How a Jewish, lesbian schoolgirl found her true calling
I was 11 when I first realized I was different from my friends.
First, I loved God. My family were active members of a conservative/orthodox Jewish center that was like a second home to me. I went to Hebrew school and attended weekly services. I loved learning and studying the Torah. The prayers, the history—I particularly loved the history.
I would place myself in the stories of the Torah. I was Abraham, Joseph, Moses—all the prophets who had powerful and transformative relationships with God. I was drawn to spiritual leadership and dreamed of becoming a rabbi.
Second, I was discovering my sexuality. While my girlfriends were enamored with boys, I found myself enamored with them. I dreamed of kissing girls.
It was also the year I learned two very painful lessons that took decades to unlearn: Girls cannot be rabbis, and girls must never admit they wish to kiss other girls.
I left Judaism and hid my sexual identity. I eventually found the strength and self-awareness to come out and claim my sexuality, and maybe not surprisingly, began to reclaim my relationship with God at the same time.
Some inner knowing kept me searching for a spiritual tradition that would support my love of prayer, my desire for community, my passion for ritual, my commitment to transformation, and would not simply accept but welcome me as a lesbian.
The Welcome Embrace of New Thought
I still remember walking into my first New Thought service. Relief and shock ran through me as I realized I wasn’t merely tolerated as a lesbian—I was truly welcomed and embraced.
I looked at the leadership and saw lesbian, gay, and transgender ministers. I found a spiritual framework that took the gender out of God, took the suffering out of God, and took the judgment out of God.
Most important, it was a spiritual framework that saw me as intrinsically whole and wonderfully unique. It was one of the most healing moments of my life.
Religion and religious dogma have done so much damage to members of the LGBTQ community. However, there is a way to love God and to also love whomever you wish. You don’t have to choose one over the other.
It has been a deep journey of healing for me to stand in my spiritual authority as a minister, as a lesbian, and as a woman.
I have released the painful beliefs my 11-year-old self had accepted without knowing any better—that I was a mistake, I was an abomination, I was less than, and I was intrinsically wrong somehow, a great big God mistake.
My life is now one of peace and well-being. I love my life, my wife, my desires, and my spiritual calling.
I am so deeply grateful to share this message of hope with others.