Love wins
Guideposts|February 2020
What if your daughter told you something about herself that went against everything you were taught to believe?
CHRISTY JOHNSON
MY 20-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, Brittany, had left the computer on in my bedroom. She’d been using it to chat with friends. The chat session was still on the screen.

Maybe I shouldn’t have read it, but I’m a mom and I couldn’t help myself.

“We’ll meet you at the WreckRoom,” Brittany had written at the end.

My husband, John, Brittany’s stepfather, walked in.

“Have you ever heard of a place called the WreckRoom?” I asked him.

“No,” he said with a shrug. “Why?”

“Brittany’s going there tonight.” I looked up the WreckRoom online. What?! It was an all-ages gay nightclub on Thirty-Ninth Street, the heart of Oklahoma City’s gay neighborhood.

That couldn’t be right. Why would Brittany want to go there?

I’d grown up in a very conservative church environment and raised Brittany the same way. Where I came from, the Bible was crystal clear about homosexuality. Someone who lived that way was out of God’s favor.

Brittany was living at home while working and attending community college. In some ways, she was a grown-up. In others, she was still pretty naive. Maybe she just didn’t know what the WreckRoom was.

And yet…why was my whole body rigid with fear?

I racked my brain for reassurance that Brittany wasn’t gay. There was that guy she pined over in high school who was dating someone else. Later he broke up with that other girl, and he and Brittany went to the prom—but nothing came of it. Other than that, she had never dated, never had a boyfriend.

Not that John and I gave her much wiggle room. We taught a singles class at church based on the purity movement. The idea was to avoid casual dating and focus on marriage. We steered Brittany toward group outings with friends, and she never rebelled against that.

The only time she and I had a big disagreement over this subject was when she expressed curiosity about one of her eighth-grade teachers, who was a lesbian. “That’s kind of cool,” Brittany said when she found out.

“It’s not cool,” I replied and followed up with a lecture about what I believed the Bible said about sexuality. Brittany stopped talking about her teacher.

I CALLED JOHN OVER TO THE COMputer. We stood there staring at the screen, both feeling deeply uncomfortable. John’s daughter from his first marriage, Melissa, had apparently been questioning her own sexuality as well. Brittany and Melissa were only a year apart. Were they influencing each other?

Melissa had moved out as soon as she turned 18. She and I had a difficult relationship. Earlier that day, she’d driven over from her mom’s house, where she was living, to hang out with Brittany. They were out now getting something to eat. It was clear from the chat session that they were planning to go to the WreckRoom together.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GUIDEPOSTSView All

The Legacy of Flight 93

An Army officer remembers his cousin Rich Guadagno and the other 39 heroes who died in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11

5 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

The List

After two divorces, did I really know what I wanted in a relationship? Did I even know who I needed to be?

8 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

“God Will Bless Your Business

George Turner was sure the pandemic would spell the end of his struggling bike shop. His pastor had other ideas

5 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

The 46th Peak

We decided to do this last hike of the challenge together. Partway down, I heard my husband scream

7 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

Challenge Yourself to...Connect More!

Eager to emerge from the loneliness of lockdown and socialize again? We’ve put together a list of 15 challenges for reconnecting with the people you care about—and making new friends too. Focus on a few activities, or pick one each day to try over the next two months. Pay attention to how your relationships flourish!

2 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

Reason for Hope

I feared my son would never get off drugs. Until an art class changed my heart

8 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

Pistol

He was the dog I always wanted. But he came with baggage, a little like me

7 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

ALONE WITH MY FAITH

The pandemic left a lot of us feeling isolated. Including me. But it opened the door to something deeper in my music and in my soul

9 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

Brought Together

How two strangers found friendship and healing as they came to terms with the legacy of slavery

9 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021

70 Years of Hope & Inspiration

Elizabeth Sherrill’s life as a writer has been a journey of the soul, a journey that also became the very soul of Guideposts magazine

8 mins read
Guideposts
August/September 2021
RELATED STORIES

LYNDA CARTER Honors Her Late Husband

"I'd never in my life felt the love and support and the thrill of having a guy like Robert."

1 min read
Closer US
May 16, 2022

IT'S WORSE THAN ANYONE KNOWS

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's explosive $100 million defamation trial reveals new horrors about what really happened behind closed doors

5 mins read
inTouch
May 23, 2022

WHY SAMMY THE BULL TURNED MOB RAT!

Marked for death by Godfather Gotti

2 mins read
Globe
May 23, 2022

JONBENET DAD DEMANDS NEW MURDER PROBE!

Wants more tests on crime scene DNA evidence

2 mins read
Globe
May 23, 2022

Are You OK?

Mental health has become a critical conversation, but how can leaders truly walk the walk? Here, six founders share experiences that showed them the way.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
June 2022

MS. PAC-MAN CLEARS PATH TO WORLD VIDEO GAME HALL OF FAME

More than 40 years after blazing a trail for female video game characters, Ms. Pac-Man was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame, along with Dance Dance Revolution, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Sid Meier’s Civilization.

3 mins read
Techlife News
May 14, 2022

I WAS RAPE SLAVE AT EPSTEIN SEX FACTORY

Billionaire's orgy island was depraved prison run by Ghislaine Maxwell

3 mins read
Globe
May 02, 2022

Laser Beams Discover a Lost World

A POWERFUL NEW ARCHAEOLOGY TOOL REVEALS COUNTLESS MAYA STRUCTURES.

6 mins read
Muse Science Magazine for Kids
April 2022

JULIA'S ROM-COM DIS AIN'T PRETTY, WOMAN!

Roberts says good romantic comedy scripts “didn’t exist” in recent years

2 mins read
National Enquirer
May 09, 2022

I'm Finally Happy Again!

Looking great at 50 and madly in love with her beau, Jennifer Garner is living her best life

3 mins read
inTouch
May 16, 2022