What exactly do we mean when we talk about gay spirituality? Since many of us grew up in religious organizations that told us we were abominations and unworthy sinners there are plenty of people within the GLBT community that aren’t interested in religion. Others want some validation from the church and thus look for meaning in religion. If you take your spiritual journey, you’ll find that the process can definitely be satisfying.
In many cases, whether we were ready or not, our spiritual quests started in our youth. Not all of us completely grasped why condemnation of the gay population bothered us so much. Some of us understood all too well.
This led to a natural progression of questions that were taken away from the church and into other possibilities. Some people created groups and offered emotional and spiritual support along with the fight for social justice.
Fortunately, spiritual answers do not necessarily have to come from a church or a person of religious affiliation. Not all of us culminate our gay spirituality quest on the steps of a religious building. We’ve gone from the efforts of a few brave religious figures reaching out toward the community to what are now known as open and affirming churches.
If your family is particularly religious it can be difficult to reconcile your emotional and spiritual ideas. Your emotional side remembers the prayers, the “treatments, ” and the casting out while your spiritual ideas look further inside. There is no admission from the religious affiliations that cast you aside, and there is no confirmation from their view that you are just fine the way you are. That’s for you to find out. Many would say that’s for you to feel.
This means that you never have to set foot into an organized church if you prefer not to, as the answers aren’t likely to come from a single man or woman of the cloth. Rather, spiritual answers tend to come from within. They come in the form of a loved one or a partner. They come in the form of a sense of self and a strong sense of owning your sexuality. They come in little tid bits all throughout life. They come in moments that you recognize but often aren’t sure what to call them.
Historically, religions and spirituality do not even have to mean the same thing. While we make the associated connection, spiritual beliefs are of a totally different make and model. Religion is a taught belief system. Spiritual beliefs are a felt and internal belief system. Bringing the two together can be an interesting challenge but one that can be done in your own way. Having the option to figure out what works for you is really the key.
You can join the open and affirming churches and learn to grasp your gay spirituality if you choose. It can be a great place to debate and discuss. Or you can create your own private moments that offer you a reflective chance to decide for yourself. The journey simply never really has to end.