I grew up as the perfect little church boy in my town. I never did anything wrong. Yet, I knew that I was something that the church condemned. I was gay.
I knew since I was little that I was different and many of the church members defended me from my classmates saying it was ok to be different. Then, as I got older the topic of homosexuality came up and everyone said they were evil and were going to hell.
When they said what gays were, I knew instantly that was me and I realized that the people who once defended me would not do so this time. I knew that the bible condemned it. I struggled to not be gay for a very long time and eventually I was deep in depression to the point where I was contemplating suicide.
Lucky for me, my parents got me into a GLBT youth group and I discovered that I was not the only one who felt the way I did. I also learned it was ok to be gay. So, I started to work on loving myself and accepting myself.
No matter how proud I am today I still don’t think I have completely accepted myself and I am still dealing with my depression. Although now I have to deal with my hatred toward Christians. I know that not all of them are bad, but I cant help but worry when I find out I am stuck with one on a project or rooming in a dorm. I am always worried.
Faith was nearly the death of me once before, so I am not sure if it will succeed this time or not.
A few weeks ago, I was at a Christian concert with some friends I go to church with. I had brought along a girl I like. When we were away from the group we held hands. At one point I asked another friend if she thinks gays can be Christian, too. She said she didn’t believe it. It kind of hurt me because this girl was supposed to be my best friend. After that night its been on my mind. I believe gays can be Christians. God loves everyone no matter what. He forgave us of all our sins when he died on the cross. It may say that a man who lays with another man shall be put to death, but it also says that about judging, eating a certain type of animal, and wearing a certain type of cloth. If I’m going to Hell for being lesbian then they’re going to Hell for judging me. Stupid right? My point exactly.
I give a damn about equality. Not just because I’m queer (there’s really not a better description for someone like me), but because that is what I truly believe is right. We are all human, and that more than anything else is what matters.
I was raised in the church. My mother comes from a very strict conservative Christian background. She is Southern Baptist, raised in a rural town in North Carolina so small and isolated that it doesn’t appear on almost any map. She grew up in the ’60s and ’70s in a place where there were no stoplights or gas stations – not even paved roads – but there were three churches. Two Southern Baptist of the Hellfire and brimstone variety, the other fundamentalist Methodist.
My sister and I, however, were raised in the north. Ohio might not be the most LGBT-friendly of states, but it does better than the town our mother was raised in. We were brought up in the Disciples of Christ denomination. They’re fairly middle of the road on just about everything. Growing up in the church, I learned that we are all equal in the eyes of God and that we should not judge, but love one another as Jesus showed us to do. After all, the word “Christian” means “Christ-like”. Christ did not judge people. He shared his time with tax collectors and lepers, and he loved the world and the whole of man-kind so much that he died for them. ALL of them.
When you live in a “Faith Family” like I do, you have problems when you “come out of the closet.” With mine, they no longer trusted me… They wanted me to be their perfect little girl. I couldn’t live up to their high expectations. My father was always telling me how disappointed he is in me.
My girlfriend’s family (her dad’s side) called her one morning, her mother had told them she was a bisexual, and told her she was no longer a part of their family. They had told her she was going to hell for who she is and so am I. When life is hard enough at school or outside of the house and then you come home to your parents who don’t even want you, it pushes you over sometimes. And sometimes, I feel like I’m in this 4×4 room with no door, just banging to get out.
Faith has torn my life a part. It has caused me pain in the deepest way… But to me, nothing was worse than when I saw the person I love crying and breaking a part from it….
Being a Baha’i is a gift. But my faith and my identity seemed to clash as I wanted to give my all to my faith, and be all of me in my community.
I was raised a Catholic, which put me straight on a road to guilt city. Nothing has made me more ashamed of myself as the Catholic church and the Catholics in my life. I ended up leaving the church when I was 13. I was really lost back then, and it would have been nice to have a community I could trust and divulge my inner turmoil. But I went ahead blindly, alone, and in secret. 11 years later and I still never came out to my parents, although I suspect my mother knows something. But she’ll never mention it. I throw hints, though, haha! I won’t come out and say it right now, but if she ever asked, I’d be completely honest.
Finding the Baha’i Faith was like finding my way home. I was 18. I never felt more protected, more loved, more alive… It fulfilled every ounce of my being. There are so many writings in the faith, that it was difficult for me to explore every aspect of it before I decided that this was it. So I became a Baha’i, thinking everyone was cool with the fact that I was bisexual; I mean, they had to be… they were already so warm and loving and so accepting. They preached tolerance and acceptance and unity on a daily basis. Why wouldn’t they accept the LGBT community?
