This is the story of Gino Scarpelli of Florence’s Kairos Group for the ‘Things Change’ special, as published in Riforma, weekly newspaper of Italy’s Waldensian, Methodist and Baptist Churches, November 26, 2013. Translated by Peter Luntz
I’m 36 years old and I’ve known since I was a child that I was attracted to the same gender, but I never had the courage to express this attraction. I lived my teenage and young adult years in a sort of “golden cage.”
On one hand, it protected me but on the other it inhibited my growth and sexual development. Now, I have lots of regrets. But I tell myself that back then I never had the chance to bloom, to free myself of all the convictions and vicious circles I had sunken into. I was alone and too caught up in mental fixations.
Over time, and thanks to a long and fruitful path of therapy, I became convinced that I can live my life at peace as a gay man. I finally decided to meet other gay people like myself – people with whom I could share my own ideas of humanity and solidarity, ideas that have always been very dear to me.
For this reason I turned to the gay Christian group Kairòs in my city of Florence. I found that I really felt at home with these people. I rediscovered joy and the need I had to pray with others.
I was welcomed in friendship by priests, men and women pastors, nuns and theologians who taught me to read the Word of God anew with a more critical eye. I realized that homosexuality and other forms of non-heterosexual sexuality are not contrary to God’s Plan. Sin exists, regardless of one’s sexual identity.
My relationship with my faith became more authentic and my spirit was renewed. As a healthy consequence, I gained a constant awareness that Christian faith and homosexual orientation are two coexistent aspects of my personality. I feel that they are both God given gifts. I now understand how important it is for them both to mature. In time, I came out to my family, friends and relatives with positive results and I wish to find a companion in my life.
I was born into a non-practicing Catholic family, but I don’t like defining myself as Catholic or Protestant. I am a devout believer in Mary, but I don’t approve of the Catholic Church’s dogma. I consider myself a Christian walking along the path and it’s a path I would like to share with many other women and men.