I was thinking today about my journey from conservative fundie Christian to where I am now.
As I’ve talked about before, I grew up Seventh Day Adventist, which is a very conservative sect of Protestant Christianity. The joke is that SDAs are about 20 years behind Baptists. SDAs are hardcore young earth creationists, anti-LGBT, and tend to isolate themselves from the world. They have their own schools (Kindergarten through college) where parents are strongly encouraged to send their kids. When I was growing up, almost all SDA churches were strongly against any kind of rock music, there were no drums in church, and usually no guitars either… just piano and organ for hymns. Makeup and jewelry were “self adornment” and looked down on, or just plain not allowed in most schools. There was no dancing, no bowling, and no movie theaters. Once a year our school would have a field trip to the local skate rink, and they had to unplug all the arcade games, and play “more appropriate music”.
I’ve heard a lot of this has changed now. Not the young earth creationism… oh no, no, no. The church leadership has come out strongly on that recently stating that the literal six day creation week is fundamental to Seventh Day Adventism and there is absolutely no room for compromise. But the more socially backwards traditions like jewelry, makeup, and drums in church are, the harder they are to maintain among younger generations.
My point in explaining this is to explain where I’ve come from. I grew up in that and I believed it. I later left SDAism behind after I realized I just didn’t think the distinguishing parts were that important, so I just became sort of general Christian, but still very conservative. It just doesn’t make sense to me to take the Bible seriously and not be conservative, or at least lean that way.
But I digress. When I was a conservative fundie Christian, I was on the wrong side of many issues, and the one that sticks out most in my mind right now is LGBT rights and equality. I thought being gay was a sin. I bought into all the anti-gay rhetoric. I voted for California’s Proposition 8 which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
I wasn’t outspoken or an activist, and I never “gay bashed” or anything. I never directly harmed any LGBT people, but I was on the wrong side of history. I supported and/or was part of organizations that did harm LGBT people.
So I want to say to my LGBT brothers and sisters, and all my now fellow advocates, that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for contributing to oppression and discrimination. I’m sorry for all you have had to endure because of people like who I used to be.
I’m happy to say that I’m firmly on the right side of history now. I’m 100%, categorically, unreservedly, proudly an LGBT advocate and activist.