LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
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09-07-2017, 03:48 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
Welcome to TTA, slw0606!
Let us know if you need any help with the issues you are dealing with right now.
I think most of us know the self-hatred, you talk about, in one way or another; I do for sure.
If you want, tell me what country you are from, and I will make sure to add support lines and so on for that country on our document (see OP).

Cheers,
Rob

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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09-07-2017, 04:48 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
(08-07-2017 10:03 PM)slw0606 Wrote:  I am a 60 year old gay man legally married to my partner of 18 years. I came out of the closet at 42. Before that I lived a straight religious married (to a woman) white picket fence life.

But I knew I was "different" from most boys since my youngest days and that I was attracted physically and emotionally to my own gender since I was at least 12.

Yet, I was raised in a conservative Baptist home and was, myself, a devout "born again" Christian.

I dealt with my gay attraction by keeping it a deep dark secret, but I developed a clinical deep self hatred.

After being married to my wife for 17 years, I met a wonderful gay man, who, like me was married with children, and we left our wives and moved in together.

My partner/husband has worked hard to help me deal with my deep self hatred by truly loving me unconditionally.

When I first came out, I became a public gay activist. I even led a public protest for marriage equality and was interviewed on local TV. I also became a liberal political activist.

Yet, 18 years later, I still have a deep abiding self hatred. Despite western society's softening of negative opinions of LGBT, the more strident anti-LGBT are coming out of the woodwork and being more blunt in their hatred of us. That affects me and reinforces my deep self hatred.

I am currently seeing a gay psychologist and trying to work through this self hatred.

But to compound the issue, I finally left Christianity 15 years ago and my agnosticism has evolved into atheism. Yet, faith in God gave me positive emotional reassurances, especially regarding death and loss.

Yes, it was a paradox. Religion both engendered self hatred and emotional comfort.

I am quite bright and always have been. Still I was able to compartmentalize God in one box (and the illogic of that belief) and the real world as it is.

But my journey into rationality has progressed so far, I cannot conceive me returning to believing in God (maybe on my death bed).

I know I need to keep trying to reinforce in my mind that I am mostly a good person with value and not consider my sexual orientation as a defect. In fact, my coming out has engendered in me a deeper appreciation and compassion for those traveling the LGBT road.

But is it very hard. I cannot totally shake that self hatred monster.
slw0606 my heart is with you. One of the most insidious things about religion is the PTSD associated with it. Often times the PTSD gets dismissed because how can you compare the trauma of a war vet or rape victim to religion? I disagree with that kind of thinking. What could be more traumatic than instilling in a child that they will burn in an eternal pit of torment forever. (This is not to imply that rape and war are not horrific).

The difficult part for a lot of people I have known coming out of religion is to let go of the belief in hell. I will even say that it was true for me as well. There were two things that really ended that fear for me. The first (which happened in my late teens) was while I was in a debate with a Christian I accepted the premise that the bible was 100% the word of god. As we started going through it I was truck by the realization that if the bible was dictated by god, not only was he a psycho path but he was a liar. He contradicts himself all over the place, he deceives, and plays rather cruel jokes on people. The second was when I read a book called Satan's Plea (I'll need to double check the name of the book). In which Satan lays out the fact that he was actually a good guy.

Between these two things what allowed me to let go of my fear of hell was the realization that "assuming god is true he's a psychopathic liar so why should I believe anything he says about hell?" and also "Knowing he's a liar who will twist the truth to his own ends, why should I believe he's all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere?". At the time I came to the realizations I was an atheist, and yet assuming he actually existed for the purpose of understanding actually allowed me to let go.
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09-07-2017, 06:43 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
(09-07-2017 03:48 AM)Leerob Wrote:  Welcome to TTA, slw0606!
Let us know if you need any help with the issues you are dealing with right now.
I think most of us know the self-hatred, you talk about, in one way or another; I do for sure.
If you want, tell me what country you are from, and I will make sure to add support lines and so on for that country on our document (see OP).

