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He Surely Must Know of My Pain
by Bill Camp

Lent is a special time for me, partly because of the associations between it and my former community of Dignity-Integrity.  It was in the second week of Lent in 1988 that I finally had the courage to come visit for the first time.  This time always brings back the many memories of how I have struggled with the acceptance of my sexuality and integrating this into my life.  I remember coming into church with my heart beating in my chest and my palms sweating, thinking, "What am I doing here?"

I also remember that the church had a seasonal banner which displayed the crown of thorns.  I thought of Jesus' pain and that he surely must know of my pain and the isolation of being a gay man in my society, my family, my workplace.  Surely, Jesus understood!

Through my experiences while at D-I, I concretely realized and firmly believed that I was made whole by embracing both my sexuality and my Christian heritage.  For me Lent has been and continues to be a time to become a renewed person and a renewed community.  Dignity-Integrity has greatly assisted me in being recreated, reborn as a whole and healed person.  Today I can claim myself a gay Christian.

Bill now worships regularly with the community of Blessed Sacrament Church.

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