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How do you view faith and being LGBT?

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by PatrickUK, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. PatrickUK

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    This thread was initially featured as a discussion in our Monthly Sub-Forum for the month of September 2020, however it is still open for replies.

    ---​

    Many members of the LGBT community don’t have a faith. In a world where science and technology explain so much, they don’t get the idea of faith and of course, that’s absolutely fine, but for some members of the LGBT community the conflict between their sexuality and/or gender identity and faith is very real and distressing. It’s a conflict that has left people struggling within the closet, with little or no support for many, many years. For some, it has been so acutely painful that they have attempted to pray away the sexuality or gender conflict or undergo reparative or conversion therapy.


    In this spotlight thread we want to give all members an opportunity to speak frankly and openly about faith and sexuality/gender identity and receive help and support. Has this been a matter of conflict for you? Have you encountered hostility within your religious community, or are you part of an affirming religious community? Have you had to deal with religious family members and how did it go? What advice would you give to LGBT people of faith?


    I am starting this thread on behalf of the EC Staff because I am openly gay and a practising Christian (Anglican/Episcopalian) too. I have been on the journey of reconciling my sexuality with my faith and I try to help other LGBT people who are having the same struggles.


    A reminder that this spotlight support thread is still subject to EC rules on discussing religion and atheism and all comments should be made with those rules in mind https://forum.emptyclosets.com/inde...ons-of-religion-atheism-and-ec-policy.330755/

    ---

    About my personal journey:

    I realised I was gay as a teenager and one of the big issues that kept me in the closet was the conflict between my faith and my sexuality. I heard conservative Christians deride homosexuality as unnatural, evil and contrary to God's word (The Bible). As hurtful as it was, I could never bring myself to accept this narrative, which seemed entirely contrary to the simplicity of Jesus' commandments, which emphasise love and compassion at all times. If the Christian faith is focused on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (the one whom we call Christ), then his word must be supreme and stand above all others. As I delved into the history and composition of the Bible and the context in which it was written and developed, so this proved to be.

    The shrill pronouncements against the LGBT community come from a very simplistic reading of The Bible which largely ignores historical context and development. In a great many cases, the emotional tirades we hear against the LGBT community come from a place of prejudice rather than a place of love and compassion and The Bible is weaponised to undergird such a viewpoint. This realisation was a lightbulb moment for me. It didn't happen quickly, but came about after much reading and theological study. It was time well spent! No longer do I feel conflicted by my faith and sexuality. I know and fully understand that God does not hate me or the LGBT community.

    I now attend an inclusive Anglican/Episcopal Church, where the former priest was openly gay. I'm not saying my denomination is perfect, but it's certainly among the most affirming and has taken significant steps in the right direction.
     
    #1 PatrickUK, Sep 7, 2020
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  2. mellissa

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    I'm not a staff member, but I would like to say that joining EC made me feel less alone. I thought that I was the only LGBT+ person in the world who was also a devout Christian, but since coming here I realize that I'm not. It is pretty nice to have you Patrick and others here who understand the complexity of that situation.
     
  3. QuietPeace

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    I do have responses but I want to make sure that everyone does understand that the choices that I make for my life are personal and I do not evangelise. So long as people with beliefs are not trying to compel others I don't care what they believe.

    I had conflicts so long as I continued to try to be religious. I tried many churches. They all claimed to be loving and accepting and except one they all ended with telling me that unless I changed I was condemned to eternal damnation. The one exception was more of an atheist group who discussed philosophy and spirituality, though it was a small congregation in what is normally a christian denomination. I was put through conversion therapy by one of the churches, and was willing to try it due to the programming from the congregation that my parents raised me in. Though I consider myself spiritual, I do not believe in a superior or supreme being.

    They were all hostile during the time periods in my life that I have been out, we are now completely estranged and I do not miss them. People who only conditionally "care" about you do not actually CARE about you.

    Please let other people believe or not believe whatever they want, if you invite them to your church or want to discuss it with them and the person says "no thank you" then drop the subject.
     
  4. musicteach

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    I’m going to add a trigger warning for this because it might get rough.

