I’ve got a confession. I’m gay. Okay, perhaps not a big deal today, but growing up in the 1970s it was. I also had a double-whammy. My father was a minister, which made me the preacher’s gay kid.
People usually think that a Preacher’s Kid (a PK, in popular vernacular) will fall into one of two camps. Either the PK becomes a goody-two-shoes or he turns into a hell-on-wheels, ready to knock down the tenants of faith that his minister parent subscribes to. In fact, these two camps are so prevalent that some sociologists have decided to call it a Syndrome. Very rarely, however, do the experts recognize a third camp of PKs comprised of gay children, the P(g)K. I was a card-carrying member of that club.
As a kid, I secretly swooned over the song, “Son of a Preacher Man” (http://youtu.be/N3Esa7ohFpM). The tune portrays a PK as being a sweet talker and a lover. The vocalist, always female, provocatively sings,
“The only one who could ever reach me/Was the son of a preacher man/
The only boy who could ever teach me/Was the son of a preacher man.”
But there was a tragic flaw with the song. I had to imagine that the singer was a guy. A guy just like me. And that’s where I, being a P(g)K, ran afoul from the religion I grew up with. It made me a “sinner” because my God/my Spirit/my Divine Life-Force forced me to search out other guys who were just like me.
In college I eventually let my family know that I was a P(g)K. Luckily, they affirmed my worth and supported me, even if the religion they espoused didn’t. Also, by the time I came out, I had a front-row seat at the sometimes circus-like events that run rampant in most organized religions. The infighting and political machinations within the congregation, along with the minister’s attempts to placate dissatisfied parishioners, all the while making sure the coffers remained large enough to meet the church’s obligations.
As a result of these revelations, I learned that every religious community is more of a club than a Divinely inspired organization. Many times the people who run the club have the best intentions, but they make their assumptions of right and wrong based upon what they were taught. And all people err. And when they do, they rarely admit their mistakes. It’s human nature.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating that the LGBTQ community shun religions, Christian, or other. Everyone deserves to worship the God of his or her choice. Fortunately, many religions, like the population at large, are seeing the light with regards to human sexuality. In fact, Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBTaffirming_Christian_denominations#North_America) lists twenty-three Christian denominations in North America that “do not consider homosexuality or transgenderism to be sins”. When you add in Europe and Central America, the number grows to forty-two, and is rising every day.
Now forgive me while I get even more preachy and philosophical by quoting Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons. “Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed.” If we accept this statement as gospel, homophobic religions can never harm us.
Joel Gomez-Dossi lives with his husband and their Treeing Walker Coonhound in upstate New York. His new thriller, Deadly Cult, will be released in August. You can watch Deadly Cult’s book trailer on YouTube, http://youtu.be/5u-0WFLY-xQ. Or to know more about Joel, just visit www.JoelGomez-Dossi.com.