Written by Derrick Clifton, originally published in thoughtcatalog.com
It’s not easy being a religious queer person.
It’s even harder while part of a congregation that spews homophobia in pulpits and prevents LGBT people from attaining positions of leadership. Other churches go as far to deny sacraments like communion or other religious rites because of what they deem as “deviant” and “ungodly” lifestyles. And for those called to ministry, the roadblocks are plenty.
Though, in my own experience of reconciling my faith and sexuality, it took time for me to understand my own sense of spirituality. When I first came to terms with my identity as a gay man, there was hardly a night that I wasn’t anxious about how it may impact my faith beliefs and how I engaged church. So, in a quest to find answers, I rummaged dozens of websites and covertly found books in libraries to try and make sense of things.
Perhaps the most liberating aspect of that journey was that I found a new freedom — a freedom to explore my spirituality.
For the first time in my young life, I had to break free from being completely dependent on church sermons and ministers. And it wasn’t an easy process. In fact, it took years before I felt spiritually healthy and it’s still a work in progress. Continue reading