#PeopleOfPride: 'I am the person God made me and I'm not ashamed of that anymore'

I ended up in Dallas because I met a guy, I met a man. I was working in conservative church ministry at the time and those two worlds don't line up.

My name is Rich Thomas, and I'm a member of Cathedral of Hope.

I ended up in Dallas because I met a guy, I met a man. I was working in conservative church ministry at the time and those two worlds don't line up.

We ended up moving here. It didn't end up ultimately working out.  But, I'll always appreciate him for for helping me change.

 When I first moved here, my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to go to the 'big gay church' in Dallas.  Sure, let's go to the 'big gay church' in Dallas.

I wanted it to work, but I didn't believe it could.

Every tradition I've ever participated in before, an open communion is a no-no, it’s a blasphemy. there was a moment where they told everyone anyone is welcome at this table and I had spent years of my life worried that I was one of the ones it wasn’t for.

I really didn’t come out on purpose but it was long overdue

I spent the last 28 years at least, either trying not to be or pretending not to be gay.

It’s just hard to come out, I mean if you grow up in a traditional - I mean it’s easier than it was - but it took me 43 years.

Pinned to the sun visor in my car i have the first rainbow thing I ever wore right after the Orlando incident happened.

When I walked in the door, they were pinning little rainbow ribbons. I had resisted that symbol my entire life. This was the first time I had ever embraced it and thought no, this is important.

Most of us here have some kind of story of being pushed out or shoved out or marginalized or misunderstood or shamed.

I am the person God made me, and I’m not ashamed of that anymore.

About WFAA's #PeopleOfPride

In conjunction with #DallasPride events, WFAA is sharing the stories of members of the LGBTQ community.  To join the conversation, share a photo or video with your story using #PeopleOfPride.

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Bradley Blackburn / WFAA


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