My Life: A Letter to Homosexual Teens in Unaccepting Christian Homes

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To any gay teenagers currently living in a christian home that does not approve of homosexuality.

Dear teen,

My name is Thaddeus and I was born and raised in a Christian home. I went to a conservative Baptist church, a conservative private Christian school, and a conservative Bible College. If you come from this background… I get you, I am you. I was a late bloomer sexually and really didn’t care about anything in that realm until I was thirteen. It was at this point that it became overwhelmingly obvious to me that I was gay. From the ages of 13-15, I hid my sexuality and shoved it into the corners of my life. The corner of my life being late at night… every night. I had no choice but to do this as I was too scared to come out and I knew that my whole life would shatter if I did.

By the time I was sixteen I had built up enough bravado to tell a few close friends about my homosexuality. Doing this provided me with the strength to finally tell my parents.

*insert the worst week of my life*

My parents did not abuse me. They did not stop loving me and I did not stop loving them. However, my perfect little Christian boy persona was gone and all of the sudden I became a problem. A BIG problem. (I have to remind myself that this time was hard for them and I forgive them for the pain that they unintentionally caused. If you go through this, please forgive your parents as well)

When I came out my parents, my church, and my school made me feel filthy. I felt as though I had committed every sin in the book and died unable to recant. This was hard for me because I was a fairly innocent teen. Sure, I looked at pornography, cheated sometimes, and lied now and then but I wasn’t a pedophile, a rapist, or a murderer… but I was made to feel that way.

They bring you into counseling. That’s the worst. You sit in these awkward conversations where your pastor tries to prod at you and test how much you’ve thought about this “decision.” Because teenagers can’t figure out sexuality on their own. You sit in stale silences, wallpaper melting silences, and you look into the faces of people who have no ability to think outside of their heterosexual bubble. You can practically hear your pastor’s vocal chords begging to say, “you just think you’re gay because you’ve never had sex with a girl.” Thank god your Pastor never will… but your father probably will. (You’ll have to forgive your Pastor too, that’s a hard one, but it will come in time)

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6 months ago · 75 notes

Pictures from Spokane City Council’s public testimony regarding same-sex marriage, April 16, 2012.

by Tracy Simmons,

After a five-and-a-half-hour city council meeting Monday night, officials were unable to answer the question theologians have been debating for decades: should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?

At the public testimony homosexuals said they were sick of feeling like second-class citizens and wanted equal rights. Those opposing the same-sex marriage resolution said gays shouldn’t be granted the same rights as straight couples because homosexuality is a sin.

Some from the LGBT community spoke about their relationships, arguing that the dedication they have with their partners is no different than marriage, except in the government’s eyes.

There was one thing a few people on both sides of the aisle could agree on at the meeting — gay marriage isn’t a city council issue.

“I don’t know how to interpret the Constitution but that every man was created equal,” said Councilman Mike Allan, “but I personally feel we should let the state government take this issue up.”

The council voted to table the resolution indefinitely.

To read more on this story, click here.
Image and story credit: / Tracy Simmons

2 years ago · 37 notes · Source

2 years ago · 14 notes

2 years ago · 10 notes

Ahmed, Gay Iraqi Man, Describes Escaping Death Sentence, Prison Rape In Emotional Video

The alleged slaying of at many as 58 “emo” Iraqi citizens who are either gay or believed to be gay has sparked concerns from international human rights organizations, with many fearing Iraq may be returning to the rampant level of hate crimes against homosexuals as seen in 2009.

As Out magazine is reporting, the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) recently released a video which aims to bring the issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Iraqis into focus.

In the video, a gay man identified simply as Ahmed recalls the story of an ex-boyfriend’s betrayal and its aftermath. Ahmed’s boyfriend disclosed private photos of the couple to family members, after Ahmed had refused to continue financially supporting him. “One day my sister called me. She said that six of my uncles…received a small envelope under the main gates of their houses. A letter was written with the CD, ‘Your son is one of Baghdad’s biggest gay b*tches.” Ahmed claims his uncles were then planning to organize an "honor killing", which have long been utilized by Islamic militas to preserve the idea that families should be led by opposite-sex partners, after receiving the package.

After Ahmed had an encounter with religious police, who took him to their high court, he is thrown into jail, where he claims he was subjected to rape and other abuses. "The judge said, ‘You are accused of being a homosexual. I want to tell you something. You don’t deserve to live, and you’re a shame for your family and the Iraqi nation.’"

