Rediscovering My Sexuality After Discovering My Faith
I have always known that I am queer, even before I knew what sexuality, let alone homosexuality was. It was never a question in my mind, but rather a fact; I am a queer woman. I felt no shame in who I was, and I was happy. I was just me.
In grade nine and ten I became very involved in a Christian youth group, Christian youth center, and I started going to a Christian school. I wasn’t exactly a non-believer, but I wasn’t a Christian either. As I continued with these organizations and learned more about Jesus and his love, the more I began to believe in Him and accept my faith. It all led to the day where I happily accepted Jesus into my heart and literally ran around my youth group telling everybody who would listen to me that I believed in God and wanted to be a Christian. It was so easy at first, Jesus offered up an unconditional love that I had long yearned for.
I soon learned however that homosexuality was frowned upon, that it was considered sinful and deviant. I was confused and conflicted about myself. The seeds of doubt and self-dissatisfaction were now planted in me. A part of myself that I had never questioned before was now one of the biggest points of question in my life. Was there something wrong with me?
The God I had come to know preached love, to me that was the most important aspect of Christianity. I had accepted his love and tried my best to share his love with others. I did my best to follow God’s word and I was happy to do it but being queer had always been a part of me. It was just as much a part of my identity as Christianity was. I couldn’t stop it or change it, no matter how much I wished I could.
I was told as a Christian it was good to read the Bible and to study Christianity as a whole, to question it even and formulate your own thoughts on it. So that’s what I did. I researched what the bible had to say about homosexuality, I looked into all of the verses on it. I looked at several versions of the bible, I went as far as searching into these versions in the original language they were written in.
After my research, I concluded that God would accept me as a Christian and a queer person. I didn’t have to choose between the two or change myself–he loved me no matter what. I didn’t need to be confused anymore.
I compiled all my research excitedly and I went to the youth center I was involved in to show the Christian adults in my life, people I thought of as mentors, the same people who told me to research in the first place, what I had found in hopes of discussing it. Without even looking at what I had brought in I was shut down immediately and told it was sinful, it was just the way it is. I was so upset and hurt, this was the first and probably the biggest event that happened to me that started my separation from Christianity.
It seemed that around every turn there was someone I had respected and trusted, telling me, a queer kid, that being homosexual was wrong and something to be ashamed of. I stopped questioning out loud and without realizing it at the time, I started hiding my sexuality. I only realized just recently, several years later, that that’s what I had started doing.
The confusion I felt kept growing, I was still a proud Christian and was still very much involved in church, school, and youth group but I had to hide a part of myself. I started thinking that I would never pursue a woman, I would marry a man and have children and that would be it but when I let my mind wander, I would often think about being with a woman and I couldn’t help the way it made me feel. It felt right, not deviant or sinful.
It wasn’t long before I couldn’t stand hiding away, or detesting a part of myself that had always been so prevalent. I left the church and separated myself from all the Christian organizations I had been involved in. I thought I could still be a follower of Jesus and have the relationship with him that I had once had, but it was so much harder to do on my own.
I had always been on the inside, surrounded by people who believed just like I did but now I found myself on the outside looking in. Relationships I once had no longer existed. I was so much happier and confident not having to hide a part of myself anymore, but I lost relationships that were irreplaceable. I am happy to say that I eventually found a woman I love and want to spend my life with, as for a second church family I am still searching.
To this day, I still believe Jesus is real more often than not. Some days I feel him surrounding me, some days I don’t feel him at all, and I find myself questioning if he’s real. Some days I look back on what I was involved in with nothing but love and some days I look back and mourn over what I lost.
Every day, no matter what is happening with my faith, I can’t deny that I am queer, and I can’t change it. At fourteen, I ran around my youth group proudly exclaiming to everyone who would listen that I was a proud Christian. At twenty-three, I sincerely hope I can exclaim my love for Jesus, to everyone who will listen to me, with that same unbridled enthusiasm and without fear. I hope that one day I can be accepted as both Christian and Queer. I am both of those things and I’m am tired of being ashamed of it. I refuse to be ashamed of it anymore.
Rebecca Caplette grew up in Moose Jaw and is currently living in Saskatoon with her fiancee. A few of her favourite things are musicals, Harry Potter, and her cat and rabbits.
This narrative is part of our “Out of the Tomb” blog series focused on Christian experiences with gender & sexual diversity.
In the Christian narrative of the resurrection, Jesus enters into the tomb dead and carrying all of humanity’s darkness, fear, hatred, and shame. When he rises from death to life and comes out of the tomb, he leaves all of the darkness behind and steps freely into life. The tomb is the place where everything that is not life is left behind.
For LGBTQ+ Christians and Christian allies, this narrative is an invitation to step OUT OF THE TOMB and find fulfillment, acceptance, and life in the ways in which we have been created in God’s image–including our spirituality, sexuality and gender identity.
Check out the first entry in this series: Freedom From Fear: Former Moose Jaw Pastor Comes Out of the Tomb!