I wanted to share with you some wisdom from a fellow Pagan friend of mine. He recently touched on the topic of "Sexuality and Spirituality." Many of his points I found quite interesting. This topic is one that is not only a big issue in our society, but also in the Pagan community.
"Sexuality and spirituality can go hand in hand. Not always, but it very much so can. Unfortunately, there is still a high amount of fear and distaste for alternative sexualities. I am straight in sexuality, but have a pansexual mentality. I have seen many boys and men struggle in alternative religions because of their sexuality. It is a shame really. What people do not always understand is that a part of being spiritual in any faith is to accept that you are who you are. It is the first step in accepting any religious or spiritual path. You must accept that this is who you are, this is how you think and feel, and this is how you were born. Only when you can accept yourself, can you accept spirituality in its fullest.
You have alternative sexualities in ANY religion. I am glad that alternative religions such as Wicca and other Pagan paths have a great population of people who are confident enough with their sexuality to be open about it. That shows a huge level of acceptance of the individual, and trust that individual has in their religious community. Too often pagans are persecuted based on their beliefs. How hypocritical it is for those who are so often persecuted for their religious preferences to persecute others for their sexuality preferences.
Sexuality aside, it is very difficult for people of alternative religions to be open about their beliefs. It is especially and painfully true for Pagans. Even in our modern and open-minded society (for it is much more open-minded about alternative lifestyles/sexuality/religion than it has ever been), Pagan are still viciously murdered for their beliefs. Saudi Arabia has an official Anti-Witchcraft Unit. In Nepal, India, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda, witches are murdered on a daily basis because of their beliefs. The dictator of Gambia has those he believes to be witches killed on sight. In 2011 and 2012, over 600 elderly women were killed for witchcraft in Tanzania. Even in the United States of America, people are persecuted, humiliated, and discriminated against for being Pagan. Last year, Fox News attacked and stereotyped Wiccans and Pagans on live TV.
Life as a practicing Pagan is not easy in any part of the world. Every day, Pagans run the risk of being persecuted, humiliated, and discriminated against. Every day, life can be dangerous. Many Pagans put their life on the line every time they practice. That is the reality of the world we live in.
Now put sexuality on top of that. It is hard to be of any alternative sexuality in our world. Every day people are attacked because of their sexuality. "Gay bashing" and "homophobia" liter our world. In many places, being of an alternative sexuality is a crime. In other places, it's a "sin." People have been killed for their sexuality.
Does anyone else see a common theme among the two? It is hard to be Pagan. It is hard to be of an alternative sexuality. It is even harder to be both. Those people face hardships every step of the way, so the fact that they are comfortable enough to be open about it, and trusting enough to be open to YOU about it...that says a lot. The fact that the LGBTQ community is so rich in Pagan religions is a blessing it itself. It means the members of the Pagan community feel trusting of one another, and feel safe with one another. That is a relationship very few religions have.
Do not poison that relationship with bigotry and homophobia. You do not have to agree with an individual's personal choices that they make in their life. But it is a blessing to have them as a part of your community. They add strength to the community you call "family." A religion is as strong as it's weakest member, and by the looks of it, those of alternative sexualities are leading the pack.
Many blessings and Greenthingz!
Please share your thoughts and stories!