Trigger Warning: suicide, homophobia, sexuality discrimination in religion
[Image Description: A backdrop of a sun-dappled forest, with green leaves criss-crossing over small glimpses of a blue sky. In front, several rainbow banners hang, at varying distances from the camera. They are not solid pieces of fabric, but look neatly tattered, as if someone tied many different-colored strands to the same oblong hanger. They cascade in long, beautiful colors out of the frame.]
Sexuality has always been a weird thing to me.
Growing up in a conservative Christian community, I quickly learned that talking about anything sexual was off-limits. Not only off-limits, but bad. Not only bad, but sinful. As a kid, that word used to scare the shit out of me. I feared anything described as a sin, anything that threatened to send me to hell.
Mixed up in all of this was, of course, the issue of sexuality. In my case, I was lucky, because I’m attracted to men and I enjoy relationships with men. I never felt a sense that something was off or missing when I was with guys. Simply put, I identify overall as straight.
That meant I never had to sit through a church service that told me God forbid me from having a relationship with another person, no matter how deeply I longed for it. Or that my feelings of romantic love and attraction toward men were wrong, sinful, perverse – that I was an abomination in the eyes of God. As a straight person, nobody in church said that God would send me to hell due to the feelings I was born having.