When I was a teenager I was grappling with the fact of being gay in a very conservative Catholic School. I hid it very effectively from friends and family members for years. As a Catholic, youth sexuality – let alone homosexuality – was looked down upon. I tried being a good little Catholic girl and dated boys for quite a while. The first person I came out to was the parish priest. I can still remember it to this day how unkindly he treated me. I was asked not to return to the parish as I would corrupt the youth.
I went through various faiths at that time; Methodism, Lutheranism, Episcopalianism, Paganism and last Unitarian Universalism. When I came to the UU church I am at now, I was still on a journey for my faith – though the faith journey for me is one that is now constant. Not quite firm in what I did and did not believe in, I found a place where I could explore. They encouraged me to explore not just my spirituality, but also how I could become a vital part of the church. I found more then just acceptance. They didn’t even bat a lash and actually told me how I could welcome more people from the LGBT community to the congregation if they so chose to join.
This has been a wonderful journey to say the least – from rejection to my own celebration of my sexuality. I am looking forward to movements forward in the future and even more exploration of myself in my faith. This is why I give a damn. So others do not have to go through this same rejection from their faiths.
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Many faiths espouse values such as commitment to social justice, love and acceptance. But unfortunately, some also use their doctrines and guidebooks to attack, condemn and discriminate against gay and transgender people.