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Algy Beattie and Me

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2nd December

Dear Bob,

Bet you're surprised to hear from me, after everything I wrote last time. Don't worry, have not slipped back into idollatrus (sp?) husband hunting ways, just need someone to talk to. Someone who's wise Cn who will listen to me w/o judging...

Just had v. weird convo with Sas. OK, so it started out normal – well like this:

Me (barging into her room w/o knocking, yes, I know): Sas, d'you wanna come to Tesco with me?

Her (hiding book under desk): What? Oh, um, sure...

Me: whatcher reading?

Her (looking v. shifty): Oh, um nothing.

Blatantly not nothing, you understand, but I didn't push it, and we went out to Tesco (bread, Pringles, Soleros, loo roll, pasta, yeah, my life is as thrilling as ever) – and then when we got to the checkout this guy started talking to Sas. (V. hot, eyebrow ring, cute bum, not that am noticing these things now of course...)

Him: Oh, hi Saskia, how's it going?

Her: Um, yeah, it's OK, have you met my friend Jude?

Me: Hi... um?

Him: Luke

Me: Luke, hi Luke.

Him (to Sas): You coming on Wednesday?

Her: Um, yeah, should be.

Him: Cool, see you then.

OK, so most yawnyawn convo in the world, yeah? But Sas was blushing bright red, so I said, 'So, you and Luke, hm?' (raising eyebrows – has been lifelong ambition to be able to raise just one eyebrow, Sean Connery style, but haven't mastered the art yet.)

'What? Er, no...'

'Oh yeah, I forgot – your guy with the cute bum! I mean, your other guy with the cute bum! Um...'

'Yeah, I'm not with either of them, actually...'

'Oh, OK...'

But she was looking dead shifty, and so I said, 'Well, what's Wednesday, then?'

She said, 'OK, I'll tell you. But' (looking around furtively like she's the one in a Bond film) 'not here.'

So, 20 mins and 2 Soleros later, we were home, and I said (really intrigued now) 'OK, then, what's Wednesday?'

She hustled me into her room, shut the door, and mumbled, 'Algy Beattie Christian group.'

'Who?' I said, worrying: how have I not heard of Algy Beattie? Is he the new big inspirational Cn speaker? Has Duncs been so busy with impending fatherhood/wedding plans that he's failed to keep me up to date?

Sas (who is beetroot city by this point): 'Ell. Gee. Bee. Tee.'

Means nothing to me.

'Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Christians.'

'Oh. So Luke?'

'Yeah, he is.'

'But you?'

She burst into tears, and it all came pouring out. How she's suspected that she's a lesbian since she was 13 or so, but how (when all her friends were fancying boys) she was able to pass it off as just being a good Cn girl, not having boyfriends, etc. (Thought it best not to mention my previous assessment of her as 'tarty'...) How difficult it is to be gay and Cn. (You're telling me – I didn't even know it was possible!)

Didn't really know what to say, so I passed her the tissues.

Then she said, 'Please don't tell anyone about this.'

I said, 'What are you going to do?'

'Dunno. Keep going to the Wednesday group. The guys there are – sniff – so supportive.'

(Wonder if this Weds thing is something like Alcoholics Anonymous? Ppl sitting round talking about their struggle? Perhaps shd talk to Oren. But I promised Sas not to tell anyone, so...)

Ooh, obvious question. 'What about Reuben?'

'Oh, he knows, actually.'

That figures – I guess you don't go out with someone for eight weeks without working it out.

'He's the only person I could actually trust with it... it was such a relief,' she sobbed.

'But he dumped you!' (Or did he???)

'Yeah, but... it helps, kind of, that he's not exactly revered as some kinda Christian superman,' she sniffed. 'I don't think I could tell someone like, you know, Lydia. Or you. You're such good Christians, you don't understand how difficult it is.'

Good Cn? Moi? 'But you just did tell me!'

'Yeah.'

I didn't know what to say. Again. So I hugged her and gave her some more tissues.

What do I do, Bob?


3rd December

Called Mum. Yeah, so that was a stupid idea, particularly after the GaysRUs fiasco last year. She wanted me to move out, pronto, and not talk to Sas any more.

'But she's a Christian!' I said.

'Those are the sort you want to be the most careful around, Judith,' she said.

She's going to post me some stuff.


4th December

Asked Fax what he thought of homosexuality. He said, 'Homosexual courtship, mating and parenting have been scientifically documented in over four hundred and fifty animal species.'

What kind of answer is that???

12.47am
Freaky dream (yeah, soz Bob, another one, I know you must be bored of them) – dreamt I was kissing Libs!

And enjoying it!

Eek!

Is Mum right? Has Sas infected me? Are you actually Roberta? Or Robyn?

12.55am
OK, feeling a bit calmer now. The weirdest thing just happened: picked up my Bible (know it's got some helpful verses in the back) and this little card fluttered out. Think it was a present from Abby once? Must have used it as a bookmark and forgotten about it... It says:

Perfect love casteth out fear

with a picture of an angel.