    I grew up in an extremely religious home and family. Most of my family are from the plains of Texas. These are God-fearing, miss-a-day-of-church-if-you-want-to-burn people. They pray before every meal, game, they pray when they go to the bathroom. Most of them carry bibles everywhere they go although I don’t know why because they’ve got it memorized. My extended family used to and probably still does have mandatory bible study sessions. I don’t really know, I don’t talk to most of these people.

    So when I was in high school my aunt found out I was gay. I mean it wasn’t exactly a secret, but it wasn’t exactly a known thing to the extended family. She invited me to dinner and yanno I’m thinking it’s just going to be yanno us and maybe my cousin ok whatever. Nope. All of my aunts and uncles were there. They wanted to pray for me, and pat the gay away. They thought somebody had molested me because obviously that’s the only way for a seventeen year old to be turned gay. And I’m not exaggerating when I say this. That was a quote.

    Up to this point I had already been rebelling against their entire religious doctrine. I stopped showing up to church to mandatory bible study or whatever. We lived in Massachusetts at the time but would go home for the summer and stay with my grandparents work on the ranch all that.

    So my aunt literally calls my mom and tries to out me. I had the smuggest look on my face when my mom told her “yeah I already knew and I’m the one that told him he doesn’t have to go to your stupid bible study groups or any of that mess.” So that was really the first big time I looked at my extended family differently. All of a sudden, I was the black sheep.

    So then towards the end of the summer we only had like 3 weeks left until we went back. My aunt tried to send me a gay conversion therapy camp. This is also the time I got hit with a frying pan (because I refused to go), the time I stabbed my aunt with a fork, and the time I used the same frying pan to break out of a house.

    For a long time after this, all of Christianity could kiss it. I hated Christians, God, Jesus, everybody that was even associated with it. I turned to Witchcraft — which I still practice. It wasn’t until my current fiancé and how he handles hire Christianity did I learn different that my family was in the wrong.

    I’m still very very skiddish around devote Christians. I don’t trust anybody, I don’t trust people in general. But I don’t trust anyone that is openly Christian until they prove through actions they’re not the same. I mean people can be Christian and I’m sure they’re lovely fine people but I don’t trust them. It takes a while for me to get over that initially. And honestly I don’t trust people to start with. But anytime someone just outright tells me “oh I’m Christian btw” like it’s this super casual thing my defenses immediately go up higher because of that whole nonsense.
     
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  5. PatrickUK

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    Thank you to the members who have contributed so far. THANK YOU for bravely sharing your experiences in this thread.

    Let's be clear that conversion therapy is a load of crap. It's not "therapy" and it doesn't work, ever. You don't even have to take my word for it because the former leader of one of the biggest providers of conversion therapy in North America during the 80's and 90's renounced conversion therapy and talked about the harm it did after dissolving his organisation.

    What follows is a long read and may only be of interest to people of the Christian faith who want to know more about the problem passages in the Bible that are weaponised against the LGBT community, but some of the passages from the OT cross over into Islam too:

    THE BIBLE AND HOMOSEXUALITY

    The Lesbian and Gay community often faces discrimination because of societal attitudes. Unfortunately, these attitudes are often taught by churches and sadly the Bible is frequently used as a weapon to ‘bash’ people. It is important to remember that such hurtful things are not a reflection of Jesus Christ, or the way God wants the church to be, or even what the Bible really says.

    Only a small number of passages in the entire Bible reference same-sex sexual activity (six passages out of sixty-six books of the entire Bible). Obviously this topic was not of great concern to the biblical writers. Yet these verses have been used to justify hatred, condemnation and exclusion of God’s lesbian, gay and trans children.

    The word ‘homosexuality’ is a modern term and did not exist during biblical times. Biblical writers had no concept of sexual orientation or sexual development as we understand these today. Therefore, passages that reference same-sex sexual activity should not be seen as comprehensive statements concerning homosexuality, but instead should be viewed in the context of what the ancient world that produced the Bible understood about sexual activity.

    Sexuality in the Mediterranean World

    Biblical scholars have employed the social sciences to study the relational and gender patterns of the ancient Mediterranean world—the world that produced the Bible. Professor Mary Tolbert summarizes that research with the following words:

    The single most important concept that defines sexuality in the ancient Mediterranean world, whether we are talking about the kingdoms of Egypt or of Assyria or whether we are talking about the later kingdoms of Greece and Rome, is that approved sexual acts never occurred between social equals. Sexuality, by definition, in ancient Mediterranean societies required the combination of dominance and submission. This crucial social and political root metaphor of dominance and submission as the definition of sexuality rested upon a physical basis that assumed every sex act required a penetrator and someone who was penetrated. Needless to say, this definition of sexuality was entirely male—not surprising in the heavily patriarchal societies of the Mediterranean.

