I first started begging for death at 14 years old. Oddly, the same thing that led me down the path to pleading for death was the very thing that saved my life – religion. I knew what was considered a “sin” by the church (which in my family amounted to anything other than being miserable): no shorts for men, no haircuts for women, no playing cards, no alcohol, no cigarettes, no sex until marriage, no jewelry other than a wedding ring, no cussing, no taking of one’s own life (or the lives of others) and don’t forget to say your prayers. It seemed there were so many things I wasn’t allowed to do without being damned for all eternity. But there was one thing no one told me – homosexuality is a sin. This oversight was likely due to the fact that sex was never mentioned in church or otherwise.
Susan Parker joined me last night on Closet Talk to discuss her new book, Walking in the Deep End, a memoir. Parker is a passionate advocate for the needs of people suffering from depression and eating disorders and confronts these often taboo subjects head on in her memoir.
We discussed Parker’s growing up in an evangelical family, her bulimia, coping with the suicides of family members and dealing with depression, Susan’s early homophobia (which resulted in unkindness toward her friends who would come out to her), and how, after discovering she wasn’t a zero on the Kinsey scale of sexual orientation, her relationships with those people changed.