Oh my gosh I am so sorry I didn’t answer this sooner. This has been sitting in my ask box for so long but I just didn’t get to it until now.
The bible was written a long time ago, but I personally believe that God works with us in the context of today as the world constantly shifts and changes. Ultimately, I think we just need to focus on Love out of everything. Love above all. I am a baby Catholic. I’ve only been a Catholic for 4 years so I am still very new and learning things from the very basics unlike people who grew up with the Church. It’s hard, so I can’t really give you an answer specifically on church teachings. I focus more on my own relationship with God and Jesus to feel reconciled.
I think a lot of the tensions we feel and face is because people are the ones to judge, hate and twist the words of God, but God is Love and God Loves. God will always love you as you are. That’s ultimately what we need to focus on.
After coming to my university, I began to relate with God in new ways. Looking at God by using She/her pronouns, He/Him pronouns, or They/Them pronouns, etc. That really helped me feel more whole because if God created me as this queer/genderqueer person, then my God in a sense is also queer/genderqueer like me because They indwell in me. My God is everything, vast, limitless, omnipotent and abstract. This is what helped me relate to God better as a person who is queer in my sexuality and gender identity. I wrote more about my queer spirituality and relationship with my body within the context of God here:
Self Rejection to Oneness
Another common discussion that comes into the conversation of religion and sexuality/gender is sin. However, I like to view sin in a non-traditional way. Sin is anything that prevents you from being close to God or having a relation of some sort with God. I even see busyness as a sin, being fearful as a sin, attachment, obsession, righteousness, the lack of being mindful and loving as a sin. I see Love and sin in the same context. I think in the context of love, it’s important to ask “where is the love?” when talking about sin. Sins are always carriers of grace, and something to be grateful for because they bring awareness to how we really are.
I think the worst thing an individual can do is to ignore the truth of themselves, ignoring the small voice of their conscience telling them the truth. Don’t ignore your conscience. It is the voice of truth, love, light, and discovery. Always focus on being authentic with yourself. Being authentic and honest with yourself is what will bring you close to God. That’s what God wants. So that means if you’re ignoring and shunning away your sexuality, and gender identity, then you are denying the beauty God gifted you with. I really don’t think God makes mistakes. Perhaps God put us into this world to test how well us humans can love one another because this world is filled with so much hate, prejudice and violence against one another and we have forgotten to know how to love or what love looks like.
I used to hate knowing that inside I was queer. I’m starting to embrace it and find that it is inseparable from my spirituality and connection with God. It’s hard but I am really grateful for this gift because it has allowed me to really explore a side of me that I feel other people don’t explore. Not being cis or straight makes it easy to see the differences in yourself in comparison to the majority, but in ways I take it as a gift to take a look at my interior and really explore it. Cis people don’t think about their gender in the same way we do, and as a non-binary person I can’t go a day without thinking about this side of me, and same with sexuality. It is a gift to know this side of myself in an intentional and mindful way and that’s what God wants. I am doing whatever I can to bring myself closer to God rather than away. And that means embracing all sides of myself. God made me the way I am for a reason and sometimes the answer to that isn’t obvious until we’re older. I’m still trying to understand. But He’s done it with good intentions.
Jesus also calls us to move beyond judgement and to love one another. Jesus stood with the outcast, and that means He’s standing with you too, in your struggle, suffering, and hardships and for me that is a powerful image to focus on.
Anyways these are all my personal thoughts and experiences. I hope this helped somewhat. <3 There are people who are religious and queer, and you just have to find those people. They are there. I promise. Finding the community of queer people of faith, and priests who are affirming has been the best feeling in the world and I’ve had some of the most intentional conversations with them that have helped me feel more whole. I encourage you to reach out.
How do you reconcile the teachings of the Church with your gender identity and sexuality? I have been away from the Church for years for those reasons, and every time I try to return to my childhood religion I feel overwhelmed with guilt.