    In these societies sexual acts between men did happen, but they happened in order to show dominance of one group of men or a man over another, especially during times of war. It was not uncommon for men who had conquered a foreign army to rape them in order to show they were dominant and of a higher status.

    The Story of Sodom in Genesis 19

    This understanding is helpful when we read the story of the city of Sodom, Lot, and the visitors (or angels). The men of Sodom want to ‘know’ (yadah - a Hebrew word that can mean sexual intercourse) the foreigners who have come to Lot’s house. In essence they want to rape them in order to show their social and cultural dominance over them.

    This story is not a condemnation of homosexuality, but is a story about rape and inhospitality. In other biblical texts (Ezekiel 16:49, Luke 17:28-29) Sodom’s ‘sin’ is not identified as homosexuality, rather, their sins were pride, failure to help the poor, and lack of hospitality to foreigners.

    Leviticus

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

    These verses are part of the Holiness Code in the Old Testament book of Leviticus (chapters 17-26) that attempted to spell out ways the people of Israel would act differently than their Mediterranean neighbours. In light of the previously mentioned sexual practices of Israel’s neighbours, it becomes clear that this prohibition in Leviticus was an attempt to preserve the internal harmony of Jewish male society by not allowing them to participate in anal intercourse as a form of expressing or gaining social and political dominance. These verses in no way prohibit, nor do they even speak to, loving, caring sexual relationships between people of the same gender.

    The Writings of the Apostle Paul

    “So do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God”

    (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

    “The law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God”

    (1 Timothy 1:9-11)

    There are two major issues to consider when one approaches these passages: translation and sexual practices of Greek culture. A comparison of these verses in several translations of the Bible indicates that there is some confusion about how to translate two Greek words in these lists of vices Paul has enumerated. The two words are arsenokoitai which is rendered in various translations as “homosexuals,” “sodomites,” “child molesters,” or “perverts” and malakoi which is rendered in various translations as “catamites,” “the effeminate,” or “boy prostitutes.”

    These Greek words are difficult to translate in the context of these passages. Malakoi is a common term and means “soft.” It can refer to clothing (Matthew 11:8) or moral matters, meaning “undisciplined.” Arsenokoitai is a rare word and is made up of arseno meaning “man,” and koitai meaning “bed, lying, or having sex with.” When put together the word may mean “male prostitutes.”

    When these words are placed in the context of Greek culture in which Paul was writing, the passages have very specific meanings. As we have seen earlier, the Mediterranean world had a definition of sexuality that was based on dominance/submission and unequal status. Greek culture fine tuned that definition with regard to status. Proper sexual relations occurred between people whose status was unequal. In addition there was a practice in ancient Greek culture known as pederasty in which younger men were socialized and educated through a close relationship with an older man. These older men were the boys’ (age 12 or 13) patrons and, often, their lovers. These relationships were seen as the key to raising up the next generation of city leaders and there were strict rules about how long the relationship should last and the roles of families within these relationships. Evidently there was some abuse happening in these relationships and young boys were being exploited and kept by the patron well after the boy had grown into adulthood (which would have made him an equal, hence violating the code of sex only among unequals).

    These abusive relationships are what the apostle Paul is referencing, not mutually loving and caring relationships between people of the same sex.

    Romans 1:26-27

    “For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”

    By now it should be clear that these verses must be read in the cultural context of the Mediterranean world that understood socially acceptable sexual behaviour to happen only one way: among unequals with the dominant partner always an adult male.

    It is also important to read these verses in Romans within their larger context. At the beginning of his letter to the church in Rome (where he had not yet visited) Paul was attempting to lay out for the Roman church his theology of grace (all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; but are justified by the gift of grace in Christ Jesus, Romans chapter 3, verse 23). He is writing to a Jewish and Gentile audience. In chapter one he tries to demonstrate the Gentiles’ need for God by pointing out behaviours that keep them alienated from God. In chapter two he does the same thing for his Jewish audience.

