For The Grace of God

As I am about to embark on a new age of my life shortly, I find my thoughts drifting into the past.  Sure…some of it seems bad, but in the end, everything is a learning experience that we all go through in some form or another.  Overall, I’ve been very blessed and have had an easier time with things when it comes to my sexual orientation that some people haven’t.

As with most in the LGBT community, my coming out was a deep and personal journey where there was no answers, just more questions.  But in accepting myself and who I am as a person, it made the journey a little easier and gave me confidence that I could handle it.  But not everyone has that luxury.  For some, it’s an entirely different ordeal altogether.  They are deeply lost and confused.  They are struggling with the way they were brought up with who they are as a person.  And it’s not something that is easily dealt with.  They have no support network…no place to turn for guidance.  So they come out and face the music….alone.  And then it’s the people that are supposed to love them unconditionally that take advantage of them and betray that trust.  It’s the parents that are shipping their children off to these ex-gay ministries to be cured of their homosexuality as if it’s a disease like cancer that has a medical treatment, or that it’ll just go away with a lot of prayer and eliminating the “homosexual influences.”

This is all basically a massive sham that even the LGBT community has turned a blind eye to rather than fighting these ex-gay ministries (like Exodus International) for the rights of their fellow brethren.  Most of those that are in these facilities are there against their will.  It’s the parents who are forcing them to go in the hope that deep prayer will “cure” their children and they can live happy, normal lives and blend in with the rest of the masses.  In this case, one would have to ask themselves, “Why would I want to be ‘normal’ if it means just blending in with everyone else?”

I can safely say that I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that I was going to be gay.  The same as you didn’t wake up and decide that you were going to be gay or straight – depending on whichever you are.  It’s just what is.  And regardless, you should be proud of the individual that you are.

It is our faith that can play tricks on us through any of this.  We all come to terms with things differently and see different meanings in the written word.  For me, it took some soul-searching and deep thought to realize that I could still have my spirituality and be gay…that it was possible for the two to coexist.  But there are some that don’t get this luxury of soul-searching or being allowed to develop their own opinions.  Instead, it’s the parents that are forcing their children into sharing their beliefs and seeing the world through their eyes…even if that means that their kid comes out of these ex-gay ministries even more confused and alone than when they went it.

The parents rarely see past their own views and the “cure” for homosexuality to the kid’s well-being and mental health.  And though I’d like to blame the parents for this solely, I cannot, for the media and the culture of our nation have deeply influenced all of us.  It’s better to blend in with the rest of society than to be different from the norm in any way…according to what society wants from us.  And this is something these ex-gay ministries take advantage of.  They prey on families at their most vulnerable time when everyone is searching for answers.  And usually by the time those answers are found, it’s too late and the damage has been done.

My spirituality will always be with me despite the fact that I’m gay.  To me, God made me gay for whatever reason He chose…and I thank him for it, too.  It has allowed me the chance to see things in an entirely different light.  These ex-gay ministries (like Exodus International) should be ashamed of themselves for spreading the lies and false hopes, and for making people think that there is something wrong with them simply because they are gay.  Rather than using faith to conquer fear, they are using it to spread that intolerance.  And I’m sure they could quote me several Bible verses, too, to back up their claims.  But let me counter with this…isn’t one of the 10 Commandments to “love thy neighbor”?  To me, that form of love is to be unconditional.  If you’re trying to get me to change something because you don’t agree (or forcing me to), that’s not really unconditional love.  Unconditional love means you are respectful and like the many different aspects of what makes someone an individual.

And even all of us in the LGBT community should look down upon ourselves for we have not rallied to the aid of our brethren…to help them in their darkest hour.  It is, after all, up to us to fight these ex-gay ministries and to spread the word of the psychological stress that can result.  It is up to us to make it known that there is nothing wrong with being homosexual…even if society or religion says there is.  We’re the ones who must rally.  These ex-gay ministries must not be allowed to flourish under our noses.  We must be there to show these individual souls that they are not alone and there is an entire community out here waiting to embrace them.  And most importantly, to show them that there is nothing wrong with being gay.

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3 Responses to For The Grace of God

  1. James S. says:

    I’m passing on this link of another commentary on this same subject that I read today….

    http://www.365gay.com/opinion/neff-the-dangerous-ex-gay-movement/

  2. musicnmyhead says:

    As a lesbian, the hardest part about my coming out was dealing with my spirituality and of course wondering how folks would or wouldn’t accept me. It was so hard for me to know for sure that who I was, was ok. I finally realized that it was, and because of that I learned to be ok with me, and dismiss people out of my life who are not ok with me. Thanks for this blog!

  3. James S. says:

    This is a shocker. Oh wait….not, it’s not. LOL

    I like it how things come together on topics that I write about. hehe (though I was talking about ex-gay ministries….same diff).

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/05/gay.to.straight/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

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