Monday, 13 September 2010

A tricky situation with other Christians

I have just started a new job, on a touring theatre production. I am in a group of people with whom I will be living very closely for the next three months. We are a theatre company brought together by a shared Christian ethos.

This sets a stage for disaster if I upset the wrong person or people. I am unable to gage, after only a short while with them, what the reaction would be to a revelation of my sexuality, and this has put me a little out of kilter.

It has not upset all my interactions, far from it. But just occasionally I have been reminded of the strong religious aspect of the company, and I get on edge. I am at a loss as to what I will do if the question comes up (which is unlikely, I know). What I need to find out is what the stance of each individual is on LGBT+ is, but it'll be difficult to do this subtly. I may have to hope the discussion comes up naturally, though it's difficult to see how.

As you may have guessed, I am a Christian myself, and I have found that the two parts of my lifestyle - religion and sexuality - are compatible (but I will go into how and why in another, detailed post). So if I am in a minority of this thinking within the group, I risk a lot of problems. My main concern is getting into debate or even argument which can lead to personal hurt, either to myself or others, and upsetting the balance of the group.

They are very nice people - most British Christians are, being one of the most mild groups I have ever come across. But there is a real issue within Britain about the right and wrong of non-straight sexualities and the attitude of Christians, because the majority on this island of ours are Church of England, and being Anglican, that includes a vast range of attitudes from liberal to conservative. So no one agrees. The Catholic Church has an official 'no' policy, the United Reformed Church has an official 'each congregation decides independently' policy, and the Quakers have an official 'yes' policy. The Anglicans have a flimsy 'it's under debate' policy.

Then of course there's the problem of whether all the group are of the same denomination, and then, whether they agree with their denomination's policy. Nightmare!

The problem will arise from those who cannot see how not being straight can be allowed within Christianity, and those who believe Christianity condemns it. But I may have no trouble, and everyone agrees with me.

I suppose from one perspective I am being worrisome, stressy and paranoid, and I'll just deal with it if it comes up. Stay firm that I am proud of who I am and my reconciliation of my Christianity and my bisexuality. There's not much else I can do. I must remember to stay calm, not to rise to any challenge, and turn the other cheek, to use a relevant expression.

And pray. Fervently.

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