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Should I go back to my church?

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by mellissa, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Tightrope

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    This is all so true. It is a serious form of abuse and it's manipulative and judgmental on the part of those pushing it.
     
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  2. Unsure77

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    Here’s one other fun fact for you to think about. If you continue to go to that church and tithe to that church and support their ministries, you are actively supporting an organization that spreads and intends to keep spreading hate against essentially everyone here. If it’s like southern baptist churches, they may even politically fight against the rights of everyone here on everything from healthcare to people’s marriages to their employment to trying to send queer youth forcibly to conversion therapy. Do you really want to keep supporting that? Are these things you want to help fund and recruit more people to support? Cause that’s something else I’ve had to come to terms with personally from my time in evangelical churches.
     
    #22 Unsure77, Jun 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
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  3. Rin311

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    As a gay person who's been raised in a homophobic Christian church, I think you should not have to go to a place that is toxic for you, makes you feel bad about yourself, and espouses anti-LGBT views. You don't deserve this kind of treatment, and I wouldn't want to see you put your mental health and well being on the line just to make your parents happy.
    I second the advice of seeking a more accepting, friendly church - even if it is only online.

    So, now comes the hard part: telling your parents, and maybe also the pastor and friends from church, that you won't be going anymore. If you don't feel ready to come out to those people, don't. You don't have to. You can say that you feel a different church would be a better fit for you, that you are looking into different ways of worship, or just make up a reason.
    The most important thing is not put yourself in an environment that would damage your mental health and self esteem and cause you pain.
    Take care.
     
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  4. mellissa

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    So I went back. It is hard letting go of friends. I don't know what my next move will be. I don't know if I should go again next week.
     
  5. Unsure77

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    You can be friends with people and have them in your life without going to their church.

    However, it’s your life and your mental health to do with as you wish. Best of luck.
     
  6. resu

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    Yeah, I would say look for another church that's more affirming. I was raised Catholic and in a conservative state, but I never realized until going to grad school in another conservative state that the university-associated parish was quite liberal and at least mentioning gay people as worthy of care. While I still never felt comfortable to be out, it felt less stressful, and later I learned there were several other gay guys, including the former youth leader.
     
  7. resu

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    Yeah, I would say look for another church that's more affirming. I was raised Catholic and in a conservative state, but I never realized until going to grad school in another conservative state that the university-associated parish was quite liberal and at least mentioning gay people as worthy of care. While I still never felt comfortable to be out, it felt less stressful, and later I learned there were several other gay guys, including the former youth leader.
     
  8. Rin311

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    It's a process. I understand how hard it is to just leave when you grew up with this community and they are your friends and family. The attachement can be very strong. I hope that with time, you'll find the strength to set boundaries to your interactions with these people - set standards as to what kind of treatment you are and are not willing to accept from them. (Which does not necessarily mean cutting off your relationships with them). Take care.
     
  9. KevCO

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    It's hard to make a change socially, but I have never looked back from leaving reactionary conservative environments or standing up to people like that. Sometimes you can transition out so seamlessly nobody will really notice even if it seems like they've been up in your business for life. Sometimes a gradual transition is easier, other times a clean break. Religion can be the best or the worst thing in the world IMO. But being around negative religion is poison, it kills the sense of possibility, it's so easy to absorb that resentment and fear and think of the rest of the world as so insignificant and empty when it's such a place of beauty and possibility. I've always wanted a different social sphere to transition into, another church or something really tight knit. I'm now relatively unaffiliated and only after years has it come to feel OK, now I also enjoy feeling unrestrained but being shaped by "something" will always matter. Madonna could never have been such a great performer if she didn't understand the taboos she was breaking. I think you will ultimately want to leave homophobes to travel that well worn rut without you, but you can still have room in your heart for them.
     
  10. Unsure77

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    Watching people I used to go to church with react to the recent Supreme Court lgbt ruling (and in some cases, talking to some of them who I thought were my friends)... these are people who genuinely just hate lgbt people for existing. Period. They don’t believe we should be allowed to exist. I’m a lesbian. I help put the “L” in “LGBT”. The reality is that I was a lesbian the entire time they knew me. They just didn’t know it. So, painful truth I’m starting to realize is that they’ve always hated me. They just didn’t know it. They only treated me well then because they didn’t know. It’s painful, but it’s what I’m starting to believe to be true given what I’m seeing. I invested all this energy in people who wouldn’t have thought I deserved to exist if they had known the full truth. And they’re not ashamed to feel that way. There is no love there. There never was. That hurts.
     
  11. mellissa

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    I'm so sorry to hear that. I've had similar moments with friends and family. I know how bad that hurts. How did you cope?
     
  12. mellissa

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    I don't think I can leave my church.
    a) I'm very religious. I believe in taking the bible (new testament) as a whole and almost literally.
    b) I feel that leaving is not only an abandonment of my friends, but of God as well.
     
  13. mellissa

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    It is difficult to do that because I can't come out to them. For so long I have pretended to agree with the homophobic things they say. It would be strange and out of character for me to start disagreeing all of a sudden. It is complicated.
     
  14. Unsure77

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    In some cases, I talk to friends who are supportive. I talk to queer people who have been through it. I talk to my therapist. And in a couple of cases, I’ve recently started quietly coming out to some of these people that I used to be close to. Partly just so they know they do, in fact, have queer people in their lives and history. May or may not be the best answer, but it’s what I’m doing. Reading queer literature is helping me in a weird way too. I read “The Color Purple” and “Undivided Heart” (by Vicky Beeching) and am reading “Boy Erased” now and for me it’s helped seeing other people live the confusion and hurt and hear their thought process in a weird way.
     
    #33 Unsure77, Jul 1, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020