I grew up in the heart of the Bible belt, a college town in W. Va. during the mid 1950’s and 1960’s, to a Southern Baptist family headed by a WW II veteran, military background father. I was not necessarily “out” during high school, but I was sexually active and had feminine mannerisms. My mother and grandmother were my best friends. In fact, most of my friends growing up were adult women because I could not trust people my own age. At one point the harassment in High School was so bad that I contemplated suicide a couple of times. In fact, I did eat an entire bottle of aspirin, (the only thing I could find in the medicine cabinet at the time), and fortunately, I only got a little sick. For some unknown reason God had something else in mind for me; even though I was always taught at church that I was a sinner, abnormal, and a freak of nature, I knew in my heart that “my” God is a loving God, therefore I knew he loved and accepted me for the person I am.
Until after high school, I always thought the word “gay” meant happy. I had always been called “queer”, “faggot” and other derogatory names that definitely could not be considered as ego builders for a young teenager. After I graduated from high school, I went to work where I was befriended by another gay man who introduced me to the local gay community in my home town, such as it was. We had two gay bars that were private clubs with locked doors. I finally felt that I was among my element and made many friends and became an active part of my home town gay community. I was finally out, or at least as out as I could be in 1970, in a small W.Va. college town. We still had to be careful in those days but at least we did have a place of our own where we could be ourselves.
I’m 16 years old and have known for a long time I am gay. I was raised in a church that believes everyone who is not of that denomination is going to hell. Gays, blacks, Jews and everyone else were all going against the will of god. I prayed for years to have god take the gay away, I knew if my family found out they would disown me. So, I was scared to do or say anything to anybody.
This year my aunt got on my Facebook and saw I was talking to guys. She called me and told me she supports me and if I ever need anything she would be there for me. So, I thought since she does why wouldn’t everyone else. I came completely out and turns out they weren’t so supportive. My mom harassed me, calling me faggot, queer, etc… they tore me down till I was nothing.
It really hurt because I loved my mom more than anything in the entire world. When she called me all those things I lost all respect for her, I resent her. She told me I f****d up her whole entire life and she wished she had an abortion when she had the chance. I still live with her, but we don’t talk at all. She comes in from work and goes to bed, she doesn’t even want to look at me. I am really disappointed in her, but I am who I am and nothing can or will change that.
Pretty much all my friends are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. But since I’m friends with them I’m automatically titled as a lesbian. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t hear someone judge a person just for the fact that they are homosexual. I’m so fed up with it because they are human just like them. People tell them that they need to go somewhere else because they don’t like gay people. But at least they have more balls than any straight person because they know the consequences but are okay to live with it. And I’m tired of my friends turning to self-mutilation because of all the judgement and hatred they’re faced with. Not only do they turn to harming themselves but some have even tried to commit suicide. There is nothing but hatred towards homosexuals in this town and no one wants to stand up for them. I give damn and so now I’m going to take a stand on it.
My name is Lee, born and raised in a small town in Southern Indiana. I was married at 18 because being adopted in to a very strict Pentecostal home, that is what was expected of me. I was so afraid of coming out to the family that I was adopted into, not to mention that my adopted parents were foster parents and well known in our small community. My adopted mother had let it be known to me on a number of occasions and for things far less sinful than this, that I could be placed back into the system if I did not abide by her rules and beliefs.
I met and married a girl from the Pentecostal church and had three beautiful children. Though being a gay man, I was like as many heterosexual males, I wanted to be a daddy more than anything on this planet. I had no idea how it would affect me once I actually became one. To start, I thought, as so many before me and unfortunately others will behind me, feel that the whole marriage and family thing would change me. As all who read this know that does not work. If it is not broke then it does not need to be fixed. I wish someone could have told me that over twenty years ago.
We had moved to Kentucky to be close to her side of the family, which I found later was one of the biggest mistakes I could have ever done. She was not a very nice woman. She knew before we married that I was gay, but was not at all deterred by it. She actually loved it in my opinion. She got a full-time mother, house wife, chief cook and bottle washer. Between stress of the marriage and being extremely unhappy, not to mention effects from child abuse, I began having mental and physical health problems. I took all that I could stand and stood up to her.
I am a straight female in Canada. I have a husband and 3 children. I was raised by my grandparents, so I began my life with very biased views of how this all worked. Recently, I have come to realize that religion is yet just another set of rules to live by, a code of conduct, so to speak. I grew up on a farm, and moved to a very large city a few years ago. I decided upon moving here that I would make the most of it and see what differences the city had to offer.
I have to say, I am extremely intrigued by this place. I have met people I never would have socially accepted on the farm. There is one person in particular that I am awed by. I met a lady, who is in actuality not a lady, but a man, although I will always refer to her as a lady specifically because that is the way I see her after having spoken with her. I had a chance to see into the heart, the mind and the soul of someone not comfortable in their own body.
I could have judged her harshly the way my religion taught me to, scorn her for her sin. But I listened instead to a story of someone who finally felt real! She told me how it made her feel, her hopes and dreams, her family values. And suddenly she became important to me. I cannot wait to see her again, and most of all, I can’t wait to see her smile. She is truly a beautiful person.
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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.