To my beautiful lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, queer, intersex and asexual family: I know.
I know how confusing it was when you thought that maybe you were different to everyone else and how terrifying it was when you realised that you were. I know that you didn’t want to be different because being different meant that you more likely than not would not be accepted.
I know what it feels like to be afraid to tell those you love most about what you are going through, for fear that they will reject you and you’ll lose everything you hold most dear in life.
I know what it feels like to have hateful people rob you of your God. They quote their scriptures word for word, line by line, explaining why God hates our sin. This is what they call our love, a “sin”. They believe our love is different to theirs because it does not fit into their pretty little boxes that we’re forced to live within – this is what they call a sin. They say that our love is the same as rape and murder and bestiality.
They will lecture you for hours on end using scriptures and their divine information (which they apparently got straight from God) about why you are a sinner, but they forget that their books also say that God alone can judge and to love your neighbour as you love yourself. God makes no mistakes – but not if you’re gay because you werent born that way and that’s wrong.
They will dehumanise you and demoralise who you are as a person using their God and their books as their weapon – and then have the audacity to turn around and tell you that God loves you and that you will be forgiven for your “sin” should you give up your evil ways, but we know in our hearts that our love is no less real and pure than theirs.
I know what it feels like to be treated as a second class citizen. People say that being LGBT is a choice. Of course it’s a choice! Who wouldn’t choose to be dehumanised on a daily basis? Who wouldn’t choose to be rejected by the ones they love? Who wouldn’t choose to be mocked, called names, be beaten and sometimes murdered because of who they love?
Women are violated in the most awful ways imaginable, men and boys are murdered because the hateful say their books tell them that our love means that we deserve to die. I have seen men gleefully talk about raping lesbian women and murdering gay men – it is great fun to them. Our lives are nothing to them. Our lives have no value in their eyes.
They will call gay men disgusting, vile names and taunt them, condemn them and beat them to a bloody pulp, then go home and masturbate to lesbian porn.
I know what it is like to not be a person but rather to be an object. LGBT people are not humans, we are tokens. We are objects to be hated, hated because of ignorance. People know of us but they do not know us. We are just things to them that exist in the world.
They say that suddenly gay is popular. They ask “Why is it all of a sudden there are so many gay people?” I’ll tell them why: Because they have erased our people from the annals of history. They have erased our struggles and our stories because according them we do not deserve our stories told. There have always been LGBT people in the world, and just because they refused to recognise us does not negate our existence.
I know how it feels when people treat the LGBT community as a joke. They treat our struggles as if they are not real issues. They brush it off and laugh about it. “Gay” is used as a synonym for “stupid”.
One needs only look at the recent controversy surrounding Caitlyn Jenner. Amid the overwhelming support and love, there are people making a mockery of her. “He’s confused” “A 65 year old man suddenly decides he wants to be a woman?” “He’s doing it for publicity” “I’m still calling HIM BRUCE” “That’s not a woman, that’s an IT”. Ignorance at its finest.
I know the all the nights you have cried yourself to sleep, begging God to make you “normal”. I know how deeply it hurts when people spew hate and vitriol at you, and that you carry that within yourself questioning whether maybe, just maybe they’re right. I know that you live in fear that the wrong people may find out about who you are and that harm may come to you – they don’t know how damaging their hatred can be.
But I know something else: I know that your struggles are more difficult than anyone could ever imagine, but that it makes you a stronger and braver person. I know the immense strength that it takes to be proud of who you are in a world where not everybody is willing to accept it. I know that your love is real and true and valid.
I know these things because I am you and you are me. You are never alone in this world because we are a family and family sticks together. Nobody knows how much it hurts and how hard it is, but we know. You think that nobody loves you and nobody supports you, but we do.
My beautiful LGBT+ family, there is nothing wrong with us, our love is not a sin no matter what any hateful bigot says. Never let their words fool you, God (Jesus/Allah/Vishnu/Isis/Flying Spaghetti Monster) loves unconditionally – only people are hateful.
Believe me when I say – we are worthy of every beautiful, amazing thing this world has to offer. Never let anyone tell you any different. xx
PS: Next time someone tells you you’re going to hell, tell them to go fuck themself.