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“I’m Afraid of What People Will Think…”

Angela Watrous is scared. While being interviewed in a crowded Oakland coffee shop for a recent Oakland Tribune piece about her new book, the 27-year-old lesbian and advice columnist for PlanetOut.com lowers her voice protectively, wishing not to attract the attention of the other patrons. “It sounds crazy, but it’s scary,” Watrous breathes, “I’m afraid of what people will think if they only know one detail without knowing the rest of me.” Watrous is aware of the insults and possible ostracization from friends and associates that she’d endure were she to disclose this singular aspect of her person.

So, what is that “one detail” she is leery of revealing, that compels her to speak in hushed tones?

It’s that she’s a lesbian, right?

Wrong. The dark secret is that Watrous is a Christian. She recently returned to Christ after “a long period of doubt and questioning” (she was raised a Southern Baptist).

At the all-girl college Watrous attended, Oakland’s Mills College, the word “Christian” was used, she says, as a “derogatory word” — as an insult. That word, she says, carried a “real negative connotation.”

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