On my blog, I only write when I’m inspired in the depths of my heart. It’s in these moments the words are channeled through me and I can write with ease. Early this morning, I was feeling conflicted if I fit into my religion or if I was still in the phase of figuring out things for me as a person who is bisexual. Then as I was eating lunch and a knowing came into my heart saying I should write about this conflict. The ego immediately jumped in and said there is no need to bring a voice to this because you will be judged or you will be put in a box by your religious community. So I repressed this knowing and hoped it would go away. As the day went on, the heart spoke louder and louder. In one instance my heart said one of your purposes for creating your blog is to give a voice to things that are not talked about it and this is one opportunity. So I decided to follow my heart and take a courageous step forward.
From the moment I was born, I was brought up with my faith. As I grew up, faith and life were intertwined. One could not be separated from the other. My faith went beyond going to the prayer center for prayers. It was upholding the values of honesty, integrity, gratitude, love and community in everything that I do. It was giving back to the community that I lived in and the global community in my own way. My faith is balancing the religious and material worlds. My faith was doing things as a community and feeling the power of connection. It’s a place where I got to participate in sporting events (local, provincial, national) to build friendships, attend musical functions, attend educational events to learn about the history of my faith and celebrate with my community through dinner and dances. Going to the prayer centre regularly was a big part of my life for more than 34 years. It’s a place where I belonged and where I felt at peace. It’s a place where I could socialize and hang out with people who understood me.
Over the last year I’ve really been conflicted about my faith. I haven’t been to my prayer centre in months, I don’t participate in functions led by community nor do I do my regular prayers. To be honest, there’s part of me that feels like I couldn’t care less. When I’ve been to my prayer centre, I don’t think I belong as someone who is part of the LGBTQ community. In the depths of my heart, I feel like I’m different that the others. My religious community is conservative and like all other major religions around the world, it’s not LGBTQ friendly. The structures are rigid and it holds values that are conservative in addition to values that are modern. Don’t get me wrong, no one from my religious community has said anything bad to me, but when I sit in the prayer hall I don’t feel like I’m truly accepted because of my bisexuality. In some senses you can say it’s still “taboo”. It hurts me in my heart and soul. Because of these heavy feelings, I haven’t been participating in my religion. I believe that bisexuality is something that you are born with and not some role you pick up along the journey of life. For me this part was hidden for 33 years, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there all along.
Perhaps the people who have carried forward the religion over the centuries have created and maintained these rigid structures and rules based on their own interpretation of holy scriptures. And maybe these structures aren’t necessarily how God would want things to play out for bisexuals or people from LGBTQ community because in the end God loves every soul right?
My faith was taught to me by my parents and elders in the religious community. Over the last 6-8 months I’ve been on a journey to figure out what my faith means to me. Part of this journey means stripping away what others taught me and tune in to what feels right to me. It’s definitely scary because my religion is part of who I am and plays a big part of my social life. It’s also extremely uncomfortable to question something that has played a pivotal part of my life for over 30 years. Stripping my religion away completely would make me feel extremely naked. On the other hand, this could be like a death and rebirth process where I strip away the religion in its current form in my life to give way for something new to arise. Something that fills my heart. Maybe this is my religion or maybe its something completely brand new. At this point, I don’t know and feel so unsure. For me, the answer isn’t simple as the this is something that is complex and nuanced. Every time I think about this conflict, it makes my heart heavy and I get stuck. Instead of following the pattern of keeping this to myself, I made a different choice of opening up and sharing this with you. Perhaps there are others who are going through a similar transition and by starting a conversation, we can support each other.
And the other part of this post is to tell myself that it’s okay to question if my religion is right for me. By questioning things, it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad person or will punished by God. I think by questioning things, I’m giving myself the space to explore what feels true to me. Once I find what feels right I can participate in a religious practices with 100% intention rather than participating in religious practices because that’s what I’m suppose to do.