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A New Community

The first (and until now, the only) post I wrote for this blog was back in 2009. I never actively publicized the post, and yet in the last 9 months, I had three people respond to it. I can only imagine how many more people are emotionally suffering over being a gay Iglesia Ni Cristo member.

I’ve read a lot of content on the Internet from people who say that either you should relinquish your homosexual tendencies and actions lest you be damned to hell or you should just leave the Iglesia Ni Cristo lest you be considered a hypocrite. The issue is far more complex than these people make it out to be. For members who were born into the INC, leaving the church could mean being disowned by their family and friends. It could mean feeling immense guilt over any emotional repercussions on their parents. It’s not just about the thought of being excommunicated. Unlike our Jewish, and Muslim and other Christian counterparts, a public “Gay Iglesia Ni Cristo Members” support group does not exist, at least not in the United States (where I live). Many of them are working through their conflicts by themselves, with nobody to whom they can confide.

Gay INC members choose different paths to deal with their inner conflicts. Some decide to continue going to church as they have always done and say nothing about their sexual orientation to fellow church members. Others go to church (whether to please family, God, or themselves) yet lead personal lives that are wholly separate from INC. Others simply stop going to church altogether. Some disclose to loved ones that they are gay, others do not. Those who have stopped going to church may or may not tell their family members about their attendance status.

As more gay INC members (both current and former) come across this blog, I hope that one day we can publicly develop our own support group without the fear of being ostracized. Perhaps this blog can serve as a stepping stone to this new community. For now, just knowing that there are other INC members in the world who are dealing with similar issues may be what we need to provide ourselves with some comfort.

– ICS

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. mj
    October 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Hi. I’m so glad that i saw this. Atleast now, somehow, i won’t feel alone. I am 19, gay INC member. Since i was young, i knew there is something different with me, I like other guys. But being born and growing up in INC really made me confused more. INC doesn’t allow homosexuals because they say that God only created man for woman and vice versa blah blah. I keep attending the worship services because my parents told me to do so. But everytime i step inside the church i am reminded of my sexuality, that it’s forbidden. It’s so frustrating. I love God but i don’t like the INC, how it manipulates its members through it’s teachings. I am thinking of leaving the church but i fear how my parents would react to it. I fear that they’d be disappointed or something. My family is very active in the church. They even made our house a place for bible studies every night. I just can’t stand being in the INC anymore, knowing how they reject homosexuality. My parents talked about this with me when i was younger. They told me that i can still be corrected, as if being gay is something i chose to be. I just don’t know how to manage my situation anymore. I don’t have anyone to talk to. I reside here in the philippines where the INC system is pretty strict. I hope that i may leave the church in the future. *sigh..*

  2. Z
    May 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I don’t know if this is still active but thanks for creating this blog. Some of my questions have been answered but I still have lots of question in my mind that people like us can only answer.

    • May 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Z — Thank you for your post. Gay INC members have different ways of reconciling their church beliefs with their sexual orientation. Some will stay in the church, while others will leave. Some will deny their sexual orientation, while others will fully embrace it. I have chosen to leave, and I have chosen to embrace the fact that I am gay. I hope you will find the answers to other questions you may have. In the end, I hope you will be happy with the decisions that you make.

      • Z
        May 29, 2013 at 1:35 am

        Thanks. I guess I’m just waiting for the right time to tell my parents about this. Honestly, I don’t want to attend the church service anymore. There was a time that I didn’t attend the service for how many months. I was in NCR that time and my parents lives in the province. I thought I would get away with not attending the church (just like what you did) however, the system here in the Philippines is a bit complicated. They traced where my parents live and asked them why am I not attending the service anymore. That time, I wanted to come out to them but I can’t, seeing how disappointed they are with me. So now, I’m back to attending the service just to please my parents.

