Defending Religion & Bitching on Pride: My Most Surreal Conversations

Defending Religion & Bitching on Pride: My Most Surreal Conversations

Me being me, I’ve had many weird and messed up conversations on various topics. These heated debates range from topics such as the death penalty, abortion, free speech and why being a slub can be fun. But no conversation baffles me more than the one I often have with those close to me relating to religion, LGBT rights and gay pride.

I am a gay atheist with an almost pathological hatred of religions and their beliefs across the spectrum. That shouldn’t be a surprise to those who know my story and I’ve written about it on this blog before.

Now, I don’t expect people to agree with me completely on this topic because not everyone has had my experiences. However, people feel the need to defend religion to me and at the same time bitch about Gay Pride and gay culture to me. Without even realising the irony in the fact that very few of these religious defenders are themselves religious and certainly do not practice any sort of religion. Some of them are even gay.

That is not to. say that homos have a hive mind and all think the same. But I struggle when they defend those who persecute them and criticise the community that has given them the rights they clearly take for granted.

What makes it hard for me to stomach is when they say all that to me and then criticise me when I point out that I despise religion and what it does to the LGBT across the world and I get called extreme for holding that view.

My experience

Genuine quote: “You have to admit, your religious intolerance is based off your experience and clouds your view at times.”

Two parts of that sentence really pissed me off when uttered and the speaker soon regretted it. Religious intolerance is a phrase used for those religious bigots who wish to oppress and persecute people like me based on archaic, non-sensical beliefs from a couple of Millenia ago.

Second, let me recap my experience. When I was growing up a tall closeted, Catholic homo, I felt a constant strain of shame. Nothing feels worse than being ashamed of who you are, especially when that shame drives you to the brink of suicide on more than one occasion. After a further struggle, I left religion behind and embraced myself as a homo. I’m now getting married. Gay married. Something that almost every religion around opposed and campaigned against. Something that wasn’t legal 7-8 years ago.

Now for Gay Pride

After years of shame and self-hate, I am a proud gay. I don’t attend Pride events. I don’t even own a rainbow flag. And I don’t strut around topless. And for some people that is all Pride is about. They see it as shallow and corrupted by commercialism.

They apparently are ignorant of or have forgotten two things.

  • The first pride was a riot!
  • The more commercially viable a thing is, the more accepted it is

I love the idea of Pride and am happy people celebrate it because of our history. The history of our community that has led us from being illegal, almost universally seen as sinners, dirty, perverts and peadophiles, beaten and abused, refused the right to safe job, to marriage and to be protected under the law.

It is a history to be proud of. A movement to be proud of. Because without it, we are still illegal and hiding away in shame.

Ridiculous Comments & Questions

And yet, despite all this progress and obvious awareness, I still get asked some very ridiculous questions.

Why don’t we get a straight pride?

Because you don’t fucking need one. You have never been made to feel ashamed for going balls deep inside a vagina, for falling in love with a woman and for marring the women of your dreams. Being straight has never been seen as a shameful act. When society deems you as a straight person to be deemed shameful because of your love for the opposite sex, then I will march in a straight pride with you. Until then, please shut the fuck up about it.

Why do you feel the need to come out? We never feel the need to say we’re straight

Well no, but then again being a homo isn’t just assumed. Society hasn’t filled the sights and sounds with the idea of being a homo for thousands of years. So, yes, we have to come out to stop you lot assuming we are straight. We have to. come out because we need you to see us because if you don’t see us, you don’t know us. And when you don’t us, you make idiotic laws based on idiotic religious beliefs and we have to hold Pride events so that we can fight for our rights to be equal to you.

Why does everything have to have something gay in it?

Oh, I’m sorry… are we invading your spaces… the spaces you have monopolised for most of time. I’m glad you have finally noticed us. Maybe instead of me having to see straight couples of TV and film or in music or in books, I could actually see relationships and people who I can feel a connection with. It is called achieving a balance.

Now, if something is done badly… then you can complain about it. Just don’t mention that its because its LGBT because I am ridiculously bored with hearing it and repeating myself.

Ps: It’s Pride Month

Finally, a common thing I hear from Gay is that they don’t need pride because they didn’t have a hard coming out time. Well, I am happy for you. But show some empathy to most of the LGBT who don’t have it so easy. Understand that for many places in the world, it is still illegal and in some places punishable by death.

Remember that most of the rights you currently have that make you equal to straights have only come in the past few decades. Most of the work was done for you by those who have already been hence why we celebrate pride.

I eventually had it easier than I expected. But I lived with the shame for almost a decade thanks to the religion I was raised in. I contemplated suicide twice. I still struggle with anxiety and depression. But my family are accepting, my friends are amazing and I have found love in my life.

I’m not saying you have to march in a Pride event or run around in a rainbow hoodie. But please do not denigrate the idea of Pride, the push for more acceptance and equality or scoff when you see something for LGBT rights because you were lucky enough to have it easy.

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