For as long as I can remember, there has always been a discussion about religion and sexuality. Whether or not God condemns those who are anything other than hetero/cis, is homosexuality a choice? And whether gay people should be religious at all.
However, I never really paid much attention because I was comfortable in my heterosexuality and to be quite honest, I wasn’t really for gay rights as much as I am now.
All I knew was what I had been taught by society and the church, that the norm was a man and a woman, and it shouldn’t be any other way. But the Bible also teaches sex before marriage yet my guilt of committing this sin was nothing compared to when I first developed feelings for another female.
It was summertime, and I was 15, full of raging hormones and sexual curiosity when I met her. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, had the most piercing green eyes and curly long hair; she was funny and intellectual. I remember we would sit and talk about the world as if we could change it, she believed music could heal the world. I used to blush whenever we’d speak, and she always told me that I looked cute.
This was very unusual for me, and after awhile, I began to hear a voice in my head telling me this was wrong. If I pursued her, I’d go to hell, and there’s nothing like the fear of burning in eternal fire to snap you out of a feeling, which was all it was, a mere feeling (or so I told myself). I kept telling myself if I didn’t act on them I’d be okay. I tried distancing myself from her, but this was futile as she wanted to be around me as much as I did her.
One day we were smoking some weed at the park, and she kissed me. I wasn’t prepared for it, or how it would make me feel, but I really enjoyed the feel of her lips. But this was too much for me, I was consumed with homosexual thoughts whilst being homophobic too.
I made my excuses and never spoke to her again, a decision I thoroughly regret.
As I’ve gotten older, I feel I understand the world more than from my upbringing. Faith and religion are beautiful things; they inspire you to be a better person and give you a pretty decent set of morals to live your life by. However, at the same time, religion is not always up to date with our world.
I’m learning everyday to be myself unapologetically, and not to care about society’s expectations because I need to be happy within myself, as we all should be.
Homosexuality is natural in any form, and I am sorry I let societal norms cause me to ever think otherwise. I did not ask to have these feelings towards girls; it just happened, the same way I didn’t ask to be attracted to guys. We have to stop peddling the idea that you can choose to be gay. That’s ridiculous.
Religion and sexuality can coexist. And perhaps we would function better as society if we just let people live their lives and be happy, us included. Spread love, not hate.
Written by Aoife Fagan