Few things are trickier than being LGBT and growing up in a Christian household. You tend to spend years navigating, trying to figure out where on the spectrum your family falls and whether or not coming out is something you want to do while you still live at home. Christians can be homophobic, and this is further pushed by the constant stream of LGBT youth that are kicked out of their family home because of their sexuality. Despite this, I think it is important to acknowledge the other possible outcomes.
It’s very possible to be gay and Christian. It’s very possible to be accepting and Christian. So why do we assume there is no common ground? In some ways, the stigma that Christianity equals homophobia is disregarding the members of our community that identify as both. But in the same breath, I completely understand where this stems from. It’s very hard to feel comfortable opening up to Christian friends and family when you are often met with “God said man should not lay with man”, condemnation or attempts to ‘pray the gay away’. This response confuses me, as Christianity is supposed to be a religion in which you should love your neighbour, regardless of if your neighbour follows your ideals or not.
Many LGBT people that grow up in Christian households are made to feel bad for their sexuality as it is seen as a sin. Although I do not believe ones sexuality can be a sin, lets say for the sake of discussion, it is. Why is homosexuality made out to be so much worse than any other sin? People can have sex before marriage, lie, cheat and steal but God forbid someone be attracted to a member of the same sex. I personally believe homosexuality is picked on as many heterosexual Christians know that this is a sin that they will never commit, therefore making it worse than the others. I cannot agree with this because according to James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.” Since as humans, we are all sinners, this scripture is essentially saying, it doesn’t matter what sin you commit, sin is sin. So if this is the case, why has a sin hierarchy been created, when God views all sin as equal? I want to argue that this stems from homosexuality being viewed as a choice, but even then, lying, committing adultery, fornication are also all choices, but do not receive the same response.
Growing up in a household that keeps this mentality can be extremely harsh on your confidence and view of yourself. Thankfully, this isn’t the mentality of every Christian. There are those that are indeed understanding, accepting and open-minded. Those that spread love and love their family members for exactly who they are and not who they expected them to be. I think we as a community, need to celebrate these people more, rather than generalise and enforce the idea that growing up in a Christian household and being LGBT cannot work.
It’s so important to remember that regardless of how your family and friends view you, God loves you, gay and all.