Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
I am gay. I was in a bubble most of my life. I was not affected personally by issues of homosexuality and gay marriage. I did not have any family or friends that came out as lesbian, gay or even bisexual. The only form of marriage I knew of was heterosexual marriage– between a man and a woman. I assumed, that if all the people in my life saw it in this light, then it must be correct. There was no need for me to question this belief. Over the past half-decade, however, I have changed my mind on this issue. I want my voice to be heard and my support of gay marriage to be known. And with this change, I have been asked by others how I have balanced my views with the views of those opposing.
What began to shift my thinking was when I started as a cheerleader. I stuck out like a sore thumb being this shy kid in a room full of social butterflies. But, it did not stop there. I became friends with one of the guys, on accident, because we were assigned to room together during a skills camp. I found out he was “gay”. He explained what gay meant and how he’s struggled as a gay male– feeling trapped because he is hated for who he is, but does not know how to change. This was a friend who went through a difficult and confusing time with his sexuality. This was a friend who had felt ashamed for being himself and not seeing a way to have a relationship. This inspired me to find out more about this ‘gay’ thing.
Now, I have reason to question my beliefs. Christianity, the religion in which I followed and embraced, was a driving force in the inexplicable hatred towards homosexuals. As I read and studied the Bible more in-depth, I began to learn that God intended homosexuality to be a punishment for those with sexual lust. Being gay was “unnatural” and “shameful”. This motivated me to reach out to have conversations about this clash of homosexuality versus Christianity. I learned that Scripture should not be interpreted literally and can actually be interpreted differently. And while there were some Christians who viewed homosexuality narrow-mindedly, I learned that it is not my place to tell them their faults.
My takeaway from all I’ve learned is that no one should feel ashamed of who they are. There is a lack of understanding and not much common ground. There are two-sides to every argument and they both are allowed to coexist. But, just because you may not agree with it does not mean it is wrong.