I have a twin brother. We were both raised Anglican, but my mother left the church and became an atheist two years ago. I consider myself agnostic. Last year, my brother converted to Catholicism. Before that, he already disliked my bisexuality - he once called me an "abomination" - but now he uses his faith as an excuse to take jabs at it at any opportunity. What should I do about it? I respect his beliefs and his right to free speech, but it can be stressful.
Posts: 2 | From: this sceptred isle | Registered: Jan 2012
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Have you tried explaining to him that you respect his religion and you would appreciate it if he respected your sexuality? To be sure this might not help at all, some people simply will not respect the right of others to feel differently about things than they do or to do things that they don't feel are right. Lots of Catholics don't believe that there is anything wrong with being anything other than pin straight, but evidently, your brother is not one of them.
I understand what you mean about respecting his right to free speech, I often feel hindered about what I can do when people are using their religion to be hateful. But really, it's not with his rights (or if it is it shouldn't be) to be hateful and make jabs at you. Likewise if it is within his rights to be rude and hateful, it is within your rights to tell him to stop.
I'd say, have a conversation about how his jabs make you feel. Explain that it's stressful, that it hurts, and that it isn't going to do any good. Explain that him poking at you isn't going to make you any less bisexual, that it will only make you more and more frustrated with him. (of course, leave out any of that that isn't valid for you and add in anything else that is). I'd also explain that you respect his religious beliefs, even though you could just as easily ridicule him for believing something that you don't, and that you expect the same courtesy.
Once you have that conversation (if you have not already), if his attitude does not change, then there's only so much you can do. You can avoid the topic, you can avoid your brother, or you can just try and ignore him when he's being a bigot. Situations like this are tough, because the problem is entirely created by someone else, but you're the one who suffers the pain.
[ 01-22-2012, 09:08 AM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]
I am ME and that is the only label I need. Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009
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