Religion and Non-Heterosexuality

“How do I still be Religious and also be something other than straight?”

Something a lot of people struggle with is questioning their sexuality and have a strong religious opposition to it. Something almost every LGBT+ and religious person has struggled with so a post on it might help someone searching for answers.

First question is above, how to reconcile with a religion you still believe in (not necessarily Christianity but it is most commonly brought up, and what I’m most educated about) but states you can’t be you.

First it is most important to remember, why do you love your god/goddess/gods? Is it because they give you this and that, or more likely because they love you? Your religion teaches your god (lower case but substitute your own holy deity here) loves you, watches over you, and wants the best for you. Remember this as you question and determine your own sexuality. Your belief is your god wants the best for you, probably even created you as they want you to be. Why would they create homosexuals then if they did not want them to exist?

Many churches support homosexuality anymore. You could read up and try to find one in your area and here them say it if you still can’t believe it. Your god loves their people, and it’s important to remember that doesn’t stop at you wanting to have consensual sex/love with someone else, regardless of gender.

“So my god doesn’t hate me”

Of course not! You don’t follow your deity because they are hateful and seek to destroy. You love them because they are forgiving, kind, and best of all loving. They could never hate you for your preference in genders.

I hope this has been of a bit of help. Remember you could get more specific answers for your specific beliefs from your local Pastor/Father/Imam/Rabbi/What have you. Even if there isn’t a pro-LGBT+ one in your area that doesn’t mean no one in your religion is.

-Your Queer Peer

Building Your Homo-cabulary

For today’s (second) post I wanted to make up a quick list of terms you should study for our homo-cabulary test. Just a few quick words in the order they come to my mind defined for you. Hopefully this well help someone understand their own LGBT+ self or someone they know. Note: All or most of these terms can be present with one or more other terms. Ex. A man can be homosexual (only sexually attracted to other men) and bi-romantic (romantically attracted to two gender identities) crossing to something like romantically attracted to men and MTF’s but only sexually attracted to cisgendered men. Also, some terms (like biromantic/bisexual) are paired together for their similar definitions, however just because someone identifies as one doesn’t mean they are also the other.

Homosexual- Usually used for a man who is only sexually interested in other men, although can also be used for a woman only sexually interested in women

Lesbian- A term exclusively for women who are sexually attracted to only women

Gender Identity- What gender someone identifies as. This can be male, female, agender, gender queer and more

Cisgendered- Someone who identifies as their biological gender

Bisexual/Biromantic- Someone who is sexually/romantically attracted to two gender identities

Pansexual/Panromantic- Someone who is sexually/romantically attracted to all gender identities

MTF/FTM- Male To Female/ Female To Male, not everyone who identifies this way has completed the transformation to the other gender but it is a way to state what gender they identify as and their biological gender

Agender- Someone who does not identify as any gender. There is a wonderful explanation here by someone who identifies that way

Gender Queer- Someone who feels more masculine one day, more feminine another. Not identifying as male or female but may request male or female pronouns

Pronouns- He, She, They, Ze, Zer, Etc. The way someone is referred to. Some may want to be referred to with gender neutral pronouns (they, zer) so it is important to ask

DMAB/DFAB- Designated Male At Birth/ Designated Female At Birth. Not very widely used but a way of giving birth gender, especially used when one doesn’t have a gender term they agree with yet but know they are not cisgendered.

DemiSexual/DemiRomantic- Someone who can not feel sexual/ romantic attraction to another without a strong emotional bond

Asexual- Feeling no sexual attraction to anyone or anything. Some Asexuals (or “Aces”) enjoy the feeling of sexual pleasure but don’t like thinking about the act, some would do it to please a partner but couldn’t enjoy the act or feeling of it, and some couldn’t enjoy the feeling and are to grossed out by the act to even want to do it for a partners

Aromantic- Unable to feel romantic attraction to anyone

Grey A- Falling near Asexuality but not fully asexual. Can mean feeling sexual attraction but rarely, experiencing sexual attraction but with a low sex drive, people who desire sex and feel the attraction but not strongly enough to act on it, and more

Gray romantic- Falling somewhere between romantic and Aromantic. Some examples could be experiencing romantic attraction but rarely, and desiring relationships that aren’t quite platonic or romantic.

That’s all I can think of for now. If I missed any feel free to comment and I can include them in another addition. Also if there is anyone who feels confused or needs to talk, my kik is sparkestheninja. Feel free to contact me or leave a comment about a topic you would like me to cover or if you just want to talk, although if you would like to remain anonymous kik is best.

-Your Queer Peer

Why I Love Labels

So in the last post I mentioned that some people use queer to indicate they are not heterosexual without having to worry about labels. I also mentioned that while I respect that idea I myself prefer the labels, so I thought that the next topic we would have is an explanation on why I love labels with all of my heart and soul.

