“I think the most impactful day on my journey as an Adventist was during my junior year of high school. We had chapel every day, and on the last chapel of the year, the chaplain, who was also our Bible teacher, decided to talk about homosexuality. He compared it to a mental illness and essentially equated being in a same-sex relationship to committing murder or rape. I remember breaking down in the principal's office that day and going home early. The next day, the chaplain wanted to talk to me- to apologize- and essentially talked at me and reiterated what he had said before for about 50 minutes. He referred to me being an ally, he didn't even know that I was bi at this point, as a ‘slippery slope.’
Since it was an Adventist school, the environment was never very LGBTQ+ friendly. I remember arranging Day of Silence there and the school board agreed only if we didn't make it publicly centered around homophobic bullying. But that day, I remember there being genuine discomfort in the room when he was talking. Despite not having the most welcoming attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community, students had a general understanding that comparing it to rape or murder or a mental illness was harmful. He had apparently publicly apologized to the school in an assembly later that day, but I had left after chapel since I’d essentially had an anxiety attack because of what was said.
Even though I self-identify as an Adventist, my views on the Adventist church aren't great. I've spent a large part of my life feeling like I needed to either hide my identity as a bi individual or spend a whole lot of time defending my humanity and right to exist against my brothers and sisters in Christ. I see improvement, though. I know the NAD recently published a book on families and the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing such a large part of the Adventist church begin a healthy dialogue on this was really encouraging and restored a lot of my faith in the Adventist church as an institution. I have hope for a brighter and more accepting future for Adventism.”
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