|Eve Sepulveda (left) and Sharon Inou愰|
Santa Fe, New Mexico
My name is Sharon Inou愰 and I have lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for 12 years. I have two children, ages 7 and 9. My partner is Eve Sepulveda – she and I have been "married" for two years. I "came out" five years ago, right after I separated from my ex-husband. Before then, I never had any idea that I was a lesbian. You see, I grew up in Mississippi, and homosexuality was NOT an option. I really enjoyed being a mother – I volunteer at their school, and I have a good parenting relationship with my children’s dad. He’s also very involved in their lives. Eve is extremely supportive of my children, and for that, I am grateful!! They like her too!!
Why am I going to Lynchburg? The bottom line reason is that I would like to heal my relationship with my family in the South, and to help open their hearts and minds to the idea that one can be a Christian and be gay. My grandmother is 85 years old, and I love her very much. She is worried that I’m going to hell, just because I love a woman instead of a man! I don’t want her to worry like that, but she has been taught that homosexuality is a sin. My mother, who attends a Southern Baptist church, does not allow me to bring Eve to visit, so I do not get to see my grandmother as often as I would like to. Eve is a Christian, and my family would love her too, if they were open. Maybe if someone likeJerry Falwell opened his heart and changed his mind about homosexuality, then others would follow.
Another reason that I want to go to Lynchburg is that I have been so inspired by Mel White!! I have avoided "the church" for a long time, even though I am in touch with my spirituality. I believe that Mel White can help heal my relationship with "the church." I want to learn from him and expand myself spiritually!! He is relentless in his search for truth, and I love that about him!!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
My name is Eve Sepulveda. I live in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, with my life partner of choice, Sharon Inou愰. I am blessed to share my life with her and her two children, age 7 and 9. I "came out" when I was 15, at least to myself, and had my first "relationship" at age 19. I was raised Catholic and had left the church because I realized I was never going to be ‘good enough’ as long as I lived my life as the good Lord created me.
I did not have a personal relationship with the Lord until I was 28, and was reintroduced to Him. I then met what I considered real Christians because they spoke of God as someone who was genuinely interested in an part of their daily life. I was invited to a prayer group and told that I could come "just as I am." As time passed, I ran into many other people claiming to be Christians who insisted that I needed to earn my way to Heaven by giving up my homosexuality. I tried this, even going through a program to become an ex-gay. I tried to ‘earn my way,’ renounced my lifestyle, was ‘slain in the spirit’ over it and continuously asked God to take it away from me. I became less and less myself. Afer 8 plus years, many prayers later I believe that God spoke to me. I was created in His image, I have Dignity, and I am a Lesbian. God loves me just as I am. Jesus Christ died for me too, and Grace is not earned. Heaven is big enough for my kind and me. My being there won’t take anything away from anyone else there because we are talking Abundance. Why am I going to Lynchburg? I am here because I am supposed to be. I believe that the Truth can set all of us free. I believe we are all brothers and sisters and the family of God is inclusive of gays and lesbians. I want the violence against gays and lesbians to be stopped. I want to see churches open to people of all backgrounds so that all may come to know the true grace of God. I want Jerry and his people to know that judgement leads to separation from God. Only Love can bring us together. I believe this weekend is an act of faith the size of a mustard seed. I believe this mustard seed can move mountains, soften hearts, open eyes, and find a way to heal. I want to be proud to say that I am a Christian without that meaning that I must hate…