Sorry, I really just need to get this out. I am a transgender man, and Catholic, and possibly gay. It’s so difficult to find like-minded people in the real world. Online support is well and good but it feels like it exists in a vacuum most of the time. Connecting with other Christians in the 20-30 age range who are INTO it is hard enough, but then add the LGBT factor and it’s nearly impossible.
I know this is juvenile to even think but it really feels like there’s no place for me. I’m not even looking for a partner right now and could see myself happy being single but more and more it seems like I don’t even have the option. Navigating the gay dating scene is hard enough when you’re transgender.
Anybody open minded enough to be with somebody like me probably won’t share my beliefs or values, and Christ is such an important part of my life that I can’t imagine being with somebody who tolerates my faith rather than shares it. But I’d be an ass to bring this up at my trans support group because so many people there have been hurt by religion in some way or another. It’s annoying because being LGBT—especially transgender—you’re automatically thrown into this ultra-liberal community that’s full of wonderful people but seems to have less room for moderates every day (please not that I do not mean more socially than politically, but the fact that I even have to clarify and walk on eggshells…). I don’t know. I’m just frustrated. Thank you for your time."
This isn’t juvenile at all. Everyone wants to find like-minded people to build relationships with, both platonic and romantic. And maybe you should bring this up at your support group. Bishop Gene Robinson said that when he visited HRC Headquarters, he asked the employees if they were adhered to a faith. Many hands went up. But the employees had never asked each other because it’s assumed that LGBT+ people are all atheists. That’s not true at all.
Yes, many LGBT+ people have been hurt in the name of religion. But this can be said about almost everyone who isn’t a straight, white cisgender male. But people have realized that it wasn’t the religion; it was hateful people hijacking the religion to justify their own prejudices. All major religions teach the same truths: to love one another, to treat each other with dignity and respect, and so on. And although LGBT+ people may be justified in their desire to lash out at people of faith because of our struggle, we must realize that it’s not the faith: it’s the people, and they’re not doing what their faith calls them to do.This is a dialogue that you should consider initiating.
Try to get out to as many events and outings for trans* people near you as you can. Also, consider searching for people who share your beliefs and interests through location-based sites and apps. Don’t be above it; many people deign to use these mediums to find friends or potential partners.
And anyone with suggestions for this person, please share! —Enrique