When S.B. Morgaine learned the theme for next week's Stoop Storytelling Series show -- "strange-but-true happenings" -- she knew just the tale to tell.
More than two decades ago, when the now 39-year-old Atheist was a young evangelical Christian teen going to church seven days a week in a small town in eastern Washington state, leaders at a religious retreat conducted an exorcism on her, she says.
"My group leader said she thought I had demons," Morgaine said, and at the time, she thought she did, too.
"I knew I felt different about my girl friends than they felt about me or other girls, but I couldn't have said at that time that I was gay," she said.
By the end of the strange and traumatic experience, the leader told Morgaine she had been cured.
"She said my demons were gone. I disagreed with her because I still felt gay," she said.
Then she heard a voice in her head, which she thought at the time was coming from God, tell her she was fine the way she was. (Now she thinks it was a "stress-induced hallucination.")
"It was probably one of the better things that ever happened to me, because I no longer had the stress that a lot of evangelical people feel, that being gay is wrong," she said. "I came out of the closet, am totally fine with it, have never looked back and have no shame."
Morgaine -- who now lives with her wife of two years and their "two cute dogs" in Laurel -- will explain the rest as she takes the stage as part of the Stoop series at 8 p.m. Monday at Centerstage.
Always a conversation starter, the Stoop's selection of Morgaine comes at a relevant time politically.
Gay rights advocates and some legislators in Annapolis have been looking to ban licensed clinical professionals -- but not churches -- from conducting any therapy on children that purports to be able to change their sexual orientation.
For her part, Morgaine thinks all such attempts -- church or no church -- are "horrid."
The show is $20 a pop. You can get more information or advance tickets on the Stoop's website here. Cocktail hour starts at 7 p.m.
Elsewhere in LGBT news:
- What would a gay journalist who covered the outbreak of HIV in the 1980s think of the current Ebola situation? We don't have to wonder. Steve Petrow of The Washington Post is that man. Here's his piece, which is worth a read.
- By this point you must have heard about the Pope, the synod, and the shift, right?