Recently, some commenters have shared their opinions of their perspectives of gay people on this blog. They happened to be Christian as well. In this article, I try to understand their perspectives.
First off, my belief is that all religions are the same and want to achieve the same thing – goodness. I respect the essence of all religions and believe in their goal to help people. This article isn’t a discussion about religion, but a trying to understand what the motivations behind the people who want gay people to ‘change’ might be.
Why Do People Want Gay People to ‘Turn Straight’
It always perplexes me why some people want me to change – to be straight. Do they want to because they truly believe that if I ‘turn straight’, that I will be saved and I will go to heaven? I mean, really, do they care so much about me that they want to see me in heaven with them? Do these people even know me? And if they do care that much about me, why do they get so angry when I tell them that I cannot ‘turn straight’? Why do they start hurling abuses or names at me? I thought you cared? If you do, why do you not care how I feel when you call me names?
Thus I don’t really think they care about me. It has to be something else. I’ve known people who care genuinely for me, and they do call me names. They do not judge me. They accept me for who I am. So I know when someone cares. If you are someone who has been trying to ‘turn gay people straight’, perhaps you can ask yourself – do you really care for gay people to ‘turn straight’, because you care about them, or is it something else? I mean, you are just reading this article. No one will know what you think, except God, of course. And you can be honest to Him.
The Bible and Sin: Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?
The reason that some people give when they describe being gay, or when two men have sex, as being ‘wrong’ is that it is a “sin”. On the other side, there’s the argument that many have tried to explain – if you choose to consider some acts in the Bible as sins, and some not – whatever might suit your practices, then isn’t that biased? The argument goes then that if you can consider being gay as being ‘wrong’, I can then similarly consider it as not being ‘wrong’, as many churches have also chosen to do. Then, which church would be right? But this will never end, for some people would then say – but my church is truer than yours. And this will go on and on, as we try to find ways and means to justify that our interpretation or “sin” and the Bible is truer than the other. So, this is not it. The Bible and the church cannot give us the answers to this debate.
It’s always curious why some people might say that when I have sex with a man, that it is a ‘sin’. They claim to think that just because two men have sex, the very act itself is a sin. Of course, we won’t even talk about the many men who have had sex with one another over history, the Christians who had been married in the Middle Ages or the many men who had been married in antiquity, or of the priests who have had sexual relations with one another as well since the dawn of Christianity. This is not it – historical facts cannot resolve this debate as well.
Empathetic Connections in Any Relationship
It is curious why even though they are not me, and that they cannot imagine the emotional truths and realness that I have when I bond with my partner intimately, and how this union is as true and loving as that, that they have with their partner of an opposite gender, that they believe that what I have is anything other than real. The same goes that I cannot imagine why anyone would want to have anything to do with a vagina, but I wouldn’t judge that someone chooses to have sex with someone of the opposite gender. You have what makes you feel comfortable and I have what makes me comfortable. You won’t need to justify to me why you want to have sex with someone of the opposite gender for as long as you do not make me do it your way, it’s really your life and how you want to lead it is up to you. I won’t call it a sin because as long as you feel the real connection with someone else, who am to say it’s not real?
Similarly, I would feel a strong connection with my partner – physically, emotionally and spiritually – and it’s real and touching for me. Every connection each individual has with another is unique and true to what they feel, so we are not quite in a position to tell another – “I don’t think what you have is real” – when we are not them and do not feel the connection that they do. I suppose for some of you reading this, you can understand, for as much as you would want another to understand and empathise with you, you know too to empathise with another. This is also what I’ve learnt.
Universal Truths and One Religion? Yours or Mine Yet Again?
But still, this might not be it. For some people would still insist that their worldview is the only truth and that I should ‘change’ because it’s what they say is right. But, what about what I think is right? But then, this isn’t a matter of what is right or wrong. For some people, it’s a matter of WHO is right or wrong. But then, if it’s about the ‘who’, why did we keep debating about “sin” as if it’s real, when what we are talking about is “your idea of sin” or “my idea of sin”. Of course, we can say but there is one universal sin, and one universal truth. But this still doesn’t resolve this – when there are two different ideas of truths, whose truth is right, or more right? So, no, this is not it. It’s not about what’s right or wrong. But perhaps, it’s about whether it’s you or I.
And so, there are hundreds and hundreds of religions in these world, and many thousands other beliefs and faiths. And within each one, there are many more. In Christianity alone, there is already so many different forms, where sometimes they debate as to which is the truer Christianity. Yet again, what is the truth? And who is right? If there is only one truth, why are there so many religions? If there is only one truth, why are there so many different forms of Christianity? If there so many gods, when we die, how many gods will we see in heaven? When I die, will all the gods line up to welcome me? Will I need to shake my hand for a year before I finally get to enter heaven? Yet, some people might say – my god is the real one, you will only see my god. Then again, who is right?
