College Life Personal Opinions

On Dating and Oppression

Forewarning: It’s April 1st, the beginning of my favorite month in the middle of my favorite season. You needed to know this before I begin, because sometimes life is bleak. 

So, a lot has happened since my last blogpost. Sickness, then more sickness, a relived trauma, and my father’s passing. March, and everything around her, was rainy and depressing. For a while, I got to stew in past mistakes, present mistakes, things out of my control, my morality, and the mortality of myself and those around me. I approach Easter cautiously this year, but with joy as the month changes and as my God lives again! I revel in the joy that exists in this time, but I also enjoy the reflection that comes from this time.

 

Recently, I’ve been noticing loneliness. It seems slightly more available to me than it may have been in the past. I know that a lot happens to create the feelings and ideas that come into my head, but loneliness is one I’ve never been able to understand. My dog Epicurus gets extremely lonely at times, filling his crate with barks and wolfs that could rouse everything from a sleeping baby to a fully grown adult. His anxiety seems natural, as he doesn’t get to be with someone/thing every second of the day. He gets bored/lonely quickly, takes naps, and eats (a dream that I have).

But I’m not Epicurus. I get to see humans on a day-to-day basis, and to experience life with everyone. I get the amazing opportunity to communicate with those who are like me daily. I have a language and cohesive thought that is shared and expressed throughout the day. I start and finish group projects. I take my time creating and understanding the world I live in; the people I love with. But I still get “lonely” with people… Alone together. Alone, sometimes with no one. Alone, sometimes with other lonely people. I question this loneliness. I sit with it and ask it where it comes from. It says nothing back to me. Has it always been here?

I think of when I felt it. Its always been in the environment. My school, bless her glory and her beautiful banners, is an extremely repressive environment by nature. By no fault of it’s own. Due in whole to it’s traditionalist views and continued policy and procedure, it’s easy to become enrapt in your deviation. The longer you stay, the more you can feel some of the oppressive power that unspoken (and spoken) policy has on your being. Likewise, the continued presence of relationships on campus create this dialogue of longing and deep pain. At any given point, a trigger occurs and the dialogue begins:

Look at that couple walking by. They’re so nice.
I’d like to be in a relationship.
No that wouldn’t be good for me, not here.
Its not good to be alone here, you’re already alone – and look at you.
I know, but it’s better this way.
Is it?
No, not really, but I can tell myself that for another year and a few months.
Can you?
I’ve done it for a few years now, I think I can do it a few more.
So you admit to being repressed?
I admit to unintentional oppression.
It is intended
Well Intended
Well intended oppression?
I hate it here
Me too.

I began, long ago, the seventh series of prayers. The “Oh God if I was straight I’d give the world”. The “Oh Lord, take this from me”. My favorite being the “God it’s getting harder to love your creation, but it seems like you couldn’t have made me like this.” You cry a bit. You fall asleep. You wake up. You pray really hard. You give up. You self loath. You pray about giving up. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Its a nice bit of damage done by the church and reinforced by the structure.

You learn, slowly, why some LGBT persons choose to conceal their truth. It becomes unbearable. Why live in your truth when a lie is so easy to capture? Just pretend to be straight, maybe you’ll fall in love..? You drag yourself through pain and torture. But its never for you. Its always in pursuit of normalcy in lieu of truth. A lie becomes comfortable and preferable to the truth. You can say to yourself “I’ll get married to someone of the opposite sex one day,” not noticing the harm you are doing to:

Yourself
The person you’re living with
The potential family you may make

Likewise, you can just date perpetually. Giving yourself no end, and living in a stasis that is (basically) marriage. I mean, if marriage is simply a union blessed by God, then dating someone for thirty years may be the equivalent to a traditional wedding in a cathedral between a heteronormative couple. It is quite possible that perpetual dating is, in this regard, unhealthy. (I am not a professional, but I note my opinion theologically here, apologies.) I mean, a relationship that is dating, and nothing more, creates a dead end by existence if we seek the heteronormative date-engage-marry model. In fact, I would argue that this line of thought is part of the destructive pain that is present within the current traditionalist LGBT circle. You can date eternally, but you are incapable of getting married in God’s eyes. You don’t, with regards to relationships, deserve that happiness. The idea that the terms that existed then are squarely defined terms that exist now. The problem of an indirect translation.

(Tangentially, I see this problem persisting in the way that Christians define marriage. It leads me to the question “Does the bible ever encounter homoromanticism?” The answer is a murky, “no,” because the words to define romantic engagements were not paramount to the power and prowess of a story. In fact, it seems cataclysmic to look at the word of God and say it speaks to today’s homosexuality, because it cannot speak to any homoromanticism. We see and seek no opportunity for biblical validation, we just look at how the basics of sex work, and assume God’s intent based on finite biblical interactions with -people who are arguably are not even- LGBT persons. A “plothole” that exists… tangentially of course.)

A concluding thought is that my environment is an educational one. I elect to come to a college for religious reasons, noticing immediately that I need not “hold a belief” rather I be open and constantly living up to a community standard with biblical ties. The gross understatement that I make, however, is that discrimination is alive and well at Christian institutions. It just happens to look different than racial discrimination. In fact, in “Gay on God’s Campus”, I’ve been enjoying reading about how some Christian institutions even tout their LGBT friendly events and groups. However, their policy remains squarely against the students that need the support from these groups.

Deeply problematic discrimination is seen as being from white to brown, existing in a vacuum of racial disparities. But here, I hold a mirror up to the institution and ask it if it can see the log in it’s eye. I sit, after discovering and removing my spec staring at the log that is discrimination. I ask the institution, “Can you see it?” They reply yes, they thank me, they ask my friends if they saw it all along, they jest, and they never remove the log. The log just sits in their eye staring back at me.

Because here, at a Christian institution, we are okay with Discrimination. Just as long as it’s biblical. Because here, the pain that exists in knowing you can’t fully be yourself, isn’t enough to exact change.

Galatians 3:27-2927for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If my God doesn’t care about gender at the end of it all, why should the gender of the person I love matter? Why hinder one’s self?

Christ’s Peace

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