Feeling thankful –
From the ages of 12-35, my church family, my music, my belief was EVERYTHING. It encompassed friends, a support system, I was a desired musician and music director, and on and on.
But of all that sticks out the most in my life, was my very first pastor, Rev. William V. Thompson of the UPC church of Bristol, CT. He was like a father to me, taking me under his wings of leadership and really, just BELIEVING IN ME. I had been told by others in the very same church, that I would never be anything, I would amount to nothing. Hurtful, yes…but it only made me stronger. I went to Bible College on my own, paying/working my way through school, and becoming the first Pentecostal ‘salaried’ Music Director in Maryland. My wife, family and I traveled, teaching choir clinics, leading youth and family camp choirs, and also went with our host minister on invites, to assist with the music.
It was an interesting and fulfilling life at the time, all the while, I was dealing with my sexual orientation, and my gender dysphoria…a nameless feeling/experience I can remember from around 9-10 years of age.
I am a survivor. My psyche has been blessed with a layer of ‘feathers’, where the waters of hatred, hurtful words and deeds of others…seem to only last for a short time, rolling off me like water off a ducks back. I am able to get up and resume my growth, my evolution.
I am VERY human. I hurt, feel pain, weep, and wonder how humanity can be SO ‘evil’ at times, with absolutely no regard for others. But I also know the joy, the love, the friendship, the recovery, the peace, the tranquil moments I appreciate so much…that assures me of the reality, the beauty, the wonder that this life avails.
So ‘thank you’ to those who supported, loved, and believed in me. And thank you to those who meant me harm, for it only made me a stronger person today.