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Mark Tobey (1890-1976),

famous artist, dedicated and devout Baha'i, was gay. His life and work were commemorated.. More

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God is Gracious

Mmmm. There are moments in life when you look around and are absolutely convinced you are in a nightmare. The day gives way to night, and you fall into a fitful sleep. When you wake in the morning, expecting to feel a little better, there is still that atrocious lump in your chest. But the Faith says that with all crisis comes victory - should we allow ourselves a slight transformation that the moment allows.

The majority of my tears have been spilled for the Faith that was always my heart, my soul, my existence. There were times I could rise to such inner spiritual heights on the wings granted by my Beloved, and could feel the flutter from a hundred angels' wings as they gathered around the Words I loved to pray aloud. I didn't expect to rise to such a moment of liberty, then feel that very Hand that so tenderly raised me, smack me down to the hellish readings of separation and division I suddenly found in the Writings. My beautiful tapestry of faith unraveled, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to patch it up. Yet in those hours of death, I felt an incredible Angel watching over me, reminding me that I was a recipient of such adoration. The best part is, we all are.

I drifted from the Faith slowly but surely due to the emotional discomfort caused for other Baha'is (as well as for myself when I had to constantly point out that alcohol and gambling are addictions on a very material plane while same-sex love is an emotional and spiritual as well as physical connection between souls - so please do not compare them). I opened to love in wondrous new ways. I met opportunities for patience, forgiveness, laughter, affection, compassion, kindness, and growth. I was challenged by jealousy, anger, frustration, selfishness, and loss. I balked when Baha'i friends told me I merely needed self-discipline.

There was no denying my roots though. A few years away, and I sorely missed the conversation, the tacit knowledge and wordless communication I could find in special souls. So I went to a study circle, and lo and behold, I fell in love with a Baha'i. It makes me smile, feeling as though Abdu'l-Baha had a trick up His sleeve, knowing how to seduce me with a second look. She was incredible, as were the other young Baha'is around me. They accepted me without hesitation, knowing full well my situation. While I had to get over the romantic affection for my friend, the dynamics of being in that group situation and feeling so completely welcomed positively overwhelmed me. It made me hopeful for coming Baha'i generations. It also reminded me that I can't ignore the nutrients of Faith in the soil of my heart, any more than I can ignore this precious gift that God has given me in looking at love from a slightly different perspective. Of allowing me to be part of an often hated minority, so that I can understand how to root out prejudice from the core of my being. To see the human and the godly that is our noble heritage, and understand the mundane as purely experiential.

Despite the religious turmoil that still goes on within me, despite my growing understanding that I can't fully be part of the community, and despite my awareness that many Baha'i friends that still love me to no end are still hopeful that I marry a man, I am extraordinarily grateful. I am hopeful that I am walking the path of transformation.


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