Lou Anne Smoot
After spending 60 years living what most Southern Baptists would consider a "normal Christian life" which included marrying and raising four children, Lou Anne Smoot faced a painful truth about herself – a truth she had been aware of since she was 17– she was homosexual.
This retired public school teacher, holder of two college degrees, mother of four, grandmother of six, and former Baptist Sunday School teacher, courageously changed her life in the direction she felt God was prodding her to go. Despite the uncomfortableness of remaining a member of her Baptist church when she divorced after a 37-year-marriage and began "coming out," she remained faithful to God and to her church at a time when most homosexuals her age either remained "in the closet" or turned their backs on the churches that seemed to turn their backs on them. She courageously offers all readers a brutally honest glimpse behind the scenes into the depth of soul agony and heart struggle that a lifelong Christian experiences when wrestling with the reality of her homosexual orientation and her religious beliefs and doctrines. Beliefs and doctrines which have been in different seasons of her life a source of hope, joy, strength, and comfort as well as shame, condemnation, and rejection.
Lou Anne is now an activist for gay rights and was awarded the 2010 Project TAG (Tyler Area Gays) Advocate of the Year Award. She remains active in Project TAG and East Texas PFLAG while volunteering with Meals on Wheels and the League of Women Voters. She spends at least one day a week babysitting grandchildren. Her greatest joy comes from opportunities to share her story with various individuals and groups.