What I Have To Say To The Man Who Told Me I Was Going To Hell For Dating Women

Growing up my sister and I were encouraged to explore different religions and beliefs. It wasn’t uncommon to find my Nana doing energy work on us, waving crystals over our bodies when we were in pain, and encouraging us to meditate.

No matter what my dad and Nana encouraged us to do, seek or understand, it was always rooted in one thing—love.

When I was married my husband forced me to go to church to ‘be a godly woman’, I didn't want to disappoint him, so I did as requested.

As I started to question my sexuality when I was married, I couldn’t get down with the fact that this God I was being forced into a relationship with would hate on anyone, let alone condemn them to hell. I didn’t understand the bible, know who this Peter guy was, or anything—but I did know for a fact, as much as the sky is blue, what I know and believe God to be, is love.

This God stuff has always felt confusing for me. I’ve always had this deep longing to belong, so while I knew there were parts of christianity that weren’t my jam, I wanted to be with my friends. In this season of my life I also thought I wanted to be married to my husband—church was a requirement at the time for both. Which made it hard for me when my grandparents stopped talking to me because I date women.

My grandparents believe that I’m going to hell for being gay, and they aren’t the only ones.

A guy I was talking to the other day asked me why I don’t go to church. With confidence, for the first time in a really long time I was able to answer honestly. I feel so deeply connected to my God. I feel spiritual AF. I have no lack of love, or alignment. I believe so deeply in my God.

This guy and I kept talking, and I happily answered his questions about why this, and why that. When I told him I date women and how my grandparents think I’m going to hell. He paused and said ‘well, I agree with them, but I don’t think we have to shame you for the choice you’ve made to be a homosexual.’

While I wanted to tell him that ‘being a homosexual’ is not a choice. And that it would be 1000000x easier to just date men. I refrained and let him continue. I also couldn't stop reciting mean girls "And on the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so that Man could fight the dinosaurs..... And the homosexuals. AMEN."

Where a roaring rage may have once lived within side of me, was a bizarre kind of peace and love. Hashtag blessed.

I was surprised that I wasn't jumping to defend myself. But then I realized that I don’t have a desire to change his mind. While I don’t agree with how he perceives my love. I know that my love doesn’t need his approval. And that my God, she is love. I am love.

I have never wanted to go against the grain. Listen, I got a fucking cross tattoo on my shoulder because I wanted to prove to my husband that I could be the most godly wife he had ever seen. Even when it didn’t feel right to me, I stayed because I wanted to belong. I inked my body to belong. LOL.

Which has not only made choosing to not see God the way he saw God or the way my grandparents do, feel hard and like I’ve let someone down.

Listen bud, liking women isn’t a walk in the park. With two women you have not one, but TWO periods. Not one, but TWO sets of very high, intuitive emotions. We feel a lot. I’m not saying that I would chose anything differently, but my sexuliaty wasn’t a choice.

I was born this way. Cue Lady Gaga and throw me a rainbow flag, please.

Brene Brown defines spirituality like this:

“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”

She goes on to say that the power greater than us all for some is God, for others that’s hiking, or writing.

“Some are reminded of our inextricable connection by faith; others by expressions of shared humanity. Some find that religion is the best expression of inextricable human connection that is guided by love and compassion, and others believe that no entity has done more to corrode that connection than organized religion.”

Brene, a social scientist and researcher has the data to back up the thing I’ve known to always be true. That God is love. You are love. I am love. We are all love.

Holy damn. I haven’t even wanted to write the word God for years because I thought that in saying God, it had to mean the way my ex-husband saw God, or how you do.

There is freedom in knowing that God is who we want it/he/she to be. Which I know so many will disagree with. We can find relief in knowing our truth and connection come in the deep understanding that it’s all rooted in love and compassion.

Which allows me to look the man who said I was going to hell in the eyes and know that my truth is love and compassion, and that’s all I need.

xo

Rachel