Hi, my name is Joanna. I’m a straight pro-gay Christian. Unfortunately I haven’t always been, and whether this is interesting or not, I thought I might like to share with you my journey from being practically homophobic to a firm believer in gay marriage.
Like many others I was raised in a Methodist church, and although my church has and is quite liberal (sadly not when it comes to same sex marriage), my relatives have all been raised in a conservative evangelical or anglican tradition, and I’ve attended their churches and I still do attend the youth group my evangelical relatives hold ever fortnight. I’m sixteen going on seventeen (like in the song) and my parents never told me about homosexuality. Maybe that was the most fatal mistake really. As a consequence, the first time I heard about it was in the playground in Primary school. Probably one of the worst places for a child to learn anything as controversial as homosexuality for the first time. I remember that people were calling loads of girls lesbians as an insult as as a derogative term. I asked them what a lesbian was as when they replied that it was a woman who has sex with another woman, naturally I thought the worst of it. They also said that a man who has sex with another man is called “gay”. When I got the Sims game for Christmas that year, I can remember that I created “normal” straight couples who were happily married and what not, and then I created a “wierd” lesbian couple and a “wierd” gay couple who lived in gaudy houses and walked around in odd clothing, and acted really bizarrely. I’m ashamed when I think back now to how I portrayed them in the game. Looking back I think I was far more judgemental as a child than I am as a young person. I hadn’t met any LGBTQ+ person then, and having heard all I knew about it in the playground, I tell myself it was understandable, but I’m still ashamed.
After that phase of homophobic gaming, the issue of homosexuality never really got much of my attention for another four years. I got given the odd bible with study notes that would say it was “an enormous sin” and an “abomination”, but we should still love gay people and pray for them because God loves them too. So I lived quite happily with this viewpoint.
That all changed when I was fifteen, and one of the modules in my GCSE Religious Studies course was dealing with issues of life. Issues like abortion, fertility treatment and Stem cell research. In one lesson when we were studying fertility treatment, the teacher explained the example of Elton John and David Furnish and their little baby Zac. I can remember thinking, “well, the fact that they’re gay doesn’t affect their ability to be good parents.” My mother agreed with me later that day, but we both still acknowledged that it was wrong to be gay and that she hoped that her gay christian friends would change it all around.
I started talking with one of my gay friends, and he explained to me that it didn’t feel like he made a choice to be gay, he felt like he was naturally gay. I still couldn’t make sense of how this could be true and fit in with God’s word, but I listened to him, and he put very good points across.
Throughout that next year I can remember asking myself many times a day, “surely it’s not natural?”, “does that mean that it’s wrong though?”, “but if God says it’s wrong then it’s wrong”, “yes, but God doesn’t say something is wrong without a good reason”, “that reason is that it’s wrong and dangerous”, “but if they love each other then how can that be wrong or dangerous?”, “but they don’t love each other, it’s lust or attraction or a crush” etc…I just went on and on all the time like this asking myelf these questions. It felt like my heart was telling me that the arguments against homosexuality didn’t stand up, but my mind was telling me that they did and that the church and the bible couldn’t be wrong about this. Looking back now, I think it was God’s spirit in my heart all that time.
When I realised I was having this internal conflict, I admitted to myself that I didn’t see anything wrong with homosexuality, but once I read Leviticus again, but doubst came back and I went back to where I was before. Anti gay, but not homophobic.
It was only when I came across this article on Gaychristian.net by accident when I was searching for arguments for the existence of God (for my religious studies class) that my internal conflict resolved itself. All my doubts and questions were answered and I finally accepted and firmly believed that there was nothing wrong with being LGBTQ+ or an LGBTQ+ Chrstian. God made us who we are and if we truly are gay or lesbian or bi or whatever you are, then God can’t have any problem with that. The article made me understand that just as a man and woman can share a beautiful love, so can a man and a man, and a woman and a woman. It showed me that the bible only seems to disagree with homosexuality if you completely ignore the context in which it is written, and listen instead to what you’ve been taught in church or what you understand the church to be against. We are judged by what we do, not who we are, I will carry on supporting this cause and believing what I now believe until the day I die.
I still attend my evangelical relative’s youth group that says gay sex is wrong. I still go to my church where the minister and many others are against gay marriage. I haven’t fallen out with my anti-gay parents (well, not on that issue). This is probably because I haven’t admitted to them that I support gay marriage, and I hope that I will some day. I understand why they feel that it is wrong; I’ve been in their position as well and I’ve been there fairly recently. I know a lot of them would be accepting if they could find some reasonable arguments as to why those verses aren’t against homosexuality. I know many of them just simply haven’t questioned what they’ve been taught to believe, and so I don’t blame them. It’s easy to believe something you’ve been taught your whole life and then to stand against something which seems to go against what you’ve been taught and what you believe. It’s easy to become very defensive about the issue. I can’t blame them for not having gone through the same internal conflict. I don’t have the courage to “come out” in support now, and that just gives me even more admiration for all those gay christians out there who have to admit to everyone that they themselves are what their family and friends are against. Since admitting to myself that I am pro gay, I have asked myself if I truly am straight, as I have always thought of myself. In the end I came to the conclusion that I am straight, and I thank God that I am. Not because I don’t agree with being anything else, but simply because I don’t think I have the courage and strength in me to cope with the consequences of being a gay christian. Maybe I am strong enough? Maybe God would’ve given me the strength. I ask any gay christian out there to pray for the strength to keep fighting against injustice and inequality and prejudice, whether you feel like you feel you need the strength or not.
I pray to God to ask for the strength to show support for this cause, and I hope that one day I will be able to show more support than just signing online petitions from the privacy of my laptop. There are few things in this world that would make me happier than seeing the church (and the whole world for that matter) accept and agree with homosexuality and LGBTQ+ people.
I hope that this has been even remotely interesting. I felt like I should tell my story as I understand that it can be quite easy to not understand where the people on the opposing side of the debate are coming from. If I have offended anyone in anything that I’ve said here then I’m truly sorry. Believe me, no offense was intended at all.
Thank you for reading, and may God bless you.