Currently, I am doing research for an article that I am writing for Gaelick. In it, I am trying to decipher the effect that being a member of an organised religion has on your association with the LGBTQ community, be you LGBTQ or an ally.
Growing up, I had started questioning Catholicism around the age of 10 or 11. I stuck with it until I was about 14 and then distinctly remember uttering the sentence: “Well the Church hates gay people and I can’t agree with that so I won’t be a Catholic anymore.” From this declaration onwards, I have not been a member of an organised religion.
Many seem to share a similar experience. Others still have been able to reconcile their differences with their spiritual organisations and that is what I will be delving into in my article so will subtly segue away from the that topic now.
These days, I discuss religion with the calm and dissociated interest of a scientist watching bacteria reproduce: something I like to observe and discuss but that is not necessarily of personal concern. Between my 14 year old assertion that religion was bullshit and my calm research of today, there was the 6 years in between, in which I alternated between yelling “You can’t go to Hell…because there’s no God!”, becoming a paranoid mess who was convinced God was going to smite me at every turn (this lasted for a solid 6 months and was absolutely horrifying. I didn’t relax or sleep right for half a year) and doing the whole 12 Step thing until I was so wracked with guilt that I decided it wasn’t worth it. I have explored Buddhism, which makes the most sense of any religion I have researched. I have read extensively on Wicca. I have researched Anglicanism and Paganism. I have read large chunks of the Bible. Its been quite the journey. And what makes me so agnostic at the end of the day is the fact that I am queer. A big ol’ feminist, sex positive, queer. Who swears a lot.
So I have not reconciled my sexuality and spirituality. Andrew theorises that I might never find something that I will not question parts of. Apparently, it makes me interesting. I’ll take that.