Sunday, June 18, 2017

Trading Sexuality Closets For Religious Closets: Is It Still Progress?

I am a Christian but sometimes its hard to tell people that. Its hard to talk to people about my faith in day to day matters. 

For me and anyone who is religious, whether that be Muslim or Christian, our faiths are integral parts of our daily lives. We eat, wake up and make decisions with our faiths in mind. Being able to vocalize that is important. So why don't I feel comfortable doing it?

To answer that I have to draw on personal experience and what I see in social culture. For example, its OK to thank God for a music award but not OK to say God loves you. Or it is to wear a cross medallion to work but not OK to vocalize its meaning. Also this equates to another experience I have had, being closeted.

Not admitting my sexuality openly was painful at times. When I did finally come out it was incredibly freeing. Now it feels as if I am now afraid to admit my religious preference, albeit for different reasons. 

Not wanting to engage in hostile debates over God is one thing, but being afraid of every Christians judgement is something else entirely. I do not even spark conversations about God anymore with those that aren't LGBT because they almost always turn into debates. At the very least the response I get when I finally I am Christian is most often "But aren't you gay? How's that work," usually its said with a frown or a condescending smirk. 

Are we trading one closet for another? Is it just as unhealthy and damaging? I can't answer that for everyone but my fight for religious freedom is just as prevalent as my fight for LGBT equality, in fact, I'd say they go hand in hand.

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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