  3. lair
    May 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I’m Also a Inc Member a former catholic But I’m Not A Gay But I Know I’m a Bisexual. Nobody knows that i am a bi only my best friend and 2 newly friends not inc members. by the way, i’m not really good in english so excuse my grammar. In my opinion there’s nothing wrong if i discreet about my personality being a bi. and as far as i’m concern i think you wont be cursed unless you wont have any relationship at the same gender. we cannot do anything about our personality we even not chose to be gay or bi, it just there inside us. but on my part i chose to be straight …as a girl. i have tried once to have a relationship of the same gender before as an inc member already, i was happy being inlove by then and i know the consequences but i was blinded by my feelings but in the long run, things aren’t getting smooth anymore. until i’ve realized that its not going anywhere since i know its a sin. to make the story short, i’ve realized that i have to stopped what i’m doing co’z everything’s around me is getting worsed, maybe God is punishing me for my sins and he want me to realize my way of life is wrong and so i stopped. and now i’m back from being active in the church and and never want to do the things i did before. i chose to focus on my faith as inc and now i have a peaceful life and i always ask God guidance and give me strength to ignore temptations. i know that im weak coz there are times that i’m tempting but i only pray to God to make me stop thinking naughty. we are inc and our lives are offered to our God that is why we need to ignore our desires for the sake of our faith. “hindi ang kalooban natin ang masusunod kundi ang kalooban ng ating Diyos.” we need to be pure as long as we can for we are the children of our God. i know its hard to be inside the closet but we have to be strong and have faith. try to look for someone u can trust and tell him or her your true personality to feel relieve somehow.
    Hope don’t get me Wrong Coz I’m Not Againts You, i Understand How You Feel. And I know It’s hard for someone Who Cannot Reveal Their true Self Coz I know what Or How People Thinks About Gay Or Bi, They misunderstood Us. All you Need To Do Is To Find Someone you Can Reveal or Talk about Your Personality, Someone Who will Not Judge U, Someone Who Will Understand You.

    • May 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Lair — You have made a decision that other gay/bi INC members have made. Because you believe that having same-sex relations is a sin, you have chosen the straight path. I respect your choice. However, it is a choice that I will not make because I have no sexual desire for the opposite sex. I hope you are content with your decision to remain in the church. I know that I am content with my decision to leave the church.

  4. angelo ramirez
    February 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    WELL IM FROM THE HEART AND CENTER OF IGLESIA NI CRISTO WHICH IS PHILIPPINES AND IM TELLING YOU THAT WE SHOULD HAVE A COMMUNITY WHICH WE CAN EXPRESS OUR FEELINGS AND BELIEFS BECAUSE WE NEED THIS,WE REALLY NEED THIS..WE NEED TO FEEL ACCEPTED AND BELONGED BECAUSE MANY GAYS AND LESBIANS ARE NOT ACCEPTED BY THIER FAMILY DUE TO THIER PARENT RELIGION AND BELIEFS AND IT IS VERY SAD AND DEPRESSING, MANY GAY MEMBERS OF IGLESIA NI CRISTO ARE NOW SUFFERING IN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AND IT IS THE FAULT OF THAT RELIGION WHO CORRUPTED OUR INNOCENT MINDS WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND I KONW GOD WILL NEVER FORGIVE THEM FOR DOING THAT ON MY CHILDREN OF IGLESIA NI CRISTO..WE NEED TO HOLD HANDS TO BE STRONG AND GIVE THOSE STRONG HANDS TO ALL GAY YOUTH WHO HAS BEEN VICTIMIZED BY SUCH RELIGION.

    • May 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      My apologies for responding late. (I monitor this site only occasionally.) Thank you for your post. Unlike other religions, it seems that there doesn’t exist a support group for current and former INC members. This website is only a small step in that direction. I think we all hope that one day we will have a forum in which we can freely express our feelings about reconciling being gay with the teachings that we have learned in the INC.

