Then in ninth grade, he was the first one in our group of friends to get a significant other. I was excited for him and when I was visiting my Dad's house for the weekend, I mentioned it at dinner along with all the other things that had happened in the two weeks since I had seen him and my Step-mom. I was completely unprepared for their reaction. I had a vague notion that my Dad and Step-mom were stricter than my Mom and that their church was more conservative but mostly it hadn't really translated into any real life consequences. Hearing them talk about the evils of homosexuality was the first time I consciously recognized that my faith was not necessarily anything like the faith of my parents.
For almost a decade I struggled to reconcile my faith with the God I knew, a God who never hate someone for how they were born, a God who would never hate anyone. Period. Amazingly enough, the first M/M Romance (ish) book I read is what helped me to start understanding how I could reconcile the two. I worked at a Christian Bookstore at the time and they got a in a book called The God Box by Alex Sanchez. It is a bit preachier than I look for in my reading material these days but it was an epiphany at the time. I don't even remember the exact theological points from the book anymore, just that it started a new conversation in my mind.
Two years ago, in the course of my graduate school studies, I took a class called Eros and Civilization: Scripture, Society and Homosexuality. As a part of this class I did a project on the impact of religiously based homophobia. I put a survey up on the M/M Romance Group and asked for people to respond with their experiences. The response was almost overwhelming. My heart broke as I read over my survey results.
Homophobia, whether religiously motivated or not, is an evil that we can no longer tolerate. "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good [people] to do nothing."
In our M/M Romance community, there are over 250 authors, reviewers, editors, and publishers who have chosen to speak up by participating in this year's Hop Against Homophobia. Check out that link to read their stories.
DRAWING CLOSED! Winners posted here.
1 copy of an eBook I have rated or reviewed on this blog
1 free custom written ficbit
1 item under $15 from the Human Right's Campaign Store