I am unlearning the evangelical in me.
I hate the evangelical church.
I need to say that.
I learned God could never love me or any other LGBTQIA2S+ person. Not as we are.
I learned that HIV/AIDS was God’s punishment for being gay.
I learned that Intersex people where proof of the Fall and the sinfulness of Man.
I learned that my sexual purity was the equivalent of a piece of duct tape. The more sex I had, the less important, less useful, less necessary was that duct tape, and in essence, me.
I learned that LGBTQIA2s+ folks would lead to the downfall of our nation.
I learned that as someone assigned female at birth, I was required to submit.
I learned that my voice did not matter.
I learned that being LGBTQIA2S+ meant I could never be close to God.
I learned that God could make me straight and cis if only I prayed hard enough. If it didn’t happen, I didn’t mean it.
I learned to hate myself, to repress myself, to wish I would die instead of being who I was.
I learned that people who say they’ll always love you only mean it if you’re cis and straight.
I learned to hate other LGBTQIA2S+ people.
I learned that people you never talk to will try to convert you when they see a chance to.
I learned that my faith only mattered if it looked like theirs.
I learned that Billy Graham is a bigger Jesus than Jesus.
I learned that middle aged men and women care a lot about who you have sex with and how you have it.
I learned that being open and loud about my identity would cost me relationships and community.
I learned that I chose to be LGBTQIA2S+ because God would never fuck up and make something like me.
I learned that who I’m attracted to is a bigger sin than murder.
I learned that I was predatory.
I learned that I was wrong.
I learned that I could never love or be loved.
I learned I could be gay as long as I hate myself and never love someone else.
I learned I could never be trans.
I learned that God was literal and God was a man.
I learned I didn’t agree with that.
I learned I was gay/trans because my mom brought sin into our home.
I learned that I’m the only one who gets to trash talk my mom. They learned that too.
I learned that acceptance and love aren’t the same thing because love is supposed to look a lot like hate.
I learned that the church should be a leader in denying human rights.
I learned that I shouldn’t have rights.
I learned that my relationships could never be real.
I learned I can only love one man in my entire life.
I learned I’m just lying to myself.
I learned leaving the church was the only way I’d find God.
I learned a God who loves LGBTQIA2S+ folks can’t be a real God.
I learned I’d take that God over the evangelical God.
I’m unlearning the evangelical in me.