  5. T
    February 14, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Hello All: bent gay and in the INC is a sacrifice in itself. I have found myself in the ministers office several times regarding sexuality, but I’ve simply said that I do not let my sexuality stand in the way with my relationship with God. Also, you have to understand that the Church is comprised of many different personalities and many people with similar beliefs. Going to worship service is about your relationship with God and not about the individual members, which to me is secondary. Ask yourself though, will God condemn you for being gay? I’ve been an officer for most of my life. Even with my sexuality issues, I still feel him in my life, He continues to bless me, answer my prayers,mans I still feel Him in my life. I’m just thankful that I still have that link to God in my life. So the doctrines condemn us, that is merely interpretation. They make jokes because they don’t k ow any better. To some people that is all they know. I surely don’t hold it against them. I’ve learned to compartmentalize my life. Set aside what is for church and what is for my personal life. I go to church, do my duty and leave. I do not socialize more than simple greetings and topics at hand. But I never go out of my way to volunteer my most personal issues in life. I don’t need to tell the world I am gay. Seriously, do straight people go out and proclaim they are straight? When people ask, I tell them. How they handle that information is up to them. I am surprised at how many brethren are modern and have no problem with my sexuality. These are genuine people and the ones I invite to my personal life.

    Anyway, I will see what others post. Maybe one day we can meet.
    -someone from northern californai

    • Z
      May 29, 2013 at 1:26 am

      I got your point T. Right now I’m also doing the same thing, attending the church while embracing my sexuality. However I feel like I’m living 2 separate lives. What about our future? My parents, like every INC parents, wouldn’t agree with this other life that I’m living. And honestly, I really picture myself having a family with a girl as my partner (i’m a lesbian, btw). I guess living this double life will only be temporary since I can’t (or we can’t) marry our partners in the future.

  6. A
    October 23, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I’m really glad you made this post!

    I grew up in INC and I always felt a little bit ‘different’ to most boys my age. It was quite hard growing up in INC as I constantly had people my age and adults patronizing me and gossiping about me when I had done nothing wrong to them. I used to enjoy playing at sports fest, even though I was never really good participating was really fun however after a while it resulted me in crying after every sports fest event because I could hear people laughing and making comments about me. Unfortunately, as a teen all the tormenting made me a very angry and hostile person to the point where I became a very mean towards many people at church who insulted me and gossiped about me. I am gladly over that phase though. I went through hell and back growing up gay, especially with my parents. They’ve told me that as long as they have the financial capacity they will continue to provide for my university degree but if I am gay I was told that they will stop support me and disown me. I think my parents have faced a lot of humiliation too with people telling them to tell me to change the way I act or questioning why I am the way I am so in all honesty I can understand why they’re like that. I recently have come out of a phase of waning away from God and the teachings. I stopped pray for so long but what made me change my mind was I realized that God knew that I was gay even before I acknowledged it myself. Coming out to my parents wont mean coming out to God because he knows already. He knows whats in my heart and guess what? He still loves me. He still blesses me. Is my life cursed? No! Through everything I’ve been though, through the many times I’ve contemplated suicide he’s gotten me through it and I now appreciate life so much more. I’m in university doing well and my family has stopped fighting constantly. I’ve realized all this time God has been trying to show me that he still loves me. He’s answered my prayers even when I didn’t pray. When God said he loves his children, he meant it, he didn’t forget us. In fact the bible isn’t against homosexuality. Here is a website that explains it all in detail even the infamous line “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

    http://www.gaychristian101.com/does-the-bible-say-homosexuals-will-go-to-hell.html

    I think that it would be a good idea for us to all get in contact and add each other on facebook maybe so we can support each other!

    • A
      October 23, 2012 at 4:28 am

      Also, I want to credit my sister and my heterosexual guy friend at church who has been so super supportive of me. I came out to my sister via ‘snail mail’ and she replied saying that she knew and was waiting for me to tell her and that it changes nothing between us because she loves me just the same (I love my sister, she’s my bestfriend! ^_^). My heterosexual friend has just been so supportive and said it doesn’t change how he sees me and that I’m still the same person to him. I’ve also talked to him a bit about a few issues and he’s been so amazing about the whole thing!

