Pray the Gay Away
I believe in God. I’m more so spiritual, but I still claim Christian because I live in Alabama, which equals Bible Belt. . . That’s not really an excuse, I suppose, but whatever. You can say I grew up in the church, but I wasn’t of the church as some of my more enthusiastic, closeted gay dudes were. . . and still are. I believe that there is a higher power that, in some way, intervenes in certain situations; however, we have autonomy, so we can do whatever we want. How does God intervene when the world is as messed up as it is? I don’t really know, but what I do know is that the basis of most religions is faith.
Having something to believe in and/or look forward to, gets some people up everyday to keep on living. Who knows? I don’t feel like getting deep into all that. I wrote this whole paragraph just to say that I have my own personal relationship with God that has gotten me along throughout the years. I mean, I pray, and that’s about as much as I do. I’m no holy roller nor am I a Bible verse quoter, that’s why I claim to be more so spiritual than full blown Christian. I practice the basic guidelines of keeping a well rounded life via the golden rule – Treat others as you would like to be treated. So, that’s what I live by, along with praying.
The way I pray isn’t the typical head bowed, eyes closed, hands fervently pressed together method. I simply just speak from my heart to God, the air, the silence, whatever force that may be listening to me at that time. Ain’t nothing fancy about it. I pray for concepts, mainly two: Happiness and Love. That’s basically what I pray for to this day; however, at one point in time, I found myself trying to “pray the gay away.” Some have done it, some still do it, and honestly, that prayer is pointless. I remember when I did ask God to release me from my dark thoughts of homosexuality, I wasn’t really sincere. I mean, I did pray for the “right woman” to come along and change my mind, but still, that was a half-hearted prayer. As much as I was brought up in the church and heard the “homosexuality is a sin” spiel, I never felt guilty for my feelings at all, and I still don’t.
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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.