Cheers,
Rob

USA
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09-07-2017, 06:59 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
(09-07-2017 04:48 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  
(08-07-2017 10:03 PM)slw0606 Wrote:  I am a 60 year old gay man legally married to my partner of 18 years. I came out of the closet at 42. Before that I lived a straight religious married (to a woman) white picket fence life.

But I knew I was "different" from most boys since my youngest days and that I was attracted physically and emotionally to my own gender since I was at least 12.

Yet, I was raised in a conservative Baptist home and was, myself, a devout "born again" Christian.

I dealt with my gay attraction by keeping it a deep dark secret, but I developed a clinical deep self hatred.

After being married to my wife for 17 years, I met a wonderful gay man, who, like me was married with children, and we left our wives and moved in together.

My partner/husband has worked hard to help me deal with my deep self hatred by truly loving me unconditionally.

When I first came out, I became a public gay activist. I even led a public protest for marriage equality and was interviewed on local TV. I also became a liberal political activist.

Yet, 18 years later, I still have a deep abiding self hatred. Despite western society's softening of negative opinions of LGBT, the more strident anti-LGBT are coming out of the woodwork and being more blunt in their hatred of us. That affects me and reinforces my deep self hatred.

I am currently seeing a gay psychologist and trying to work through this self hatred.

But to compound the issue, I finally left Christianity 15 years ago and my agnosticism has evolved into atheism. Yet, faith in God gave me positive emotional reassurances, especially regarding death and loss.

Yes, it was a paradox. Religion both engendered self hatred and emotional comfort.

I am quite bright and always have been. Still I was able to compartmentalize God in one box (and the illogic of that belief) and the real world as it is.

But my journey into rationality has progressed so far, I cannot conceive me returning to believing in God (maybe on my death bed).

I know I need to keep trying to reinforce in my mind that I am mostly a good person with value and not consider my sexual orientation as a defect. In fact, my coming out has engendered in me a deeper appreciation and compassion for those traveling the LGBT road.

But is it very hard. I cannot totally shake that self hatred monster.
slw0606 my heart is with you. One of the most insidious things about religion is the PTSD associated with it. Often times the PTSD gets dismissed because how can you compare the trauma of a war vet or rape victim to religion? I disagree with that kind of thinking. What could be more traumatic than instilling in a child that they will burn in an eternal pit of torment forever. (This is not to imply that rape and war are not horrific).

The difficult part for a lot of people I have known coming out of religion is to let go of the belief in hell. I will even say that it was true for me as well. There were two things that really ended that fear for me. The first (which happened in my late teens) was while I was in a debate with a Christian I accepted the premise that the bible was 100% the word of god. As we started going through it I was truck by the realization that if the bible was dictated by god, not only was he a psycho path but he was a liar. He contradicts himself all over the place, he deceives, and plays rather cruel jokes on people. The second was when I read a book called Satan's Plea (I'll need to double check the name of the book). In which Satan lays out the fact that he was actually a good guy.

Between these two things what allowed me to let go of my fear of hell was the realization that "assuming god is true he's a psychopathic liar so why should I believe anything he says about hell?" and also "Knowing he's a liar who will twist the truth to his own ends, why should I believe he's all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere?". At the time I came to the realizations I was an atheist, and yet assuming he actually existed for the purpose of understanding actually allowed me to let go.

Yes, I have tried to use my mind and logic to break free from the emotional damage. But as you said, religious trauma can be like PTSD, especially if fundamentalist like mine.

Let me share an experience I had at my own father's funeral. I was the "host" of that funeral and invited my father's pastor (my former pastor) to give a homily. Near the end of his homily he read some passages from the Bible about sexual immorality!! He was clearly referring to me and he sounded nervous reading it, undoubtedly realizing it was daring for him to do so. I remained calm and gracious and gave my father's eulogy right after it. This was when I was 49!!

So yes, this is the mindset I was raised in.

When I was young, before Anita Bryant's public campaign against gay rights in the 1970s, my church never spoke openly about homosexuality. They spoke of every other "sin" but that one because, I suppose, it was such a horrible sin it could not even be discussed in "polite company".

Yet, in the 1980s, my church's original pastor's adopted son came out as gay and he was expelled from the church for refusing to give up his gay "lifestyle". Sadly, his son acquired AIDS, came back home after repenting of his homosexuality. His son spoke out against homosexuality at college campuses.

