Think being gay is tough because your church or synagogue disapproves? Try being gay and Christian, getting prejudice from both sides of the fence.
From Pastor’s kid to worship pastor, I’ve certainly known what it means to be part of a religious world. All I’d ever known was private Christian school and then Bible College, but somewhere along that time I started to notice that I was different and that my journey in faith would be a “scenic route!”
Coming out to my parents at 18 was more of a “homecoming” situation. And by homecoming I mean – coming home. I was kicked out of Bible College for being a lesbian and had to return home with the news. This wasn’t what a minister’s family needed, and my parents certainly were disapproving.
Wanting to please God and my folks, I confessed my “sins” and decided to live as straight. Returning to Bible College I found a faith based ex-gay organization who was international and offered counseling. After contacting them, I was quickly moved into a “ministry” position and began singing and teaching at their conferences and workshops. During this time I started a band called the Kori Ashton Band who opened for such popular Christian bands as Skillet, Pax 217, Chris Tomlin, Tree 63 and others.
While well on my way to ex-gay fame in the Christian realm, I knew in my heart that I was a lesbian woman who just needed to find my own balance between my faith and orientation. So, I left those ministries and started one of my own online called LesBePure. I wanted to know if there were other lesbians out there who loved God in spite of with Scripture supposedly said. This site has rapidly grown and we now have a group of over 250 ladies who fellowship regularly on our online forums of faith.
My path has had many trials and triumphs, but one of the sweetest moments was June 19, 2010, when I stood in a Christian church and exchanged vows with my wife before God, friends and family. At that moment, we overcame all the prejudice that we had experienced being kicked out of Bible College, kicked out of churches and removed from leadership. All of the hurt from religion faded in that moment as we held each other’s hands and asked the Lord to bless our marriage, and He has.
We haven’t set aside our faith because of our orientation. God hasn’t set us aside because of it either. Love is His greatest challenge to us all.
I wanted to share this story in hopes that the hurt which might be in your life due to religion, would somehow lessen by knowing that not all Christians are hateful, but what’s more powerful than that – Christ, Himself, loves you where you are, as you are! My life and my marriage stand as a testimony of that!