On Religiosity on Being Gay
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06-05-2014, 01:36 PM
Question On Religiosity on Being Gay
I have heard it described that coming out as an atheist is harder than coming out as a homosexual, and I tend to agree, if one is living in a heavily religious society.

But a problem not many face or even talk about is the thought process that happen when you are both religious and gay.

My experience with religion and being gay was a rather hard and trying one, some of which I'll be sharing. This is the Quote that inspired this: "Start writing against what you have seen and gone through. Weaponise your experience and pay your penance through the tip of a pen." ~FreeThought

So lets start at the beginning. We all start off nonsexual, knowing that there are differences between boys and girls. And then one day something changes you start noticing different things about others. The way they walk, hold their body, or gesture. A line of the face or curve in the body.

Unlike others boys in my age group I was a late bloomer so to speak, only really around 12ish did I really sit up and notice.

I remember the first day of highschool, and my sudden fascination with the older boys, the way their bodies looked, the way their faces were all angles and lines, broad shoulders and long legs. And that was where the trouble started.

I had been taught the bible as the LAW, and we all know what that particular book said about people like me. The Fundie staying with us did not help either. His constant rants about demons and spirits did little to assuage my feverish imagination.

So I prayed to god to take away those thoughts. Prayed so hard and then..something happened that I don't really share. That added to the problems, but I digress.

I had also been prayed for to release the Demon Of Homosexuality that had taken up residence in me. All that did was compound my self-loathing.

All my life I heard about how bad being gay was, I kept praying but that did nothing. I had an encounter with the pastors son, the details of which I will not go into. After that I prayed harder and still nothing.

So I started to lie to myself that I was straight, and when you lie to yourself hard enough for long enough you start believing your own bullshit. Wear the mask long enough and the person behind it fades away.

The pain caused by this led in part to my de-conversion. I have mentioned other parts in other threads, a remnant from my years of compartmentalizing my own personality is that I present myself in pieces at a time.

I'll continue this at a later time if there is interest, and I'd also like to hear your thoughts on it.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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06-05-2014, 01:54 PM
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
Can't go into a lengthy reply at this very moment, but just wanted to give hugs. Hug

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06-05-2014, 02:06 PM
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
This is why religion is a heap of manure. Fuck that shit.

Well, it's not all religion. It's society being a fuck up too. And people perpetuating the fuck up. We don't *have* to be a bunch of assholes, we *can* choose to do better. What baffles me is that a lot of people actively choose to be dicks to each other. I mean, I'm a dick quite often but most of the time it's accidental, unless I decide for whatever reason that I dislike someone.

What I'm glad about is that you seem to have found a way out. But being a gay guy in SA must be a pretty tough call, 'specially growing up around churchy types. I've met and hung out with a few gay guys here and without exception they've been super awesome people.

The "Demon of Homosexuality"... Rolleyes

I've got a notebook that I kept when I was about 12-13 filled with hopeless prayers along the lines of "Dear God, I feel like shit, please help me stop masturbating, I know it's wrong"... blah blah blah. Back then it caused me serious angst. Now I keep it for shits and giggles, to remind me of the stupid shit I used to take so seriously.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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06-05-2014, 02:20 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2014 02:24 PM by nach_in.)
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
I kind of know what you're saying, I wasn't a late bloomer, on the contrary, I remember being attracted to boys since I was around 8 or 9 and I lost my virginity really early (with a straight guy).
But the feelings of guilt and repression came afterwards, when I realized it was a sin. I don't know why, but I never saw sexuality as something bad, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around the concept of sex being something bad. It felt so obviously natural and good that it couldn't possibly be bad to have those feelings, but there they were the priests, saying that people like me would go to hell and shit, so I believed them.
I had one year of bliss when I found out about the word "gay" it was awesome, I don't know where I heard it first, but I remember searching it on the dictionary and seeing a word that equated what I felt with being happy made me feel less lonely, as if someone somewhere shined a light through all that judgement and shame. It didn't last long, the dark feelings have that ability to cling to you and pull you down. The prayers, the bargaining with god to change me, the guilt, none of those worked.
I was 15 at the time, altar boy, straight A student, everyone's favourite, the perfect boy with the perfect life and I was fantasizing with killing myself every night. Having my mom saying that she's rather see me dead than a "fag" wasn't helpful, specially when I had to keep a straight face and lie to her while feeling shattered inside.
I didn't met a gay guy until I was 17, long story short, after I made a few friends I came out to my dad and things have been awkwardly getting better, with ups and downs of course.

