The challenge for LGBTQ+ children in a right-wing religious family
During my 40-odd years as an advocate for equality for Canada’s LGBTQ+ community, I have encountered numerous attacks from within right-wing religious individuals, especially those from the Christian religious right.
One hears constantly how certain sexual orientations are against biblical teachings, namely being gay or bisexual, but a straight person is considered a child of their God, who may have other “sins” under his/her belt, is just fine, thank you.
Recently, a few members of certain religious beliefs have made it known that in my efforts for advocating equal treatment from all sectors is a human right, is totally and utterly rejected. In other words, deny the right for being what nature intended for us, that is, be who we are as human beings.
A question arises that is of grave concern. Do children who identify as a members of the LGBTQ+ community within a Christian family not be tolerated by that family, and be ousted?
This question must be answered, and must be explained in its entirety. Of course, we may assume the answer will be that the child must be changed, be turned into a being that does not agree with that child’s natural makeup.
Parents and clergy of right-wing beliefs will bear eventual responsibility for the child’s well-being, or the opposite and be the cause of mental illness, or even the possibility of suicide. Do religious writings and demands overrule a person’s natural existence?
We come into this world in so many varieties, including sexual orientation and true gender identity. The expectation is to be treated on equal basis, respect, and live life in peace, harmony and love, especially from those closest to us. Is that too much to ask? The general belief is that humanity must be treated equally, but there are many who will challenge that right, especially from right-wing religious believers, who are taught that being gay, lesbian, bisexual must not be accepted as a natural way of one’s being.
The answer is, according to them, to reverse gays into heterosexuals. That procedure has proven to be unsuccessful and leads to mental confusion, and in many cases suicides. If we live in a caring society, parents who love their children, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, colour of skin, or all other individual characteristics, then we must call for embrace and love. Those who believe in a God that punishes members of our human society, rejects our individualities, only has love for those who are perfect in every sense, and embra- ces those who discriminate.
Believing in a God and to follow teachings that profess love for one another is wonderful, but ceases to be so if families and friends are torn apart by hate and rejection because a certain person, or more, who are not exactly as those teachings imply. Religious teachings must surely be meant to embrace, to love, to accept, and to recognize that all are not as all others. On the other hand, if this is not so, then we are fighting an uphill battle that may never be solved.
In a recent column or two, I referred to right-wing religious beliefs and I was severely accosted because of my views and my belief that all must be regarded as part of our society, and not be blinded by hate and rejection, in this case, members of the LGBTQ+ community.
We must not, and indeed cannot, be separated because of our individuality that is within us. Another question arises. If my critics had a child in their respective families, would this child be tossed out because of sexual orientation, or would they say, “I love my child, this child I helped create”?
Religions are a world reality, but surely hate and rejection should be discarded.
We owe it to our children. Comments and information: lgbtconnection[email protected]