T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 91788
posted 02-20-2012 01:46 PM
After looking through various posts at Scarleteen, I realized that there are folks, including myself, who would benefit from a support group for issues that may be/have been experienced regarding religion and sexuality/gender identity, whether it be the process of reconciling religion to sexuality and/or gender identity, or having family members/friends/religious leaders who use religion as a basis for critisizing your sexuality/gender identity, or any other related issues that I have neglected to mention.
Note: You do not necessarily have to be religious yourself to experience said issues. Please keep in mind that religion (or the lack of) is a sensitive topic for many people, and thus it is essential that we establish a guideline for discussion in order to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected. What is NOT acceptable: - Ridiculing yours or another person's religion - Ridiculing someone because they are not religious - Getting into debates about the validity of a religion/validity of being non-religious - Generalizations about any religion/those who are non-religious - Judgmental attitudes towards religion, those who are not religious, someone's sexuality /gender identity, or someone's lifestyle choices - Bigotry - Attempts to "convert" anyone or to persuade them into becoming religious/non-religious (Please feel free to remind me of any point relevant to the above list which I had forgotten to add) As a summary of the above points, quoted from Heather (I could not word it better): "In general, while Scarleteen is a secular site, we're totally okay with people discussing different religions and issues with sexuality and religion. All we ask is that anyone having those kinds of discussions aim to do so in a way that respects the wide range of religions, spiritual belief systems and lack of either in the community, and that people don't claim to speak for the whole of a religion or its g-d (when we're talking theism) or talk about any of this in a way that is...well, judgy." Remember, this support group is NOT for debates regarding various religions/the merit of being religious or non-religious/persuading other people to become religious or non-religious, but FOR folks who are experiencing/have experienced struggles or issues regarding religion and sexuality/gender identity. So, having said all of the above, let's talk!
Member # 93204
posted 02-20-2012 02:32 PM
Sure lets talk!
For awhile I questioned my own sexuality but I think I figured it out by now. I'm whatever I feel like being that day. I am religious, I'm pretty new at it so... I know that I've told my Pastor I've had sex before and he says everyone sins (who is religious) and it's equal. So, I find that myself any sin I do it's the same as someone else who is in the same religion I am in who sins something totally different. I hope I didn't offend anyone
Member # 91788
posted 02-20-2012 03:04 PM
I had been in a similiar situation. In the church (which was quite extreme in both doctrine and practice and is therefore no accurate reflection of what Christianity represents) that I had attended regularly for a couple of years, queer sexuality (including homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.) and queer gender identity were stigmatized. Rumours were spread about various members who did not conform completely to the strict expectations within the church (it was implied that they were homosexual) and, since the teachings of the church were extremely homophobic, others, including the leaders, looked down on those members and acted extremely judgmental and cold towards them. Many of them left. Eventually, so did I, since I began to identify as bisexual and realized that remaining in an discriminatory environment was not healthy for me.
Member # 93204
posted 02-20-2012 03:11 PM
That doesn't happen at the Church I attend, I don't think it would ever happen. But, some where in me (off topic but related) I may be pregnant and I'm a teenager so I'm unsure if they would look me up as a bad person. My pastor knows that I may be and he is supportive. I just can't face the people in the Church and what they would say about it. But, my Church has a safety policy there, called, "Safe Church," meaning there is a window on every door, but the bathrooms.
It sucks that things like this happen. I hope people at Church will except the fact I am pregnant (if I am) and treat me with respect on the issue. Sometimes, Church us hard but it has helped me in so many area's, I find it therapy.
Member # 91788
posted 02-22-2012 04:38 PM
Yeah, definitely. These things can be really tough. I'm glad that your pastor is supportive at least.
I find it especially hard when I hear a good friend from church talk about the "despicable sinful nature" of queer sexuality (I encounter situations like this quite often). It's so depressing to see my friend treating me really well, but know at the same time that her attitude towards me could totally change if she happens to learn of my sexuality. For this exact reason, I am very reluctant to come out to my friends at church. (Btw, I am in no way trying to imply that this is true for all churches. This is just true for me.)
Member # 48854
posted 02-24-2012 04:35 AM
I've had problems with this too. My grandparents are getting older, which might have something to do with this, but they have become incredibly closed-minded. My grandma more so...she has cut off all contact with a girl I regard as my older sister (we aren't related, but she's my best friend) ever since she came out as a lesbian. And she is condemning my mom's ex-husband and not-so-subtly trying to get her to cut off all contact with him, because he is gay. Which ends up being pretty frightening, since I would prefer to be able to tell my grandparents if I ever do have a girlfriend. Right now, I've outed myself directly to three people-that older sister of mine, my mother, and a good friend. I outed myself to the older sister and the good friend after they each came out via Facebook. And it's looking like I probably won't be saying anything to anyone else anytime soon. I don't like not being able to tell people that I care about something important about me, but my grandparents are getting old-I don't want them passing away not speaking to me and convinced that their granddaughter is going to...somewhere very very hot...when she dies.
Member # 91788
posted 02-26-2012 03:13 PM
I can really relate to what you stated about not liking the fact that you are not able to tell your loved ones something important about you, because it totally sums up my situation.
Just the other day, I asked my very religious (and very close-minded) best friend what she thought of homosexuality, bisexuality, etc. Even though I, knowing her well, kind of anticipated her response, it still hurt nevertheless. I knew that if I came out to her, she would definitely be convinced that I would be going somewhere very, very hot. Which frustrates me to the extreme, because she hasn't taken the effort to at least understand folks of queer sexuality/gender identity before condemning them. To her, queer people are simply another group of "sinners" who need to be "converted". This makes me sad and angry, because unfortunately, this attitude is too common in the specific church that I used to be part of (which, again, is no reflection of how Christianity is in general). With these folks, percieved "sins" like homosexuality are endorsed in an abundant helping of fire and brimstone and are talked about in such a way as to label and stigmatize people who they are not happy with. Actions like these were what convinced me that such an unsupportive, discriminatory, close-minded environment is definitely not okay, and not for me at all. But these days, I attend a church that seems to be very accepting, open-minded, and inclusive of everyone. I hope that these folks approach queer sexuality/gender identity in the same way as well. Up to now, there is nothing yet to convince me of the contrary.