Finding My Sexuality Through my Religious Guilt

Content Warnings: Mentions of self harm and suicidal thoughts

This blog post is going to be very difficult for me. It is a very personal subject, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared the whole story. I am a very private person. I don’t share my life or myself with everyone, but I’m learning that I need to step out of my comfort zone because sharing my experiences can help others.

It is no secret that I grew up in a conservative Christian family. I went to church every Wednesday then twice on Sunday with my mom, dad and two sisters. We said grace before every meal. I had a bible with my name engraved into it. I went to Sunday school. 

The earliest memory I have of the word ‘gay’ was when my mom used to watch the show Three’s Company. The male character on there said he was gay so that he would be allowed to live with the two female characters. I remember asking my mom what it meant. She said I was too young to understand, but I was smart enough to figure it out. 

As I got older, I began really listening to the preacher on Sundays and Wednesdays. That’s what my parents told me to do, after all. I remember a few sermons very distinctly because they stuck with me so much. One was about homosexuality. I actually wrote my memories of that serman into Born in Sickness 

“So if you know someone who is suffering from the disease that is homosexuality, bring them in and let the Lord’s saving grace heal them. May He lay His healing hands on their skin and repair their mind to His ways. Through Him, they will see light and salvation. So pray for them. Pray that they see the flaw in their filthy ways and seek out the Lord for deliverance.” 

Born in Sickness

Even then, I didn’t really understand why it was so wrong. Why something happening between two consenting adults was wrong. What was wrong with love? I kept asking myself this over and over, but I couldn’t find an answer. I even asked my mom, and she didn’t have an answer for me either. She just said that God said it was wrong, and we don’t question Him. That was wrong though. I had been questioning Him for quite some time. 

When I got to high school, one of my best friend’s came out to me as bisexual. He was so scared when he told me, whispering the words like God himself was going to come and squish him into oblivion. He swore me to secrecy, fearing for his life because we were from such a small, rural town. Being openly gay or bisexual was just unheard of. I gave him a hug, told him I love him, and kept his secret. 

In high school, I started noticing my own wandering eyes. I had always found women like Alyassa Milano and Shinia Twain attractive, but I always just kind of dismissed that as ‘appreciating the female body’. My female friend and I would hold hands, smack each other on the ass, and I always laughed it off even though it made my heart flutter the same way holding hands with a boy did. 

When I got to college, I finally felt free. My parents were five hours away and so was everyone that knew my name. There was no way anyone would know the activities I had gotten up to. For the first time in my life, I was able to explore the parts of me that my parents had always controlled. I didn’t have my sister calling me a slut everytime I even mentioned a boy’s name. 

One night our dorm neighbor, let’s call her Crissy, invited my roommate and I to tailgate before a football game. I wasn’t going to the football game, but my roommate talked me into tailgating with them. It was the first time I had really drank, and of course I got shitfaced. Crissy said “Do you know what I like to do when I get drunk” and I responded with “No what?” She then told me that she liked to makeout with girls when she was drunk. My response was “I’ve always wanted to make out with a girl”. Before I knew it, I was kissing her. It was sloppy and drunk but, fuck, I’ll never forget that. 

After that, I just did what most girls in college did. I said I was ‘bicurious’ which is just fucking stupid. In hindsight, I know I was scared. Scared to admit who I was and who I was attracted to. I had this teacher though. Gods, she was so fucking pretty. I was alarmed to realize that I had a massive crush on her, and I was sober. 

I remember being on the phone with my friend and quietly admitting it to him at 3 am. Saying it out loud was both scary and liberating. I knew I could never tell my parents, but it was nice to tell someone. Nothing ever happened with the teacher, obviously, but she really helped me understand my sexuality and my attraction to women. 

Eventually ‘bicurious’ turned into bisexual, but you’re probably wondering where my faith came into play with all of this. 

Even though I thought there was nothing wrong with being gay, it still somehow felt wrong for me to be gay or bisexual. Like it’s fine if others do it, but by allowing myself to do it, I was signing my name on the books of Hell. I was starting to lose my faith in god around the same time I was starting to understand my own sexuality. 

I went into a pretty deep depression. Other factors were at play, but sexuality and faith were both in the lead. I started to hurt myself as punishment. I needed to feel something other than the pain in my chest and distract myself from the questions in my head. I wanted to die. I figured may as well go to Hell now and get it over with. I turned to poetry as well. Some of that, you will read eventually but *spoilers*. 

After a long road, I came to accept it. I still haven’t actually told my family, but it’s not something I have kept secret either. I have posted many a bisexual meme on Facebook for my entire family to see. I’m not sure why I haven’t said it out loud to them. It feels scary though. Maybe someday I will.


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