Lilymm

QWOC Vs. Family & God

So I'm staring this because in a black family, religion is a huge staple. I haven't explored much so I'm not quite sure if this topic has been discussed already although I'm sure it has. What I'm offering to discuss the taboo of not being a Christian in a black family. (Or any other religion that your household abides by). On top of that, being gay, queer, lesbian, bi, etc. When I was younger I was forced to learn that you don't questions God, the Bible, religion(s), or their practices. I was a hardheaded kid though and I question absolutely everything. I don't consider myself a religious person and I used to hide it but not anymore. It's almost seen as taboo if I say "oh no, I don't go to church." Or "oh no, I'm not religious." Now just mix that with being in an African American family, on top of the fact that I'm a lesbian. I'm damn near seen as the devils spawn. What do y'all think? Have you had any similar experiences? 

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Yes I have, Oddly enough I was baptized Mennonite ,so my mother, who was not could dump us in the chuch across the street 4 to 5 X a week, all day Sunday and free summer camp for years. When I turned 12 my older siblings became self righteous Muslims. Over time I just don,t talk to them anymore, so that I protect my spirit from their various "isms" and slander. Sort of anti spiritual ,I think. My spirituality is my responsibility and I believe it is connecting to all humanity. That which we share, not that which divides us. There is no place for Hate in Faith. God. She loves all of her creation.

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Paulette39 said:

Yes I have, Oddly enough I was baptized Mennonite ,so my mother, who was not could dump us in the chuch across the street 4 to 5 X a week, all day Sunday and free summer camp for years. When I turned 12 my older siblings became self righteous Muslims. Over time I just don,t talk to them anymore, so that I protect my spirit from their various "isms" and slander. Sort of anti spiritual ,I think. My spirituality is my responsibility and I believe it is connecting to all humanity. That which we share, not that which divides us. There is no place for Hate in Faith. God. She loves all of her creation.

I like that sentence, Pauline.  ‘There’s no space for hate in faith’

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Personally, I've always had a mind of my own growing up, and was raised in a house where questioning things is expected, rather than discouraged, so much of my experience with religion has been personal. While I've never actually heard anyone in the churches I've gone to speak ill of certain kinds of folks, I was aware anti-lgbt stances were common among some Christians. I just personally never experienced that and a lot of my stress around being queer and Christians has stemmed from school interactions, not so much at home. Any time my parents say something that sounds not right I just ignore them and brush it off as ignorance, especially since they've changed over the years and have had to unlearn things from their own upbringing. (in saying that I've never "come out" to my parents, but that's because of other issues than homophobia. Sometimes having a tight-knit family is more headache than worth if you're as introverted and private as me)

I will say, being queer does make it difficult to find a church home. I haven't found a good church I really felt comfortable in since...geez...maybe 14 years ago? Especially being here in the US, I know they exist, but folks who live in rural areas/small towns don't have a lot of options. At least not in my experience. I understand why a lot of LGBT folks become "spiritual" rather than connected to any set religion or belief system. At least for Christianity, the church is a big part of it, and you know, where you can find other elders and teachers. Being a Christian without a church is like being a student without a school. Some people do well with self-teaching, personally I'm not really one of those people so it's been hard. Also the church is the community. Being disconnected from a church is like being disconnected from the Christian community. It never feels good to be disconnected from a community you should be a part of.

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When I finally (at age 39) understood who I was, my parents (the hypo-Christians) decided I was trying to hurt them on purpose. How it got to be about them, I do not know. All I knew was that somebody had lied to me. All the time, they said homosexuality was wrong and that gay people were going to hell. I taught my children the same thing. Then I fell in love with a woman at work. Then Matthew Shepard died at a hospital in the town where I graduated college. I talked to my kids about Matt Shepard as I tried to make them understand that Mommy doesn't know everything. What I told myself was that God was mad at me. That I'd never get to heaven. That God should just take me because I couldn't help who I was. 

But God kept blessing me. Even when I told God that I was in love with a woman, God kept blessing me. I said, "I'm not gay, I just love her." Then she kissed me and I said, "OK, I'm gay." But God still kept blessing me. That's when I knew somebody had lied to me.  My entire life. And I was PISSED.

My parents are now elderly and my children are grown. I no longer believe the way my parents taught me to believe; that we follow a certain set of rules, or we all go to hell. That those who don't believe the way we do will all go to hell. I still believe; but not the same way. I know there is a higher power but I do not call it by the same name any more. It is now known as Universe, and in my beliefs it is a part of all of us; or rather, we are all a part of it. My parents and I do not discuss beliefs any more; I know where they are coming from and I choose not to engage them. But I feel more myself with my universal thinking. And I have no regrets.

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