Accepting Ourselves Before We Can Accept Another
Eventually, it’s not about what our religious text says, is it – because all of us look at it differently and interpret it differently? Eventually, it’s not about what “sin” is, is it – since all of us would understand “sin” differently? Eventually, it’s not about what is the truth, is it – since we would want to debate about whether your truth or my truth is the more ‘right’ truth? For some of us, we would say – but it doesn’t matter, for your truth is as real as mine, as long as we feel it in our heart what is right and what is real. And just as I cannot be you, to live in your body and to live your life, and you cannot mine, we cannot understand what it’s like to be the other. And if we know this, we know that we would not be in a position to judge another or to think another ‘wrong’. We would learn to accept the life that another has to go through, just as we hope that others would learn to accept what we go through. But what of someone who cannot accept what he or she has to go through, and thus no matter whether another accepts of them, they wouldn’t of themselves?
But I’ve learnt to accept myself, so it doesn’t matter what others think of me, even if they cannot accept me. I’ve learnt to feel the truth within me, embrace my truth and live my life as true to myself as I can. Some people who have also learnt to embrace their own truths, even if they might not be gay, will understand how I’m doing and will accept me as well. But what of someone who does not see my truth? But I don’t need them to see it, but as long as I’ve already seen mine, I can live my life well.
Why Do People Want Gay People to Live Their ‘Truths’?
Indeed, if I already have a life I believe is real and am living it, why does someone else hope to come and pry this life away from me and ask of me to live their lives? Why do you think that your life is still better than mine, even as I feel that the way I’m living is as true as can be for me? Perhaps it’s not me that they care about – they want me to live their truths. But yet why? Is it because that if they can convince me to live their truths, that it would make them feel that their truth is more real? Does it make them feel more assured to know that if I can ‘change’, that they can feel safe to know that their truth is safer? Is it not about me, then? Is it not because someone cares about me, but because they actually worry for themselves?
What If I Don’t Believe in Hell or My Hell Looks Prettier Than Yours?
Is it that the more people they are able to convince, the more support they feel they get and the more they trust their religion more? Because since I’m not Christian and have my own beliefs, and since I do not believe in a Christian hell, if I die, I won’t see fire and the Devil, right? In fact, in my hell, I might see roses, and beds and beds of roses. And I might see unicorns and dolphins swimming all around me. And this would be my hell. And this would do for me. Would this do for you?
But perhaps you still believe in your hell, and believe that if I don’t believe in your idea of sin and stop doing what you consider to be sin, that I might go to your hell and burn in your hell. But I’m not Christian! If I don’t believe in your hell, I can’t burn in your hell! You can, because that’s what you believe in and are afraid of! And that’s why because you are so afraid, you want me to ‘change’, so that I won’t go to that scary hell. Or perhaps, that if I don’t believe in the fiery hell, but believe in the hell with roses, unicorns and dolphins, that you might be scared because if that’s the hell that you would be going to, and this is the hell I would go to, you might be jealous. It’s unfair!
Maybe It Isn’t Gay People Who Have To Change
Well, then you have a choice. You can change.
Not that I’m forcing you, of course. It’s all entirely up to you, as long as you can accept yourself and live up to the life you want to live. It’s all up to you.
So, is this it? Is it because you are scared of what you have to go through alone, and so you keep asking me to ‘change’, so that I can go through it with you? Or that if I don’t change, that you don’t want to go through it, because if I don’t have to, why should you?
If this is the case, it’s not really about me, is it? It’s about you. And your religion. I’m very happy with myself. And I’m very comfortable with myself. If my happiness makes you uncomfortable, then it says more about you than it does about me, doesn’t it?
But I’m not you and I do not follow your religion, so I cannot say what it is that you are unhappy with. Perhaps you feel stifled? Perhaps you feel pressured that your religion says that you cannot “sin” and you know that you are “sinning” everyday and it makes you feel terribly guilty? Perhaps you feel that this makes your religion too overpowering for you? Yet, is it because you feel that you have to stay within your religion and so you feel trapped? Does your religion make you fear so much that because you “sin”, that you might go to “hell”, that it scares you so much that you have learnt to put fear on other people as well?
I don’t know. I am not you and I do not follow your religion. But I won’t judge. I will let you have your way and pace of learning, and I will have mine.
Going On Our Own Journey and Respecting the Journeys of Others
What I’ve learnt is that we all have our own unique journeys. No two journeys are the same. No two lives are the same. No two learning is the same. So it goes, that no two truths are the same, or two rights, or two wrongs, and perhaps there’s a universal truth but until we die, we won’t know what it is for until we reach the ends of the universe will we be able to touch it. But till then, we could learn to understand the life that another go through, and respect the life that another has to go through. For if we do not live the life of another or understand the truth of that life, the least we could do is respect it and accept that the individual has his or her learning to go through. For that’s what we would want of others to do to us as well.
Though as long as we are able to accept ourselves for who we are and stay true to ourselves, we would be able to live our lives as honestly as we can. And if we don’t, we might think that we are not good enough, and we might hope that if there are others like us, that perhaps we won’t feel so lonely in our journeys. Yet, if we have learnt to accept ourselves, we would be able to journey on our own and still feel joy and happiness.
But if we accept ourselves and stay true to ourselves. 🙂