Editor’s Note: On Friday, May 13, JP Davis posted a photo of an assignment from the Christian Academy of Louisville, asking students to write a letter to a hypothetical friend “struggling with homosexuality” to persuade them of “the goodness of God’s design” “in a way that does not approve of any sin.” The Academy has confirmed the assignment’s authenticity and said that it is reviewing it, although the school also reaffirmed its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman and sex should only occur within marriage. This is Davis’ response: a letter to a young JP.
Dear JP in seventh grade,
Hey. I’m you when you’re 39. I’ve learned and grown a lot since seventh grade, and I have something to say to you.
I understand why you’re staying in the closet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry your parents live in fear and swim with insecurities. I’m sorry you’re surrounded by a world of people who don’t accept you as yourself. I’m sorry you’re taught you’re going to hell and are a sinner. No matter when you choose to come out, it’s going to be tough, not going to lie. It will not go well with the parents and some of your friends. In fact, it will change your Mom forever; it will never be the same between you two. So take the time you need. Soak up all the quality time you need with your Mom before you decide to finally live your truth.
All the girls that say you’re gay, they actually really love you and just wish you were straight so they can have you. They will be lifelong friends.
For a few of the guys who bully you, I’m sorry. Stay strong.They do eventually come around and apologize. The world is a big place; unfortunately, your world right now is small. You’re all being taught the same bullshit, but as you all grow older, travel, learn, expose yourself to others, you see the world more clearly. I’m sorry it sucks for you now.
I’m sorry you can’t experience dating, love and sex normally as a young person. I’m sorry you can’t flirt. I’m sorry you can’t hold hands or show affection with a boy. I’m sorry you can’t take your guy crush to dances. I’m sorry you can’t be yourself. I’m sorry adults teach that something is wrong with you. Stay strong. You’ll find out by being yourself and staying strong, things really work out for you. People respect and love you.
I’ve learned that many adults live in fear and insecurity. Many adults don’t know how to think and speak for themselves. Many adults are victims and tools to power and control. You’re a strong spirit, just like Mom. Never change.
It won’t be easy. You’ll never understand, at least at 39 years old, some aspects of the world or humans. Still today I walk around most days feeling like I live in a parallel universe. I simply don’t understand humanity sometimes. A lot of folks not living their truth.
Keep having empathy. Keep seeking understanding. Keep loving.
Trust yourself, your values and your soul. It’s going to be OK, and one day you’ll have the influence to change hearts and minds. Maybe help save a life.
I’m sorry you can’t be you right now. Hang in there; you’ve got lots of people who will need you and will love you. You will make a big difference one day in our world.
JP Davis is the founder of JP Davis Partners. He is from Eastern Kentucky.