Because I have learned nothing from discussing topics that are very dear and personal to many of us, I wanted to chat a little about religion.
I received an email the other day asking about my beliefs in God and if I have or had struggled with my gender identity because of my faith.
Unfortunately I had inadvertently lost the email and I am unable to respond directly to her. I likely moved it to a specific folder in my inbox and…. well, like the mate to a pair of earrings, it is lost forever.
So, I thought I’d share my thoughts here and hope that she sees this.
Do I believe in God? Short answer, yes. I identify as agnostic, and what that means to me is that I do not think that any religion is completely correct when it comes to God. I do not think that God is anything we can fathom or put into words that we can comprehend. But I am comforted by my belief that there is…. something out there to whom I can give thanks to for all I have been blessed with. I also believe in science and evolution.
My relationship with God is very personal and I do not believe that I need to associate myself with an organized religion or attend church in order for me to have that relationship.
I was raised Catholic and spent all of my grade school and high school years going to Catholic schools and attending mass at least twice a week. I learned about the Bible and the history of Christianity as well as other religions. I learned about creationism as well as about evolution. I learned about people’s deeply rooted core beliefs as well as about the science that contradicts them.
Even though I probably attended mass on occasion wearing a pair of panties under my church pants, I never thought I was doing something wrong. If God made me, then I believed He made me the way He wanted. I was a good, well-behaved kid, and I like to think I am a good, but flawed, adult. I am not perfect, but who among us is?
If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, then you have undoubtedly have been told or have heard that we are also sinners. I am no theologian, but I am not sure where in the Bible Jesus this. Sure, televangelists and others may say we are, and there may be passages in scripture that discuss this, but did Jesus discuss this specifically?
If you are a follower of Christ and base your morals and values around His teachings, then you must do so. The Gospel of Matthew says “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” The Gospel continues to say “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Regardless of whether you are Catholic, Jewish, Hindu or an atheist, these are principals we could all stand to live by.
So, this is my perspective. If you have felt guilt or conflicted about who you are because of your faith, I would love to hear how you have resolved this, or, why you feel that religion and your gender identity are at odds.
Just a side note: I do mean everything I have written here in the most sincere way possible. I know that religion, like gender, is incredibly personal and intimate and important. I do not think we can comprehend God, so it would be hypocritical for me to say that one’s beliefs are wrong, as long as your beliefs are based in tolerance, acceptance, and kindness and do not hurt others.