<<So did you start the christiangays website? Tell me that story>>>
In 1998 my husband of 33 years died. ¬†Within six months of his death my lesbian lover of 24 years had fallen in love with my pastor (another woman). ¬†I was so alone and so lonely. ¬†My whole social life had revolved around my relationships with the people at church, and now I didn‚Äôt want to go there. ¬†My children were all married and had moved to different cities. ¬†For the first time in my life I was absolutely alone.
The thing that had always uplifted me was Christian music, and in my search to find someone who might understand me I was introduced to the music of Marsha Stevens of BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music) Ministries. ¬†I had one cassette of her music called ‚ÄúFree To Be” that I wore out. ¬†I needed a new copy, and I hoped that she might have more available. ¬†I found more of her music, but was unable to get it into Canada because no one would ship out of the country (U.S.).¬†
Someone suggested that I contact Marsha directly via email. ¬†I had no idea that I could do that, but I was desperate and reached out to her, shared with her my story of loss and the reason that I desperately needed her music. ¬†She lovingly wrote back, and through a series of many emails she explained to me the correct interpretation the ‚Äúclobber verses‚ÄĚ used against gays, and it made so much more sense to me than what I had been taught.
It was through her personal ministry to me that I was able to completely reconcile my faith with my sexuality. ¬†My faith was first and foremost in my life, and I was not satisfied with ‚Äúliberal‚ÄĚ interpretations of Scripture, but her explanations did not contradict or “water down” Scripture in any way. ¬†It made sense!
So by now I was 54 yo and I decided that I REALLY wanted a Christian lesbian partner, but where to find such a person, especially in the small village where I lived? ¬†
The internet was very new back then, but there was a List Serve called Christian Lesbians. ¬†Long story short, I met Jan who moved from New Hampshire to Canada to be my (not legal) wife.
Unfortunately the pressures of trying to get her Permanent Residency were so stressful on her that after 7 months she felt that she needed to go back to the U.S.
While Jan was with me she asked for nothing, but I wanted to make her happy, so between the long distance phone calls, the trip to New Hampshire to get her, repairs on her truck, new wardrobe, computers, etc, I spent a lot of money – money that I had to ¬†take out of my RRSP‚Äôs (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). ¬†That meant that at the end of the year I had to pay taxes on that money.
I was telling my friends Bette and Steve about my predicament and that I had no idea how I was going to pay this debt, when Steve (who owns his own Marketing Business) said, ‚ÄúYou need to start a business. ¬†Then the government will know that you are going to have lots of deductions and they won‚Äôt come after you for the money you owe.”
I said, ‚ÄúFine. I‚Äôll start a business. ¬†What shall I do?‚ÄĚ
We talked and talked about several ideas and couldn‚Äôt come up with anything firm, and the most important thing was that I register this business, so we called it MAP Enterprises (my initials – Mary Ann Pearson). ¬†This meant that I could do anything.
So now the business was registered. ¬†I just had to figure out what the business was going to be. ¬†I remembered the difficulty I had getting Marsha‚Äôs music into Canada so I thought, I‚Äôll make a business of promoting her music to churches, gay stores – anywhere I could think of. ¬†I‚Äôll make demo CD‚Äôs of some of her songs and send them to radio stations, make promo packages and mail them to churches, etc.
I asked Marsha if I could be her Canadian Distributor and she agreed, so I bought a bunch of her CD‚Äôs and I was all set. ¬†Within a couple of weeks she asked me to send a CD to Scotland so I became her ‚ÄúInternational Distributor‚ÄĚ. ¬† LOL
Then my oldest daughter, Erin, said, ‚ÄúMom, you need a website.‚ÄĚ ¬†I said, ‚ÄúWhy would I need a website? ¬†Who would ever find me?‚ÄĚ ¬†She said, ‚ÄúTrust me Mom, you need a website. ¬†Stuart (her husband) will build it for you.‚ÄĚ ¬†
Well I thought that was very nice that my daughter would offer my son-in-law to do it, and so I shared the story with my youngest daughter Landra, and Landra said, ‚ÄúOh Mom, Jeff (her husband) still doesn‚Äôt have a job yet after graduating from ‚Äėcomputer school‚Äô. ¬†Let him do it. ¬†It will help build his skills for his resume.‚ÄĚ
Wow! ¬†Am I a blessed Mom or what! ¬†Two daughters offering to help their lesbian mom with her new business. ¬†(My other daughters have also been really supportive.)
So Jeff and I started to build a website to promote Marsha Stevens‚Äô music.
The remarkable thing about this is that Jeff and Landra lived in British Columbia, and I was in Ontario, so we were three hours time difference, but through Instant Messenger we were able to accomplish miracles. ¬†
Jeff is completely blind so I would have to tell him to move such and such 14 pixels to the right – no back 3 pixels, no, to the right one more pixel, etc. ¬†
And then he would tell me that the text I‚Äôd given him was on the page, and I‚Äôd say no it‚Äôs not. ¬†He‚Äôd assure me that he had posted it to the site and uploaded it, and it was there! ¬†And I would insist that it wasn‚Äôt. ¬†Well it turns out that he was right. ¬†The text was there, but it was yellow text on a yellow background so I just couldn‚Äôt see it. ¬†That happened a few times before we caught on. ¬†ūüėČ
My Jeff is an awesome guy. ¬†I now live in the basement of their home with two of my grandchildren. ¬†We‚Äôve been together now for 9 years, and it has worked out amazingly well. ¬†Jeff and I now share a business together building websites. ¬†It‚Äôs called Winning Website Creations https://winningwebsitecreations.com
So anyway, back to ChristianGays.com¬†– I wanted so much to share the information that Marsha had shared with me so that others would not have to go through the years of despair searching for answers, so in addition to selling her CD‚Äôs I started selling books about being gay and Christian. ¬†Then we added some pride products, more musicians, etc.
Then a friend said that the chat room she had been using was shutting down, and could I please build a chat room for her and her friends. ¬†I did that. ¬†She never came back, but that‚Äôs how the chat rooms got started.
The chat room then expanded to the dating service, one thing just leading to another.
Over the years we‚Äôve had some bad experiences with people in the chat rooms so I had to lay down some very stringent rules. ¬†There were people who didn‚Äôt like the rules, and they left. ¬†There were some who liked the rules very much and they became the backbone of the chat rooms.
A couple of years ago I got fed up with all the frauds and those who would post porn on the dating service – you have no idea how many hours it takes to keep the site clean – so I decided that I didn‚Äôt want to continue it. ¬†I got so many letters of appreciation for what I had done, so many letters telling me that they met on CG and now are married, etc, that I decided I would make just a simple chat room so that I wouldn‚Äôt leave them with nothing.
Well long story short(er), after 16 years it was time to rebuild CG anyway. ¬†It was over 8,000 pages of information, getting over 1,000 visitors a day, but much of the information was out-dated. ¬†On the dating service we had over 10,000 members, but many of them had registered and never come back. ¬†I have learned much over the years and I believe that what I‚Äôm building now is going to be AWESOME!
Bottom line is that I didn‚Äôt plan any of it. ¬†I just needed to deal with my taxes. ¬†I believe that a website was needed that would do what I‚Äôm doing, and God just put me in the middle of it, and I am blessed that S/He did. ¬† ūüėČ