I am reading “Coming out of Shame: Transforming Gay and Lesbian Lives” by Gershen Kaufman. This is one of the first books I picked up when I was in the mist of dealing with my sexuality. The first shame, inferiority, and guilt I felt concerning homosexuality were as a young child growing up in a Black Baptist church. “Organized Christian Religion, in particular, has been a major source of shame and contempt for homosexuality” (Gershen, p. 9). The pastor would preach many sermons on the sinfulness of being gay. “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination”. (Leviticus 18:22 The New Bible). The preaching of this belief was devastating to my self esteem which was deeply rooted in my spirituality and most importantly to my personal relationship with God. In my early teens I had a really intimate Spiritual relationship with God. Having come from a deeply southern Baptist family that attended church regularly attributed to this relationship. My mother was and still is the church’s music director. My father was an usher. The church played a huge part in giving me a foundation to establish my own personal relationship with a Higher Power. What perplexed me most was the question I would ask myself; “How is God still going to love me if I am gay and how can I still love God if I am Gay?” I would take long walks in the midnight hour as a teen praying to God. I can remember screaming to the sky in tears, “God, I didn’t ask for this attraction to men!” As I became a little older, I began to go less and less to church. I made sure I played some sport that had their games on Sunday’s so I could have a reason not to attend. I grew tired of coming to church every Sunday only to leave feeling like a vile hell bound sinner. I slowly departed from the church and went on a search to find my own truth. That truth is that God is love and love is for everyone. I found that I am not a mistake or error. I am perfectly designed by God in His own image.
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