Archives for category: Purity
The Repaired Ring & Me, mid-90s

The Repaired Ring & Me, Mid-90s


the_guardianIn The Guardian, True Love Waits? The story of my purity ring and feeling like I didn’t have a choice.

After first period, seniors began strutting the halls, spreading the salacious word: Today was sex day in Bible class. Living Christian High School’s version of sexual education was taught in Bible—as opposed to, say, Biology—because school administrators believed the sex act—if done right—could be transcendent. In Anatomy class, we memorized the stages of gestation. However, what came before fell under the purview of a man we’ll call Mr. Pastor, the Bible teacher, who also considered Rush Limbaugh videos to be curriculum.

At the 2:45 p.m. bell, Mr. Pastor called my unusually skittish class to order. He slid a transparency onto the overhead machine. A bride and groom stood before a closed gate with the address, “The Secret Garden.” I braced myself for the usual litany of dirt-slinging my kind of Bible believers reserved for premarital activity. However, Mr. Pastor surprised me.

“You don’t need me to remind you that the wages of sin is death,” he said, smiling like a wedding day officiator. “The world is full of it…of people, as they say, just doing it.” Mr. Pastor waved toward windows overlooking a street lined with the single-story sprawl of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“For those willing to follow God’s plan, you will be wondrously rewarded. The gift of sexual relations the Lord Almighty has given unto men and women so that we might marvel in His goodness and share in the Divine wonder of Creation is truly glorious.”

My class shifted in their seats. Girls pulled down knee-length skirts; boys straightened neckties. Everyone prepared to take notes.

Keep reading! 

The luminous Jeffrey Marsh invited me to share my coming out story on their podcast.

For me coming out as -sexual was revolutionary in and of itself. After growing up in the 1990’s evangelical Christian purity culture, owning my sexuality, regaining my personal agency, had to happen before I could even began to attach prefixes, like bi-.

As discussed with Jeffrey, I am deeply grateful that the faith community I grew up in instilled the importance of sharing first-person narratives–of testifying. Testimonies, whether delivered during services or via podcasts, help us to find connection. Personal stories have the power to unite individuals by fostering understanding and empathy. They help us to evolve, to become ourselves.

I’m so grateful that Jeffrey gifted me with the opportunity to share my story about coming out and keeping my heart open in Coming Out with Jeffrey Marsh: #15 Keep Your Heart Open.

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