Guest Writer: Anonymous
Let’s get the key details out of the way first. Yes, I am a fully committed Christian; yes, I am single (weird, I know on the blog series about singleness) and finally, I am gay. To some people these words can sound like an oxymoron, like two absolute opposites – and I certainly have had some puzzled looks when I tell people that I am both a Christian and gay! I don’t want this post to be some in depth discussion as part of the raging debate over homosexuality and Christianity (I’ll leave that to the likes of right-wing Americans, thank you very much!) but it is my personal experience of trying to wrestle these two, what appeared to be, conflicting interests. Some may read it just to gain an insight in to what it’s like, or even; some of you may be struggling with similar issues yourself. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but if someone feels just that bit better from reading then I will have done well.
I have been fairly sure that I am gay since my early teenage years – right around that age when everyone starts getting the first tingles of feelings or attractions, but when my classmates were at that age and talking about girls I couldn’t honestly admit to having the same interests. I didn’t take too much notice of it at first, figuring I just hadn’t reached that point yet. But I had started to recognise that I was more interested in men – mainly things like catching myself staring at guys on the TV or in magazines, more than anything. But, like most gay people in those early years I tried to brush it off as nothing more than a ‘lapse in judgement’, or to use that most hateful of phrases, “it’s just a phase!”
Yet as the years went on I started to wonder when this ‘phase’ would end! As I got older and was heading off to university it was becoming harder and harder to lie to myself, harder and harder to ignore the fact that I was looking at guys more and more and feeling attracted to them, and there was a voice in my head getting louder and louder telling me to just accept the inevitable and admit to being gay.
This is the point where the struggle between this personal acceptance and my faith became difficult. At that point in which I accepted that I was gay I couldn’t figure out how I could fit this part of my life into my Christian faith. Like far too many others, I had heard the clichés that seemed to declare these two parts of me ‘incompatible’ – that it was ‘Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve’ or the old favourite of Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lieth with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.”
Now, I shall interject here that I am single and I am a virgin, but the fear these people spread made it more difficult to live with these issues (despite this blog showing us that relationships are not the be all and end all) because they told me that if I ever did find a relationship with a man (and yes, someday I do hope to find a man who will love me), I couldn’t show my love for him in the same way heterosexual couples can and that if I did I would be condemned to Hell. But when I read these things and saw the hate that some people could spew from the safety of a laptop I couldn’t help but find these ideas incompatible with the God that I knew, the God who has been and always will be by my side. How could this God be the same God that saved the weakest, the poorest, and the persecuted? How could this God hate His own creation and tell me that for me to love a man was an act of evil? It was at this point that I realised that the God I knew was nothing like the God these people claimed to speak for. I realised that if He knew me before I was born, He knew all my fears and failings and that I had been made in His image, then how could I be an abomination? God doesn’t make mistakes. The trials and struggles of life that we endure are all part of His amazing plan for us – that even when the temptation to stray or leave His path all together are so great (and it was difficult to resist at some points), He takes us by the hand and pulls us closer to Him, to His light, and the path to Him because like the God I felt I knew, He would never leave the weakest or the persecuted behind. It was then that I realised that the pieces could finally fit together and that I had had them the wrong way round – lead by people who tried to mislead me, all in the name of the God they professed to speak for!
Finally, I was content with this set up and, as I was about to take on huge academic challenge, I finally found the courage to tell my nearest and dearest that, yes, I am gay and a Christian and yes, it is possible! That doesn’t mean it has been easy because whilst I am content that God will always love me, humanity is not so reliable. I have never, thankfully, been on the wrong end of someone’s hatred but I have heard people I cared about saying things that truly hurt me without them realising they were doing it. It is difficult when people feel they must profess their faith and beliefs by attacking the lives of others but, thankfully, these people are in the minority and I found that being honest with people, including my Christian friends, made no difference to how I was treated or spoken to. In fact, it made it easier to build close connections and friendships but more than anything it became easier to build a strong connection with God!
This has been a difficult post to write, for me personally, as I have never put these feelings or experiences into words. Like I said at the beginning I do not claim to have all the answers and this was just my personal experience but here are a few verses that helped me through the hardest times, and if you are struggling, I hope they help you as well.
Mark 12:31 “Love thy neighbour as you love thyself”
Mark 25:40 “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me”
Psalm 100:3 “Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of his pasture”
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth”
So if you find yourself looking at the underwear model in the magazine or the gorgeous actor/actress on the big screen, it’s fine because that is how He made you and that is the path He laid before you. No matter what, always know you are His beloved child and that above all things, it doesn’t matter who you are or whom you love, you are His most beautiful and precious creation and He loves you more than you can ever know! Now is the time to be free and joyous and now is the time to celebrate this by always singing His praises!
Peace and blessings x