I worried for her when she said she was going to come out and do this website. I worry that people would give her a hard time, especially people in church and I asked her at that time, "You can still be you but why do you have to do this, knowing that the road ahead is going to be tough?" She teared up at that time and I knew this was important for her because Pauline hardly cries.
We met about 10 years ago in graduate school. I was aloof and weird and isolated myself from people in general, while Pauline was gregarious and sociable and had many friends. I loathed that about her at the beginning, partly borne out of jealousy which I would never admit at that time and partly because she just seemed so...happy. And I didn't understand happiness so I shunned it. Through a series of inexplicable events, we became good friends over the next few years and when she came out to me one day and told me she is gay, I remembered saying ''So?"
You see when I was in college, I worked in the F&B industry to pay for college and I don't know if it's an industry thing but a lot of my colleagues at that time were gay. I still remembered at that time that my store manager was someone named 'Charlie'. Charlie was a charmer and we all loved and respected Charlie. Charlie had a very cool swag about her and she always stopped to ask about our personal lives. She also happened to be gay. A lot of my colleagues were but that didn't change the fact that they were people who looked after my interest when I was young and when my family couldn't care less and I remain grateful to them for it.
I don't identify myself as gay so I can't understand fully the pains and struggles that Pauline goes through, being gay and yet called to be a child of God. But as her best friend, I can choose to unconditionally accept her the way I know Jesus does and choose to walk beside her and perhaps even in front of her, to shelter her, when people are unkind in word and deed. I believe that her being gay doesn't alter the fact that she's always the one called upon to pray because her prayers come from her heart and people are moved by her prayers. I believe that her being gay doesn't alter the fact that she has a pastoral heart to reach out to people estranged from God.
I've since done my fair share of theological research into this whole issue but theological debate is not what the stories here are about. The stories here are about real people with real struggles and a real God who sees all, knows all, and holds all in His heart. A God who is so big, so glorious and so full of grace and mercy.
So I'm proud of you, Pauline! And grateful to you for helping me become a happier person and I look forward to us sharing many more years of fun and laughter! :)