A former lesbian has created a petition to try and get President Obama to listen to the voices of those who’ve successfully shucked the homosexual “lifestyle” through the love of Christ. She’s upset that Obama’s been listening to members and leaders of the LGBT community, and not people like her, who despite becoming “right” with their god and this country’s dominant religion, are clearly also marginalized.
According to a story on Christian News Network, Janet Boynes was a lesbian for 14 years. She believes it was because her parents neglected her and she was sexually abused twice. She had a huge hole in her heart that she tried to fill with homosexual relationships and even drugs, but she couldn’t escape her prison until she came to Christ.
She’s now calling on Obama to listen to her story, and the stories of others, on her petition, which reads:
Dear Mr. President:
In your victory speech on 11.5.08 as reported by the New York Times, you stated, ‘And for those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight; but I hear your voices. I need your help, and I will be your President, too.’
Sadly, Mr. President, you have not carried out your promise. For those of us who have left the homosexual lifestyle, you have never listened to us.
Countless people who are participating in the homosexual lifestyle have visited with you at the White House, and you have supported them on numerous occasions.
What about those of us whose compelling stories you have chosen to ignore? We also have voices; and when you were first elected, you promised to listen to us. That has not happened yet.
Mr. President, when will you take the time to sit down with us and let us share our experiences? We the undersigned humbly ask you for this opportunity.
They’re looking for a whole 1,500 signatures, and it’s taken a full week to get to that point.
Boynes’ story is a touching one, and has a slight ring of truth to it. No doubt she sincerely believes everything she says. There’s just one problem: Her story is not the story of others who’ve tried to come to Christ to relieve themselves of the sin of homosexuality, or the many who’ve tried conversion therapy, and have walked away feeling more helpless, hopeless and alone than ever.
The questions that people like that ask are along these lines: “What is so wrong with me and my life that Christ will not enter my heart? I try, and try, and try. I pray, and pray, and pray. I’ve accepted him and his love. I keep the Bible’s commandments as best I can. He doesn’t hear me. He hasn’t healed me. He hasn’t helped me leave this lifestyle. So what’s so wrong with me that he won’t help me no matter how hard I try?”
The Christian News Network piece, which is full of quotes from Boynes, reads like it’s just so easy. Accept Christ and everything will be fine. It does nothing to address the damage that does to people who realize they’re born homosexual, and there isn’t a thing they can do about it.
Her opinion that Obama needs to hear the voices of people who belong to the dominant religion in this country is an insult to groups of people who are truly marginalized. Her testimony, that all one has to do is love Christ in order to be free, is a slap in the face to those who’ve tried and tried and tried, and have never been able to find the peace that she says she claims is so easy.
This reeks of the persecution complex that’s become so typical of the religious right. She is who she is, and if she believes she’s “cured,” then good for her, but to use that to push the religious right’s agenda to continue marginalizing the LGBT community is absolutely galling.
Featured image “Rainbow Flag” by Benson Kua. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Cross image by Murraytheb. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Images merged and altered by Rika Christensen/Liberalistics