Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I had my first Facebook unfriending as a result of this blog. Although I expected the possibility of losing friends, I guess I wasn’t really prepared for it, nor could I have been. I have no regrets about anything I have posted, but it still hurts, and it frustrates me. No one likes to be rejected, no matter what the circumstances. I think the most frustrating part of all is the fact that this person is a “Christian”. I have had them in my home, I have cooked them dinner. Yet now, they want nothing to do with me. How does that even fit into the Christian principles they have been taught? If Jesus had Facebook he would definitely still be my friend…along with his 12 disciples.

It is Christians like this that make it so hard for the gay community to trust them. So many have been hurt that they want nothing to do with God or the church. I have learned to separate people from God and know that he still loves me, and is always there for me, even when his people are not. I also want to point out that I am incredibly grateful for those who have remained my friend, who have read my blog, who have listened, and although may not understand…have tried. It means more to me than you could imagine.

I can’t deny that I am still frustrated. I am frustrated with the Christian community, and even with the gay community. There is ignorance on both sides. The Christian community is overly focused on the idea of love the sinner hate the sin… or that being gay is an abomination that they fail to see that we are human beings just like them that pray to the same God. The gay community has been so hurt by the Christian community that they automatically assume that all Christians hate them and don’t give them a second chance. Not all Christians are against gay people. Not all Christians think it is a sin. There are plenty of them out there that are the most empathetic, understanding, loving, and Christ like people. There are churches out there that are accepting of Gay people… but why are there only certain churches? We are creating a sense of segregation and it is pathetic. We are all people. We are all sinners, and no matter what, in the end– love wins. There shouldn’t be gay churches and regular churches. If there is only one God, then why are we creating such a spiritual battle which in the end only leads to people being hurt?

There are so many different sins out there.. and lets say being gay was in fact a sin… why is the church so focused on this one issue? There are liars, thieves, murderers, adulterers…etc. all of these labels/sins have a negative affect on other people around them, however, being gay does not. We still contribute positively to the people around us. We are good people. We are not out to recruit, or corrupt your children. Nor are we contagious. We are simply just different, but not that different. We want to be accepted, acknowledged, and loved, just like everyone else.

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Know My Heart

I was driving home from work the other night, trying to be careful to keep an eye out for deer or any other furry road bumps that could lead to my premature death, when a thought popped into my head. What if I were to crash and die right now? What would God say to me? How would he judge me? Would I go to hell like I have been told I would because I’m gay? I got nervous and began to think of what I would say to defend myself from the fiery pits of hell. Then suddenly a sense of calm came over me and the words “God knows your heart.” came to mind. God knows my heart. It is that simple. I don’t have to defend myself to God, I don’t have to explain myself, or try to convince him that I am still a good person. He created me, he knows me. He gets me. We’re tight like that.

I admit, there was a long period of time where I was very angry with God, and sometimes even questioned his existence. I have reached a point where the anger is no longer there and I am more much more open to his presence. I know he is there. I know he exists. But I don’t entirely know what it means.

I am finding that my views of God don’t exactly align with the faith that I was brought up with. I don’t think I should have to choose between gay or God. I used to think that this was my only option, which is what made me so angry and resentful towards Him in the first place. According to what I was taught, I would either have to choose a life alone, or go through some sort of magical conversion therapy to turn me straight. I feel like conversion therapy should be called denial enforcement therapy. Denial definitely didn’t make me straight, it made me a liar, and it made me miserable.

In one of my last therapy sessions with my therapist that was trying to get me into conversion therapy I told her how I didn’t think that someone who was an “ex gay” that married someone of the opposite sex would be able to be fair to themselves or their partners. I asked her. “Would you marry an ex gay man?” She hesitated and thought about it for a minute and then went on to tell me that some people have done it and now have families with kids. Hate to break it to her but that means absolutely nothing. Procreation, or a legally binding document stating you are married to someone of the opposite sex does not mean that you are cured of homosexuality. I may know this from experience.

I think one of the things that people don’t get about homosexuality is that it isn’t all about sex. ( So get your mind out of the gutter ). It’s about love. Sex and love are two different things. I can NOT fall in love with someone of the opposite sex. It just isn’t there. There are no butterflies, no excitement, no emotional connection or yearning for affection. I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. People have sex with people they don’t love all the time. It is called meaningless sex. I happen to be someone who can’t do this. I am just not wired that way.

If there is one belief I have that I find still aligns with the faith that I was brought up with it is having a personal relationship with God. I still feel I have that, and sometimes it is the only thing I have left to comfort me when I am exhausted with trying to show that I am still me. I am still a person that just wants to love and be loved.

 

Shame

Shame is something we all learn at a young age. Perhaps you were once told “shame on you” for something you did wrong. Or maybe you recognize it as that queasy, gut wrenching, heart pounding, nervousness right as you debate whether or not to confess to your mother you broke one of her prized possessions. Can you glue it back together? Will she notice? Or should you confess now and hope for the best? It was an accident after all, maybe she will go easy,¬† or maybe if you don’t say anything she won’t notice…but that feeling of shame will remain if you don’t tell her. Surely if you do not tell her, God would know. God always knows. Better fess up.

I have struggled with a lot of shame over being gay. The moment I learned what it meant to be gay, that familiar feeling of shame rushed over me. I felt as though I had done something wrong. I had been taught that I was immoral, and would be boxed into the same sexual perversions as bestiality, incest…etc. This was worse than accidentally breaking one of my parents belongings. This could break their hearts. It became my deepest darkest secret. There was no way I could be gay, so denial became my lifestyle of choice.

Denial only works for so long. When my marriage ended I had a choice. I could either start living true to myself, or I could keep living in denial. It was a hard confusing process but I chose to start being true to myself. The hardest part to get through was the shame. Even though I had stopped living in denial, I constantly worried. What will my parents think? Will they still love me? Will they be ashamed of me? What will my friends think? What if they don’t want me around their kids?

My secret was eating me up inside. I couldn’t keep this all to myself any longer. I finally built up the courage to come out to my counselor. It wasn’t exactly the best first coming out experience. When I told her I was gay she asked me. “Well, is this something you want or don’t want?” I was confused. I replied “Who would want this?” She proceeded to tell me there were groups out there for me where I could “beat this.” That there was hope for change. But what could these conversion groups do that I hadn’t already tried? I prayed to God, and I got married. To a man. If that doesn’t work I don’t know what will. Then she said something to me I will never forget. “You will never be the woman God wanted you to be.”

Those words stung worse than any other words I had ever heard. I left her office and never looked back. She tried contacting me multiple times through text message saying that she hoped that I hadn’t given up. Well, I had. I had given up lying to myself and believing that I had something to be ashamed of. I realized that all of this shame I was feeling wasn’t from God. It was from people. How does she know who God wants me to be? I already tried to live how I thought God wanted me to, and I failed miserably. I was living a lie. Doesn’t God say thou shall not lie? I believe this means¬† you shall not lie to others… or yourself.

For a long time I thought being gay meant you could no longer believe in God. That I couldn’t be a christian and be gay. I no longer believe that, and I no longer feel shame. I know God loves me, and he doesn’t just love the sinner and hate the sin. He loves all of me. No person can ever tell me who God wants me to be.