I have some things that have been bothering me lately. I have been openly gay since I was 17 and the church I that I attend I thought everyone knew and it wasn’t a problem, but a year ago they were on the topic of Homosexuality in the college student bible study. That is when I just openly said I was gay, they said they are praying for me and I have tried to pray it all away. Just since then I have been questioning myself and it has become one of those everyday just gets harder and harder thinking about how they want me to change and I want to change. I have prayed that if God wanted me to be with a woman he would provide one for me, and he just hasn’t. I feel like a failure to both my church and myself. Most of the time I am okay with my sexuality and seek to be with men but when I go to church I feel pressured to conform. Also my friend told me he hasn’t been there for me with this “struggle”. I was thinking the other night while I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep about my childhood. I always wanted to be the girl no matter what we did dress up, power rangers I always wanted to be the pink ranger, and when I went to one of my brother’s friend’s house I went and wore his sister’s clothes. I also used to tuck my genitalia back to be more comfortable with myself. I can’t help but feel that I was probably born in the wrong body. I don’t really get that feeling now, but every now and then I will have the urges to dress feminine and be a girl. I feel like I am beyond fucked up and I don’t know what to do. I have a history of self harming and have not self harmed in a year but lately it just keeps hinting at me in my mind, that cutting will just make it go away. Though I know it wont I just don’t know what to do, please help!
Submitted by Chip – Atlanta, GA
I’m so glad you reached out to us. That probably took some courage on your part, to bear this part of you in a letter. You no doubt dug deep within your feelings, and that is commendable.
First off, it was wrong of those in church to make you feel bad about being gay. While there are many churches that look down on gays, even preach condemnation against gays, there are those who don’t. The Universal Unitarian (UU) Churches and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) are very gay-friendly. As to what the Bible says, those verses that supposedly condemn gays are, in truth, taken out of context. The verses in Leviticus are part of the jewish holy code, and also contain prohibitions on eating shellfish (clams, shrimp, etc.) and wearing clothing of two different fabrics (like cotton/poly shirts) and are meant ONLY to apply to orthodox jewish rabinical students studying for the high priesthood. The verse in Romans is Paul refering to the Christians in Rome trying to still practice their pagan fertility rights and/or temple prostitution. You can find more out by reading books like “Is the Homosexual My Neighbor” or “Christianity, Social Tollerance, and Homosexuality” (by John Boswell). Another book I’d recommend is “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism” by Bishop John Shelby Spong. The bottom line is illustrated by the fact that Jesus never said even one word against, let alone about, same sex relationships. His message was one of LOVE, love for God and for one’s neighbors, and NEVER one of hatred or condemnation. You are the way God made you. And same sex behaviour has been observed in virtually every sexual species that’s ever been observed for any length of time. It is totally a natural occurance. For proof, just check out the book, “Biological Exuberance” by Bruce Bagemihl PhD, which documents same-sex behaviour in nature.
As to exactly what your sexual nature is, remember that one’s sexual nature involves emotional, romantic as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of both genders (bisexual), people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), or people of the opposite gender (heterosexual or straight). It can also help to think about whom you have crushes on and who you fantasize about being with girls, boys or both. You can also go to these sites for further information: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=726&Itemid=336 and http://www.transyouth.com/I%20think%20I%20may%20transgender.pdf , all of which may be of help for you settle these questions that have been forced on you. In the end, only YOU can decide as to what you are like. It’s your life, and you have a right to live it in whatever way makes you feel most comfortable with.
Regarding your feelings of wanting to harm yourself, it is important to tell a trusted friend about those feelings, in case or emergency. You may need to find a therapist to work with you, and to find safer and healthier ways to deal with the hard things you’re going through. You can call 1-800-DON’T-CUT where you can be referred to a therapist in your area. When you have the urge to harm yourself, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you’re feeling and experiencing as well as your urge to harm yourself, which can help to delay or stop the urge. They can also work with you to find a therapist to help you.
I do hope that this information will help ease your mind. You deserve to be happy with whom you are.
The Trevor Project