Gay and GOD will always bring strong conversations with heavy opinions. If I had a dollar for the arguments I’ve had with people who are strong followers in their faith about my lifestyle I would probably never need a job. Even though Christians, Pentecostals, Jehovah Witness and a couple of other religious groups that my mind can’t recall at this moment including Catholic have always felt free to voice how my lifestyle guaranteed me a seat in hell not once has it ever shook my relationship with GOD.
Being Puerto Rican I grew up Catholic. It wasn’t a choice it was a given. My mother made sure I went through the proper steps. There was the Baptism then the Holy Communion and then Confirmation. I look at family pictures and see my baptism pictures dressed in the adorable white suit being cradled in my Godparents arms. Then there are the Holy Communion and Confirmation pictures as well with the dark blue suit and a big huge smile to go with it. If there was any trauma during those years it was the classes I had to take which were after school at least twice a week. During those years I was extremely active in church. I went to Sunday mass every time. At first it was a routine but after a while I’d go even when my mother didn’t. I enjoyed it to be honest. I like to pray. I liked the singing and how after mass we would go across the street to fellowship. Even now in my adult age I still enjoy to pray. It was those early years that I never really felt left out or less than. In my teenage years I even joined a youth group known as Jornadistas. By this time I was already open about my sexuality and accepted by those in the congregation. I eventually grew distance and it had nothing to do with people. I was just a teenager and life threw other things to me. I still had a great relationship with GOD even when I wasn’t an active member in the church.
Later in my early 20’s I became a Born Again Christian. I was finally saved! I accepted the Lord as my savior. I loved it! They did so much praying and praising, I was beside myself. It felt like home. Let’s keep in mind that I was gay but it was my quiet years. Now when I mean quiet I mean that I wasn’t sexually active. I went every Sunday and for hours worshipped and reveled in the unity and love of GOD. I became a prayer warrior! Now the responsibilities were helping the pastor casting out so called bad energy and entities. I also helped with healing and laying of hands. The pastor of the church was a great man or so I thought that grew up in Brooklyn. He had also come from the streets and was also latino.
For the next 3 years life was just wonderful and then it started. At first it was subtle. I’d get the side eye from a few members of the congregation. For the most part I’d ignore it. It was no different than the regular looks I’d get from people at work or on the street. What started happening was that little by little these looks became more into actions. Some members didn’t even bother to say hello. I was still an active member and still a prayer warrior.
Then one day the pastor gave a sermon about homosexuality. He went on to say how this is a demon that resides in the person. That no one is born gay. He continued to say that homosexuality can be cured if only they believe in the Lord. How wrong and vile it was. Then he graphically described the lake of fire and how my soul will be in that boat being greeted by Satan because hell is the only place I will be going. You can just imagine the how I felt. I can recall feeling like everyone was looking at me even though that wasn’t the case. I took it as though the pastor directed his sermon to me. I wanted to just run out of there but I didn’t. I stood with my head held high just like mommy taught me, even though inside I was embarrassed and mortified. Little did I know that this was the beginning of the end. It didn’t take long after that incident for them to have an intervention or as they said a meeting with me and plain out ask me if I was gay. They didn’t want to judge me without knowing if it was a fact. Of course I didn’t lie and told them that I was actually proud being gay. You already know things didn’t go to well from there. They tried laying hands on me to pray for this demon to leave. That was so uncomfortable for me. I knew from that point on this was the end. Through it all my love of GOD and our relationship never changed. If anything it grew stronger. Through all this I never once blamed GOD. I continued to pray as usual. GOD and I had a wonderful relationship. I didn’t think it was his fault. I knew this was people and not him. After that day I left.
What my heart feels for are these young kids who are gay and never get a chance to be themselves. The countless men and women I have met that are scarred from this. Never being themselves because of their relationship with GOD. Their parents making them feel less than. Then there are the ones that when they decided to tell their parents they were thrown out because it’s unacceptable in the eyes of GOD. This I never understood. A child will always want to know that though the world may be what it is the safety of a mother doesn’t change. This is a long term effect on these individuals that they either live a double life and never embrace whom they are or they just stuff it to a point that it turns to self-hatred and in turn comes out against the very thing they are.
I am very thankful for my relationship with GOD. No matter what goes on this stays with me. It’s the one relationship I nurtured and always come back to. It is solid.