I am 17 years old and have been raised in a very religious household. I was always reminded of the time when Jesus taught, “Thou shalt not judge.”
When I finally came to terms with myself and who I am, I got up the strength to tell those around me.
No one accepted me.
It was as if the scripture “Thou shalt not judge” just flew out the window. I constantly had people telling me I was going to hell, and I had to “pray the gay away”
News flash: YOU CAN’T.
I didn’t choose to be gay, this is just the way I am. I shouldn’t have to skip my Anatomy class in high school just because 3 members from the football team said they would beat me up. I shouldn’t be shunned from church. And I certainly shouldn’t have to live in fear of losing my job for expressing who I am.
I GIVE A DAMN!
I am a 54 year old male who has 4 sisters, 2 of them are gay. I love both of them and have no problem with their lifestyles. My youngest sister has found religion and tells my sister that she will go to hell and is an affront to the Lord. I belong to a faith that accepts gays.
My name is Leilani. About 9 years ago, I had an experience. I grew up in a loving supporting family. We are Christians. I remember being told that of course, homosexuality was a sin. I remember standing in a prayer circle and thinking to myself, “I wonder if any of these people around me , my friends, choir members.. are gay?”. I did wonder. And even though, at the time, I thought it was a sin, I felt like it was wrong that these people would be made to feel bad about it.
I went to college. A long way from home. It was the first time I was on my own in a sense. And through my interactions, collaborations, and being witness to various cultures of people (sexual identity included) without being around my family, I became aware that people are just people trying to love each other and that God loves all people. It was the first time that I realized the possibility that the reason why people were so “disgusted” or critical of it, was because they just hadn’t really been around any gay people, or didn’t know of any openly gay people.
After my first college year, one of my closest friends opened up to me and told me he was gay. I felt honored that he trusted me enough to tell me. He was laughing and I could tell he might cry, had I rejected him. He said, “It’s okay if you think its bad, but I just wanted you to know.” I said, “Congratulations!” I had a choice and at that time I don’t remember all the words I said but I told him I didn’t think anything was wrong with him.
I am now at the point where I don’t think being gay is a sin. I know that to some I probably am not seen as a TRUE Christian because of that. And you know what? I don’t care. And it’s because of that, that I am really happy. But I do care that other gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people feel loved, without guilt for being who they are, and are free to know and have whatever spiritual relationship they desire with God.
I am searching still for the right church where I as a straight woman don’t have to worry about other straight Christians making fun of and condemning homosexuality. I hope that if someone is reading this, that it can help to know there are Christians out here who not only love you, but don’t think that the way you were born is an affront or a sin to God. Much love always. God bless you forever.
Years ago I went to a Southern Baptist Church in Florida where I was living. I always knew I was different but I was afraid to admit what I was or to tell a female friend I liked her more than just a friend.
One day I called my best friend at the time and told her I had a major crush on her. She was so beautiful. When I told her I liked her more than just a friend, I swore she was going to freak being southern Baptist and all . Instead she understood and continued to treat me like her best friend and sister.
I came out to my mother and she is supportive. My pastor father prays for my soul and that God would make me straight. I’m happy being bisexual – it is the most natural thing in the world to me. The way I see it God created all of us gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and straight couples because he loves all of us equally. If I fall in love with a woman we should have the same human rights as straight couples to marry and raise a family. Maybe one day it wont matter what your sexual orientation is. We will all be equal.
I remember growing up in a small town in Massachusetts, described as a village once on Dateline NBC. I never really believed I was any different than anyone else, until I entered the public school system and the total chaos began. I don’t know exactly where I went wrong or what I did that was so different from all of the other kids, but I got singled out and it only continued as I grew older.
When I was 11, I was forced out of the closet. I didn’t want to be gay, I never asked for this and at the time I would never have wished this upon anyone else. I found being gay to be so troublesome that suicide seemed to be the most logical option. I remember praying to God to forgive me for taking my own life, I really thought that this was my only option to seek solace. Then, the strangest thing happened. After an unsuccessful attempt to end my life, I felt an awakening within me. I felt God in my heart and truly believed for the first time I was created in his image.