I had it relatively easy, I was never abused and didn't suffer physical violence until I was old enough to defend myself, some stories of gay people are unspeakable and I wouldn't dare to compare myself to those, but I get the loneliness, and then the loneliness...

I get what you say about compartmentalizing your personality, I still can't socialize well with others, specially after I tell them I'm gay, not that I feel shame, but I can't stop feeling vulnerable and judged, and it makes it awkward for me. I have trust issues and I can't say I ever had a close friend. That's one of the main reasons I hate religion, I feel it crippled me socially and it's just unfair.
Luckily I've reached a point in which I don't give a fuck anymore, all my fucks have gone away and I now can only care about me and what makes me happy and a better person, it's harder but it's better than living to prove myself to others.

Hug

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06-05-2014, 02:40 PM
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
Thank you for the replies. The urge to type to weaponize my experiences and use it to tear down the walls of ignorance seems to not want to let me go.

Thank you for the support guys, I really mean it.

Yes its hard in South-Africa. I live within 2 Km's of 5 churches. Christianity is so embedded into the Afrikaaner culture that separating from it on any level is hard. Even dangerous.

Often you are derided, verbally attacked, and even physically attacked. The religiosity of my culture is such that your standing in church affects your social standing. You are assumed by default to be a good Reformed Protestant. Not the friendliest of societies in which to be a out gay man.

Its harder being in denial about it though. You are surround by people being casually homophobic, every jab, every joke seems to be directed at you. And then you go and pray for the bad thoughts to go away.

Had religion not been in the picture, if it was not for the Fucked Up abrahamic religions I would have been free to be myself. Others would have been free to be themselves. This is why I am anti-theistic. Religion poison's everything.

Religion drove me to walk into the Indian Ocean and stop swimming. Not me liking men.
Religion compounding my own self loathing IT forced on me for being what I am. I am beautiful, an expression of the poetry of the natural world.

Some say that I should not go on about being gay, I should keep my sexuality private. FUCK THAT!

Religion taught me it was bad. It is not.
Religion taught me I was broken. I am not.
Religion taught me I was dirt. I am a child of a Star, forged in fires that make their hell look like a fart on fire.
Religion taught me that to fit in, I must change. No, the world must accept that I am me, a unique expression of the symphony of chemistry and physics.

So religion can go fuck a duck.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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06-05-2014, 02:52 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2014 02:59 PM by Anjele.)
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
A little off topic but...

I suppose I have never understood why people have a problem with homosexuality, but then I didn't have religion force fed to me like some did.

When I was a junior in high school we lived in a small town in the middle of farm country in Iowa...certainly not a cosmopolitan place. I dated a guy that year that was from a nearby town. He was the youngest of six, one sister and a bunch of brothers. My boyfriend and his buddies would hang out and party on weekends at one of the older brother's houses. This brother was single and would be out of town most weekends. During one such weekend my boyfriend discovered a secret about his brother. He found gay porn movies and magazines...that was when he realized that his brother was gay and was leaving town to go to nearby cities on the weekends where there were areas where the gays were more able to be open.

My boyfriend was freaked out about it. I was like, meh, it's just Paul. I don't care what he does or who he does it with. I just never understood why it was even an issue...still don't.

About five years later the now ex-boyfriend asked me to go with him to Chicago to help him find an apartment. He had just graduated from college and was going right to work. His brother Paul had been living in Chicago for a few years so he and I were tasked with finding a place. Along the way I had the most fabulous tour of gay Chicago...Bug House Square, gay bars, meeting Paul's friends, getting hit on by an absolutely lovely black, transsexual. It was great...a slice of life I had never seen before. My friend was still freaked out by the whole thing and couldn't believe that I was so relaxed about it.

It just has never mattered to me. And I don't understand why it matters to others. And I hate what so many gay people have to go through just to live their lives.

I simply don't care what a person's sexuality is, what their skin color is, what their economic standing is...none of that matters to me. What matters to me is if a person is a good person or not.

It hurts my heart that there is so much prejudice and hate in this world.

