By: Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell, Houston, TX
Some time ago I realized that God had given me the ability to enter into and maintain healthy friendships over a period of years. I have a circle of best friends that I have had for many years. They are male. They are female. They are same-gender loving. They are heterosexual. They are ministers. They are singers. There’s a banker. There’s an attorney. They are younger. They are older. They are married. They are partnered. They are single. They are parents. They are MY BF Circle.
Lisa is the best friend who has been around the longest. We have been best friends for 30 years, since I was 13. We have been drunk and high together….yes, drunk and high. There is a difference. We have done some ridiculously silly things together. We have laughed about some incidents that no one else could find funny. We have experienced the death of grandparents and parents together. And, of course, we hold some very dear secrets about each other. Thirty years of memories in an unlocked treasure chest waiting for many more to be added.
Travis and I have been friends since our days in college. Our friendship moved into best friend level when we came out to each other years after college. We too have many insane memories and have walked with each other through our individual storms. We both have struggled within ourselves in regards to our sexuality. I remember one time when I was in Atlanta where he lives visiting my then boyfriend. I called him and he chastised me for being there with another man. “You know God ain’t pleased with that mess.” I am so excited to say that Travis has met a man who he adores and I believe this baby’s breath that I have been growing in my back yard is finally going to be put to some good use. The ha-ha in this is that his boyfriend’s name is Jeff. He is light-skinned and bald just like me. I joke with Travis and tell him that he has settled for the other Jeff because he can’t have me. He simply replies, “Girl please!”
There are so many more stories that I could tell you about the wonderful people who make up the BF Circle. With every similarity there is a difference. We every few happy stories there comes a story that will bring tears to your eyes. And, I wouldn’t trade any of those moments for the world.
Last night I went to a holiday party hosted by one of the members of my BF Circle. There were 10 of use there with several of the group being a part of the BF Circle. We key-keyed about our past and either celebrated or lamented our present. But, we all hoped for a better future. There was a ridiculous game that we played that called for one player on the team to hold a plunger between his legs and try to stick it into the hole of a roll of toilet paper that was being held between the legs of his other teammates, without the use of either player’s hands. If you have a vivid imagination or if you have played this game before then the picture in your mind looks like two grown men standing in the middle of the floor simulating sex! It was fun!!!!! LOL! Then there was Golden Girls Trivia…just so gay! At some point we agreed to never tell anyone that we have watched the Girls enough time to know all of the answers to those trivia questions: How many different actors played Big Daddy? What actor played two different rolls on the show? What was the name of Dorothy’s friend who revealed she was a lesbian and had a crush on Rose. What was the name of the gay housekeeper in the pilot show? Okay, okay…we will invite you to the next gathering! LOL
Yes, to be able to say you have friends is a blessing. Everyone does not have that testimony. Some folks wish to be able to hear the voice of a friend on the other end of the phone. Some hope for the day when they can sit at a table until sunrise and share their stories with a BF Circle. There are some who don’t know who they will call if an emergency situation arises in their lives. I can say that I get calls and make calls daily to at least two of the BF Circle. I have sat up until sunrise and exchanged life stories with the BF Circle. And, after I call God, I know who to call next when trouble attempts to overcome me.
As I am celebrating the birth of Christ during this season I am also celebrating the gift of friendship. I am singing “Joy to the World”! I am singing “O Come, O Come Emanuel”! I am singing “O Holy Night”! But, I am also singing “You are My Friend”! “That’s What Friends are For” And, I am singing “I Need You to Survive”! I sing not just because I’m happy and free. I sing because I have friends to celebrate not only this season with me but, friends who will celebrate life’s entire journey with me.
Join me and let’s celebrate the gift of friendship. If you do not have quality friends in your life, I encourage you to pray and ask God for these precious gifts and then begin to open yourself up and show yourself friendly. There is a friend that has been created just for you.
Until next week…ROTFL with WJC!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussion.