10/02/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy BJ Odin ~
I have spent a lot of time here reading the testimonials and blog posts huddled over a barely-working iPod Touch in bed when I can't sleep. About a year ago, I finally renounced my faith that I had carried like a burden for the first seventeen years of my life, and while I'd love to sever the last sickly tendons of doubt in my new doubt, it isn't that easy.
I was raised in an extremely sheltered and isolated semi-fundamentalist home. I say semi, because while dancing and secular movies and music were okay, pretty much everything else was not. I was taught from as far back as I can remember that if I slipped up once, I was hellbound. And oh god, was I terrified.
I was forced and bothered to go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, no matter if I was sick, crying, or begging not to. I hated it, but I still thought I loved God. And through my childhood and teenage years, while I loved God and believed everything to a T, I hated going to church or doing godly things. It was so unappealing to me, and I soon became lazy and stopped praying for meals and before bedtime like I had previously been silently threatened to.
It was when I met my first girlfriend that things began to slowly change. You see, I had been raised as a straight, good little Christian girl. I thought that was the part I had to play. Anything LGBTQ+ was evil and to be avoided. They were the unclean, the unsavable. But more on this later.
I loved her as a friend, and one night, she confessed her feelings to me. I was scared, I had never been romantic with anyone before, and I didn't even have social interaction outside of the internet. But I lied, and said I loved her too. And one day, I did begin to fall in love with her.
I tried to explain it away as that maybe if I dated her, she'd move back to liking guys. (I'm not sure how.) But that there had to be a god-given purpose, because I loved her. I didn't want to believe I was wrong.
After a while, I even came to the conclusion I was bisexual, as I slowly started to find girls just as attractive as boys. I preferred not to think about it at the same time as my faith, because I knew they weren't compatible.
Let me diverge for a bit, and explain my gender status history. Ever since my first conscious memories, I attached myself to male characters in shows and games as well as my own little characters I made up in order to express myself in a male fashion. It felt right to me, but I was supposed to be a girl, and girls can't be boys, so I needed some kind of outlet.
Near the end of the relationship between my ex-girlfriend and me, I finally quit my faith. It was too much of a burden for me. I couldn't believe it was right. It was like a light switch one day, flicked on to reason. I didn't have to believe if I didn't want to. So I didn't.
I resolved myself to be transgender, and pansexual. I got more into studying gender and sexuality. I investigated things I had never allowed myself to. I felt things I never allowed myself to feel. I sought out, and I found.I came out as bigender to my girlfriend, afraid she'd leave me for good after a rocky patch if I said definitively I believed I was transgender. (She was a lesbian, and once told me if I had been male, she would have never considered dating me.) Both before and after this moment in time, she had been ignoring me, trying to edge me into breaking up with her. Everything came to a head, and I trashed what little I knew of myself and what I had left holding onto some mangled form of pseudo agnostic Christianity.
I resolved myself to be transgender, and pansexual. I got more into studying gender and sexuality. I investigated things I had never allowed myself to. I felt things I never allowed myself to feel. I sought out, and I found.
I wish so much that I could let go of the small voices of doubt in my mind. I have been mentally and emotionally abused as a child in addition to being brainwashed. I recently found out I show many symptoms of the former two abuse types, anxiety and depression, and religious trauma syndrome. It's hard to trust myself or my brain, but in the end, it's all I have.
I am now dating my lovely girlfriend of almost a year, my best friend who was there when my ex dumped me, when I dropped my beliefs, when I came to conclusions. But in spite of all this wonderful, new mental freedom I get to enjoy, I am still stuck in this home. I have plans, but they require playing the waiting game. So right now, my mind and my internet connection is all I have. And through both, I have discovered the real world.
Doubt still eats me alive. Even as I listen and watch to Christianity being dismantled and God's morality dissected, the lies I was told to counter disbelief echo loudly in my head. "God has a plan." "God works in mysterious ways." "God is testing you with doubt." "Satan can change the earth and deceive the scientists." And my personal masochistic favorite, "Who are you to doubt what God has in mind?"
I have developed a mantra to keep close to my heart. If God loved me, he wouldn't have made my life how it is. If God loved anyone, suffering wouldn't be a thing. I don't have to believe in someone who justifies and/or performs rape, murder, and even genocide. I don't want to, and I won't. It is no different from cycles of abuse I have witnessed first-hand. I am agnostic, simply because I believe there is a chance for extraterrestrial activity, ghosts, and supernatural dabbling, because the last time I checked, a belief in these didn't mean excusing raping, mass murder, and keeping slaves. I don't know if there is a God, but if there is, it better not be the Christian God.
Because if it is, then he's got Hell to pay if I have anything to say about it.
Filed Under: Testimonials