about Me

about Me

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A MESSAGE TO GAY TEENS (From Jim Swilley's new book: FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS)


Dear One,

You're beautiful, just as you are...and God loves you just the way you are!

NEVER let anyone convince you otherwise!

You are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (which is just an old-fashioned way of saying that God created you perfectly, in every way!)

You are not broken.

You are not inferior.

You are not weird.

You are not a pervert.

You're not abnormal.

You are not less than.

You are not an abomination.

You are not going to hell.

You don't need to be "fixed".

In a word, you're AWESOME...

And you're in good company...

Many important historical figures were gay...


...Alexander the Great...Pope Julius II, to name a few...

Alexander the Great

...so were some of the greatest artists who ever lived, such as...

...Leonardo da Vinci...

'The Last Supper' by Leonardo da Vinci

...and Michelangelo...

'The Creation of Adam' by Michelangelo

...as well as some of the most important composers and musicians of all time, such as...


...Leonard Bernstein...

'West Side Story' by Leonard Bernstein

...and Katharine Lee Bates, the woman who wrote 'America the Beautiful'...

(Here's a clip of gay rights opponent, Mitt Romney, singing 'America the Beautfiul' composed by lesbian, Katharine Lee Bates: http://youtu.be/w9v0Yf9wHlQ

And some of our most important writers were gay...people like Walt Whitman, Thomas Mann and James Baldwin...

I could also mention sports figures like Billie Jean King...

...or actors like Raymond Burr...

Raymond Burr, star of 'Perry Mason' and 'Ironside'

...or religious icons, such as King James of England (yes, that one!)...

The list of important historical gay figures goes on and on, but the point of bringing them up is to reinforce the truth that these people undeniably made huge contributions to our culture and society...

...and the world is waiting for you to make your own unique contribution to it!

I hope that you have the love, understanding and support of your family, especially your parents, but even if you don't because of your orientation, let me encourage you to still love and be who you are.

As a gay man, a minister, and a father (and grandfather) myself, allow me to speak to you as a father...always be yourself, and love, accept and respect yourself as the wonderful creation that God brought into this world...your life is very important, and God has a purpose for it!

If your parents support and accept you as you are, then count your blessings...you have amazing parents!

If they don't, then pray the prayer of Jesus for them, Who said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do", and move past it as best you can...don't hate them...hatred will never bring anything good into your life.

They may feel that it is their responsibility to try to change you (even though you are who you are, and always will be!)

They may have limited understanding of the Bible, and think that preaching it to you will change you (even though God knew exactly who you were when He created you!)

They may feel that your orientation is their "fault", and are dealing with a lot of unnecessary guilt over it (even though the overwhelming evidence points to the fact that you were born the way you are!)

They may feel sadness at the idea of you not ever getting married or giving them grandchildren (which, in this day and age, is becoming less and less of an issue for gay people!)

They may be afraid that if you're gay you won't have a good life (which you have to show them is a fallacy by living a good life!)

They may simply be afraid of what they don't understand (in which case, help them understand if you can, and if they're open to it!)...

They may be thinking and feeling all of the above.

Just have compassion on them, and show them that you are happy with yourself. The more the people in your life see that you're OK with you, the more they will relax and just let you be yourself. You know the truth about what it means to have same-sex attraction...that it's not a choice, no matter how much straight people constantly insist that it is...so in this case you have to be the bigger person (which isn't easy when you're the kid and they're the adult(s)!...but it is what it is...so get it together and live your life, and if they accept you, great...and if they don't, find people who will, and love and honor your parents for the simple fact that they are your parents. We all want the approval of our parents, but sometimes we just have to take what we can get, and know that God (our heavenly Parent) approves of us.

And don't let anyone use a few Scriptures, taken out of context, to confuse you or clobber you with. Do your homework...find out what the Bible actually says (and doesn't say). Never let anyone use religion to manipulate you or try to control you. Knowledge is power!

And finally, NEVER, EVER, EVER let some ignorant, homophobic bully rob you of any part of your life!

NEVER, EVER, EVER do anything to hurt yourself, no matter how bad the bullying is!

Push back!

Speak up!

Say something!

Get some help!

Tell somebody what's going on!

Don't shut up until you get the help you need!

Make some noise!

Make a difference!

Bullies are cowards who are drawn to your insecurities like sharks are drawn to blood!

The more comfortable you become with yourself, the more powerful you become, and the less likely you will be a target for homophobes.

You have a responsibility to live the life you were meant to live, so never even consider the possibility of ending that life! If you do, you will break all of our hearts, and you will miss out on so much! Don't do something crazy in a moment of despair! There's always hope!

"If God be for us, who can be against us?!"
(Romans 8:31)

You have a responsibility...a responsibility to help create a new world...one in which bullying is simply a thing of the past.

No matter how overwhelmed or scared you may feel, you have to live! You have to be strong! You have to rise above it!

If you let the bullies win, then all those gay kids (and any other kids who are "different" in any way) who will come along in the future will have to deal with the same nonsense!

Don't just survive for yourself...do it for those kids!

Don't ask for trouble, but at the same time, don't forget that this is your world, too, and no one has the right to tell you how you should live in it!

God believes in you.

I believe in you.

And there's a whole world of people out there who will believe in you, too...don't allow some bonehead to steal your world...your life...

Believe in yourself!

Be the thermostat of your life, not the thermometer...

You can determine the life that you will live...

Your best days are ahead of you...

There really is a new world coming, one in which people can just live their own authentic lives in peace, without the threat of someone always trying to control or change them.

Now that's GOOD NEWS!

I speak a blessing over you, and over your family...and over your future...I pray for good friends...a good support system for you...for your protection...for favor with God and man...for your well-being...for your happiness...that love will be in your life...for healthy relationships...that you will continue to walk in truth, and that that truth will continue to make you free...that God will make Himself real to you, and that you will know and believe from the bottom of your heart that He is love, and that He is good!

"I know what I'm doing.

I have it all planned out— plans to take care of you,
not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

(Jeremiah 29:11 - The Message)


  1. A powerful message for our precious youth who need our constant prayers and leadership, encouragement and strength.

  2. What can I say, Bishop? You have written the truth in your impeccable way -A G A I N ! I join in your prayer that all beautiful teens - gay and straight - will live and thrive while letting their lights shine in the world to overcome the darkness of the lies of ignorance and evil.