National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day. A day that I find myself reflecting on the last year and a half of living as an “out” public figure.

Far away from the public eye, I long contemplated the importance or significance of this fact being available for public knowledge. People accused, asked, wondered and hoped for a long time whether or not I would ever answer the question: Are you gay?

I seriously considered the idea that it really isn’t anyone’s business. I am who I am. I love who I love. What difference does it make whether or not people know? My partner, friends and family, and my faith have been the backbone to affirming in me a sense of pride, responsibility and compassion that I have always sought to reflect. Still, I can say it’s very strange to consider whether or not to issue a press release regarding my sexual orientation. So the pressing question was: What difference does it make?

For me, the difference maker was one of personal integrity. I am gay and that is the truth. I wanted to honor not only myself, but those who know me best. By believing in my own journey enough to claim it, I found that who I am is not written by the pen of others, but how I personally take responsibility for my life. By speaking aloud that I am gay, I soon began to realize the impact of that truth was not only personal, it has been powerful for others as well.

It is always a test of courage and self-worth to share yourself with another person. Perhaps that is why one of the greatest offenses to the human spirit is silencing the voice of another. Today, you may discover a friend, your child, a fellow church member or co-worker identifies as LGBT. Today, you may be asked to “out” yourself when you reveal how you feel about them. What difference does it make to you?

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6 Comments

  1. Dear Jennifer,

    I just found your site and watched the Larry King interview. I was really disappointed that we heard a lot of rhetoric from the pastors (none of which is new to any Christian) and you were not really given a chance to voice more about your understanding of how Christianity and homosexuality can coincide within a person.

    I found it particularly disappointing that in all the rhetoric used by the pastors neither of them seemed to have any understanding of the “Theology of the Body” which has been so much in circulation since Pope John Paul II gave the foundation for it during his Wednesday addresses years ago. On the one hand, proponents of the Theology of the Body would still come to the conclusion that homosexuality is not part of the restoration of the person to the new life God intended, on the other hand it opens up the dialogue to something much deeper than simple commands of what “to do” or “not to” in Scripture. It really delves deeply into what God intended human relationships to be and how our bodies are an essential part to forming loving relationships. It might be a good source for a more solid rhetorical responses in the future (if they give you the chance to really talk!)

    Thank you for your honesty & inspirational music!
    Sharla

  2. Jennifer,

    Was trying to find an email address to send you a message, but I had no luck. I hope this gets to you.

    I just discovered you as an artist and ran across the Larry King interview on Youtube. Watched all four videos. You, my dear, are an inspiration. I admire you for sticking up for your beliefs and for not appologizing for who you are. I’m not even going to comment on anything the pastor said, because it doesn’t deserve a response. Besides, it doesn’t do any good to focus on the negativity of his message.
    You are a light. I am so thankful that you have a strong sense of who you are and that you’re not ashamed of it. I hope to one day be fully comfortable with who I am. You have helped. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Peace to you, sister in song,
    Kate

  3. Hey Jen…I doubt you would remember me, but years ago as you were starting your career, you came to Lander Wyoming with Fellowship of Christian Atheletes. The local director asked me if I would pray for you…so I did. I can’t wait to hear your new album as I have dicovered, during the last ten years or so, the beauty and the intensity of Indie folk and alternative folk. I would love to play music with you some day and get the chance to pray with you again.

  4. Hi Jennifer,

    I saw you years ago in concert when you opened for Jars of Clay. I was BLOWN AWAY by your performance! You are an inspiration to me as well as millions of others. I too am a gay female and there are so many judgemental people in this world. But you have to be yourself and never let love pass you by. Hope you read this and respond!!!

    -Charlotte

  5. Hey Jennifer, I’ve listened to your music from around 1999 or so, love it. I just watched your interview with Larry King although I’m not sure how long ago it was done. Although I have some disagreements with you, I do think that you are correct in saying that we do not know certain things. I studied Theology at a well known school and the more I studied, the more I realized how much I don’t know (even with a high GPA). Rather than feel smarter, I felt humbled. I do believe the Scriptures in their original text are the inspired word of God but I still have huge questions like why were the agnostic gospels left out of the canonized Scriptures? and many more… It’s humbling to realize how little we know despite our studying and efforts to know Him. I don’t believe that today’s modern Christian western church is anything like the first Church. The Scriptures do say that God reveals to us in different doses as He sees fit. What can happen with that is people can think they have had more revealed to them than they actually have. Just like someone thinking they are smarter than they really are. Bottom line: He created us to seek Him. We each have to seek Him with what we’ve been given and with what has been revealed. As you know, just because someone is highly educated doesn’t make them smarter or more intelligent. A degree simply means the person finished something. Anyway, I am a Christian. I don’t mock the Church but love it. And I pray for God to reveal to us, to me, His will. Non-negotiable: Jesus died for us, rose from the grave, and now intercedes for us at the right hand of God. Carry on:-)

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