My parents did not discuss homosexuality that I remember until I was old enough to have figured it out on my own. It likely came up in Bible readings but was never elaborated on.
I had an uncle who was gay and was in a relationship with a great guy whom he is with to this day. At first his companion was referred to as uncle Dave’s friend Andrew (names changed). Dave and Andrew were good buddies who traveled together and sometimes came to family holidays.
However, I soon figured out on my on that they were (most likely) a couple. My confirmation came when I got mail addressed from both of them. I knew this was supposed to be wrong and the idea of me being in a similar relationship was repulsive. Despite these beliefs I never once felt animosity towards them or felt that they should be viewed as different.
Perhaps 3 years into my uncle’s relationship, my parent’s had this big meeting to break to us some sad and disheartening news. Somehow, I thought it might have to be the fact that my uncle was gay and sure enough they told us the terrible news. We were encouraged to pray for them but warned about their sinful lifestyle.
This was by no means the first time my extended family was put in a bad light for their wicked ways; however, it was the most obvious. Throughout childhood, but to my dismay and regret, my family discriminated, spoke ill of, and mistreated those of our extended family we deemed to be more sinful then ourselves.
While I did not agree with homosexuality during childhood, I couldn’t help but wonder “why is this such a bad sin? It is certainly spoken about in the Bible, but what about gluttony? Or women being silent in the church? Or laws requiring stoning? How do these get a free pass?”
I cannot say my conscious is clear in my thoughts an actions towards those I didn’t agree with as a child, but I can say that by the time I was in college any hint of animosity toward them had vanished.
Once again, the idea of fear is the most prevalent toward homosexuality. Fear of that which was different. Fear of those who didn’t have our sexual preferences. Fear of those who didn’t follow our religion the way we did. I didn’t share those fears towards those who were different. Even if I felt I should disagree with them, it was never out of fear or hate toward them.