I was a sophomore in high school. I had very little friends, and those that I did have were either in theater productions that I participated in, or at my church group that I attended every Sunday evening. I just wanted to be accepted. I was tired of always feeling like a loser. At that time, being a geek or a nerd was not a good thing. In fact, it was thought of as a bad word.
We were having a discussion–I will admit now, I don’t know the basis of the group talk–and the subject of homosexuality came up. I was born heterosexual, but I was under the belief that God created man and woman equal, and that he loved everybody, no matter their color, their shape, their size, their sexual preference.
I stated that I believe that God loved homosexuals, actually everyone for that matter.
That’s when I found out what type of people my friends really were.
The group turned against me. They stated that God never intended for man to love man, or woman to love woman. They told me that my ideas were wrong, to the point that they were angry that I even thought that.
I went home hurt, confused, heart broken. I was told that God did not love everybody.
That was the last time I went to Youth Group. My mother felt that I should continue to go to church and perform in the choir and in the bell choir, but after we were done performing for the day, I would make my exit. I didn’t feel comfortable being around those people that were supposedly my friends, that were supposed to accept my thoughts and my feelings as much as the next person.
After high school, I quit going to church. In fact, I quit practicing religion. A few years passed, and my wife and I at the time started dating. She and I somehow came upon the subject of religion.
It was a heated conversation. She was telling me her belief in God, and I was defending mine. At this point in my life, I stopped believing in what I was raised on and believed that there was a higher power, but not necessarily the one that I was raised on. We finally agreed on that. The conversation never came up again.
I stopped believing in organized religion, and have read numerous books and articles of different faiths and mythologies and theologies. Everyone has a different outlook on creation, on life, on love, and various other things.
One thing I find interesting is how different faiths are becoming more welcome of the fact that homosexuality is accepted by God, because God loves us all, no matter who we are.
I teach my daughter that it is okay to be who she is, and to believe whatever she wants to believe. She has a bible, as do I, and I’m sure one day she will read some of it and come to an idea of what she wants to take away from it.