As a Black Trans Man, Walking Into Church Can Cause Me Harm
If you look at history, religion and violence against people like me go hand in hand
One morning, my adoptive mom asked me if I wanted to go to church with her, and I didn’t really have an answer.
The last time I went to a church service, it ended up being a traumatic shitshow. On the other hand, going to church was a good excuse to wear my nice shirt and tie.
I’d slept late that morning; my mother knew I needed the rest, so she didn’t wake me. However, her question made me wonder if I was ready to confront religion again. It’s a confusing and triggering subject for me.
People all around the United States use Christianity as a shield. They hide behind their religion while spewing vile bigotry and hatred. They target LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups and conveniently forget that their Jesus was an outcast, too. They conveniently forget that he spent time with the same people they look down upon, like sex workers and the homeless.
However, religion and violence go hand in hand. History books are littered with crusades. Slave masters used the Bible in an attempt to convince their slaves that they were supposed to be property instead of humans with rights.
And it still happens today. People claim being gay is a sin according to the Bible, which was written thousands of years ago, and then pretend that it’s the worst one. They act as if being gay or transgender is worse than murder or blasphemy. At the same time, they blatantly ignore sins that they commit daily like lying, stealing, and cheating.
Would they accept me as a Black man? Possibly, if I was far enough along in my transition that they had no idea I was transgender in the first place.
Churches make me anxious. Being in a room with that many Christians is dangerous for me because of who I am. As an LGBTQ person, I have to be ready to defend myself at all times, whether it’s verbal or physical attacks. Being a Black man means walking out of the house and wondering if you’ll live long enough to see it again. Being chronically ill…