      • October 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        Dear A,

        I am so happy that you have a supportive sister and friend! I am even more happy that you have found a way to integrate your belief in and love of God with your acceptance and love of yourself. Having read some of the replies to my posts, I feel pain knowing that other gay INC members (and former members) don’t receive anywhere near the same level of support that you have received.

        I think you’re right about contacting one another. At some point, we need to find a way to offer and receive support from others without having to hide behind the cloak of a computer screen. I will write something to that effect in a later post.

        ICS

  7. J
    September 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I am a young Kadiwa in the same boat. No one knows how I feel. I feel so alone. I’ve already told my parents, but they treat it like it’s something I can pray away. They don’t know what to tell me, because there are no parenting books that can prepare you for this. I wanted answers so my parents and I met with our local minister. He basically told me I was not born this way and that I need to be faithful and pray. What made me completely angry was that he and my parents think being gay means being feminine because that’s how it is in Filipino pop culture. The minister and my dad want me to play video games and play sports, but they just don’t understand. They say it was my choice. I get so angry at that because when I was 10-12 years old, I had NO clue what was happening to my body. Puberty is awkward enough; I didn’t question anything. I knew what “gay” was. I knew it was wrong. I just never thought it was me. I just assumed I was feeling awkward because of puberty and ignored it. Then, I didn’t realize the gravity of the problem until I was 16 or 17. It was already too late.

    My locale also held a Q&A type of bible study. I submitted a question anonymously, and it frustrated me even more. I sat there as the minister and the whole congregation laughed at my situation, cracking jokes at the questions that are destroying me. He basically made jokes about how men can’t get pregnant and that God made marriage for man and woman.

    No one understands how I feel. No one. As you said, people outside of the church only know acceptance and liberality. They don’t understand how it feels to build a life in the church, being born into it and everything. The worst part is the fact that I have to deal with this alone. Another bad thing is just like what you said; all we can do is make a decision. We either stay in-the-closet and suffer psychologically and emotionally or we leave the church. There is no physical thing we can do to fix this because it’s all in our head. No one can help us. Either way, I want to cry. I don’t know what to do. I’m glad to know that even though I feel alone, there are others who feel the same way.

    J

  8. B
    August 30, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I can’t stress enough how glad I am to have stumbled on your post!

    Like you said, there really is no support system for us. I don’t think anyone in the church dares to say anything of the like, even to close friends. And even though I have other gay friends outside the church, they can’t comprehend my situation, saying that my family would eventually learn to be okay with me being gay. Some of them tell me to leave, but to willingly leave the family I love so dearly (and loves me, at the moment) is a much harder task than staying and fighting to keep a facade. Though lately, it’s been a tough battle.

    I find myself waning away from the belief of God. It so difficult to believe whatever they preach to be “good” when all I hear in each service is to force myself to be someone I’m not. They ask me to feel something I no longer feel, and to devote myself to something that I don’t want to be a part of. They tell me this after preaching about how I’m destined to be condemned. Either I be myself (sin), or I lie to almost everyone I know (sin). I can never freely love, or have a family. Meanwhile, they badger and constantly gossip about why I still don’t have a spouse. The thought of living like this for the rest of my life is driving me insane, to put it lightly.

    Unfortunately, I realized this much too late, and now I’m neck-deep in duties and obligations to the church. I suppose what they say is true: Being an officer really does make you stay a member longer. The pressure of staying is three-fold when people rely on you. But I think I know what I want, and that’s to leave this, along with my family, behind. I feel so relieved there’s someone who made it out and is willing to support some of us who haven’t made the jump yet. Thanks!

    • August 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Dear B,

      Thank you for your post! I feel so thankful knowing that another person- one who is struggling with the same conflicts as I did many years ago- found the blog. The blog’s subtitle says, “You are not alone.” On the surface, it means there are gay members around the world who are grappling with similar issues. But I hope it will one day also mean that gay INC members will not have to face their conflicts alone. Whether or not you decide to leave the church, and whether or not you come out to your family, know that you have my support and, hopefully, the support of anyone else who reads your post with compassion.

      ICS

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