Posts Tagged ‘Same-sex-attraction’

Thank-you.

The posts I have written recently have been prompted specifically buy a national postal survey in Australia asking if people think same-sex-marriage should be made legal. This post won’t change law, but it has caused huge and divisive discussion and campaigning for the two opposing sides. This campaigning has often been less than respectful and has lead to a huge amount of fear mongering by some on the “no” side.

All this aside (or because of all this), I want to say thank-you to all those who have spoken with love and compassion and conducted the (unnecessary…) debate with as much respect as possible, regardless of beliefs. To dear friends on both sides, and to strangers who have made this time that little bit easier – THANK-YOU.

May this time past swiftly and may the healing begin in more earnest.

Peace be with you,

Johansen X

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That portrait behind you.

When someone believes that your sexuality, or in the very least, acting on your same-sex-attraction is wrong in some way, it is nigh impossible to forget. 

Even in the better scenarios where, despite every interaction and conversation being one where spoken judgement or condemnation are reserved, where every response and interaction has been filled with respect, compassion, and love… Still.

Knowing that in some way someone thinks you’re not okay, or rather, that your sexuality is in some way wrong, hangs behind them in every thought, image, and interaction, like a portrait that you can never unsee. It cuts deep. They stand in front of it and speak only kindness, and mean only kindness, but you can still see the portrait and you know that it is still saying, in some way, “there is something wrong with you.”

I am grateful when people can love beyond a sexuality that they don’t understand or struggle to accept or approve of. 

I’ll be more grateful still when that portrait is replaced with a more gentle picture.

Be careful with your words, but please, be even more inquisitive and gentle in your thoughts. Dare to wonder how much you can actually “know”, and for those of you who already do, be brave to hand over even that uncertainty and just love. Take down that portrait. Please.

God surely won’t condemn you for that. Nor, I doubt, will it send the world to hell in a hand basket or be the downfall of society.

Johansen X

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Or think again.

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Why is this especially harmful for Queer people?

First, I just want to note that I am referring to the common use of the word “sin” here (wrong action disapproved of by God.) Personally, I like to define sin as “intentionally causing harm to self as others” (if I’m forced to use the word at all.)

With most “sins”, it is often a clear and obvious behaviour (or pattern of thoughts) that can be refrained from. Depending on who you speak to, these things can range from anything killing to stealing to smoking.

With most (but not all) “sins”, the behaviour can be separated from the individual, and when the behaviour is ceased, the person is often considered to have ceased sinning.

Being Queer isn’t like that. Queer or otherwise, our sexuality is an integral part of who we are. There are a diverse range of sexualities, but they usually form at least part of ones identity and CANNOT be changed by prayer, will, or therapy. Not engaging in an relationship, intimate or otherwise, doesn’t make a person “less gay.” A single or chaste heterosexual person is still heterosexual. A single or chaste Queer person is still Queer.

When people are told that their orientation is unnatural, against nature, sinful, or an abomination, they are being told (or hearing loud and clear) that THEY are wrong – inherently wrong, wrong to the core. If a queer person remains quiet about their orientation, people will often let their outward expressions of disapproval slide. But inside, the Queer person still suffers because they KNOW that they are still the same person. They KNOW that if they were to express their sexuality in accordance with how they were born, the condemnation would rain down.

This knowing and the shame and self-hatred that result are beyond damaging. Knowing your friends or family (or perfect strangers) potentially think you’re going to hell for loving the way you were created to love is an unpleasant knowledge, to put it mildly. This shame and self-hatred KILL.

When you are are condemning a person for how they were born, for something that they CANNOT change, they will ALWAYS feel that condemnation, regardless of how many times you tell them you love them or they’re still God’s child.

Know the impact of your words, or your beliefs, of your attitudes. Do your research regarding the cause of same-sex-attraction. Your beliefs may not change, but know the impact that they have.

My suggestion? If you know someone that is queer, single or otherwise, leave any possible judgement or opinion on their sexuality up to God. Judgement and their “salvation” is not your business or responsibility and will only serve to fracture relationships, drive the person away from family and community, and impact hugely in a damaging way on their health and well-being. Jesus did NOT teach us to judge.

Believe in God? Leave it to God. Don’t believe in God? Just leave it.

Know the impact of your words. Be careful with them.

Johansen X