A Different Prayer

This piece was submitted by a member of the LGBTQ+ community at American University as part of the Rival American’s Pride Week. Their views do not necessarily represent that of The Rival American or its staff.


By Emma Lovato

I loved you before I knew loving you was an option. But with all options it came at a cost.

The steeple and the brick building that once housed me rejected me and so my soul was consumed with sorrow to the point of death.

The cup with which my father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Perhaps it is not what the Father hath given me, but what you have.

I had to learn to love what was good for me, but what happens when what I was told was good for me was actually what kept me from the best thing for me?

My testimony will not be about finding God, but finding you.

To be barricaded from a building I once worshipped, to worshipping you.

I know it’s hard enough to love me, but I promise it’s even harder for me to love you.

There is no testimony for me other than saying the words “I love you” over and over. “I am in love with you.”

The only gospel I want to spread is the good news of loving you and being loved by you.

I want to memorize your body the way I had to memorize the Lord’s prayer.

And yet I loathe how my atonement to you left another part of my soul feeling empty.

Nothing makes me feel as whole as loving you. No love from any building, no love from any higher deity will heal my heart and no scripture will give me strength like the love from another woman.

Since first finding you, I see you in everything. I see you in the girl sitting across from me. Or at the bar. Or walking to the bus stop.

Maybe some part of me will always say that this is sin. But if loving you is sin then I’ll choose hell over heaven.

Emma Lovato is a freshman and she declined to submit an artist statement.