How do the Tenets of Christianity and Islam Affect Teens in the LGBTQ Community ?
“Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands”. -Author Ernest J. Gaines. Imagine being told who you could and couldn’t love. Situations like this happen every day with teens involved in the LGBTQ community. They often must choose between their perception of themselves and their faith. Christians and Muslims often go through persecution when they are discovered to be a part of the LGBTQ community. Looking back at history religion called for homosexuals to be executed or excommunicated. Teens often question whether they can be part of the LGBTQ community and still be religious. Often their ultimatum further into problems like depression, suicide, and addiction. Young teens often don’t have anyone to turn to in their religious community leading to higher stress rates, causing them to act out or disobey parents. In places like the Middle East being homosexuality is a crime and leads to honor killings for teens. Which sparks the question of how are these tenets of Christianity and Islamic faith affecting our teens?
Humans often get rid of things they don’t understand. People of the LGBTQ community go against the status quo and therefore retribution is “needed.” “ In over 74 countries around the world, same-sex relationships are illegal, while transgenders rights are unprotected leading to harmful acts against them without the perpetrators being punished.”(Kashmira Gander. “Muslims, Jews, and Christians on being LGBT and believing in God.”)Due to books likes the bible and Quran, it’s looked upon as a sin based on interpretation. However often times it’s not the religion to be afraid of but the community itself. Teens that grow up in this community never get to understand what they’re experiencing because of a don’t ask don’t tell policy.
“On June 12, 2016, the popular gay dance club Pulse in Orlando had suffered a mass shooting by one assailant. 49 had died and another 50 injured.” In a census bureau from the new york times newspaper has shown that “LGBTQ people are twice as likely to be targeted as African- Americans and the hate crimes against them have surpassed that of crimes against Jews.” In 2009 the Ugandan government implicated a legislation stating the mandatory death penalty for all homosexuals, mirroring a start to a genocide. Often times people thought homosexuality could be cured therefore they would beat them as they did in Nazi Germany, or castrate them. Everyone should be terrified by theses acts of cruelty as people are dying just because they don’t meet the normals standards and the culture and religion in these states are going against them because of it. In America itself there are laws that forbid health education from discussing lesbian ,gay, or bisexual people.
Which prevents young people from learning critical information about there health but also further stigmatize misleading or false information about LGBTQ people. In the state of Alabama and Mississippi classes of sexual health education must emphasize that homosexuality is not a good lifestyle and is a criminal offense.In the state of missouri laws prevent the school districts from prohibiting bullying on sexual orientation.Many of these laws are imbedded in the southern states of the U.S which is known to be highly religious where organizations such as the KKK were founded. As a person who grew up in a family where LGBTQ members were accepted I was constantly surrounded by them and I still would go to church every Sunday. This inspires the belief of ignorance is bliss. My church had no idea of my family and what our beliefs were and as long as they didnt know there was no judgement. It isn’t until people are aware that your apart of the LGBT community that the hatred and homophobia start; until then you’re perfectly accepted into society.
As a teen growing up with a religious mother and a liberal father I got to understand both sides completely and pick which one I felt I belonged to. However, this isn’t always the case for all teens. Many teens who grow up in religious homes and come out to their families are told they are too young to know what they want to be yet or they can’t be that at all. There are times where teens can become homeless because their religious parents have kicked them out. Due to their sexuality, parents don’t understand that sexual orientation and gender play an important role in a young person’s identity. The restraint of being unable to explore their sexuality as part of natural development leads to higher health issues in LGBTQ teens than in any other teens.
They are more likely to attempt suicide, risk homelessness and turn to illegal drugs.These issues can also contribute to anxiety and depression. Movies like Boy Erased shows us how religious communities would rather see children go through cruel punishment in order to erase his sexual identity. But you can’t just erase a part of a person, If a Muslim was asked to oppose the Quran they would refuse, or if a nun were asked to stop being Catholic they’d object because it’s a part of who they are. So why do religious tenets believe they can erase sexual orientation?
In today’s world, 74 out of 195 countries have made same-sex relationships illegal. That means about 121 countries are have not objected to same-sex relationships. Places like South America and in certain parts of the Middle East the LGBTQ community isn’t frowned upon. Religion is huge in places like this but their culture calls for homosocial behavior which, is true however , homosexual behavior is not the same as being a homosexual. Society has been more open as it has just legalized same-sex marriage, prior to the Trump administration kids in school were allowed to use whatever gender bathroom they want which is now being appealed. Churches have opened where teens can feel safe such as the House of Rainbow LGBTQ friendly church in the UK founded by Jide Rowland Macaulay. A
lso, organizations such as the Faith Role Models Program are bringing together people of all religious backgrounds together who are in the LGBTQ community to further help and support those who want to accept who they are and still be on the right path with God. Now, LGBTQ members are able to serve openly in any armed forces. Lastly, in this upcoming election where 70,412,021 of the U.S population is Catholic and 3.45 million are Muslim over 150 LGBTQ candidates claim victory in midterm elections.That shows society has improved in letting LGBTQ members join institutions like Congress and the army, however, it’s the backlash they get after doing it. It’s one thing to say that they can go ahead and join and another to say that they won’t receive any critics or violent encounters after doing so. More teens have come out as being apart of the LGBTQ community this decade and, the ones who come from Christianity or Islamic homes that’s been through the controversy of coming out are helping become a voice for others, to take leading positions in the world, and taking that further step into making it a better place.
I believe God discriminates .Discrimination doesn’t just mean unjust treatment of a race, age or sex. It means to recognize and understand the difference between one thing and another. And every person is different. As a teen, you can be both religious and perceive yourself any way you want. The tenets of Christianity and Islam is a huge obstacle because it’s hard to find someone to look up to or the ability to have support from your family but it can also lead to you becoming that role model for the people who don’t. Being Christian and Muslim isn’t always negative. Sometimes your religion can push you to do more. Help take in a teen that need some support so that they won’t commit cause harm to themselves. Build organizations where they can feel comfortable and open even if it’s just a club at school. These are only little solutions to a big problem but they can make a huge difference in the way teens prosper in the world. Everyone is here for a reason.