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View Diary: On Religion, Sexuality, and Redefining the Closet (58 comments)

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  •  IMO being a non-religious queer is easier than ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, KJC MD

    ... it is for heteros.

    Now, my frame of reference may be a bit funky, but… There’s a poly concept called ‘new relationship energy’, people always hunting that flush of new love/lust. My mother had a thing for new church energy, the enthusiastic embrace of the freshly converted by the fellowship. By the time I entered HS, we were on the fourth conversion of my life.

    I ‘necessitated’ that change because I had set up a stink about my confirmation the prior spring. I didn’t believe and thought I shouldn’t go through with it, which may have been caused by regular doctrinal changes as we church hopped. Mom therefore thought it would be better to go to a ‘stronger’ church (also, we’d been there 3 years at that point, so no more fuss being made of her). We ended up in a Missouri Synod Lutheran church and I was sent to its associated HS.

    People who know the LCMS all know where this is going, but the LCMS is the flavor of the Lutherans all the other synods want you to know they’re not. They’re very hard line, very Bible is literal truth, and very, very conservative (LCMS are the ones that disciplined a pastor for participating in a post-Sandy Hook interfaith service). I was not a good fit at my HS, with my liberal leanings. I was very deeply in denial in HS (family was actively homophobic in addition to what I was getting at school/church, it was the 1990s and there was a culture war, etc.).

    My sophomore year, I made the mistake of saying I didn’t believe in hell, which got me tagged as a Satanist (yeah, I don’t get the logic there either). I didn’t read femme. The bullying was intense. I am frankly amazed that I lived to graduate; take that back, I’m amazed that I was only hospitalized the one time. But neither problem within that environment, was a greater issue. At a secular school, maybe the disbelief would have been a lesser problem, but we’re talking about a Midwestern city that brags about its number of churches, so maybe not.

    As an adult, I’ve learned that people who cannot respect my humanity because of my sexuality are probably not going to be able to respect my humanity as a non-religious person and vice versa. As I don’t bother pretending to be straight, I generally know how someone is going to jump based on their reaction to my orientation. On the rare occasions where someone asks me to join them at their church, I just go “Queer kid who went to a conservative, super-religious HS, not my thing.” People generally back off without further argument. Straight friends get bullied when they refuse to go to churches, but people feel like ***holes trying to push me into a place that I make it very clear that I find brings up bad memories. If they can’t get me into church, they generally don’t try to sell me on their theology, and I’m done.

    One of these days I’m going to get around to doing a diary on how I’m sick of coming out. Seriously, I’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years now and I’m really over it.

    "Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many." Doctor Who

    by evil claims rep on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:41:00 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for sharing your story. (0+ / 0-)

      It's a lot harder to preach at someone when they know that their doctrine has caused you a great deal of pain. You're right that there is certainly correlation between religiosity and homophobia and that also often extends to people who reject their beliefs as well. I find it really interesting that you can use your sexuality to shut down people preaching at you though. Its not something they expect to hear.

      "There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but none that I am prepared to kill for." - Gandhi

      by billyleeblack16 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 05:26:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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