    Paul’s reference to natural and unnatural sexual acts must be taken in light of Mediterranean sexuality. He is not attempting to give an ethical teaching concerning homosexuality. He is trying to meet his Gentile audience on their own terms; using the example of some people who are not upholding the dominant/submissive model as an opportunity to talk about all persons’ need for the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

    Issues of Biblical Authority

    When dealing with matters of biblical interpretation one always needs to keep in mind the role of the authority of the Bible in matters of faith and practice. While the Bible is an important witness to the relationship between God and humanity, it is not the ultimate revelation of God—Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, is. We must guard against what some scholars have called bibliolatry—making an idol out of scripture.

    One way to guard against bibliolatry is to realize that while the Bible may be at the centre of matters of faith, it must also be in ‘conversation’ with tradition, experience and reason. These four sources of faith have become known as the Wesleyan quadrilateral, so named after their originator John Wesley, founder of the Methodist heritage.

    We must read and interpret scripture with the aid of the history and tradition of the Christian church. We must also bring reason—philosophical and rational thought—to bear on applications of scripture to real life situations. And last and most importantly, scripture must be weighed alongside human experience—especially the experience of God’s grace.

    It is time we stopped making an idol out of the Bible. It is time we bring philosophical and rational thought — especially what the sciences have told us about sexual orientation and identity development — into conversation with the Bible. It is time we listen to the experiences of God’s gay and lesbian children who know with all their hearts that God has created them just as they are.
     
  6. musicteach

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    Patrick,

    Excellent response. Forgive me if my response isn’t linear, I’m rather sleepy.

    Part of the problem, that you touch on is the translations that we have of the Bible. For the most part, the New Testament is considered the most accurate. At least, on the broad strokes. There’s over 6,000 manuscripts in Greek that we have off the New Testament and the variations between versions are extremely limited. But when you dig into details, the translations of specific words starts to get sketchy. And that’s because the languages have changed over time. Some words in the texts there’s not a word in the English language that means the same thing. So scholars have to take a rough guess based on context clues.

    That in of itself presents its own unique set of challenges. We encounter this issue a lot when we try to translate older music/operas. There’s no equivalent so we just sort of...guess. Even translating traditional Eastern music into Western music we run into problems because Eastern music uses quarter tones — meaning that they’re in between tones. In Western music, these quarter tones don’t exist. We play “on” the tone. The closet thing we really get is tone bending up or down, which in Western music is an advanced technique. If you know how to tune yourself to your ensemble, then technically you can tune yourself to a quarter tone. Doing it accurately, however, is a horse of a different color. The problem two with this is that in Eastern music, the concept of cents for the tuning is a bit different. (Cents being a measurement of over or below the note, I.e being 10 cents flat).

    We run into a similar issue when we translate older operas into modern language. There’s no equivalent word that makes sense. So we have to sort of... guess based on the available evidence. I guess you can see where I’m going with this. We run into the same issue with the Bible.

    On broad strokes, it’s accurate to itself. There’s the same number of sentences, etc. But the meaning of individual words/phrases aren’t the most accurate. That’s why you can’t take the Bible out of context. It’s a contextual based entity, meaning that everything is based on the individual context of the part. When you consider Leviticus in context, it’s more talking about rape and non consensual sex. Sex that you would have with a slave, etc.

    Therein lies the problem. People cherry pick what passages they want to use and they supplement meaning where it shouldn’t be supplemented. Leviticus is a perfect example. But move over, there’s an issue of the laws of the Old Testament. Some would have you believe that because if the New Testament, the Old is tossed out. (There’s a great article here regarding this). Which that is outside of the scope of this conversation, but what is in scope is you can’t cherry pick. You have to consider them as parts of a whole. Going back to Leviticus, it had to be taken as part of a whole.
     
    #6 musicteach, Sep 10, 2020
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  7. musicteach

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    Can you fix my link?? I broke it
     
  8. DecentOne

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    Wow, thanks Patrick for the highlights of bible passages. I have used books recommended on EC to lead discussions in the Gay Men’s group. It is good to learn this stuff and share it for the inevitable discussions that come up in real life.

