Ask me if I’m gay and I’ll respond quickly with a “yes if you didn’t already know”. Ask me if I’m Christian or believe in God and I’m not sure how to respond. Why is that?
Religion, politics, and apparently Beyoncé are things that are difficult to talk about if your views are different from others. I’m not sure when I decided to believe in a higher power. I just knew that this is what I was expected to do…or else. Being told that I would spend an eternity in hell under the earth scared me. Eternity and hell? Oh no. I did as I was told and said nothing else for quite some time.
Watching my mother kneel down and pray as soon as we got to our seats. She would cry, fall out, and be covered in white sheets. I never understood why and why this Holy Spirit never took over me. Was there something wrong with me? Was I not good enough to feel the spirit?
As I grew older and never felt that spirit I started having questions upon questions. Is all this real? If this is all real why don’t I feel it no matter how much I pray and read this good book? I’m still having feelings for men and still no attraction to women. I believe I don’t want to be gay no more. I want to be delivered. Years later I would become comfortable enough not only with my sexuality but not feeling obligated to believe in something I’m not sure about.
When people ask me if I believe in God or if I’m a Christian I almost freeze up. I freeze because I don’t wanna offend anyone or have somebody think I’m crazy or demonic. I’m 28 years old and I don’t think I wanna live my life being scared of something sentencing me to fire and brimstone. I’m not crazy, I just don’t know if I believe in God or any higher power. I believe in something, I’m just not sure what it is. Maybe years in the church have done this to me. Or maybe it’s because I’m a black gay man who doesn’t feel protected in this world. I have to deal with all of these things and I have no control over them. Who put this on me and why?
I attended a conference last month and on the last day we prayed. They prayed and praised the Lord for almost an hour. A room full of gay black men with strong faith. No matter how badly the church treated them, no matter how the scriptures were used against them–they still believed. A man next to me cried so much snot came out of his nose. I just looked at him. I felt like I was in the place again where everybody was feeling this spirit but me. But then again, I left that life a long time ago.
Explaining to someone that I am not Christian is difficult for a black man in the south. I get the looks something is wrong with me. This is why I freeze up. I’m not sure if I’m not ready to have this conversation or if it’s any of their business.
It seems as though they want to know why I don’t believe in God but when I ask why they believe in what they believe it’s looked as disrespect. Some of them can’t even figure out why they do what they do. They just do it.
Malik Yoba & The Breakfast Club Interview
In My Heels | Pose Season 2 Finale | RECAP
LGBTQ History Is Now A Part of Illinois Public School Curriculum
Students that attend public schools in Illinois will learn of the contributions LGBTQ people have made in society. Signed into law on Friday by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the bill is scheduled to go into effect in July 2020.
Introduced as House Bill 246 by Representative Anna Moeller, the bill states the teaching of history will include a study of the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in the history of this country and Illinois. The bill was heavily supported by Illinois’ largest queer civil rights advocacy group, Equality Illinois. Hoping the curriculum would bolster students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting, the bill received support in both the Senate and House earlier this year.
Illinois Senator Heather Steans said “One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints.” She continued, “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history, but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.” Steans has been noted as “one of the General Assembly’s most vocal and passionate supporters of full equality for LGBT people.”
The bill details what changes can be expected to history curriculum for the state’s students. According to Equality Illinois, topics that will be added to public schools history curriculum include details like the nation’s first gay rights organization. The bill states all textbooks will include the roles and contributions of those protected b the state’s Human Rights Act, and must be non-discriminatory.
Expressing her hopes that the bill will benefit future generations, Steans said, “LGBTQ children and and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”
Would you like to see other states enforce similar bills?