People say that once you go gay you forget about God or even worse, turn into one of his enemies. A lot of people have said that about me, actually. They say things like, “You’re not the same person anymore” or “Why do you hate Mormons so much?” or “Don’t you have anything positive to say about religion?” The truth is, I only think about religion and God when religious people bring it up, and they usually bring it up in the context of me — because I’m gay — being anti. In other words, knowing nothing about what I actually think about religion or God, in their minds, because I’m gay, I must be anti. Even if I don’t say it, I must be trying to say something negative.
And I’ll admit, it makes me incredibly angry sometimes. It’s sort of like one of those self-fulfilling prophesies: the more you accuse me of being anti-God, the more I feel like I want to prove your point.
Maybe this experience will help clarify. When Dan and I moved into our new apartment I was a little weary of whether we’d fit in and whether we’d be safe. I felt this way because of the mega church being built down the road from our apartment complex. Why would I feel that way? Because religion has become, for me, a symbol of anti-gay activism, or hate rather. When untrue things these are said about me/people of my sexual orientation, it usually has something to do with God.
This was driven home recently when I read about a gay man who went undercover at a convention of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). He shared some pretty unpleasant quotes from the conference, all of which were said in the name of religion. Jokes about gays entering a mosque and never returning, attacks on the stability of same-sex relationships — you get the picture.
The author of the article, like me, gets pretty upset over this rhetoric. Why? Well, here’s what the author had to say:
“I realized that he wasn’t just talking about ‘gay parents’ in the abstract; he was talking about me. Each time Allen accused same-sex couples of sexually abusing their own children, he was questioning my ability to be a good parent one day, too.
“That sensation of feeling personally targeted would stick with me for the rest of the conference.”
But I get it. It’s not really about hating gay people. It’s about loving heterosexual marriage. So when you tear me down you’re just trying to build yourself up. And when you’re accused of hating gay people you just need a good excuse.
And what better excuse can there be than God?