(I apologize for my long comeback to the second part of this blog set. School, life, spirituality has been crazy busy, which comes with new questions and doors.)
There were a few personal friends that came out before I did (as I mentioned before) that cleared some things to make things easier for me. There was also a lot I learned by myself (and directed by God) about myself, the gay male community, the queer community as a whole, my family, my friends, theology, queer media, and etc. When you come out, your worldview immediately changes and keeps changing, your beliefs get tested, your relationships get tested (fast!), and you come to newer realities.
If you are queer and/or a queer Christian, here are some highly suggested “Do’s and Don’ts”:
- tell those you know will support you first and start from definitely supportive to not supportive at all (unless you’re really “I don’t give a f***” like I got).
- look up local affirming churches, especially Episcopalian, Disciples of Christ, possible Methodist, Mennonite, and New Covenant (which is my church’s affiliation) churches.
- buy Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album.
- find a therapist and/or therapist-like friend or family member to help you reflect your past and your journey coming upon you.
- read Bible, Gender, Sexuality by James V. Brownson, Does Jesus Really Love Me? by Jeff Chu, and God & The Gay Christian by Matt Vines.
- also read Love Wins by Rob Bell, Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright, and Poverty of Spirit by Johannes B. Metz for spiritual/theological searching and encouragement.
- adopt a pet, who will unconditionally love you if you do not have one already.
- watch “Transgender Christian” by H. Adam Ackley on Youtube, Chely Wright’s coming out story on Netflix, Vicky Beeching’s coming out story on Youtube, and any other good coming out stories.
- get a tumblr (if really reluctant, then a wordpress) and find other queer Christians, who will empower you rather than make you stumble (and I do not say that lightly).
- find more queer friends.
- find a campus queer-straight alliance or local pride organization on your college campus or in your local area.
- indirectly annoy social media followers of your queer happiness and empowerment.
- move out and somewhere safer if possible.
- realize this might be a time to become more independent for yourself.
- read the Gospels of the New Testament until you can find a really good guide for understanding the rest of the Bible.
- buy a rainbow flag.
- keep asking questions.
- date for at least 6 months for your own spiritual, psychological, and emotional concern.
- doubt the douchebaggery of Grindr.
- watch Queer as Folk for at least a year (because it’s very unrealistic).
- feel bad for going off on people a bit (that can be just about anyone).
- feel like there is no one there like you or for you.
- forget you are a part of a whole, new family.
- buy from Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby, Urban Outfitters, and other famously anti-gay franchises ever again.
- go for the drugs.
- leave an affirming, loving faith community.
- let your sexual ethics change because of your peers.
- hate yourself at all. Ever.
- be a drag…I mean…wait, yeah, just be a queen.
- hate sexuality.
- be afraid of angst.
- forget your great progress.
- forget how wonderfully loved you are by God.
- forget that your queerness has a lot of purpose.
- being queer is the real, better, and only you.
There are also quite a number of epiphanies I discovered within the community itself (some being very similar with my own) that I did not know until after coming out, and here are only a few interesting situations.
- Gay males are much, much, much more vocal about how attractive you are than straight women. Many gay males I have found come to even be embittered by how “disempowering” straight women’s lack of affirmation can be, especially with comments of being “cute” without any specific context of “cute.” Later, they will soon discover it is because of patriarchy, though, that they are not as affirming. Male privilege gives us the “right” to be so vocal about how attractive someone is, which fortunately for us, will transcend out of the closet, too.
- Every queer’s grooming habits and self-care will dramatically change. I started to shave more often and think healthily about my own body, especially with the help of positive comments from other gay males. Other people I have found, losing weight for the sake of internal health, improving their hair care, or even lack of body care but not unhealthily. Overall, people start to feel differently for the shell they’re in, while sometimes it being negative. I do see there is a lot more hope and journeying to a better healthy image than the reciprocal in radical numbers.
- Queer people are inherently more intuitive.
- Lesbians are the most monogamous stereotypically and realistically.
- Transgender people transcend not only in gender identity but also in quite a number of ways in sexual orientation, too.
- All out queers will have questions regarding spirituality and they will vary dramatically more than any other people group. Yet, they will respect each other more than any other people group. I have met many queer Christians, but also have met gay deists, bisexual atheists, pansexual Buddhists, queer secular humanists, transgender nihilists, and etc.
- One’s queer oppression will very likely nurture the mercy they give to many, many others.
- Lastly, the queer liberation movement is intersectional and over-arching to the liberation of all movements including but not limited to black, Latin, disabled, women, prisoner, impoverished, blue collar, animal, and elderly because they include queer people include people related to and/or intersecting with other liberation movements. It is spiritual.
To conclude, I will leave with Dr. Patrick S. Cheng, who quoted, “Coming out is like baptism in that LGBT people let their old closeted lives die and are born into a new life.”