How I Worked to Overcome Faith-Based Bigotry with Three Questions
I used to think that same-sex sexual activity was wrong no matter the context and that trans people should suppress their dysphoria to please God. Now, I’m a staunch supporter of LGBT rights, relationships, and people and a faithful Christian. But how did I get here? Well, it’s complicated — and it will more than likely be complicated for you as well.
Do you want to “love the sinner, hate the sin”?
I bought into this earlier, but, to me, it always seemed logically inconsistent with the teaching on adultery, which my school defined as sex outside of marriage between two heterosexual and cisgender persons. Some people, by extension, would argue that even attractions to the same sex are sinful with this logic. However, for me, it did the opposite. Seeing that I never received an original word explanation for homosexuality being a sin whereas I’ve received other explanations of original words and that the Bible doesn’t offer explicit condemnations for transgender people, I decided to look into some affirming sources such as Evangelicals Concerned. Since I found that the Bible’s original words and historical contexts don’t point to the existence of natural sexual orientation, I managed to get out of that quandary and onto the next step of changing the way I thought about LGBT and faith.
Do you automatically think “sex” when you think “LGBT”?
If you do, that’s probably due to the concept of a “homosexual/transgender lifestyle” that is often perpetuated in Christian circles. I subconsciously bought into this concept despite having interacted with LGBT people both online and in real life. Realizing this, I began to realize that my perceptions were fed by misinformation and the idea that LGBT people were alien to me when, in fact, I am one of them.
What does sex mean to you?
My hangups on homosexuality were partially due to how I thought about sex. I thought it was primarily (but not always) procreative and that I shouldn’t be the initiator, so I had hangups the concept of enjoying it. Not only that, in my young adolescent mind, descriptions of sex acts (both heterosexual and homosexual) sounded gross. However, I (mostly) overcame these hangups with age and maturity as well as fully accepting not only my sexual orientation but the fact that I am a sexual being and that is as much a part of me as my penchant for language or my odd sense of humor.
Overall, my faith-based bigotry was a vestige of discomfort with sex. It might be that way for others as well, but I’m sure other people have another “big three questions” that they asked themselves before drastically changing the way they thought.