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Love yourself!

A wonderful friend (Ru Gof) posted this pic today, which reminded me that this is the greatest and most powerful truth we can embrace.

We may THINK we feel love for others – we may become overwhelmed by emotion for others and feel a huge heart response to them.

We may genuinely put others first and try to meet their needs. We might do everything that looks like love – but it isn’t. It’s a subconscious construct that we adopt to hide our own lack of self love. Its a deflection from the need to look at our own self loathing and fear. Our lack of self love/worth colours every single thought, emotion and action.

Self love is THE only way to truly love others, no matter how you justify it, no matter what your emotions might say, or how loving your actions look. It’s not real.

Love yourself first. Only then will the love your experience and express for others be pure and untainted by our own needs.

This is a hard reality – very hard!! Because there are so many beautiful people who do incredibly loving selfless actions, based on their emotional perceptions and responses. They are genuine and do amazing things for so many, and they can be incredibly empathetic and compassionate as well!

But it’s not real love!

This can be horrific for those fragile ones amongst us to recognise, mostly because it means they have to confront their inner demon of self hatred, which often masks itself as “sacrificial” love, and “empathy”. It can be a large can of worms, especially for abuse victims – which includes religious abuse (and even just devotion to standard christian doctrines!), as well as physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Self love is the key to freedom, no matter what any religion or philosophy tells you. It’s not pride or arrogance. It’s not narcissism. It’s a true evaluation of the uniquely beautiful and perfect you.

Be brave – live loved!!

New levels of support!

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new support group to Silent Gays.

We now have two Facebook “secret” groups –
SG1 and SG2 to cover the level of support you may need.

SG1 (our original support group) is a group for people to share their hearts and stories, to rant and rave and find people who can relate to their experiences with religion and being LGBT. It’s very safe, supportive and non-judgemental. It’s also relaxed, fun and a great mix of all kinds of belief systems. Unconditional love is the foundation.

SG2 is for those who are really struggling, especially if their mental health has been compromised in any way. It’s moderated by counsellors (who care enough to help people voluntarily) who can provide gentle, loving support and advice, as well as referrals to the right kind of help. It’s a community of people who don’t feel safe anywhere else. And yes, unconditional love is the bottom line.

We are really excited about this, and welcome folks from anywhere in the world.

You can join SG1 by sending us your email address and we’ll send you the link.

To join SG2, send us a message with your email address for the link and a very brief statement of what’s going on for you.

Confidentiality is our number one priority, nothing will EVER be shared beyond the groups!

Feel free to contact us for more details.

 

 

Come Out!

Silent Gays tagline line is “coming out of religion”, so I thought I might expand on this a little.

Obviously it’s a double reference to coming out as LGBT and coming out of religion – but why the two together? Surely you can still be gay or whatever but not leave your faith/beliefs behind?

Yes, you can. Many do find reconciliation between sexuality and gender and their beliefs. But there is a far deeper reality that hits home for many.

For those who’ve had the guts to work through the doctrines surrounding LGBT issues in the bible, there is a bigger question looming in the background:

If we can get it that wrong with sexuality and gender, what else have we got wrong? And this is a scary place to be, simply because a crises of faith can be devastating. After spending so much of yourself in sorting out the LGBT stuff, the need to relax in what faith you have left can be very important to your sanity!

But what happens if you really do follow that trail and tumble down the rabbit hole? Yes, it will get weird, wild and crazy. You will lose even more friends. You’ll question your own sanity. But you WILL eventually land in a whole new world, far beyond our wildest dreams. You’ll see the world of christianty as just a small step in your journey. You’ll understand that life is so much bigger than religion ever promised. And you’ll understand love in a way that religion is incapable of.

Be brave – your life has just begun!

Lets talk about anal sex

I talk to a lot of people about being gay, especially christians. Once you cut through all the religious doctrinal rubbish you usually end up with “the yuck factor”.

This is the dreaded anal sex yes, in the end this is what it comes down to for far too many people. There’s even a new group that call themselves “g0ys“, who despite some good intentions, suffer from ignorance of the full nature of sexuality and gender, and engage in active bigotry towards LGBT people, and are pro homosexuality but anti anal sex as well as anything that suggests the slightest hint of breaking out of gender stereotyping.

But what IS the deal here? The most recent U.S. data from a national representative sample comes from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which was conducted on over 12,000 men and women aged 15 to 44. Results show that 34 percent of men and 30 percent of women reported engaging in anal sex at least once *. This is certainly an eyebrow raiser because we aren’t talking about gay people here!

