Religion has always been a source of difficulty for me and many others in the LGBT community. I have been in rooms filled with thousands of people damning me to hell. I have endured rejection in my own family in the name of “Christianity.” I almost took my own life because of this belief system.
Through the power of many years and music, I am able to forgive these people and experiences.
I recently stumbled upon an old hymn that I used to sing in church when I was growing up. The song is entitled “How Great Thou Art.” As a child, I used to sing these lyrics at the top of my lungs because I honestly believed the words. I ask myself today how I could go from such a strong conviction to the place I currently exist.
The reason I’m here is because of humanity’s misinterpretation of the Bible. My God would never shun me for the way I was born. He would never intend to hurt me because of the way he created me. He would want me to find love and happiness. Why can’t all Christians see this?
Since finding love, I smile brighter and embrace all the good things that life has to offer. No god, no matter what religion, would frown upon that. So why is it so difficult for humans to understand? Isn’t it that simple?
Through marriage and the creation of my own family, I see all the amazing things that life has in store. Before, I just got by day-to-day. God does not shun that. He is greater than you and I and he is great. He does embrace me, accept me and love me the same way that he loves everyone else in the world. Because my God does not discriminate. He loves the LGBT community and created us to make an impact.
As the Bible tells us, we will be judged at the end of our lives upon entering heaven. Will he judge you for judging others? I know for a fact that I will not be judged in this area. Don’t get me wrong, I have sinned in my thirty-two years, but the one thing I can honestly say is that I did the best I could with the tools I was given.
At the end of my life, God will smile when he sees me and welcome me with open arms.
Derick Simmons is a thirtysomething gay man living in Washington, DC. With roots in southern VA, he has endured challenges growing up gay in a straight world. Check out his blog Gay Man Straight World and follow him on Twitter @DerickSimmons or Facebook.