Monday, June 22, 2009

Gay and...

Mouthy Annoying Christian? Really?

I was never one of those people who liked labels. They're stupid. I mean, useful for like, cans of soup and stuff, but, y'know, not so much for people because people don't fit into boxes (unless you bash them with a crowbar and make them fit and even then they tend to bulge out and leak and stuff). So I never ever meant to be one of those people who runs around on rooftops shouting out who I am. Even when I was a rabid fundamentalist who believed a bunch of stupid things (and a few true things, tossed in for good measure) I never liked running around and beating people with the bible. I want to have real conversations with real people, not slap labels on them or spew bumper sticker theology out of my mouth. But I always ended up in positions where I had to try and defend myself against accusations (because, y'know, Christians can be MEAN and I don't want people to think that of me...) so when I figured out I was gay, I resolved that I wouldn't run around telling people (and I was never going to buy t-shirts or bumper stickers or anything like that) because who cares? This doesn't define who I am, no one thing does, and I wasn't going to be all annoying about it (like those people who convert to some religion and then won't shut up about it). But again...I kept getting put into these situations where people had misconceptions about me, or they believed destructive things about themselves, or they hated themselves, and I always felt compelled to try and speak or write or take pictures or do whatever I could to continue the conversation and try to help people see things in a different way. I mean, some of the people in my small, backwoods town really hate themselves and think they're evil and think they're going to burn in hell forever. There's a counseling program run by one of the churches here that promises to heal you of homosexuality if you submit to God and follow their four week "Training in Righteousness" regimen. They call homosexuality an "evil soul tie" that can only be broken by the love of Christ.


In an environment like this, I can't just keep silent and not say anything. I mean that. Honestly, I've found some conversations to be more important than just words. Every second I can get people to stay with me and engage is another second they're choosing to live and not die (and I don't just mean physically...people who spend every second of their lives repressing themselves so they can fit into a church and beating themselves up for perceived failures are just as dead inside as any corpse...I know because I was one of them). I know this probably makes me sound like a drama queen, and I've accepted that a long time ago, but I can't help it. This is how I see things. Because of my position and the town in which I live, I end up talking about "gay" and "Christian" a lot more than I ever expected I would, and it makes me sound a lot more militant than I ever wanted to be, but if it helps people in small little towns like mine see that they're not evil and they're not alone, than that's more important than my ego. So I keep doing it.

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