I know how she feels.

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Christian Ethics, Opinion
Tags: ,

This article (Click  Here) is a brave but incredibly sad account which describes in a way my experience as a gay man growing up in the 70’s.

I am one of those people who used religion to beat myself up. I remember when I was a teenager being besotted with Tucker Jenkins from Grange Hill (a TV program).  By the time I was in my 20’s I was homophobic, a friend of mine asked me once if I’d hire a gay person and I just quoted scripture at him. Scripture I had learned by rote but not really understood. Ofcourse Grange Hill had it’s own gay teacher.

I regret terribly how I forced myself to be straight even though I spent most of my life completely cut up inside. Deeply hating myself.

For anyone brought up to believe these things about themselves it is a huge journey to actually get yourself to the place where you understand just how much God loves you as you are. That being gay, bi or trans, is not some kind of condemnation but in many ways a blessing.

Being gay, you see, is not just about who you are attracted to, it’s about how you see the world. When you find someone you actually love, you’ll know it. Whatever gender they are.

When you are “out”, when you don’t hide who you are any more it’s like you are finally set free. You can finally, when out with friends, discuss “that guy on Hollyoaks“.

I did have relationships with people of the same sex growing up, from the age of about 15. But these were not  loving relationships they were relationships that happened in an environment of fear and shame.

I hope that in these modern times we can learn to live alongside each other.

I believe the glory of God is the human being fully alive and that this includes people who are gay.

If Ireland votes Yes, it will be about much more than marriage. It will end institutional homophobia. It will say to gay people that they belong, that it’s safe to surface and live fully human, loving lives. If it’s true that 10 per cent of any population are gay, then there could be 400,000 gay people out there; many of them still living in emotional prisons. Any of them could be your son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father or best friend. Set them free. Allow them live full lives.

(Ursula Halligan)

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