Fast forward a few years, and it did get better. Although I am skipping over chapters of hate, shame and the feeling of total isolation- I am doing so with the specific intent- the focus is, IT GETS BETTER!
My entire life has been about faith. My grandparents are pastors as well as my entire family. In 2012, I came out to my family about being bisexual. It was the same year my mother died. Being blamed for the death of my mom (even though it was because she was in a car accident), I was and still am disowned from my entire family.
Preaching at me, telling me I will burn in hell for the choices I’ve made… I never chose to be this way. It’s who I am as well as WHO I WILL ALWAYS BE! I am engaged to an amazing man. We want children and it’s sad that they won’t be around. But, you are who you are, nothing and no-one will ever be able to change that. You are an amazing person! Be true to who you are.
When I have children, no matter what they are, I will love them. Love knows NO limits. I love you all! FOR WHO YOU ARE.
Let me start off by saying yes, I am a lesbian. That might help you understand this story a little better. Now to the actual story.
I was really big on my faith, then one day that all came crashing down. I was sitting in church just like any other Sunday. When all of a sudden my mom came to me crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she said the preachers wife had just pulled her aside. She had told my mom that her and the preacher were going to talk to me about being a lesbian. She told my mom that if they couldn’t change me, I would have to leave the church. She also told my mom she was a bad parent for letting it happen in her house. At this time I got up and walked out. I love how the first thing I was taught at this church is to “Never judge anyone, because the Lord loves all his children.” I pretty much gave up on faith after this.
I am now 19 years old. I go to a local gay church. I love it, they actually accept me for who I am. I can say I actually thank my old preacher and his wife. Because of them I am closer to my mom than I ever was, she’s like my best friend now. I’ve also became the person I am now because of them.
So, around Christmas time, my cousin told me he was gay. I accepted him and that was that. Later in February, he had begun to tell other family members. His mother was last. He was raised by a religious fanatic that can’t tolerate any form of sin. When he finally told her, she said, “No. You cannot be like this! I will pray every night for you. We will get rid of this demon!”
It hurt him that his own mother wouldn’t accept him. Some of my other cousins think it’s disgusting. He’s in a tough place and I wanna help him any way I can.I know there’s nothing wrong with him. I just need a way to help his mom accept him like nothing is wrong. Because nothing is!
My name is Jane and I have grown up around gay people all of my life. When my mother was beginning her musical career in Hollywood, one of her best friends was gay and he was the best man at her wedding. This man, his life partner, and their friends were a part of my life for over 30 years.
Although I was raised in church until I was a teenager, I don’t remember anything that was taught. When I started attending as a young adult, I believed as “other Christians” believed. It wasn’t until after I lost my mom and moved to Eugene, Oregon and met the most amazing group of gay men and women, did I learn about true compassion and love without judgment.
I am a “mama bear” to my friends. They know I am a Christian and they know they will get no judgment from me. The boys call me “mom” and I treat them like my family, because they are. I go with them when they shop for their costumes for drag shows, attend the drag shows, celebrate with them at their commitment ceremonies and have voted for same sex marriage. I am quick to correct those who would put me in the same group as Christians who disrespect anyone because of how they choose to live their life.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is that I believe that all people should be treated with respect, period. Who as we to judge anyone. It is not our job. I’m glad I saw the PSA for this website and I am glad to be a part of it.
When I was a young single mother in the 80’s my daughter was a very determined two year old and we were very poor. I worked two jobs, but it was never enough to cover the most basic needs. I did not have a college education and I had even less skills. I worked as a waitress and a bartender in a very small southern town. Not very lucrative positions there, and both jobs were looked down upon.
Additionally, I went to a very intolerant church at the time, and was often very depressed. During the holidays people kept asking me if I was “getting that baby a tree” and I kept thinking that I needed to “get that baby food” instead. Of course I was not buying a tree. At that point I was so poor that we didn’t have a phone, a TV, or that much food.
My daughter was in daycare while I worked, and she kept insisting that Santa was coming. I felt horrible because I really did not have any money. I planned to go to the dollar store to get a few things for Christmas morning, but then my car broke down about three weeks before Christmas. I had expressed my frustration to a person who was becoming a good friend, a young man named James, who was gay.
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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.