Meg Barnhouse

As Interviewed by Bridget Lewis, March 20, 2013
"People don’t feel like they’re hating when they say you shouldn’t be gay. I know they feel like they’re trying to be concerned for the person’s soul. And they use the Bible [to prove this], which has a lot of anti-gay stuff, but there are words that they translate as homosexual that shouldn’t be translated that way... That is the problem with a lot of the passages in the Bible about homosexuality, that they use words and concepts that don’t fit homosexuality today."
Meg Barnhouse

Introductory Profile: About Meg Barnhouse

In high school, Meg Barnhouse had a girlfriend. At that time, homosexuality was considered a mental disorder, so she and her girlfriend had to keep it a secret. One day, another one of Meg’s friends found a romantic letter that had been written to Meg by her girlfriend. That friend then sent a copy of that letter to every student in her class at the all-girl school both she and Meg attended. An uproar was caused, and Meg’s girlfriend was sent to a mental institute and was treated as if though she were insane.

Although this story seems ridiculous to us today, it is sadly true. Meg Barnhouse, the minister at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, is a lesbian, and she has lived through times when it would be considered a disease. As I interviewed Meg, I was able to learn about some of her struggles with being both a homosexual and a religious leader.

Meg is a cheerful woman who almost always has a smile on her face. She welcomed me into her office happily, telling me that she was excited for our interview. The average-sized woman with blonde hair and brown eyes seems to enjoy anything she puts her mind to.

Although Meg started the interview with an upbeat attitude, her tone changed a little bit after we got past the preliminary questions. The topic I am interviewing Meg about, homosexuality, is a personal to Meg. As she reminisced about the story from her high school years, she quieted down and took on a sad tone. Although Meg is not ashamed about being a lesbian, it is still a little painful to recall such sad memories of horrible treatment.

Despite this, Meg was able to answer all of my questions with a positive attitude. Meg Barnhouse, an incredible woman, is able to talk about even the most difficult topics.