Posted this in atheist singles as well, and would like perspectives here, too, particularly since those who are LGBTQI understand the discrimination that comes at us is often justified by religion.
I would like all of your perspectives on this as well. Sent this to Matt at Tranifesto.com , as being genderqueer makes me part of the T in LGBT, as well as the L/G.
Firstly, I'd like to say I really enjoy your blog, and I never miss a post! I don't respond much because I am gay and genderqueer, not FTM, and I don't want to intrude too much.
Anyway, I think this is a question that can be helpful to ANY LGBTQ+ person, and I'd like to get your perspective. My question is handling prospective relationships across different faiths, and faith vs no faith. Personally, I prefer to date other atheists. I have a VERY painful past with religion, as you might have read in the post on the transphobic incident with the Shul. However, I get a lot of flack for making organized religion a dealbreaker. Here are my reasons for that:
The issue has been discussed a while back and of course I can only reply from my own experiences. A friend who posts here is in a successful relationship with a believer, but he became an atheist while already in the relationship and his partner is a nice man.
For me, every time I allow a believer into my life, it turns out to be a disaster. I have always been willing to tolerate someone's belief that there is "something" there, but who is not involved in organized religion. I even dated a person involved in Wicca and I was chatting with someone who claimed to be into some god of the universe.
I have found several things. One guy even lied to me and said he was a former preacher but didn't identify with Christianity any longer because of its neg connotation. It turned out that he was involved in a gay Pentecostal church, as crazy as the ones you see on TV. He was preaching and praying for me.
While most of my lovers, partners, and dates have not been that severely disturbed, I have found that they have the same old tired questions or comments. "It's ok not to be religious as long as you believe in a god." "Where do you find your morality if you don't believe?" "Where do you think you came from?" "What about when you die." "But Jesus was a good man with good teachings."
While atheists constantly refrain from making comments when someone talks about going to church or praying for their sick grandma, the religionist does not have the same restraint. He tells you that he'll pray for you, he talks about his church, he may pray before meals and maybe after sex, LOL, and will constantly make reference to his belief.
In my family, we sit down to friendly meal and talk about politics, nutty religionists, and talk about people we either know or who we have seen in the media, who make stupid religious comments. How do you do that in front of a religious date or partner?
What if you can get beyond all of that? You decide to move in together. Are you comfortable with crosses on the wall? Is it ok for his church friends to come over and plan the church fundraiser? Is it ok to place the Baby Jesus under your Solstice tree? Do you really want to set up a buffet table and have your platter of meatballs and tomato sauce sitting directly under his velvet painting of the bleeding heart of Jesus? LOL
Being an atheist and dating a religionists amounts to being LGBT and negotiating your way through life dealing with homophobic straight relatives. It really amounts to going backwards.
Now for those who have made it work, more power to you. And I am still open to a person who believes "something" is there but who is not involved in organized religion. It might work somewhere over the rainbow, god willing! LOL
Thank you for such a well thought out, heartfelt response. It is greatly appreciated, as is the reassurance that not dating them doesn't make me a bigot.
I, like you, make a daily habit of mocking religion. In fact, I am a Citizen Blogger for the liberal site Veracity Stew, and a lot of what I write there tends to deal with the nuttiness of religious people.
A lot of what you say here goes back to #3 in my list, how religion permeates every aspect of their lives, and, in turn, yours. Aren't relationships hard enough to make work without entering into them with something that is already a huge, automatic, real point of contention? Doesn't compute IMO. Like you said, if people can make it work, more power to them. Not for me though. I guess I keep asking and tuning it over and over in my head because I don't wish to become what I hate the most: a bigot.