I just watched the most tear jerking movie ever. It was about a gay suicide back in 1982. This was before I even knew what homosexuality was. Being raised pentecostal, I was raised with a fear of gay people. They were going to recruit our children and corrupt our society. They were a direct threat to the family and God hated them.
This movie portrays that belief very well. A Prayer for Bobby is a true story, but moreover it is similar to my own personal journey. Ok so the death of my child never happened, but the evolution of her faith is very similar to my experiences.
Perpetuating fear of gays is very easy, if you do not know anyone that is gay. Passing judgement against faceless people is tragically second nature. My real experience started with a female friend that used to tend bar for me. We went out many times, always picking up men. One night she asked me about kissing girls and having sex with women. I told her I just wasn’t that interested. She asked if I was even curious? I wasn’t and that was the end of the conversation. So recruiting is that basic? Seriously I always imagined a fight for my life, similar to fighting off a rapist.
My second encounter with someone gay was a large African-American man named J. I met him at a church I was going to. When I first saw him with his beautiful 3 month old daughter, I was uncertain if it was a man or a woman holding that child. I realized it was a very soft spoken man with a gorgeous Latina wife. I became very good friends with J. We spent many nights talking and sharing together.
J shared many aspects of his past with me. He told me when he was 9 he was raped by an Uncle. He also knew his whole life he was gay. I suspect marriage of convenience. I ofter wondered if his wife was a Lesbian. He bared his soul one night after smoking pot. I sat there in raft awe. How could this person that had lived such pain still follow God? He told me that he was raised very religious and strayed in his late teens and early 20’s. He fell into homosexuality and lived in sin for several years.
Then one day “God” called him back. He had been cured of his homosexuality, at least from the outside perspective. He than shared something that has long since hit home with me. He told me that every single day he has to fight his urges and demons. Wait, What? In my mind, being cured would revoke those urges. Right? Having faith that homosexuality is curable and a choice, shouldn’t those urges and desires die with your cure? He never said it, but I suspect he feels ashamed and degraded. I imagine that someone that fights their true nature, is very miserable inside.
Imagine how your self-worth is damaged knowing that you are wrong. That you are damaged in some way, then imagine how ashamed you must feel. Knowing J, has helped me evolve past my infallible faith, that homosexuality is a disease. It made me realize that homosexuals are people, and that they need to be loved and feel some self-worth. They are no different than me. They love just like me. They desire just like me. They feel just like me. Humanity is what binds us all together, so if I can resolve my faith to the acceptance, anyone can. It takes knowing someone and putting a face on your fears.
I at this point of my life have discarded my faith. I am not interested in God or his followers. The only things I have ever heard in Church is about how God will smite me, and how I am a sinner and going to Hell. Well if Heaven is full of people like that, Hell sounds pretty good to me.