Growing up, I went to church with my parents without question. Every weekend of my childhood was spent with friends from my church. I’m not sure this was because my parents were particularly religious, though.
If I’m being completely honest with myself and with you, it may have been because we were new to this country, and this was something familiar that reminded them of home. Regardless, religion was a big part of my life, though it was not necessarily a big presence in my home. As I got older, my family and I drifted from our church, and eventually stopped going.
Church stopped being the highlight of my weekends, and somewhere along the way, I lost my connection to religion.
Oddly enough, I was able to get back into my faith when I started college. But something had changed over the years. I had grown as a person, and I was someone who was confident in many aspects of myself, including my sexuality and my outspokenness.
For some reason, these characteristics meant that sometimes when people learned that I was also religious, they would say things like, “You don’t seem like the type of person who would go to church,” or “You don’t strike me as someone who prays.” The first few times I heard comments like these, I would agree or laugh along with them. But the more I hear it, the more I wonder why these types of questions are asked.
I feel strongly that we should be free to express ourselves and our sexualities to every end of the spectrum. I believe that we should be free to marry who we wish. And as the times have changed, many of us share the same views. Many of us also continue to believe in our faith and attend church and pray when we have the chance.
I believe in the idea that as we as a society change, our ideas about religion and what constitutes a person of “faith” also shift somewhat.
Somewhere along the way, I hope that we can let go of the concept that someone’s outer appearance represents everything they are as a person. I mean, sure, I’m definitely loud and obnoxious. I have lots of opinions about things that no one asks me my opinions on. I can also be vulgar and somewhat aggressive. These are merely just aspects of my character that barely scratch the surface. We (as a society and as individuals) are always changing, after all.