Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A few years ago I was at a wedding reception having dinner with a college friend I hadn’t seen in a while. As we caught up with each other, he asked if I was dating anyone. I said no and quickly asked him the same question to avoid having him ask me anything else about myself. Since we both came from evangelical backgrounds, I was afraid to tell him that I was gay and hoped the topic of conversation would change as soon as possible. I didn’t want him to judge me to be less of a Christian or less of a man. So I was totally surprised when he told me he was dating a guy. My surprise soon turned to relief as I realized that I could be open with him about myself, and I decided to share my own story. We were both amazed as it dawned on us we weren’t alone in our experience. We saw each other in a whole new light. That evening I was profoundly grateful to discover I didn’t have to fear or feel isolated anymore. It was truly a grace-filled moment.

—Dan Bell