He does look a bit like my angel...

But homosexuality's not exactly perfect love, is it? And Sas seems pretty scared.

OK, Bob, gonna spend some time praying for Sas now.


5th December

Talked to Duncs – mentioning no names, of course, but asking what he reckoned the Biblical view of homosexuality was. (Little lapses aside, Duncs is a good S&V Cn who knows his Bible.) He said no, absolutely not, gay sex is wrong.

Said I didn't think the person in question was having sex.

Well, he said, that might not be the case now, but they were probably thinking about it – and as Cns we shouldn't encourage ppl to be in relationships that can't lead to marriage. And there are certain things that are designed for certain functions, and so it's wrong to use them for other functions.

Took me a little while to work out what he meant – then I said, but what if it's a woman?

Duncs wasn't really sure.

So confused.


8.45pm, post-BURP
Guest speaker – talked about his mission work in Africa, about scary places (not just physically scary, but challenging in all sorts of ways – emotionally, intellectually – gosh Bob, look at me using all these long words. 90%, pls, Prof Carr!)

About AIDS.

About how the vast majority of people he's met who have AIDS are actually straight.

About this verse, which led him into the places he was most afraid of going to:

“Perfect love drives out fear.”


7th December

Mum's tract arrived this morning. Lots and lots of Bible verses – most of which I'd covered in my mammoth session the other night.

But the author isn't very interested in women. Like, a paragraph!

But I guess we shouldn't be sexist, so I should take everything that he says about gay men as applying to lesbians too?

- Crap, I've left it downstairs...

… It's gone. Has Sas found it? Did Gaz stick it in the recycling or something? (That's a first, if so...)

Oh well – no time to worry about it – time to reveal my plans for Xmas social with my comm!


8th December

OK, Bob, so the Xmas social is gonna be fab. We're all going out after the carol service (great evangelism opportunity!! - ppl come to church at Xmas when they never would otherwise) – we'll have

Oh, hang on – phone.

Was Libs. 'Are you at home?'

'Yeah, why?'

'Stay there.'

Sounds a bit ominous...

Must talk to Sas re the carol service – am sure she wants to be involved, she's still a Cn after all.

(Or is she?)

Sas not in. Haven't actually seen her to speak to in ages, come to think of it. Ever since...


Doorbell. Prob Libs.


Wow. She freaked out. 'Call yourself a BEEPing Christian? I thought you were meant to be BEEPing loving and welcoming!'

Turns out Sas had found Mum's tract, thought I'd left it there on purpose for her to find, told Reuben, who told Libs, who came round to have a go at me.

Really torn. Didn't mean to upset Sas (though was going to give that tract to her...) but it's not like I didn't agree with what it said...

Libs said, once she'd calmed down a bit (tho is difficult to tell), 'Look, babe. I don't think God BEEPing cares who you go to bed with. There's plenty of bad reasons to BEEP someone, but I don't think the fact that someone has the same bits as you do is one of them. What are you so BEEPing scared of?'

'But... it's not natural,' I said.

'No, not for you, cos you're straight,' Libs said.

Am I? Oh, Bob, I hope I am. I can't cope with my life getting any more complicated.

Did not tell Libs about my dream of the other night.


9th December

I caught Sas in the kitchen and apologised to her. Explained that I hadn't finished reading the thing, that if I'd decided it would be useful then I'd have given it to her myself, not left it lying around for her to find.

'But you still don't think it's possible for me to be a gay Christian,' she said.

'What do they say at your Wednesday group?' I asked.

'That God loves you and accepts you the way you are. That you shouldn't be scared of who you are.'

'But doesn't God want all of us to change? To become more Christlike?' I said.

'Don't you think I've been praying to change ever since I worked out I was gay?' she said.

Bob, I believe her. But why doesn't God answer that prayer?


5.35pm
Just occurred to me... cd Jesus have been gay? Bible doesn't say!

… hey, that rhymes!


6.05pm
Knock on door. Was Sas.

She said, 'Look, Jude, I've been thinking. How about I give you something to read?'

(was reading heat myself, but it never hurts to have a change, eh?)

She brought out a book. Recognised it – was the one she was reading when. You know.

Rainbow Faith: a survival guide for gay and lesbian Christians – and their Christian friends

Didn't want to take it. It kinda felt like it would commit me to something. Anyway, Sas was saying, 'And another thing. Would you like to come along to the group with me on Wednesday?'

Nearly said: whaaaaaat? But managed to keep mouth shut, though.

In fact, was so surprised I dropped my copy of heat.

heat mag knocked mug off edge of table. (Didn't break.)

Mug knocked Bible off chair.

Bible fell open. Bookmark fell out.

Then I saw it again: Perfect love casteth out fear.

And I realised: I am actually terrified.

And I do want to support Sas. Cos, yeah, she's my friend, and I love her.

And I could be wrong about what God wants. (Been known before, after all...)

And perfect love drives out fear.

So I said, 'Yeah, OK then. I'll come.'

Will let you know how it goes...