I know that not all of my friends are particularly fond of religious holidays and I understand the bias. After all, those of us who have grown up as gay men and women, transgendered or pretty much anything that qualifies as “outside of the norm” have felt the judgment and scorn that is so often served at the hands of someone who identifies as a Christian.
That said, I would ask those same friends who feel less than amicable toward those who celebrate a religious holiday to remember, “Not every Christian (or person following any other faith for that matter) is out to judge and condemn that which [they] see as different.”
We have supporters in the Christian community, just as we have in pretty much every faith that still exists today. Do they outnumber the haters or are their voices as loud? Perhaps not (I don’t know) but it certainly isn’t fair to those who ARE on our side to criticize or diss a holiday that is important to them just because of the more boastful, prideful, self-interested hypocrites who “identify” with their same brand of faith.
I identify as a Christian though I profess there are many things I’ve been taught as a young child that I really don’t believe any longer. To some, that makes me more of a heretic but honestly, I’m not out to impress or seek the approval and favor of my family or my peers who might believe differently than I. My spiritual walk with a higher power is very personal and to put it bluntly, my purpose in this lifetime is for myself to figure out (with the help of my own personal brand of faith and the God that I serve).
Many of my more conservative friends or family probably believe that is a very dangerous bet to hedge. After all, most of those I’ve grown up with have attended the same kinds of churches as me, where the Sunday sermon was all about fire and brimstone. So, to them it may well seem like a huge risk to take, to set aside some of the lessens I was taught as a young child. It may seem to some that my “walk in Faith” is something akin to a fool’s journey, compared to their own beliefs — but it’s my journey alone.
Enough about that though..
Today’s blog entry is my way of reaching out to those who feel hurt, betrayed, scorned and judged by all persons of faith. It is specifically directed at those who identify as gay or lesbian, who have been the focus of MUCH judgment by those professing to be Christians, who now feel angry enough that they’re willing to push back at that same group by dissing that group’s religious holidays (such as Easter).
I get it; I’m gay. I’ve been pissed off in the past and I’m certain I’ll [often] give in to that same anger again and again as those hiding behind religion seemingly attack me or the community of which I’m a part.
But I want to acknowledge the disservice we do ourselves to let THEIR ignorance and hypocrisy turn us into something we are not. We don’t have to give in to the anger and hurt, choosing to respond similarly and attacking “all” persons of faith. That isn’t a very good approach if you stop and think about it because not ALL those who believe are in fact judging us. If you look around you will likely find that many of your own long, trusted friends have ties to one religion or another. We would do well to remember in this day and age that it is more often than not simply an outspoken, ignorant small-percentage who temporarily gain the spotlight, who give others of the faith a black eye in the process. The outspoken among them judge all of us, stereotyping our community and attaching behaviors and values which might seem befitting for some gays and lesbians. We become angry because “we don’t believe those stereotypes apply to us personally” (and odds are many do not).
We would do well to remember this and apply that same analogy as we approach those of faith, such as Christians. “Not every ‘Christian’ is the same.”
And besides, the truth is that we only hurt ourselves if we give the “hypocrites” the power to influence our own attitudes toward an entire group of people. You’re better than that; I’m better than that. There is a better way (and please DO feel free to remind my own sorry self of this when I go totally bonkers and lose my sh#t in the future – because I will – you can trust in that). LOL
In closing and in the spirit of my own faith, I want to wish every person reading, be he or she gay, straight, bisexual, white, black, Mexican or Spanish, Muslim or what-have-you… a very Happy Easter. This holiday is of special significance to many religious faiths; it is significant to my own beliefs as well and in that spirit I simply want to wish each of you peace and harmony.