Heart and wishes for happiness.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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06-05-2014, 03:00 PM
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
I'm glad you (and nach_in) feel at least somewhat comfortable sharing your stories here. I have never understood why some people can be so hateful. In college, I knew quite a few people who were gay and some of them were among my closer friends. One in particular used to talk about other gay students that we knew in a sort of shocked manner (not insulting, just shocked) and I only understood his behavior some 15 or so years later when he came out as being gay himself. I also worked with a gay coworker in a job I had shortly out of college. The ones in college were a big part of how I started questioning my faith because the cognitive dissonance was huge that any god could condemn these awesome people over sexual orientation. It made no sense. By the time I met the one on the job I had, I had already abandoned my faith.

Anyway, I mainly wanted to say that I think it's important for you to share these stories wherever you feel comfortable doing so. It's too easy for people to demonize gays when they have no personal interaction with them. That aspect of it is similar to the issue that atheists in general have. When people know nothing about you and they think the worst, they need to be able to see things that prove them wrong. So, if a few on the fence people come here and read your stories, it just might help to change a couple of people's attitudes. And then they may pass that on to a few friends. Every little bit counts.

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06-05-2014, 03:49 PM
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
(06-05-2014 03:00 PM)Impulse Wrote:  I'm glad you (and nach_in) feel at least somewhat comfortable sharing your stories here. I have never understood why some people can be so hateful. In college, I knew quite a few people who were gay and some of them were among my closer friends. One in particular used to talk about other gay students that we knew in a sort of shocked manner (not insulting, just shocked) and I only understood his behavior some 15 or so years later when he came out as being gay himself. I also worked with a gay coworker in a job I had shortly out of college. The ones in college were a big part of how I started questioning my faith because the cognitive dissonance was huge that any god could condemn these awesome people over sexual orientation. It made no sense. By the time I met the one on the job I had, I had already abandoned my faith.

Anyway, I mainly wanted to say that I think it's important for you to share these stories wherever you feel comfortable doing so. It's too easy for people to demonize gays when they have no personal interaction with them. That aspect of it is similar to the issue that atheists in general have. When people know nothing about you and they think the worst, they need to be able to see things that prove them wrong. So, if a few on the fence people come here and read your stories, it just might help to change a couple of people's attitudes. And then they may pass that on to a few friends. Every little bit counts.

This is why, this exactly. The lack of information often driving in hand in hand with the religious indoctrination is what causes the pain. If you are never told about something you make things up to explain it. So I will mount my steed of words, take up my pen and slay the dragons of ignorance. For when one denies knowledge, you deny growth.

Often times the greatest fear is that of what is not understood. It does not fit, thus it is wrong. Religion says it must be a certain way and when it is not is by default wrong.

A quote I heard but can't remember where went something like this. "No one is born hating another, hate has to be taught".

Religions more often teach hate than love. Being told that someone "hates the sin not the sinner" is a verbal slap in the face, and a backhanded way of delivering homophobia. You cannot separate the sexuality form the sexual being.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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06-05-2014, 04:16 PM
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
I agree 100%. And where knowledge is lacking, we don't want religion being the ones to fill in the blanks. No

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06-05-2014, 07:07 PM
RE: On Religiosity on Being Gay
(06-05-2014 02:06 PM)morondog Wrote:  This is why religion is a heap of manure. Fuck that shit.

Well, it's not all religion. It's society being a fuck up too. And people perpetuating the fuck up. We don't *have* to be a bunch of assholes, we *can* choose to do better. What baffles me is that a lot of people actively choose to be dicks to each other. I mean, I'm a dick quite often but most of the time it's accidental, unless I decide for whatever reason that I dislike someone.

What I'm glad about is that you seem to have found a way out. But being a gay guy in SA must be a pretty tough call, 'specially growing up around churchy types. I've met and hung out with a few gay guys here and without exception they've been super awesome people.

The "Demon of Homosexuality"... Rolleyes

I've got a notebook that I kept when I was about 12-13 filled with hopeless prayers along the lines of "Dear God, I feel like shit, please help me stop masturbating, I know it's wrong"... blah blah blah. Back then it caused me serious angst. Now I keep it for shits and giggles, to remind me of the stupid shit I used to take so seriously.

"I've got a notebook that I kept when I was about 12-13 filled with hopeless prayers along the lines of "Dear God, I feel like shit, please help me stop masturbating, I know it's wrong"... blah blah blah."

How do you get the pages open?Big Grin
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