Hi guys, Jack here. I am Tim's boyfriend and had never attended a meeting before today. I went along with Tim to listen to the talk and see what they had to say.
Overall the experience was nice, the people were welcoming, we listened to the talk (I understand it is sometimes a skewed JW view, but accept on occasions it can be interesting debate too). One of the things I did say was that, as the talk is given by JWs, the answers are given by JWs, the literature is produced by JWs etc., for someone like me it is very hard to differentiate between that's true bible teaching and what is their take on things! From that perspective I can see how newly "recruited" JWs can find it hard to identify these differences also.
When walking away I did say to Tim "Yea it was lovely, but the only reason they were so welcoming and nice is because we had to lie and pretend to just be friends. I don't think we should have to hide who we are in order to go into the meeting which are supposedly open to the public after all. I did suggest to Tim that we seek alternative methods of gaining this insight i.e. there must be some gay bible groups, or just a gathering of random people who will accept us for who we are. The fact that we had to lie from the minute we walked through the door kind of negated any of the positive things that came out of the meeting. I'm not ashamed of who I am and shouldn't have to hide it in order to find a place to study the bible.
Tim is not interested in joining back with the JWs, he knows why this isn't feasible however he spent 20+ years receiving his bible knowledge from this group and I can't blame him for seeking this same avenue to continue his learning.
I think if we did go back to this meeting again, I would suggest to Tim that we cut out the pretense, say we're gay and listen to the talk regardless. Yea they probably won't be so friendly anymore but would we care? Our primary reason for attending is for the talk.
Thanks for all the comments guys, we appreciate it and I agree with the suggestions that we seek alternative methods of learning from the bible. I couldn't say anything about the meetings until I had been to one myself.
Nugget, you'd better get some coffee in too, Tim sometimes is partial to one of them too ;)
Lots of love,
P.S. Yes they did give me a copy of "What does the bible REALLY teach" and no I won't be reading it ;)