At his son's funeral (which many of his gay friends attended - I am surprised the church allowed it) I went to give the pastor a compassionate bear hug in front of his son's casket. The pastor froze up and stiffened. Probably because I had told him years earlier I had "gay thoughts". Sad.

So, the insane gay paranoia and bigotry in the church that "tolerates" so many other sins, is insidious and deeply poisons the minds of people like me who wanted to be accepted by the church and by God.

It has resulted in extreme self hatred coursing through my veins.
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09-07-2017, 08:55 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
@slw0606:
National helpline for lgbt people 1-888-843-4564
Chat support http://www.volunteerlogin.org/chat/index.html
website: http://www.glbthotline.org/
They state that they are secular.
So if you need any emergency support between therapy sessions or it is something we or your partner can't help you with, make sure to get in touch with them.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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09-07-2017, 09:11 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
slw0606 nothing but empathy for you. On the one hand I really envy this new generation. I realize it's not all sunshine and lollies for them, but in so many ways they have it a lot easier. I remember as a kid thinking that I was going to get aids and dye before I ever became an adult. You want to hear something beyond cracked. I remember being eight years old and aware of the fact that I liked other boys and being told that when two boys "did stuff" they got "the aids". Wait but that's not the beyond cracked part. I remember sitting in a sermon (in the adult services) in which the pastor referred to AIDS as (no shit) "The gay final solution from god".

Fundamentalism doesn't cause something like PTSD it causes PTSD. It's one of the things that is hard for people to recognize, not all trauma is physical or has a physical cause. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will hurt much longer.
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10-07-2017, 09:41 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
Hi slw0606,

I totally hear you on the self-hatred/self-loathing issue. So many of us have dealt with this and continue to do so. I've mostly been able to rid myself of this in terms of my being trans and bisexual.

As a growing teen and young adult, I dealt with my "sinful thoughts" by imaging them as parts of myself that I violently killed. I had vivid daydreams and would often be distracted in class by them (I had a very hard time paying attention in school and these kinds of thoughts did nothing to help). I feel lucky that I didn't turn out to be one of those violent homophobic bigots. I guess it was never truly in my nature because even in my most religiously fervent days I never hated LGBT people, and always had a soft spot for them (despite the understanding that God hated their sin). I had deeply repressed my thoughts and feelings so much that I didn't recognize them any longer. The self-hatred was there, though, bubbling under the surface. And I have a very strong guilt complex, now, and deal with guilt in an unhealthy way because of my religious past.

I used to try hard not to "sin", and feel supremely guilty when I did. So I got into pattern of "sinning" (lust, masturbation, porn, etc.) and then beating myself up in the resulting guilt. But the guilt eventually stopped being a deterrent for negative action. I still deal with that sort of guilt behavior today, though now I'm aware and I'm working on it because I want guilt to be a deterrent for bad behavior. But I've adjusted my thoughts on what constitutes bad behavior now (pretty much just things that have the potential harm people, especially loved ones).

I've mostly defeated my self-hate, but I'm not sure how. Probably a combination of things, like leaving religion behind and no longer feeling that I have to hide from myself and having a better understanding of morality. There's no reason to hate myself any longer. I'm generally a decent person, or at least trying to be. And I can't change being trans. I can't change my history. I can't change being bi (or pansexual, they mean the same to me). And I don't want to. I deeply like who I am for pretty much the first time ever in my life. And I hope that you can reach that point as well. But I think everyone has a different history to overcome and a different path to overcome it if they need to do so.
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23-08-2017, 09:50 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
Can we please not discuss the existence of Jesus in this thread?
This is for LGBT support.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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23-08-2017, 09:57 AM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
(23-08-2017 09:50 AM)Leerob Wrote:  Can we please not discuss the existence of Jesus in this thread?
This is for LGBT support.
Hopefully everything is back on track now.
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23-08-2017, 02:06 PM
RE: LGBT+ leaving religion & general support
Thread Split with link to new thread below

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ort--43697

Probably should have changed the title too...

Anyway...carry on...


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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