    I went to a Nursery School run at a religious institution, but I suspect it was more secular than religious. I think we sang “Kum ba yah” while the teacher played the autoharp, which was both era-appropriate secular (folk singers with popular records) and crossover religious. My parents took me to a Sunday school that was trying to teach us to be good people, and I absorbed the gentle messages of being good and loving one another (and sharing the toys, and being drawn out of my shyness).

    Later in childhood we moved. The religious congregation we attended was not about G-d, but instead about ethics, and learning how to treat others well. Tolerance of different people and ideas, or even better full-acceptance of people at the margins in society (including LGB folks), the defense of diversity, social justice, and helping the hungry or the poor. I remember learning how these messages were taught in world religions, so there was an interfaith respect (but also a sense of a subtext that “we” were freed from the ignorance of the past, and not stuck on the old rules and superstitions “they” might still have). I remember when I was of age (early teens) being invited to join the congregation, and standing before them and speaking my religious views. I had some spiritual experiences in my teens, moments of connection to life, the universe and everything. I didn’t use G-d language to describe it because the adults around me didn’t. My bisexuality, if it had been something I’d had a recognition of at the time, could have been declared openly. There were official declarations in my religion that we supported the full rights of homosexual and bisexual people - yes even way back then.

    So, I grew up nurtured to be myself, whatever that unique self was, able to separate myself from religious bigots. I also had been in a bad car accident, and found myself praying to be saved from injury - for all us teens in the car (a couple who were not wearing seat belts because they were in the back, remember this was a long time ago). That prayer in that fearful moment kinda shook me, since I’d been more ethical than religious.

    After my best friend came out as Gay, right after high school, our friendship group had a talk when he wasn’t around. We were an eclectic group religiously. He was from one of the Protestant Christian churches in town and I don’t know if he was out in church. The Catholic friends said they were being told by the Priest to hate the sin, but be sure to love the sinner. I told them I didn’t think it was a sin, but I was glad at least their religion had advanced a little bit on the subject and they weren’t rejecting our good friend. One was surprised to hear me argue that point. Another was just wistful that my friend wasn’t attracted to her, or ever be her boyfriend.

    I’m out to my religious congregation as an older adult who is very involved, and totally accepted. There is a rainbow flag in the lobby, and people’s orientation or gender identity is totally welcomed here (LGBTQ folks have as much right to teach the children’s classes, take on leadership positions, or be chosen as our paid religious leaders).
     
  9. Unsure77

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    I was raised a combination of Missionary and Southern Baptist (Missionary when I was very young and Southern from 3rd grade on). My family was/is very devout. So, I kind of got hit coming and going. My missionary baptist pastor was very hellfire and damnation emphasis. In his world, God was an angry God chomping at the bit to take out his vengeance on you because of the wretched person he knows you really are. It's been a long time, but I'm pretty sure he's the reason I associated the word "gay" with the word "abomination" so strongly once it ever started registering that I was attracted to females as I hit puberty. So, that was nice. Then with the Southern Baptists, I hit the SBC 90's trifecta. They were more of a "love the sinner hate the sin" kind of crew. My youth group, around that time, started this heavy emphasis on purity culture, and then (as a teenager) I got felt up by my 30-something married with 2 kids youth director. That, and it was heavily emphasized that, as a woman, my main purpose in life was to be a wife and mother and raise a Christian (read Southern Baptist) family.

    So, all of that set sort of a fun chess board up for me. As an 11 or 12 year, I was suppressing my feelings about women and telling no one because I was terrified. I was also viscerally hating myself every time I did it because I knew I was disgusting and an abomination. When I was 14, 15, 16 it wasn't registering that I wasn't attracted to boy at all because I was being taught to actively avoid situations that might bring that to light. When I didn't feel attraction to boys, I just thought I was doing a good job and didn't understand why folks thought it would be so hard. (it didn't click at all that I wasn't attracted to boys, I was fighting attraction to women....perhaps I was gay). When I hit college, and did start to date men a little, I realized I wasn't feeling anything. And then I found out I couldn't have kids around that time. So, I gave up. It seemed kind of pointless. So, then I gained 60 pounds, started sleeping all the time, wasn't handling hygiene well, and was suicidal for the rest of college (because why did anything matter if I couldn't do what I was supposed to do? What was I supposed to do if I couldn't be a wife and mother?). All the while kind of keeping people at arm's length for fear of them realizing what was "wrong" with me. I kept that buried deep.