First a quick bit of background to help you understand, and a quick explanation of one label that fits me. I grew up in a smaller town way back when gay marriage wasn’t legal nationwide in the united states. Around the time I was in middle school there were about 3 lesbians, 1 homosexual male, and zero other options other than straight and ‘pretended to like girls’ (bisexual wasn’t a very accepted idea). I was also starting to realize that I liked girls and I had always liked boys, so the ‘confusion’ about which I liked plus growing up in a family where lots of things get you sent to hell (including not being straight) caused a confusing time for me. I struggled a lot my eighth grade year and felt like a total freak until I moved to a new city just before high school.  There not only was bisexual a thing but so was transgender and gender queer and pansexual*!

I was no longer a freak. I didn’t stress about which one I liked, I accepted that just like my girlfriend didn’t want to be a boy or a girl I didn’t have to just like boys or girls. But even though I stopped caring about what I liked I still had that feeling that I wanted a word. I knew my new friends would accept me in this new area (even if lots of others didn’t) but I still wanted to know what I was. I discovered pansexual then, meaning you could like men or women or anyone else. It was all dependent on the person and not their gender identity.

I like labels because it shows there are people that fit into that exact category like me. It isn’t Sparklestheninja-sexual so clearly there are people like me who fit into the same description. While I respect people who want the label ‘human’ or ‘queer’ to avoid division, I want specifics because it reminds me I’m not alone in what I am, there’s this whole word so there are plenty like me.

I like labels because I like acknowledging our differences. Just like I like to learn about different religions and mythology, I like to hear what makes us all different. It’s amazing how we can all e slightly different in what we believe, what we like, each telling of a story a little different through another’s eyes. Really I know I probably sound a little cheesy there, but it’s fun to read about to me. I like labels because it helps us learn about each other, it helped me accept who I was. I think it’s easier to stand together when we acknowledge, learn about, and celebrate our differences, and that’s why I love terms. Naturally I respect other views, but this is just a quick 500-ish explanation on my view.

*If you don’t know those terms I do plan on doing a homo-cabulary so you can google them now or read that one later.

“Isn’t Queer an offensive word?”

So for those of you who are earlier in the LGBT community (or aren’t members but are curious) you may have heard of the word ‘queer’ being used as an insult. While it’s true that queer used to be offensive, I’m going to give you a short lesson in ‘queer’ usage now.

First it’s important to remember that sexuality is fluid. This means that your sexuality could change as your life goes on, so you could be a lesbian all your life or you could be a lesbian then be attracted to one or more men. This doesn’t mean that your lesbianism was “a phase” or confusion, it means that much like food you like or the personality type you are attracted to, your sexuality can evolve as you age, although you can’t purposely ‘train yourself’ to be something you’re not.

With that said one use for queer is when your sexuality changes and you don’t want to continue changing terms for each time. Erica Moen is a comic writer most famous for DAR, and she has dealt with her own changing identity until she decided to label herself as queer, and has done several interesting comics on it. I would suggest this one where she mentions the difficulty in changing terms as well as this one where she talked about her changing identity over the years.

Another reason some like to say queer is there is a unity behind it. If you are lesbian and he’s gay and they’re bi you’re all LGBT+ but there is that division. Plus a very common argument is queer has us focusing less on the words and makes labels less important. If I tell you I’m queer it says I’m not heterosexual and that is as specific as we need to get.

I myself like labels. Actually I LOVE labels but that’s a blog for another time. However for now I’m just your “Queer Peer” Sparkles the Ninja because typing everything I am would take a while, plus there would be defining to make sure we’re all on the same page and then there’s explaining since not everyone defines their sexuality the same even if they use the same labels. Really it’s far to long a blog title and tagline than using queer. So in settings like this I use queer to save time, not because I’m ashamed of what I am or I hate labels but just to not take so long.

It’s important to remember that although queer is becoming another word people identify with many of the older LGBT+ members still feel that it is offensive. They grew up with it being another hateful word they were bullied and tortured with so many still wish to not use it. So always remember that (just like pronouns) it is important to ask how someone wants to be called so you don’t offend anyone.

And there you have it. I hope this post has given you some new insight into the word queer, and maybe even someone who  finds this will have finally found the word they want to identify with. Have a wonderful day.

-Your Queer Peer

Hello World

So my name is Sparkles and I’m going to be your queer peer. I’m a freshman in college and this is my blog about everything that crosses my mind. I already have a few posts in mind but I’m not sure how often I’ll update. If you have any questions always feel free to ask but for now I wanted to get a hello up. I do make offensive jokes some times so I will give you this warning. I’m also VERY opinionated so there may be rants, but I will not list names or specifics. That’s all for now so maybe I’ll see you around?