'The present closeted feelings are a reminder to me of where others are at," Minister Steven Foster shares his #StayAtHomo reflections

For our 50th #StayAtHomo message, Methodist Minister Steven Foster has penned a reflection of his time physically distancing in Roscrea, County Tipperary.

steven foster

My name is Steven. I’m a sociable person so these times don’t suit me at all in two main ways – not being able to get out and about and not being able to welcome others in.

I operate an open house – being able to have simple meals, random chats and laughs – nothing fancy, just sincere and joyous.

I’m a Minister with the Methodist Church, so I’ve had to adapt to how I communicate with everyone within the community and churches I’m a part of. Caring for others may have an annoying spacial distance but it’s still caring.

Love has shown up in wonderful ways – I’m even having dinners left off for me. But there is something about this time that has revived memories of a decade or two ago.

I have felt closeted. Closed in. Not able to be ‘out’. Yes, I’ve got Facebook etc., but it’s like I can’t get out and express myself. Loneliness hits me at different times in this strange season.

Part of it is to do with only moving here last summer. But the staying at home resonates with the years before I came out.

Years in which I wondered how I could be in the right setting to be myself and fully so. It’s a time that I’m glad is behind me.

In my commitment in working to see an end to other LGBT+ people feeling that they have to choose between their faith and being openly themselves, the present closeted feelings are a reminder to me of where others are at.

Thankfully this unusual time has opened up conversations and ways in which I’ve been able to connect that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

I’ve got to know new people during the past two months. I’ve dreamed dreams and laid plans. I’ve exercised my voice on behalf of others locally and I’ve chilled out a bit more than in ordinary times.

I’ve walked country roads around Roscrea that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I really long for change, but I’m glad of the days I have and the new opportunities this season has presented.

Want to share your story and be featured on #StayAtHomo like Steven? Get in touch at [email protected].

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