This is a long one today. I posted this on a blog just recently, and I’m going to repost it here:
I’m a pansexual man. Gender plays little, if any, part in who I find attractive. When my heart flutters in my chest, it is because I have encountered someone with high levels of intelligence, compassion, humor, and kindness. Their gender doesn’t matter one whit to me. Some here seem to believe these feelings, and my desire to approach that person with the intent of getting to know them better, maybe create a relationship with them, is equivalent to a crime. That doesn’t make any sense to me.
I am an agnostic now, but at one time I was a devout fundamentalist Christian minister. Even then, while I openly decried being gay as something wrong, I never really thought about it. It was a rote reaction, based on the teachings I had been given. It was wrong because it was wrong, and God was against it. I didn’t question it, because you didn’t question God’s edicts. You just accepted them, and the belief that God’s reasons were his own, and mysterious.When I was in 7th grade, I found myself attracted to the boy sitting across from me in class. I was shocked, and a bit scared that I had those feelings, because I had been taught that only possessed people liked someone of the same sex. I truly thought I was possessed. That will do some damage to a child.
My feelings were completely innocent, and very natural, but I didn’t know that, because I had been told otherwise.As I got older, and passed my teenage years, I began to examine, scrutinize, and question what I thought I knew, and what I was willing to believe. I became a minister, in order to pursue that faithfulness, and that holiness I so desired. I wanted to be close to God, I wanted to do His work, and I wanted people to see how truly wonderful and loving a God He could be. I loved the Bible, I loved Jesus, and I wanted to share that with everyone.
As I got deeper in the faith, a few things changed. I had begun to learn that I wasn’t loving people like I was supposed to. By that I mean my peers were telling me that I couldn’t sit at the same table as that gay guy, or those kids who believed in witchcraft. I explained that Jesus did it, so could I, to which I received rebuke, because Jesus was sinless. I replied that Jesus told us to go out into the world, and that had to mean more than just the “safe” places, but everywhere, to reach every heart, and every mind. To love others without demanding they conform to our laws. All through the Bible were examples of Jesus helping everyone, regardless of whether or not they believed.
It wasn’t a requirement, because love doesn’t place that kind of requirement on others.It’s not love if you tell someone they’re wrong, based on their biology. That condemns them without their ever having a chance to be redeemed. It’s cruel, and an evil thing. Do you tell a black man, “you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven until you stop acting black.” How foolish and ignorant a statement that would be! Homosexuality is biological in nature. It exists in nature outside of humanity. When you say someone can be gay, but can’t partake in gay behavior, you do two things:
Firstly, you condemn them without knowing them. You have judged them without knowing their heart, and the onus of that judgment falls back on you. “Gay behavior” is a silly concept, just as is “black behavior.” It’s stereotyping with ignorance, as to allow the passing of judgment without having to learn about someone.
Secondly, how cruel to condemn a normal human being to loneliness because of your own discomfort. That’s not love, it’s cruelty. It’s not virtue, it’s vice. It’s the vice of vanity, because you substitute your own personal ego in place of God’s love. Those who say they have to be cruel to be kind, are more interested in the former, rather than the latter. It’s not about love, it’s about being right.It’s as bad as the people who associate homosexuality with bestiality or pedophilia. It is a nasty comparison, one tinged with hate and ignorance, because there’s no reason to make those connections unless one is bathed in fear and ignorance. There is no connection between being gay and being either into bestiality, or pedophilia, yet the comparisons and the stereotypes persist.
People shouldn’t feel guilty about loving someone of the same sex, or the opposite sex, or both sexes. Neither should people feel ashamed for feeling no sexual attraction to anyone, or shame for being attracted to everyone. Human sexuality is amazingly complex, and goes beyond “straight is natural,” because it isn’t the only natural sexual orientation. Someday soon, I hope that kind of black and white thinking gets tossed by the wayside, and people can feel free to love one another without having to feel shame, or experience bigotry as a result of that. We’re all human beings, and we’re all searching in our own way. Railing against those who haven’t harmed you is fruitless, and worse, it creates problems that shouldn’t exist.
I won’t go into what the whole thread was about, because it was just a mess, a back and forth of ignorance and arrogance, hatefulness and condemnation. I don’t want to focus on that here. What I want to focus on is you, the readers of my blog, my stories, anything I’ve written, really, or anyone who passes by and catches a few words here and there. If you’re reading this, and you feel isolated, distrusted, unliked, unwanted, feared, or despised just because of your sexual orientation, just know that you are loved, and you are not alone. Your sexual orientation is a part of who you are, but it doesn’t define you. It is only one part of a much greater whole.
You shouldn’t be ashamed because of who you love. Being in love is one of the greatest experiences in the world! If you haven’t found your love yet, don’t fret, just keep looking, and be happy with yourself. What you shouldn’t do is try to change something that is not changeable. If you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, asexual, pansexual, or any combination of sexuality, don’t be ashamed, be proud that you have discovered this about yourself! So many people go through their lives too afraid, and too uncertain, to trust their feelings. Your sexuality isn’t an abomination, it isn’t a sin, it isn’t a flaw. It is your sexuality. You should embrace it, and seek out those whom you can connect with, who can relate to you, and who can make you happy.
I realize it sounds easier than it is, and that rarely do things go so smoothly as discovering yourself and acting upon that discovery. It took many years for me to realize who I was, and who I liked. Once I did, so many doors began to open up, and instead of fearing them, I walked through them. If you are afraid, I understand, but all I ask is that you take the time to explore those feelings. Find a friend to share with, who can help you grow. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, you can talk to me. I’m no love expert, but I’m pretty good at answering basic questions. I’ve got a shoulder you can cry on, just drop me a line if you need to.
Most importantly, I don’t want you to think you’re worthless. You are a thinking, feeling, human being, and you deserve to be loved. No matter how dark things appear to be, there is light. Even when the clouds are gray, and blocking out the Sun, remember that there is still a Sun shining on the other side of those clouds, and that you will make it through the rain to see the Sun again. You are loved. It is my firm belief that throughout this world are people just waiting to love you, if only they got the chance to know you. Make sure you give them that chance, and give them the chance to be loved in return.
All of my love,