This is my first time on a platform about LGBTQ+ discussions, but not the first time I've discussed this on a social media platform. For some background, my family is extremely conservative. Like, Ben Shapiro conservative. I was adopted when I was 10, and started homeschooling in a Christian community when I was 11 because I was being bullied in my public school. During that time, I was undergoing a lot of depression and guilt because I realized I started liking girls (I'm a female). In our community, homosexual acts and feelings are considered demonic, as well as mental health issues. I was struggling with both, and became overwhelmingly suicidal because of that guilt. I attempted suicide twice at the age of 11 and my parents never did anything to help me. I was terrified of coming out to them about my feelings towards other girls, so only tried to talk to them about my mental health. They believed that there was a spiritual problem with me, and instead of taking me to a therapist or looking more into the problem, they had family pray over me. I felt like the black sheep of the family, and stayed in the closet battling my sexuality for years after. Then, when I was 14, I accepted my sexuality as bisexual. I had a few flings with both men and women in the Christian community, and tried to help as many people in the LGBTQ+ Christian community as possible because I had also endured their feelings. Then, at the age of 15, I started my sophmore year in a Christian highschool. In this highschool, you don't celebrate Halloween, you can't show your knees or shoulders, etc. I had found a group of LGBTQ+ allys and members in the school and we became amazing friends until my senior year. I had switched my label to pansexual because I had a small relationship with a nonbinary on Instagram (who is still one of the nicest people I have ever met) and a few bigenders. By this time, I was at the beginning of my senior year and a lot of people in the school knew I was pansexual. The school had a VERY strict rule against LGBTQ+ to where you weren't even allowed to talk about it. The second quarter of that year, I had a failing grade in Chemistry, so my mother and I were called into a meeting with the school's director and my chemistry teacher. I had already been through this process before, but I had a terrible amount of disrespect for this chemistry teacher. Not only did she make the class about politics (not chemistry, which is what we were PAYING for), but she made extremely offensive comments about the LGBTQ+ community in the class (I was the only student in the class who wasn't straight, and almost everyone in that class knew except for her). During the meeting, the director had decided to bring up a couple of complaints she had heard about me. One was the fact that I came to school in a onesie (it had footies that were against school policy), and I had worn "dark" make up. Then the last was that I was claiming I was pansexual. I thought my heart had stopped, and my face went pale. Neither of my parents knew I was pansexual, and now I was being outed at my school in front of my mother and homophobic chemistry teacher. The next half hour was spent listening to lectures about how I was giving a bad influence to the younger, more impressionable kids at the school and that I needed to seek help. My mom tried to defend me, saying "Well, I'm sure she didn't mean what she said. Right?" And she looked at me. I said no. I meant what I said, and you know what? I was proud of it. Anyways, I had to sign an agreement saying I was on academic probation for breaking the rules for the next coming quarter. I was crying my eyes out the whole day, sobbing my eyes out in front of anybody and everybody (making my one-on-one tutoring session VERY uncomfortable for my pre-calc teacher). My parents had now found out I was pansexual. That night, I had sent out a text to my group of friends what had happened, trying to seek comfort. They were incredibly supportive, yet very hostile towards the director. I had laughed it off as a joke, and sent a text saying "Put the snitch in a ditch." The next morning, my mother had received a phone call from a detective saying I was under investigation for death threats against the director and was immediately expelled for death threats and breaking the probation by saying I was pansexual. All of my friends in that group chat were also expelled and under investigation. I'm now not allowed to speak to any of them, and was forced to tell my parents I was straight because I was about to be kicked out. I'm now paying for my own education to complete my senior year and have lost connection to almost every person I was once friends with. My point here is; being a part of LGBTQ+ in a Christian community as a minor is terrifying. I'd heard of many coming out horror stories from people I was close to, and hated seeing them suffering like I did. I do consider myself a Christian, but not to this kind of extreme and definitely not this hateful. So I wanted to make this post as a safe space for anyone in a similar place and say that you're not alone. You are valid, you are not "filled with demons", and you are beautiful. I know that pain you're feeling, and I'm offering to help comfort and support you. God LOVES you, no matter what any Church Karen says. Even if you don't believe in God, you're valid and safe here. You don't need to harbor any guilt for who you are, and you are gonna come out of this a strong, admirable warrior. I love you all, and remember to love yourself too ✌️
I never really been a religious person mainly because my family never really had the time to teach about that stuff and I would grow up with crazy preachers on the news claiming that I shouldn't exist, even though I wasn't out to myself yet I still somehow still knew they were talking about me and knew that what they were saying felted wrong. Even though I never really believed this idea of God their crazy gospel still got stuck in my head and made me feel ashamed for being Queer. Over the years I have gotten better at ignoring hateful word and I started to feel pride in my sexuality and gender identity but, sometimes their message starts playing in my mind and make me feel ashamed again. I just wanted to let you know that this helped me deal with those hateful messages those crazy preachers have embedded in my mind all those years ago and helped me feel a bit more pride in who I am. I would like to thank you for that. So may I say thank you for sharing your story, it really helped me feel better.