Regardless of your religious beliefs, there’s one common message religions are built upon: universal unity of mankind to fulfill one common purpose of worshipping God.
This unity is not rooted in uniformity, since no one person is like another, rather it is promoted through the acceptance of diversity that enriches one’s spiritual journey.
In Christianity, unity in diversity is encapsulated in this verse:
To put simply, one’s differences should not be wielded as a tool of separation, rather it should promote unity by accepting such differences to meet the common goal of worshipping God.
Yet, LGBTQ+ Christians around the world are still persecuted and discriminated against, which worsen their lives and limits them to access the most basic human right: freedom of self-expression.
Closer to home, Malaysian LGBTQ+ Christians themselves face significant difficulties as they navigate through the precarious path between maintaining their faith and exploring their own sexual identity.
X*, as 23-year-old Malaysian student shares his experiences as a gay Christian whose pronouns are He/Him.
Qn: How has your coming out experience affected your personal relationships or professional life?
I was probably 16 when I first realised I was gay because I had a crush on my male teacher (cliche, I know, *laughs*).
When I came out to my family, they did not take it easily.
My parents are both staunch Christians.
While they are completely fine with LGBTQ+ portrayals in the media and that they do not make any mean remarks towards me (my mum even has a number of gay guy friends that are close and dear to her), it is still a taboo topic at home.
I think it’s more of them not being able to accept their own son being one, so they will never approve of me being gay.
I am lucky though, that most of my friends who know me well enough of course are accepting, supportive and respectful of my choice.
Qn: What are some of the common stereotypes you face in regards to your sexuality? How do you navigate through them?
I have personally never really experienced any slurs or derogatory terms so I can’t speak much about it, because where I live, it is still relatively safe since people here aren’t that confrontational.
However, some people would either whisper amongst themselves or give me a weird or disgusted look.
Qn: What are some of the common reactions you received from other Christians in regards to your sexuality?
Most of my Christian friends know but it’s only a handful. They are not supportive but respectful of my decisions and have never once degraded me because of my sexuality.
I am not necessarily bothered by them not being entirely supportive, because I believe that it’s fine to have different viewpoints and perspectives, as long as the friendship does not get hostile.
Qn: How do you find faith as a LGBTQ+ Christian?
For me, it is a sensitive topic because it is only personal between me and God.
At the end of the day my faith is a relationship with God and not something someone I am in debt with or constantly seeking approval from hence I know I am accepted and loved by Jesus and that’s more than important/enough.
Qn: What advice would you give to fellow LGBTQ+ Christians who have not come out yet?
It really is a scary world for fellow LGBTQ+ Christians out there, and I understand that it might be difficult for you to come out.
I am blessed that I have met the ‘nicer’ Chrisitans in my life and that I haven’t really had my fair share of the ‘bad’ parts of being gay.
So, take your time to come out, because in my experience it definitely helps to have a very solid support system that is outside of church/Christianity because you would need people having your back and support when days are dark.
However, even if this isn’t the case for you, you should take the plunge and come out one day.
A candle alone can only shine in its maximum capacity but multiple candles together now enlarge its territory, so no matter how scary the world is, as long as you are choosing yourself, being out and open that itself is already empowering and liberating.
I chose to come out because I am who I am and I am comfortable enough to be in my own skin knowing that even if people are not going to be supporting me I have myself, I myself am my biggest supporter, and honestly that’s what really matters, you, yourself.
Choosing yourself over others is not selfish but self-love.
Q: What message would you share to Christians who may still have a strong stance against the LGBTQ+ community?
Simply put, love is love.
If you do not agree to it, keep your two cents worth of thought to yourself and don’t speak because we have too many self-proclaimed “righteous” people and we don’t need more of them.
My mum once said, “If you have nothing nice to say, shut up.”
People have every right to make a decision to love no matter the situation, so stop segregating, it’s disgusting.
We as Christians are taught not to judge or quickly condemn when we are not even the slightest bit perfect without sin. Jesus never cast the first stone1, so who are you to do so?
*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.
1 In the passage, Jesus was teaching in the temple after coming from the Mount of Olives. A group of scribes and Pharisees confronts Jesus, interrupting his teaching. They bring in a woman, accusing her of committing adultery, claiming she was caught in the very act. They tell Jesus that the punishment for someone like her should be stoning, as prescribed by Mosaic Law. Jesus begins to write something on the ground using his finger. But when the woman’s accusers continue their challenge, he states that the one who is without sin is the one who should cast the first stone at her. The accusers and congregants depart realizing not one of them is without sin either, leaving Jesus alone with the woman. Jesus asks the woman if anyone has condemned her and she answers no. Jesus says that he, too, does not condemn her, and tells her to go and sin no more.
Article by Qistina Binte Bumidin
Bible Gateway passage: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 – New International Version. Bible Gateway. (n.d.).
“love always wins. love has no gender. love is love. i am born this way. i am who i am”
Happy Pride Month