Madelyn Gee – This might seem a little terrible. But I remember as a kid, lying in bed on an early Sunday morning, hoping that my mom wouldn’t walk in the door. Because if she did, I knew what her first words were going to be: “Good morning sweetie! Time for church!”
I was used to the routine of church. And there are certain aspects of it that I still love today – the community, being able to give back to those in need, and more. But there were also certain aspects I didn’t love so much – the main one being what was taught by my pastor.
As a Black woman in America, there are already trials and tribulations that myself and numerous other women go through every day. But as a Black queer woman, it can definitely get a little complicated. Especially when your pastor is yelling to the congregation that people who identify as LGBTQIA+ are sinners. They need prayer. They need to be rescued from the Devil’s grasp. All of that fun jazz.
As I sat in church every Sunday, my heart would drop whenever the LGBTQIA+ community was mentioned. I thought I wasn’t a bad person. I have never intentionally hurt anyone. I always tried to have a life filled with love and care for everyone around me. So why is our trusted pastor, our leader towards salvation, saying that I am cursed to eternal damnation for who I love?
The older I got, the more I realized that the God that was taught in my church and the God that I believed in…were not the same dude.
Psalm 139:14 says that “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Meaning that God made us in His image. And loves us exactly the way we are. No matter who we love, no matter what we look like, and no matter how we want to identify.
So I decided to take a different approach with my spirituality.
The God that I was going to believe in was truly there for everyone. He loved everyone. He wanted everyone to succeed. And you weren’t going to go to hell for living the life that He destined for you in the first place.
I began to form my own path. I decided that I was more “spiritual” than “Baptist” – a 180 from how I was raised. I began learning more about manifesting, cleansing my energy, and believing that the universe and God both want the best for me.
Some people in my life were not fans. I could see looks of hidden disdain whenever I talked about how I viewed God and the universe. And that’s ok. Everyone is entitled to believe whatever they want to believe. But one thing that I know for sure is that myself and the rest of the LGBTQIA+ community are worthy of love. We deserve to live a life that makes us happy. And when our last days come, we deserve to be welcomed with open arms just like everyone else. Because no matter what you believe, it is valid. And who you love and how you identify shouldn’t change how you’re perceived by the higher powers that guide us.
Madelyn Gee is a Houston-based journalist and screenwriter. She is a proud Baylor and UT-Austin alumna. Along with covering pop culture and writing horror films, she enjoys binging TikToks and finding solace at her nearest P.F. Changs. Find her at: mediaprincess.rocks and Instagram: @maddiethebeast.
Photo source: David Dibert, @dibert, via Pexels.