Let me start by setting up my past. It is always easiest to go forward from the past then it is to go backwards from the future. I was raised in a small town. I was raised Pentecostal. I grew up fearing the Rapture and would I be ready. Most importantly, it was instilled in me that homosexuality was a sin. One of the worst out there. Homosexuality was not something people are born with, it is a choice one makes to dishonor God.
Seems quite judgemental, right? Well it is. It is an ugly head of most Christianity. This blog is not a hatred towards religious people. It is a focus on one of the ugly elements of Church Doctrine that no one seems comfortable to address. I am comfortable addressing it. Judge not, lest ye be judged. That is right there in the Bible, New Testament, Matthew 7:v 1. It seems that the Church Doctrine was written ignoring this particular verse of the Bible. These are Words from Jesus. He said them according to your Bible, yet you are too focused on creating inequality to really understand or enforce a true doctrine of God.
Sadly, when you are in a religion, such as Pentecostal, you are never to question doctrine. This is rebellion. My biggest sin, has always been rebellion. I rebelled against everything, all my life. It was part of the reason my marriage ended. I rebelled against the husband being in total control. My husband in total control was a joke. He, in my view, was not in control of anything, but tried desperately to control me.
I kept with the premise that homosexuality was not only a choice, but a abhorence to God, even while I was divorcing my husband. So I suffered from having judgement. The thought of homosexuality made my skin crawl. The idea was disturbing and it disgusted me. Let me pause here, to say that, it is easy to demonize some nameless faceless entity. I did not know anyone that was gay. Therefore passing judgement on strangers was simple.
In the years that followed my divorce, well separation, we were fighting for custody, I made friends at a local bar. I should again stop and take pause to mention, drinking is a sin, apparently my grandfather is in hell, he was drunk when he died. I did not care about sin or God or religion anymore. My whole life was a mess. I just wanted to go out have some fun and live a bit. Again my rebellious side is my strongest side. I met some great people. I partied with strangers and I made friends with all of the bartenders. They loved me, I had a spirit that always made the night fun, that was what they all told me.
I made friends with Felicia. We would go out to other bars on her nights off. We would often come home with guys. On occasion we would just come home alone. On several occasions some of my co-workers would hint at the fact that Felicia was Bisexual. This particular orientation made no sense to me at all. They insinuated that I was having sex with her. It bothered me and angered me. Not only were they passing judgement on me, but on her as well. They obviously didn’t know her like I did.
One night she asked me about having sex with her. I was shocked and uncomfortable. I answered that I thought she was cute, but the idea of having sex with a girl was not my idea of fun. She asked if I had ever even thought about it. I told her that due to my religious upbringing, there were some lines I could not cross. She shrugged her shoulders and said well, ok then. She went to her room and I stayed in the guest room. The next morning it was not talked about, and she never mentioned it again.
I was prepared for a stalker type situation, but it never happened. I always thought, that somehow, a homosexual is so driven by sex that they just will not take no for an answer. I was so very wrong. I continued to hang out with Felicia. We had great fun together. We never talked about that night. Life just continued on as though that brief moment never actually happened. I began to wonder why I feared homosexuality so much. It really did not affect me in the slightest.
Later I went back to church and met a beautiful man named Jerome. He was this beautiful black man married to this beautiful hispanic woman. They had this beautiful child together. I loved them all. They were the perfect couple. I got to know them quite well. I should stop here to note that the first time I saw Jerome he was holding his daughter and praising God, signing. I thought at first he was a woman with a child. Like I stated, he was beautiful. I learned that Jerome had been raped by an uncle as a child. He was also very gay. In fact he chose to get married and live as non-gay, but he fought his homosexual tendencies every hour of every day. I originally thought he was gay because he was raped by a man as a child. You know, that, that will make a man gay? I was taught that as a child.
As I got to know Jerome, my heart broke for him. He hated himself at times. He hated the fact that he was gay. He never wanted to disappoint God or his family. It was then that I realized, being a gay is not a choice. Jerome knew he was gay before he was raped. Jerome had fought it from the time he was told it was wrong and a sin, at the age of 5. How can people who proclaim to love God, be so cruel as to demand that a beautiful soul like Jerome’s be tormented into hating himself? Coming from a situation where I was forced to live as someone else, I understood. Being taught that you are inherently evil is cruel and unjust thing to do or say to anyone.
This began my transition. I could no longer view homosexuals from a lens of judgement. I could no longer think that they were evil people, I now had a face and a soul to put behind my views. I could no longer be a Christian. I needed to be free from beliefs and judgements that were not my own. I needed to live my life free from all prejudices. I walked away, never to go back. I also have found some of my best friends in the world are gay. Strange how your views can change in an instant. I have always fought the systems for equality. I always will. It takes walking outside of what you know, hearing someone’s stories to realize that you were carrying on a prejudice that was not yours at all, but one instilled into you by a system that is truly not about equality but more about suppression.