    And then I just sort of numbed it all out, tried to not be noticed, and pretended none of this happened for 20 years until 2 years ago when I couldn't ignore the gay anymore and started going to therapy.

    So, now I'm dealing with a few issues. Between the fanatic Donald Trump support evangelicals in the US have shown and realizing what my childhood experiences actually did to me, I'm feeling all kinds of betrayed. Holding onto what I was taught essentially almost killed me and it turns out virtually nothing I was taught was actually deeply held beliefs. They tossed it all for Trump (except the hate parts). So, there's that. And then, Evangelicals have this very literal interpretation of the Bible. I am starting to learn more about how it was constructed and learn how it was manipulated to fit biases and agendas and allowing myself to ask the questions I've always had that basically show it can't be literal and isn't completely trustworthy. There's a Kathy Baldock talk on youtube that was really eye opening. So, there's that. And then I'm coming to terms with how much I was manipulated just emotionally.

    So, I don't trust the people who taught me this stuff. I'm realizing they actually hurt me. Some of them with better intentions than others. The book is sketchy apparently. And it's hard to trust my feelings, because those were being manipulated. But, that's ok because it's a pandemic and my country is full of idiots who won't follow instructions, so I couldn't visit a different church right now if I wanted to.

    So, I don't know what I believe anymore. I'm angry and hurt enough that it's probably not the right time to make the call. I'm working through it in therapy.

    Probably not what you were looking for.
     
    #9 Unsure77, Sep 13, 2020
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  10. DecentOne

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    Something @brainwashed said in another thread got my mind thinking again on “How I View Faith and LGBTQ.”

    I can’t be connected religiously unless it is my authentic self, no denial or suppression. I already figured out that I had to go to therapy to unravel what was interrupting my intimate relationship with my wife. “Oh, I’m Bisexual!” (And I’m good with that!) was putting my authentic self back in my married relationship. That was positive, it was real. It makes sense to me that the same would be true for my religious connection. Being out as bisexual in my religious setting is the only way I know to be engaged and connected spiritually. I don’t think I could hide myself and at the same time feel religious or spiritual.
    I guess if I was brought up and worshipped in a religion that could not accept the bisexuality, I’d have to leave or fight for change (but not hide). I’m lucky that is not the case.
     
  11. LaurenSkye

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    I, myself, am a Christian. I went to a Lutheran school from K-8 and was a regular church goer as a child (as much as didn't like actually going to church, but what child does). Growing up I was homophobic and transphobic but that was mostly due to the way society as a whole thought of the subjects. I really don't recall my church or school teaching anything on homosexuality.

    As far as now goes I believe GOD loves everyone. GOD would not discriminate. I fully respect the beliefs of people of other faiths as well as atheists. I don't believe GOD would condone people using their faith to justify their bigotry. People will say that homosexuality is a sin, well so are lying and lust.
     
  12. AwesomGaytheist

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Messages:
    6,875
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    This is something I think I’ve mentioned on here maybe once and I’ve never gone into detail. I am no longer an atheist. I am now a Christian and I attend an affirming United Methodist church that has a huge rainbow flag out front.

    After some traumatic events a couple years ago I came to know god as that voice of reason in the back of your head. I have had experiences that I can’t deny.

    It still feels awkward to talk about. My username won’t change because it’s what you’ve known me as for 7 1/2 years now. As for the question at hand, I go by what the man upstairs tells me in our conversations.
     
  13. Joelle b

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2020
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Possibly the moon
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    First of all, shout out to @PatrickUK — loved your post! I read it and then had to go al the way back up to the top to check what your user name was XD. Thanks you for that.

    For me... I am 14 and a baby gay— I mean, I’ve known for 3 years but I was in denial for much longer and no one knows about me.... Anyways, I have been raised in a Christian community and my parents are devout and my grandmere and grandpare on one side are very devout.
    The reason I can’t come out is because everything I do basically is within a church, like my school and choir and sports and and my friends and my weekends. And because of that I can’t come out because I know a lot of them well and they openly talk against LGBTQ+ stuff. My grand parents especially. I currently am a questioning my faith because of all the people I love would stop loving me if I was the real me just because of the bible, how can I still believe it?

    Please tell me what is wrong with what I said.
    XOXO
    Joelle