Faith under the rainbow: religious bias and the queer community in Southeast Asia

LGBT, opinions, Things That Bug Me

“You can’t be gay!” She said,

“Why not?” I questioned,

“Because it’s haram…”  and just like that the conversation ends.

What makes homosexuality a bigger sin than blind faith and ignorance? It’s through personal experience and stories in community spaces that I found out how conservatism is the trigger to the injustice that blinds logic.

Growing up where heterosexuality is the default, being queer is something that launched a million questions. Sure, to some it wasn’t a surprise but others were not as kind. A lot of the responses surround the belief that being queer is just about being physical with someone of the same gender – and while it’s frustrating, there are still many that does not differentiates gender and sexuality. It’s about time for the stigma of queers being nymphomaniacs to be out of the picture. I want to open the conversation on the psychological aspects that includes culture, gender, and discrimination or intolerance experienced in the community.

I’m now conducting my own personal research based on academic resources and other’s experiences that would hopefully bridge the gap where misunderstandings happen.

The questions I had to answer include but are not limited to:

  1. Are you sure?
  2. How did this happen?
  3. Maybe you should look into therapy?
  4. Have you sought to find God to change you back to normal?

This research isn’t limited to just queer individuals. Allies and friends of those under the umbrella term of queer are welcome to submit their opinions, woes, and questions on the topic of faith under the rainbow. This research is planned to be the base for a larger set of articles that I hope can be a voice that helps and supports the community where needed.

So answer me any of these questions with your story:

  1. How religious were you growing up? (did you go to church/the mosque/temple on a regular basis and on your own accords?)
  2. When did you accept yourself as a queer individual?
  3. How did you handle the situation (if your surrounding wasn’t supportive)?
  4. Do you still practice your religious responsibilities after accepting your individuality?
  5. Are you generally happy?

But most importantly,

What would you like the world to know about being an individual and someone that is part of the rainbow community?

Those opposing are also welcome to send in submissions of opinions on the matter, though anything harmful and ignorant will be flagged.

I’m open to a level conversation – not a one sided argument.

I will take in account the sources of my research and do the best to have an objective voice that advocates equality without dismissing or insulting anyone’s faith or belief. Nevertheless, this research is an opinion based entity that will be on qualitative grounds.

Drop me a comment or tweet me at @shenntyara, and I’ll try my best to go through them one by one.

Those choosing to email please put in the subject line: Faith and Rainbows. 

Please put a disclaimer if submissions are meant to be anonymous, I want everyone who has something to say to know that it’s safe to open up (even to a random person on the internet like myself). Feel free to record a video if that is your preferred medium – I will blur out faces if you’re not comfortable with being out.

Submission ends this April 28, 2018.

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