A few days ago, an anonymous reader reached out to me to kindly inform me that i could be saved, offering me prayers in my path to finding Jesus.
I decided to take this opportunity to be upfront about my sexuality and my views for those who don’t know me so well and for those of you who are struggling with attacks or pressure or guilt because of your sexuality. I believe that no one has the right to make you feel badly for your sexuality and i believe that the struggle we all face is how to find peace and comfort in who we are and how we interact with others. It is with a grounded sense of self that is very rooted in my own religious values that i offer you my views on sexuality. They don’t have to be your views, but you can only respect me if you respect that this is who i am and what i believe.
When i meet people who spark something in me – intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, i often fall in love. That feeling of love is not framed in a sexual sense. I fell in love with my closest friends in this world – that’s how they became my dear friends. Their psychological position in my life is very deep. Love, for me, is a very strong and passionate emotion that extends from utmost respect and appreciation, awe. With love, there is a sense of warmth and joy, vulnerability, compassion, trust. Through mutual honor, love is an emotion that binds people together.
Not all relationships of love have a sexual component. Yet, sexual interaction takes that love deeper, allowing an even greater connection, passion and vulnerability. Sex is an act that stems from love and allows it to grow deeper. I believe that sex is a very meaningful act and a valuable component to different relationships of love. I do not believe that sex is an act that is only reserved for one person in this lifetime.
Sex has another axis to it – that of desire. Only particular connections for me have a sexual resonance, a “chemistry.” I wish i knew the formula for that chemistry, but i don’t. There are people that i have loved deeply with whom i have no sexual chemistry and that’s simply the way it is. For me, that chemistry does not have gendered limitations.
Let me step back a moment. We have a cultural assumption that there is a binary in sex (culturally called gender) – male, female. Anyone who has worked with intersexed or transgendered people know that this cultural binary obfuscates reality and causes harm. There are people whose genitalia does not match society’s dichotomous expectations, hormonal and chromosomal structures that aren’t written about in textbooks and identities that make bodies seem very foreign. Of course, God created these people too.
I understood this foolish dichotomy in my gut at a young age, always upset that the world was divided into female and male. It is via working in gender clinics that i was able to see what happens when it breaks down.
My sexuality is rooted in my dismissal of that dichotomy and a recognition of a gender range that reflects both sex and performance. I identify as queer, not gay, not lesbian and certainly not bisexual (which reinforces the binary in its term). I have fallen in love with people with all different sorts of sexual and gender identities.
I do believe that i have a choice about who i have sex with, but i don’t believe that i have a choice over who i have chemistry with. Some people’s chemistry fits neatly into privileged heternormativity (i.e. they’re ‘straight’). Some people’s chemistry is between people of similarly sexed bodies. For me, my chemistry doesn’t fit neatly into a binary of sexuality either, but it certainly doesn’t mean i have chemistry with everyone nor does it mean that i have chemistry with a larger percentage of the population. It simply means that it does not fall along neat lines of either gender or sexuality. Thus, the term ‘queer’.
Given this, i could, as society has pressured me to do, make a choice to only engage in sexual relations with those whom society has deemed socially appropriate. In other words, if i like boys and girls, why not make it easier on myself and just date boys? First, i think that is rubbish and indicative of a moral system to which i do not subscribe. Second, why should i let cultural pressures obscure my actual feelings?
I have strong religious values and beliefs, but they do not believe that guilt, sin, self or projected torture, hate, intolerance, self, or enemies are in any way productive or valuable. My beliefs are rooted strongly in love, respect, honor and kindness. I do not believe that there is ever anything wrong about rooting love in consensual sex. I believe that social efforts to construct something as ‘wrong’ are simply mechanisms to assert power and control, an attempt to play God, not to honor God. In my view, honoring God means honoring yourself and others, working to release yourself of hatred and judgment, finding ways of respecting all forms of life. God’s work means finding peace beyond suffering in order to release ourselves from the cycle of birth/death. No part of God’s work means increasing suffering for anyone in any form.
My sexuality is rooted in a combination of love and desire that has no gendered boundaries. Sex is a consensual act that emerges from and glorifies both love and desire. There is nothing and i do mean -nothing- wrong with loving someone else and expressing it sexually. This is not a sick addiction or a sin – it is a pure emotion rooted in everything good.
[Please note that my definition of God may not reflect yours. And my definition of religion does not include a literal reading of any scripture.]