As Reuters reports, death squads have been targeting two separate groups — gay men, and those who dress in a distinctive, Western-influenced style called “emo,” which some Iraqis mistakenly associate with homosexuality, since the start of this year. Fortunately for Ahmed, he was able to buy himself out of jail while awaiting trial and gain safe passage to the United States as a refugee.

2 years ago · 26 notes · Source

Imam blesses union of gay Muslim couple in France

Ludovic Mohamed Zahed (R) and his partner Qiyam al-Din have not been able to legally marry in France but did receive the blessings of an imam at their union. (File Photo)
Picture: Ludovic Mohamed Zahed (R) and his partner Qiyam al-Din have not been able to legally marry in France but did receive the blessings of an imam at their union

Two Muslim gay men, deeply in love, tied the knot in France with the blessing of an imam.

Ludovic Mohamed Zahed, a French man of Algerian origin, and his South African partner Qiyam al-Din, were reportedly married in accordance to the Sharia (Islamic law) in the presence of a Mauritian imam named Jamal who blessed their union on February 12, 2012, according to a report in Albawbaba on April 2.

The two were previously able to marry in South Africa under the country’s same sex marriage laws, which also permits gay couples to adopt but France does not recognize same sex unions.

Zahed shared his story with France 24 TV, telling the channel how he met Din last year at a convention on AIDS in South Africa.

“I was in the lecture hall when an imam, who incidentally is gay himself, introduced me to Din. We discovered we had a lot in common and a mutual admiration was cemented. I stayed on after the convention for two months, deciding to get married, since South African laws were more friendly [to same sex unions],” he said.

After the wedding that was organized by Din’s family, the couple decided to return to France and settle down in a Parisian suburb, hoping that the French government would recognize the legality of their marriage.

But the French authorities refused.

Zahed, who has his family’s blessings for the marriage, says that he faces more obstacles with the French law than discrimination from Muslims.

Although his legal settlement was still pending, Zahed decided to make his wedding a family affair, with his trusted Mauritian imam in tow. The marriage took place in a modest house in Servon on the outskirts of Paris, and was attended by his parents and few close friends.

“Being married in front of my family, was like a new start of life for me, I could have never imagined such a day would come, seeing the joy in my parents’ eyes after they had battled with my sexuality and tried with all their might to change the course of my sexual orientation,” he said.

Zahed was diagnosed with AIDS at the tender age of 19, but the illness gave him a new purpose in life and drew him closer to religion.

“I turned to worship and prayer to [battle] the situation; I became religious, and I performed Umra then Hajj twice, seeking a simpler, normal life.

Despite the threats that I get by phone or from the Internet, as well as, my struggle with the negative views that I get from Arabs and Muslims alike, today I feel more comfortable in my own skin,” he said.

Zahed wants to pursue his doctoral studies in Islam and homosexuality and he also heads an organization that researches issues relating to Islam and homosexuality. He said his absolute priority is to get a legal permit for his new spouse to stay and work in France.

The couple does not intend to travel to an Arab or Muslim nation for fear of being discriminated against. “We want to stay in France, because my husband really likes this country. However, if it becomes impossible for him to stay, we will return to South Africa to live,” Zahed told France 24.

By Al Arabiya

2 years ago · 45 notes · Source

Faith Inspires: St. Luke In The Fields

St. Luke in the Fields is committed to making a difference in its neighborhood, in greater NYC and in the world. On the block, the church provides a safe space for LGBTQA young people, tutors underachieving youth and creates community for people living with AIDS. In the City, St. Luke in the Fields collaborates with food pantries and homeless shelters. And out in the world, the church has social justice efforts in Myanmar and South Africa.

Their motivation?

"We believe that, as members of the Body of Christ, we have been called to ministries of worship, education, hospitality and witness. We strive to welcome all who come through our doors."

2 years ago · 3 notes · Source

“Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” by Paul Richmond, 2009
Gay and lesbian animal couples and celebrities mingle on the ark while anti-gay activists such as Fred Phelps and Ken Starr drown.  Artist Paul Richmond says, “I chose to symbolize our inevitable victory in the fight for marriage equality by painting my own adaptation of the biblical flood.”
Find more information here.

“Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” by Paul Richmond, 2009

Gay and lesbian animal couples and celebrities mingle on the ark while anti-gay activists such as Fred Phelps and Ken Starr drown. Artist Paul Richmond says, “I chose to symbolize our inevitable victory in the fight for marriage equality by painting my own adaptation of the biblical flood.”

Find more information here.

2 years ago · 26 notes · Source

"The 1950’s called… They want their bigotry back!"

"The 1950’s called… They want their bigotry back!"

2 years ago · 865 notes · Source

2 years ago · 56 notes · Source