Throughout my life, I have found it difficult to understand how queer people have found ways to reconcile Christianity with their identity. This is something that I struggled with for years because of my upbringing.
Growing up, I attended a very religious and private school in the suburbs, and we were constantly taught about the dangers of the world and the things that we needed to beware of. It was because of these lessons I was taught throughout my life that I did not know that it was possible for me to be anything but straight. Once I gave myself the space to learn about the queer community, the oblivion that I once had become bitterness because I had spent years of my life being unaware.
While I still find it confusing how people can find ways to be queer and Christian, addressing these concepts has helped me to understand them better. When people look at Christianity through the lens of God being loving and accepting, it helps with understanding how people can be queer at the same time.
It is also important to note that not all Christians represent their religion. That has been difficult for me during the past few years, especially during the Trump presidency. The country became so hateful through homophobia and transphobia, and I didn’t know how to deal with that given my childhood experiences. Seeing those mindsets in the world every single day only reinforced the idea I had in my mind of what Christians look like. However, it is not fair or realistic to judge everybody by the same standards. Different people interpret religion in different ways. This also has to do with different time periods. Someone that grew up in the 1950s is likely to have a very different idea of what is included in Christian values than somebody who is growing up today.
Queer identities and experiences are becoming more commonly portrayed in society, and more children are growing up today having been exposed to the idea of being queer. This is going to help so many kids with understanding their identity and being able to accept the people in their lives regardless of how they identify. I hope that in another 10 or 20 years, current values and perspectives will seem outdated because the world has changed so much and become much more accepting of queer people.
It is so important to know that the world today is so much better for queer people than it was decades ago. In the midst of so many social movements in today’s world, a phrase that I keep hearing repetitively is that the arc of justice is long. This phrase applies here as well. There is still a lot of progress to be made and the world is far from being perfect, but people cannot deny that society is slowly progressing. Christianity and sexuality have begun to find a way to coexist with each other, and that is a truly remarkable feat to have been achieved.
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