Separation of Church and Gay

The Day I Realized I Was Gay

Mallory Elizabeth Baskin
7 min readFeb 17, 2021


Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

What is right

And what I am

Faith and Trust

Begin where the sidewalk ends

My mind stays cemented

While my heart runs away

Wishes and rules

How can I do what’s right

I wrote the above in April of seventh grade. I remember it vividly. It was the first day of my life I had let myself even say the word “gay”, even in my head. I had kept the little voice in my head under so much pressure that even it couldn’t squeak the word because then it might be real. I had spent weeks fiddling with it, almost saying it, almost thinking it. Rocking back and forth on that edge knowing that jumping would change everything and free me all at once.

Born and Bred

I was raised in rural southern South Carolina in a small white southern baptist church. I have been a member there since I was about 6. They were so loving. They paid to send me on a field trip I couldn’t afford. They were my safe space, that warmth that was always there. It was like having 20 or so grandparents who would move heaven and earth for you if it was in their power. I can’t thank them enough for all they did. I love that church and how it led me during my childhood, but it did a lot of damage too.

The church isn’t always the most welcoming place for those who are different. And on this day when I finally let the little voice in my head say the word, it became an echo chamber in my mind. Repeating and repeating over and over, shimmering and stretching and growing and vibrating through my life, changing things in ways I would’ve never expected. That day I started struggling with what the church had taught me, what my family had taught me, what the world, my world, had always taught me, and what I was.

Are You Praying Hard?

I wish I could say that I figured it out quickly and was happier for making that jump off that rainbow ledge. But for the rest of my high school years and a few college years, I struggled. I tried to pretend it wasn’t true. I tried to act like it didn’t have to be, that’s what everyone said, if I tried hard enough…



Mallory Elizabeth Baskin

Trying to get good at this writing thing. Talking about being gay, education, religion, getting better, and making life worth living.