I was brought up in a christian family. In fact, in Dusty’s own words, I’m the Son of a Preacher Man. This is why I always find it extraordinarily hard to swallow the pill that you won’t be gay if you follow the christian way. My parents managed to take me along the christian path of morals, courtesy, and compassion, without shoving Jesus down my neck. They didn’t stop me when I got a Sunday job. My Dad responded to me telling him that I was gay by saying something along the lines of “I’ve known for years”, before giving me a huge hug. It’s fair to say that they’re bloody brilliant parents. However, as brilliant as they may be, they are religiously christian, something which I simply do not share with them in the least.
Christmas is always an odd time for me partly because, growing up in the church, the whole event was about Jesus. Carols were sung, advent candles were lit, my Christmas was about tradition and christianity. Now that I’m older I find myself missing my childhood traditions, the buzz that surrounded the build up, the social aspect of everyone singing carols and looking forward to the 25th. Yet, when I do attend church, often just to keep my mother company at midnight mass, I feel completely out of place and rather disrespectful. Why is it that the more you try to not think of anything ‘sinful’ it all comes flooding in? I’m knelt, trying to listen to the prayers, and all I can wonder is if my Grindr’s buzzed me a message, or if my latest ManHunt beau text me. Even worse, my mind wanders to the pornographic gutter as I desperately fight to bring it back to the respectful thoughts that I should be having. It’s all I can do not to flee the pew as my dangerous and stubborn mind fights its way towards naked men or thoughts of a festive conquest.
I know there are many liberal christians out there, my parents included. I know that there are in fact many members of the gay, lesbian, and transgender community who also believe. And I, in some way, am impressed at people’s dedication and faith, for it is something I know that I could never have. However, as I kneel desperately trying to keep my mind out of the gutter, I spend the hour feeling like a disrespectful hypocrite whose once happy christian Christmas is now just a distant memory.