Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

You Gotta Have Faith
by AMY MATHENY
2004-02-01

This article shared 2521 times since Sun Feb 1, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Many people think that having an article on faith in a GLBT magazine is an odd waste of space. That there are more important topics. Gender, ethnicity, healthcare, HIV/ AIDS prevention and treatment, politics, these are all more relevant. And yet, faith is a crucial element always missing in our community. While the heterosexual world relies on faith as a foundation for their identity, homosexuals often deny we need it. I won't say religion. Not yet. I know it is a scary word conjuring images of Jerry Falwell, the Pope, or Fred Phelps. People who ridicule, reject, or abuse us. Or, religion points to the too perfect and benevolent such as Mother Teresa and saints to whom we can in no way relate. But faith should be ours. Sure, we have been rejected by many churches or temples, but when has that stopped us? We made our own bars, our own movies, our own newspapers. It is supply and demand like everything else. Why are we not demanding that faith is a necessity in our lives?

As a lesbian who is also a Christian, I know that my faith informs my identity greatly. I also know that GLBT people have strong views on faith. It is ironic to me that I find more negativity in telling GLBT people that I am Christian, than I do telling Christian people that I am lesbian. Why is that? Do Christian people hide their true feelings about my sexuality? Why are GLBT people so quick to be loudly shocked? Asking me 'How?' and 'Why?' GLBT people can be very passionate about their rejection of faith. Many of us shrink away from anything Christian. We struggle with issues based in childhood Catholicism. GLBT people raised Jewish now just celebrate the 'important' holidays, not feeling entirely comfortable with their religious identity. Islamic GLBT men and women have been repressed so subversively by their faith that it seems unfathomable to pray as did their parents.

But what does that mean for us as adults? As gays and lesbians? As a community? Has our sexuality become our religion? But then where is our faith? It is a question that needs to be addressed.

What is faith? Faith n 1) belief in, devotion to or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof; 2) a system of religious belief, or the people who adhere to it; 3) belief in and devotion to God; 4) a strongly held set of beliefs or principles; 5) allegiance or loyalty to somebody or something.

Most believe in something. That one is easy. System of belief? Many GLBT people say they don't believe in organized religion. Understandable. Judgment comes down from many of 'faith' to exclude us. God? What kind of God are we talking about, you may ask. Strongly held principles? Well, no community is as passionate as ours. Loyalty to somebody or something? Oh, there is the rub. How loyal are we to ourselves? We are in denial somehow. We pretend we don't need faith and I am sure that we do. That it is an essential missing ingredient to us as a community.

Lest I be thought of as a Southern (which I am) converter (which I am not), let me say that I believe a diversity of faiths is as important as a diversity of sexuality. But I believe faith is sorely missing in the GLBT community. That we somehow feel unworthy of the divine. That it does not belong to us. It is for heterosexuals, our parents, 'others.' I think it belongs to us more. And that as a community we have a great ability to use our faith for good. In this space, as odd as it may seem, I will work with others to explore that. The divine in ourselves and our community. How unlocking it, accepting it and sharing it, will make us stronger individually and as a community.

editor@windycitymediagroup.com . Leaders of various faiths answering questions monthly. Matheny is co-host of Windy City Radio, Sundays, 11 p.m., WCKG, 105.9 FM.


This article shared 2521 times since Sun Feb 1, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.