All of my life I grew up as a Christian with a pretty conservative outlook on life. There were a few years where I strayed away from God and my religion, but I ended coming back and really put my heart into my faith. I am now 32 years old, married with 2 children and I've also experienced 3 miscarriages. Life has thrown a ton of curve balls my way and every time I seem to come out alright. No matter if you want the world to change or not, it's going to change, whether you approve or don't approve of the changes it's making. I would say all of my life I was against gay marriage and gay relationships. I didn't understand them and from a religious stand point I just didn't think they were right. I'm sure I'll get negative feedback for that statement and that's fine, but it's what my beliefs were and how I was raised. I don't regret any of my past decisions or thoughts. With that said, even though my views on people's lives may have been different I always respected them. I've always had the mentality that if you respect me, then I am going to respect you no matter what.
I feel as you get older and if you allow yourself to grow you begin to think about life a bit more differently. I've always known people who are gay and never thought twice about it, other than I just didn't agree with their lifestyle, but over the past few years my mind has shifted a tad. I have had a rough couple of years and I think it's helped open up my heart and mind to others. The more I look at life and how people live their life I start to think that I might not be so against what I used to be opposed to. Our society likes to strike down people who are different, whether it be race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, society has set standards. It's the same with beauty standards (which is a whole other post I need to do), we are expected to fit into this mold and that's just not even possible. The more I research and look into my religion rather than just viewing the surface that was taught to me, I am learning that love and compassion is what Jesus was all about. At the end the of the day from a religious stand point, I am not the one who has to judge people. I do not live a perfect life, nor have I ever. I have done things that some would view as unforgivable. So how do I have the authority to tell you that what you do is wrong? I mean I have standards and there are things that I do no agree with, but from a basic standpoint, I have no right to judge how you live your life. If it does not effect me personally I have no space to judge you. When I finally realized this it was like a light bulb going off...I just need to love and respect as many people as I can so they know people care.
Our world is filled with so much hate it literally makes me cry. There are nights where I have to shut off social media because it brings me to tears. Where did we get this notion that we are the almighty ones?? I love my God and I love my religion, but I no longer use it as a platform to judge people and how they live their life. At the end of the day, I don't want anyone telling me who I can and cannot love, or who I can and cannot marry. No one should be told who they are supposed to love or who they are supposed to be.
With all of this said...this is my story. A Christian walks into a gay bar and had the time of her life. I think the old me would be hesitant to go into a gay bar, but when I was in Chicago with my sister and our friend Jen, I did not care one bit. We were unaware that we were going to a gay bar to be honest lol. I had asked our hotel concierge where is a good place to go and dance, and he suggested we go to Roscoe's. As soon as we landed our fine little booties in Boystown, we knew where we were lol. We all just laughed and headed to the club. Instantly we were greeted with smiles, a group of guys wanted to take a selfie with us. It was a fun, judgment free zone, and I am all about that kind of life. We drank and danced our asses off and no one bothered us and people just respected our space. I literally have not had that much fun in forever. I felt welcomed and safe, and that is a good feeling when you're going to the club. My sister and I actually talk about how badly we want to go back to Roscoe's because we had so much fun!!! Now lets fast forward to the following night. My sister and I went to a normal high end straight club and well....it sucked. It was over priced, people were rude, guys didn't get the hint that you didn't want to dance with them, and honestly I didn't feel comfortable or safe. We should have gone back to Roscoe's.
What am I trying to get at?? Moral of the story, this little Christian girl is trying her hardest to no longer judge people. People have asked me, "why would you go to a gay bar?" My response as been, "why would I not?" You can't judge people by how you think they are, you need to give them an actual chance, and in this particular situation we gave a gay bar and all those people in there a chance with zero judgment and it was amazing. I'm not saying I'm the most awesome person ever (although I'm pretty close). I make mistakes, I can be rude and bitchy, but I am trying so hard to love others because this world needs love. I'm still a Christian and I'm still conservative, but I now have a more open and accepting mind, and it feels really good! So take some time and do some reflection on what sort of impact you are leaving on this world. Maybe you could give just a bit more love.
As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said,
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."