My family is trying to “pray my gay away”… what should I do?

Are your loved ones trying to “pray your gay away”? If so, you’re probably hurt, confused, and frustrated — and rightfully so. Here’s how to deal.

If your religious family is trying to pray away your gay, the first step is to understand that they probably have your best interest at heart. It might not feel like it, but what other reason would they have if not to help you? But the truth is, they’re going about it all wrong. You don’t need to be “fixed”, nor do you have demons inside of you, and this is something they aren’t going to realize unless you talk to them about it.

So start with a dialogue. Open up lines of communication and tell them that their efforts are nothing but a waste of time. They might listen, they might not – either way it’s worth a shot.

Next, give them a taste of their own medicine and whip out some scripture. In my experience, religious folk lend a lot more credibility to bible verses than they do to “lost” youth. Whatever deity you praise, there’s probably some words of wisdom you can draw from your sacred text. Whether it’s the bible, the sutras, the quran, or any other hallowed book, it probably offers insight that will help you convince your family to accept you as you are. Take, for instance, Romans 13:8-10:

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Present this to them in the kindness way possible, and help them understand that being gay is okay.

Or better yet – rebel even harder and tattoo it on your arm.

Emily WatsonLGBTQ+Comment