Spirituality within the gay community has been non-exist until recently. Gay men and women who have been rejected by traditional religious beliefs have stayed away from establishments spewing hate against their sexual orientation.
Personally speaking, I was one of those individuals until I walked through the doors of Unity of New York. Unity of New York is a spiritual center I frequently attend on Sundays. Services are held at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
I grew up in the church like many other African-Americans. It’s a place where I gained an appreciation for gospel music. However, it’s also the place where I learned that being gay is supposedly an abomination to God.
I grew up believing I was not worthy of love, success, or anything good that the world had to offer. Thankfully, I learned over time that this notion is far from the truth.
After reading Gay Spirituality by Toby Johnson I began to explore and uncover my own spirituality. As I read page after page, my faith was renewed in the power of spirituality. Life changes when you read things like this, “Transforming how we think about our homosexuality allows us to discover that the guilt and shame we feel is a shadow that belongs to mainstream. It allows us to see that homosexuals are the scapegoat for the culture’s shame and secret sins.”
These words gave me the understanding that I too was experiencing internalized homophobia. What a scary reality!
“The human world is full of different myths and explanations for what life is about.” It’s also why a handful of gay men and women cannot identify themselves as spiritual.
In everyday life, gay men practice spirituality by maintaining sobriety, ridding themselves of internalized homophobia, communicating with their Higher Power, turning their lives and wills over to the care of God as they understood Him, performing good works (both corporal and spiritual works of mercy), meeting adult social roles, engaging in self-examination, applying AA slogans to everyday life, sharing themselves with others, attending AA meetings, seeking forgiveness, reading positive gay, alcoholic, and other literature, engaging in rituals, engaging in sacrifice and discipline, and doing everyday tasks as well as they possibly could.
Spirituality is a personal choice, but it was when I started to read more on the topic that I chose to become a more spiritual person. I believe my spirituality is what makes me a better person. I will continue to read and determine for myself what spirituality is, and I hope you do the same.
If you’re looking to gain more positivity in your life, I recommend picking up the following books: