Matters to Donna
It's a GIRL!

The words I'd been praying to hear!  My first-born child had arrived and she was a beautiful, healthy GIRL!  I immediately flashed through the mental photos of her future party dresses, princess parties, dance recitals, boyfriends, prom, and eventually walking down the aisle as a beautiful bride.  I dreamt of her life and prayed it would be filled with joy and love.

And it has been. Megan had all of those experiences of my stereotypical fantasies.  She has not yet walked the aisle or become a mother, but I still dream she will.

As young as 2 years old, Megan started showing signs of her individuality. She had her own ideas about life and was even able to explain it.  As she danced around the house dressed up as "Aladdin", I asked her "wouldn't you rather be dressed like Jasmine?".  Megan replied "Aladdin gets to have all of the adventures while Jasmine sits home waiting to be rescued."  I couldn't argue with that logic.

As we welcomed 2 more daughters into our family before Megan's 4th birthday, we continued to expose our girls to all things: sports, dance, music, and nature. Megan continued to show more interest in sports and less feminine role models. After she was Peter Pan and then Kenny Lofton for back-to-back Halloweens, I joked to Brian "You think she's gay?"  We always knew she was different from our other girls, but we loved her quest to follow her heart.

My beautiful Megan is now a 23 year old woman who has taught me more about truth and authenticity than anyone I know. She "came out" to us just weeks before her 22nd birthday.  I cried.  Not because I was disappointed in her, but that I would never choose a tougher path for any of my children.  I told her I wouldn't change a thing about her, but I would love to change the world around her! Megan's sexual orientation does not define her. Some of my closest friends told me, you shouldn't tell people. I tell EVERYONE because I am proud of Megan. Anyone who chooses to avoid her because of it is really losing out on enriching their life with all that is Megan.

As someone who was a life long devoted church member and even held large volunteer positions at our prior church (Sunday School Director and Vacation Bible School Director), my love for organized religion has waned. During the Chick-fil-A controversy, as well as presidential elections, FaceBook was flooded with "Christians" who preached hatred in the name of religion.  Many of these people consider sexual orientation to be a choice or a lifestyle and therefore a sin.  These people pick and choose and manipulate Bible verses to support their stance.  But they choose to ignore so many other verses and most importantly, they ignore the teachings of Jesus.

I am sad to say that I have lost some of my passion for attending church.  I can attribute much of that to the negativity of people who hate in the name of religion.  I will say that the one thing that does inspire me to attend church is when my beautiful, strong, intelligent, creative daughter is sitting on the altar praising God with her musical gifts.

In closing, discrimination against people for their sexual orientation is no different than hating someone for having blue eyes or red hair.  God created Megan and she is exactly who He wanted her to be. Megan, and most individuals in the LGBT community, struggle and fight internally to change who they are. I cannot imagine how it must feel to be hated by strangers for who you are and who you love.  If you have a son or daughter or niece or nephew, or brother or sister, think about how you would want them to be treated by society and specifically, by their church.

In Christ,

Donna Rowan Culley