Rev. Dr. Kathi E. Martin
Creator and Executive Director of The Interactive Faith Cafe, Inc. www.theinteractivefaithcafe.com
When and how did you come out?
I came out to myself over 30 years ago when I recognized my attraction to women. I came out to my family about two years later when my mother asked if I was gay. I initially told her I was bisexual to try to soften the shock. I fully came out to the rest of the community about 17 years ago after leaving a denomination where I could not serve as my full, authentic self.
How did religion play a role in you coming out?
I have had a strong belief in God throughout my entire life. My awareness of God helped me through times of abuse, loss, fear and loneliness. I could not understand how good Christian people could condemn me to hell for loving someone of the same gender.
That did not sound like the view of the God who was present with me through life while knowing my full identity including my sexual orientation. The God that I knew was a God of love, inclusion and liberation. I fully embraced myself as a same-gender-loving woman because I knew God embraced me.