She lives in a gray area within the Prescott LGBT rainbow community. Her close friends know she is gay, but family members out of state don’t.

Married at 18, Julie Jaquette always knew she liked both men and women. But raised in a very religious home, she was told at a young age that gay people were sinners and they were going to hell; they lived outside God’s plan; and to stay away from them, they’re perverts.

“It’s painful to hear the rhetoric and try to reconcile what you hear and what know in your heart,” Jaquette said.

She loved her husband very much and their two children.

“But I felt deep in my heart I was betraying my core values about what I believe in God. I never once thought I was rejected or a piece of junk. My personal relationship with God was always one that was – I don’t know – I had an understanding, you could say. I felt loved,” she said. She left the church and later divorced.

Most of the time, being gay doesn’t affect her day-to-day life. “I’m an ordinary person like everyone else. I go to the grocery store, I go to the bank. I’m active at the church.” She’s lived in Prescott for nearly 20 years.

She attends the Prescott Congregational Church where all are welcomed. Her kids and their father are supportive; all three are activists in LGBT issues.

“The world is going to implode on us if we don’t grow and change,” she said.

Original article here: Advocate for LGBT community: I’m not a piece of junk