Imagine growing up in a fundamentalist Baptist household in the 1960s, coupled with the possibility of being gay.
What would life be like?
From the opening chapter of “You Can’t Buy Love Like That,” Carol E. Anderson gives us an eye-opening account of growing up gay in the 1960s.
She says that her parents had a radical faith in God, but the message of God’s wrath projected by their church minister stuck with her the most. Regarding physical pleasure, it was always “thou shalt not.” Every church service ended with a plea to repent and accept Jesus. At the age of 12, Carol decided that she wanted to be saved from the threat of punishment and a life of fear, so she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior.
A few years after her decision to be saved, she developed a crush on her close girlfriend. As the two grew closer, Carol’s feelings turned to love. But she felt the need to hide her true feelings because she didn’t believe anyone would accept her, including her parents.
The following school year, she started dating boys…even being hopeful about falling in love.
But during college, she developed feelings for another female friend. She describes her feelings as being stronger and more profound than with men in her past. But again, these true feelings were hidden. She points out that there were no gay advocates or literature to read to help her navigate her feelings. When people started to gossip about whether or not she was gay, Carol wondered how she would ever live an authentic life.
There were persistent thoughts of God’s punishment and a lack of moral support from friends and family. So, even the natural excitement of falling in love and wanting to share it with everyone had to be hampered. Then, when the relationship ended, she had no one to turn to.
Carol says that it took years to learn to love and accept herself.
“You Can’t Buy Love Like That” is a powerful, touching account of a strong woman’s experiences throughout her teenage and adult life. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed reading her story.
If you have read the book, drop a comment below!
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