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Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Thank God I Am Not Gay

After reading a post by Sisi Yemmie about laws recently passed in Nigeria I found myself thinking, “thank God I am not gay!” I was both  offended and embarrassed by my thoughts and tempted to force them to the part of the brain where forgotten truth lays however I do not want to run from my feelings this new year. I want to process, break them down, understand them, and express them.

I wonder if persons of European decent in North America and elsewhere have ever thought the same thing when thinking about the oppressions persons of African descent experience across the globe (i.e. “thank God I am not black”). I would not be offended in that context because thinking about the advantages I experience due to my sexuality, I feel thankful that I am of the dominant group.

Because I am heterosexual I am perceived as “normal.” Unlike my badge of brown skin I experience no discrimination on the basis of my identity. I can safely go most places with my male partner (I say “most” because there are some places where our skin will deny us safe access to – him being white, myself being black). I also see couples that reflect us positively in media (i.e. heterosexual love stories, heterosexual families and households, heterosexuals in college, sports, careers, etc.) and do not have to only look to a specific television network to view people who share identities with me (imagine that, LGBTQtv – something like BET). I see myself reflected positively in the universe. I do not experience shame and I will marry my partner when I damn well please and determine the time is right – as a matter of fact, I have already set the expectations for his proposal. When we chose to get married, we will, and our state and nation will recognize it. We will not be imprisoned and neither will our guests. I laugh because I can remember a time when this was not the case.

Thank God I am not gay because I have rights. Because I am comfortable, accepted in this category, and I am not perceived as sexually deviant (i.e. I am sexually “normal”).  It feels so damn good to be normal. I know what it feels it like to feel oppressed and to feel thwarted, unheard, and disempowered and sometimes ashamed. It aches the body, depresses the heart, and weakens the spirit.

I am also Christian. I am new to the Bible and His word but have been historically taught (via family, media, and false prophets) all my life that being ‘gay is wrong’ and that ‘gays are hellbound.’ I am going to walk carefully with my words here because I do not wish to upset or offend God nor my brothers and sisters on Earth but I look forward to removing the world out my relationship with God and His word. I look forward to discovering and learning the truth because of what I know now – after 24 years of life, 4.5 years of higher education, three years in social services, and only three consistent months of attending a Christian Orthodox church that I have yet to join – is that God loves us all and that Jesus already died to save us.

I cannot understand why we are putting ourselves and each other through this misery. Why do we hate one another? Why do we hate ourselves? Why do we still fear homosexuality?

Fifteen years [in jail] for marrying your same-sex partner. Ten years for being a witness at the wedding. The sad thing is that what upset me enough to speak out about this injustice is probably the part that threatens my heterosexual freedom and privilege. I have yet to become active or speak out about these types of discrimination, incidents, laws, and injustice here in the states but ‘ten years for being a witness’ evokes something within me! How could I not witness someone who I love express their love, when God is love?

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