I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. I was baptized, had my first communion and confirmation. I went to church every Sunday.
As an adult, I have continued my relationship with God. But I have found there is a big difference between religion and spirituality. I have also had to make peace with sexuality and the church. I was made to feel there was something wrong with me because I was gay. I prayed and prayed for God to change me. The more research and life experience I had I came the conclusion that I was born this way. There was nothing wrong with me! Being gay is a gift from God.
I hate the fact that the Religious Right has soiled/perverted the word “Christian” — to me, they are anything but. God is Love, love for all mankind: We are all equal: man, woman, gay, straight, married or not, rich or poor, white, black, hispanic, asian, etc. God loves all of us. Yet the religious right wants us to feel otherwise — that some of us are better than others.
When the Prop. 8 campaign was happening in California in 2008, my partner and I joined in the fight to keep gay marriage in the state. We did a lot of phone calls, plus we stood on a street corner and waved signs for the cause. The “Christians” we encountered during this time are some of the most hateful persons I have ever dealt with. I was told I was going to hell, that I was sick/perverted, that they wanted to murder us, and they wished that I would die. All of this because I love somebody of the same sex.
When I was going to PFLAG to work up my courage to talk to my family, I met a gay man who recommended a gay friendly Catholic Church on the Westside. He mentioned St. Monica Catholic Community in Santa Monica. I went there and enjoyed the mass, and found out that they had an active gay & lesbian ministry. I served on the core team for many years, as well as helped lead hikes and help with the parish Thanksgiving dinner for the needy.
I have experienced a few different churches as an adult. My partner belonged to Unity Fellowship Church for a while. Started by the Rev. Carl Bean, it is a church geared to the black gay community. We have also gone to MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) a couple of times, another gay church. But may partner now belongs to Agape International Spiritual Community. Started by the Rev. Michael Beckwith, of The Secret fame, it is a new thought ancient wisdom community. Everyone is welcome there. They have elements from various dominations: Christian, Buddhist, Native American, Church of Religious Science. I have come to like it there… it is all about empowering the individual, making the most of your life.
Another person I like is Joel Osteen. He is the TV preacher/author from Lakewood Church in Texas. I have read 3 of his books, and often listen to his podcasts (available for free on Itunes). He is all about lifting people up and becoming your best self. I am all into that.
So now, I know that I can have sex with my partner in the morning and still go to church. No person, no building, no religion, is going to keep me from having a relationship with God. I am a child of God and He loves me as I am.
Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here. They make great gifts for the holidays.