Jessi Zander

jessnbostonI was born and raised in a conservative southern baptist home where we went to church every time the doors were opened. Sunday mornings I volunteered in the nursery, Sunday nights I did the same, Wednesday nights I taught in the AWANA program and on Saturday work days I was there cleaning and watching the kids. So naturally I went to a Christian university and when I moved to Lynchburg, VA I attended a baptist church where I kept the same routine. I also went in the summer as a camp counselor for the 2nd graders. I always knew I was different but I was taught that it was a sin and that I would not be favored in the eyes of God. At the age of 25 I realized just how miserable I was trying to live life the way I was taught I should. I let go and prayed that God would show me what was truth. I met a girl that took me to an affirming church where it was okay to be a gay christian. I began to pray harder that God would show me the truth and that is when I met a woman named Samantha. She was very wise about scripture and showed me how the things I’d been taught weren’t accurate. God didn’t hate me because I was gay and that is all I needed to know! Samantha and I are now married and while our families are not on board our chosen family and friends are the best! I hope to be able to help other people realize that God made us who we are and loves us for it!