Article Navigation

The struggle to feel normal and LaChapelle's,"Take me to Church"


I think everyone struggles to feel normal, be it for their own reasons.

My relationship with god and sexuality is not a good one. My dad was bi-sexual, and then he found god "and prayed the gay away".

A great deal of my early years that were meant to be spent in sexual self-discovery were instead spent being flogged (often literally), and emotionally flogging myself, for just your average heterosexual feelings.  If my dad could overcome the "urges put in him by the devil", then I could overcome my sinful nature too through the power of the lord... problem is, I didn't want to.

What I wanted was not to cry because I had looked at a woman with sinful thoughts.
I wanted to hold someone and not feel like I had sullied myself in the eyes of Christ for doing so.
Most of all I wanted someone to want me in the same way...
...and for it to be okay.

I don't know what it's like to be gay and to carry that societal burden.  I do know what it's like to feel that your natural inclination to be a sexual human being is met with disgust and judgement, to be ridiculed for it, to have your nature demonised by the people around you and those that you care about.

I was eventually disfellowshipped for having sex before marriage and shunned by my church.  If you've never experienced the feeling of being shunned, it's ugly.  Your friends no longer speak to you, the people you cared about ignore you, the people you grew up with won't even acknowledge your existence.

... and though they may be unwilling to speak to you, they will speak about you, particularly to your family, which will make your home life a living hell.

As a result, at seventeen I moved out of home. A few of my school friends ended up being the difference between whether I ended up living on the street.  I ended up becoming very ill because I could only afford a few packets of noodles per week, enough to stop me from starving but not exactly a healthy diet.  Not that it mattered, I spent each of my nights vomiting what I'd eaten anyway, covered in sweat, shaking... because I thought I had failed god and that he was going to kill me when he judged mankind for their sins.

I'm fine now, but I can remember how real and ugly it felt. I carry those feelings in a fragile box in my head that I try not to disturb.

Which is why I don't even have the words to express how deeply the video and music above strikes a chord in me.

The video above is a dance interpretation by Russian ballet legend Sergei Polunin, captured by photographer David LaChapelle, of the music Take Me To Church by Hozier.

Please show us the Facebook love!

No comments:

Post a Comment