Other stats say around 90% of gay men practice it, some less, but generally at least 80%. Other stats on straight women say about 11 to 15% regularly practice anal sex. Whatever the figures, it’s not just a small minority.

Is it safe? Is it yuckie? Is it pleasurable? Why do we even care?

As with ANY form of sexual contact it has it’s risks. There are links to anal cancer etc, but what most people don’t realise is that the research assumes that all gay guys engage in rough, unprotected sex every night of the week with a different partner – something that far too many accept as a stereotype. The truth is that it’s as safe as you make it. If you clean yourself first, all good. Clean up after, all good – basic stuff really.

Yuckie? I can see why people think that because that’s the hole where the crap comes out. Of course the semen comes out of the whole where the urine comes out, but we don’t think about that. Again, it’s all a matter of what we’ve been conditioned to thin rather than any reality.

Pleasurable? Most guys find it great, not all, but most. This is because it directly stimulates the prostate gland. It gets a nice stimulating massage during the whole process and it can be pretty good. Some guys don’t like it and that’s fine. No one is forcing anyone else to like it (well, they shouldn’t). Many women like it as well. It’s just one of those sexual experiences that you either like or don’t.

Do we even care? This is the crunch! Why the hell do we care what other people do in their bedrooms? How does it affect YOU? If your gay neighbours are having anal sex, exactly how does that affect your life? If you are spouting religious reasons, really, what do we care what your interpretations of some ancient tribal writings say? I know it’s very important to many people, but if that’s your views, then you are actively involved in killing people. Religious views are the primary cause of mental illness that directly causes chronic depression and suicide – at alarming rates.

So if your opinions come down to gay people having anal sex, perhaps you should give it a go yourself!

Sex and Religion

I’ve joined forces with Recovering from Religion! These guys are an amazing team of dedicated volunteers who providscreenshot-www-recoveringfromreligion-org-2016-10-10-16-10-47e resources for anyone who has “left the fold” or are seriously questioning their belief system. They provide heaps of resources, a phone hotline, counselling, face to face groups etc.

They are wonderfully LGBTI affirming in every way and love the work I’m doing with Silent Gays.

 

Here’s their latest podcast on sex and religion featuring Dr Darrel Ray and my own story at the end (its a long interview but worth it – my story is around the 1:10 point)

I’ll be regularly posting stuff from their resources and providing links on Silent Gays Resource page.

Orlando

I’ve waited a couple of days to ponder over the Orlando shooting and all the implications.

There has been an incredible outpouring of love and strength from the LGBT community and the world at large. Probably not much more I could add to all that.

There has been a lot of blame juggling – from gun laws, to Islam, to homophobia, to politics – you name it, someone or something is getting blamed and scapegoated.

The depth of the emotions we experience at something like this are always going to govern our opinions. The thing that we are most passionately “anti” will take the full brunt of our blame. That’s just human nature. We all do it. And that’s why I waited, to give myself time to sift through my natural responses and biases as well as all the rhetoric going around. And I certainly don’t want to diminish the impact of the event or the trauma and grief millions are feeling.

I think when we get to the bottom of it all, the problem is hate – fear based hate. It’s something we are all subject to. When we feel threatened fear sets in and fear needs an outlet. More often than not it’s directed at someone or something as hate. We fear what a political change might bring so we hate the politician. We fear someone for abusing us so we hate them. We fear so many things in different ways and turn it into hate.

It seems the shooter was himself a closeted gay. His native culture and religion made it utterly impossible to come to terms with his sexuality, and the fear of being gay and all that entailed drove him to hate who he was and anyone who reminded him of that. The cognitive dissonance in his mind – the clash of sexuality and his religious and cultural paradigms triggered an extreme hatred against himself and gay people in general.

He was also abusive to his wife, which is just another expression of that self hatred, lashing out in an attempt to be in control.

He was a victim. Yes, as much as we may despise the man (and justifiably so) he was still a victim.

Religion breeds fear, and fear breeds hate.love-over-fear

But this is just one observation of the situation. It’s incredibly complex and we must stop to consider as many aspects as we can before blaming anyone or anything. In the end, we can all be victims of fear and hate, no matter what form it takes.

He wasn’t evil. He wasn’t a terrorist. He was a scared, frightened man who felt he had no other alternative. The consequences of that however are horrific, his actions bringing untold devastation to countless people.

We have much to learn if we are to bring change to this world, and perpetuating fear and hate will not bring that change. We have many hard lessons to learn on this journey, but we can only start with ourselves, in honesty and integrity, learning to live loved.