Dear Ma Donna,
I’m in love with a wonderful and thoughtful man. He’s kind, compassionate, and extremely sexy. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. Lately we’ve been talking about moving in together. I’m worried though because he goes to a Fundamentalist church and he’s afraid that they will find out about him, and, now, about us. He’s out to his family, but they never talk about it, and they keep it a secret from the rest of the church. I really love this guy and he really loves me. Should I move in with him?
Dear Fundy—Dear, Dear, Precious Fundy,
Momma’s heart goes out to you. First I want you to say ten “Hail Marys,” then ten “Hell Marys” and then twenty “Hell NO’s.” Blessed child, you are about to set yourself up for real pain. I’m not talking about the pain you get when you’re trying to break in a new pair of stilettos which should be at least a size ten, but you had to have red because it matched your purse and really made the sequins pop—but they didn’t have a size ten in red and you had to settle with a nine. No, I’m talking about something even more painful than that.
The Blessed Mother has had a lot of experience with fundamentalists, and it’s no coincidence that the word “mental” is such a prominent part of that word. I would bet my virginity that this relationship won’t end well no matter how hard you try.
I have no doubt in my mind that you love him—or that he loves you, but I’m guessing that the fact that you sent me this e-mail indicates that you have some reservations?
You are the owner of your own heart, and I have seen over my many, many, many years on this planet (Momma’s birth certificate is in Roman numerals), that the heart knows us better than we do, and it will always communicate clearly with us. Your heart always has your best interest in mind, so if you’re having reservations, that means that your heart and your head are having a discussion. Pay attention to this discussion.
I suspect that the reason your honey is still in this church is that he’s afraid, and the list of fears is probably longer than the list of men who rejected Momma for a Friday night cuddle. He’s afraid that his family will disown him (particularly if their good name is called into question by the church), he’s afraid that the church will disown him and he’s afraid that God will disown him. If he’s a Fundamentalist as you said, then you’ve got to know that he’s conflicted. Fundamentalists hate “the gays” and they’re determined to eradicate homosexuality from off the Earth. Fundamentalists have no loyalty. Even though your lover is one of them, if they knew he was gay they wouldn’t hesitate to condemn him to Hell, and they would be happy to provide the transportation. Fundamentalists live for the day when God, very visibly and violently sends his beloved children to that Lake of Fire which burns forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah. You’re lover knows this and I imagine it plays a huge role in his continued involvement with the people he knows hate him.
Ironically, as much as he loves you (and Momma believes that he does), you are dangerous to him. You could let it slip to any of his church friends that you are dating. You may “act” gay in front of his friends and thereby call his credentials into question. If you ever got mad at him and wanted revenge, you could really hurt him... There are a lot of ways you could mess up his life, and I’m sure he thinks about those often, which might make it difficult for him to fully connect to you.
Worse, he may, at some point, view you as something that is separating him and God, and believe me, when you stand between a man and his God; you place yourself in harm’s way—not from God of course.
Have a long talk with your friend. Tell him how you really feel—that you love him deeply and that he’s more important to you than anything else. Tell him that the only thing more important to you than him is God. Then tell him that God, as you understand him (or her if you prefer), loves you as you are and bears you no ill will. See how he reacts to that. Then tell him that God as you understand It, is so adamant about you being who you are that It will support you if you try to hide, but would prefer that you stay true to yourself.
See where that conversation takes you. I’m guessing that conversation alone may postpone your amalgamation for at least a couple of months.
There are so many things we could be talking about here in regard to your friend’s continued involvement in a Fundamentalist church, on a personal level, but I don’t want to go there. To do that would mean that I would have to make a lot of assumptions about your friend, and you know what they say when you ass—u—me; and I’m already an ass, so why push it further.
Start there and see where it goes. Religion is a huge issue because of that God thing and the eternal life outlook. It’s important to know that going into a relationship in which religion is such a big part of anyone’s life.
Have faith. Who knows, maybe he’ll eventually find God.