As a polite, church-going Christian, acceptability is my forte. In my first year of university, my friends would joke that I was a “good Christian boy”, primarily to get me to act out in one way or another. At church, I am frequently told how good/helpful/nice I am. I rarely face any situation where I am not accepted, particularly as I am a middle-class White man at a university in a big city. I don’t like standing out from the crowd and will do just about anything for a quiet life. In many ways my life is incredibly easy. Yet, I do struggle with the part of my identity that makes me different from what society deems to be “normal”. I’m bisexual.
Don’t get me wrong, my friends accept my sexuality. A lot of my friends identify as part of the LGBT+ community and show their acceptance as they make me cups of tea, tag me in memes and do everything else that constitutes friendship in this day and age. I don’t struggle with acceptance from my friends or from my generation as a whole. It’s our parents who I struggle with.
It’s important to say that I don’t think my parents are homophobic. They’re in favour of same-sex marriage and, after a few conversations with me, have become a lot more accepting of the trans community. These are conversations that I am proud of. The main thing I do as an ally, and this may say something about how good an ally I actually am, is to have difficult conversations about LGBT+ issues with older people, particularly my parents. But there is one conversation I haven’t yet been able to have with my parents. I haven’t come out to them. Reasons for not doing so include the fear of changing what is a good relationship alongside the general rigmarole of coming out as a member of a family deeply associated with the local church. Yet, if my parents are as progressive as they seem, then surely they will be fine with the knowledge that I am bi?
I know that God made me who I am for a reason, and that my parents do love me no matter what. Yet, I struggle to accept this fact.
I am accepted, by God. I will be accepted by my parents, if they practice what they preach. Yet everything in my head is telling me that I am unacceptable, that being bi means that I can’t be the paragon of acceptability that I once was. My friends and my faith tell me the exact opposite, that I am completely and utterly accepted, and that I should accept this fact. But I’m not quite there yet.
One day, I hope to fully move from being an ally, stuck shouting from the closet, into an out and proud person of faith.
Written anonymously. If you would like to write a blog about your experience as an LGBT Christian, your fave queer icon, or a current LGBT issue for LGBT History Month get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!