Since Ray came out publicly in this article, I have been the one to receive and read all the e-mails to our website. Unfortunately, many have been from people who either think they know better than Ray what he should do, or that they assume he is deceived. Others think he purposely led others astray as he wrote and sang some of the most emotional songs in contemporary Christian music. Many make unkind comments, perhaps thinking that no one closely associated with a real person will actually read the comments.
Tonight I opened the e-mail, and I got one from Tonya, and I have written a response. I am not sending it directly to her, because I don't want to come off vengeful or mean. Instead I decided to post it here, on my blog, where I can say anything I please! Many, many times I begin a blog, only to leave it unfinished, hesitating on what to say, or how to say it most effectively. Perhaps I am deviating from my stated purpose of helping others, but I am trying to speak some of what I have been through and what I think and feel.
Here is Tonya's message/comment, and it was only one line:
From: tonya**********.net [mailto:tonya*********.net]
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 8:15 PM
Subject: Email from rayboltz.com web site!
Comments: It is so sad to see you like that.
Sad to see Ray like what? Like any of the following:
...Feeling like God hates him
...Wanting to die
...On strong medications (Prozac, Welbutrin) to help him get through each day?
...Pretending to be straight in his marriage?
...Pretending that he's like all the other "Christians" who hold disdain for gay people?
...Feeling that if he were to be honest with his family, that we would turn against him? ...that we would not love him?
...Knowing that he had done all that he was EVER told to do, but that he was still gay?
...Praying his entire life that he could be straight, only to have God never once answer him?
...Still living just like YOU and the rest of fundamentalist Christians want him to, but knowing that he was living a lie.
So you are sad to see him give up his success, the respect he had in the fundamentalist world, give up his image to gain what? Ridicule? Villification? To be likened to murderers, child-molesters, liars, thieves? Sad that others offer pat answers? Sad that people who think he didn't pray hard enough? Or that he prayed too much and depended only on himself? Others who assume that he has embarrassed his family, and they don't know anything about our family. Then there is the "sadness" of those such as yourself, and the thousands of others who think they know what they are talking about.
I have this to say: I am and always have been proud of Ray Boltz, his commitment to his family, to God, and to those he has served for his entire life. I am proud of him being honest, struggling to accept himself, and to learn to make decisions out of love, not out of fear.
So you think you are sad? Ha! Think what being honest has done to Ray's own heart. Think how it would be to know that to be HONEST, he would get ignorant e-mails like yours, and that there would be nothing to stop people like yourself from responding with "sadness." Can you know what it feels like to have strangers tell you that they are "disappointed," and the real disappointment is that God put US through this - we are a family, we love one another, and we still are Christians. Neither of us asked for this, as none of us ask for our problems.
For some reason beyond our understanding, this has been the path that God has led us. Ray and I are the ones who know just what sadness is. So please, don't write me a flippant, one-line comment, and think that that helps. It does not. It is all I can do not to rip into your comment and send off a nasty e-mail, but I won't. I have taken care to try to help you understand that we are real people, and this has been a huge hurdle in my life and in Ray's life. There are no easy answers. I feel I am doing pretty well, that Ray is making progress, and that we will continue to grow through this entire ordeal.
Carol (Ray Boltz Music, INC.)