Racism, Homophobia, and Religion

James Finn
Apr 22 · 3 min read

Allies are odd ducks. Or are they allies?

I spent an odd evening on Twitter tonight. I meant to promote a few Medium stories; that’s all. My heart wasn’t even in it. I’m tired. I was going through the motions. I was mourning Easter, feeling like a despised pariah, wishing for love and community and acceptance, knowing I don’t have it and probably never will.

I tweeted a few links to old stories, reminding allies that as a gay man, I’m exhausted that beloved, respected institutions like the Roman Catholic Church and conservative Protestant churches morally condemn me and other LGBTQ people.

When I read the Catholic catechism and see that it calls me depraved, I cry. Every time. Every. Single. Time.

Yet there’s one thing I can count on.

Whenever I say that on social media, tons of people who identify as liberal or progressive will come out of the woodwork to vigorously defend homophobic religious institutions.

Know what else I can count on?

My friends and allies won’t have my back. I WILL be alone. My friends will be too shy or too embarrassed to unequivocally condemn homophobia and homophobic institutions.

They WILL urge me to be quiet and not make waves.

They WILL urge me to be silent in the face of moral complicity.

I’m exhausted, sick, and morally fed up with homophobic institutions like the Roman Catholic Church being treated with kid gloves. I’m sick of being the ACCEPTABLE butt.

I’m nauseated to be the Goat.

I know I’m not alone. People of color in the US have it bad, probably worse than I have it. But that doesn’t make my pain less.

I’m sick of other marginalized people treating me like MY marginalization is OK.

No Church would EVER be allowed to preach that people of color are inferior. EVER. Not without being shamed and shouted down. Not without being reviled and spat upon. Good! I’d be among the first of the revilers. I’d stand in line to spit! I’d have your back in a heartbeat!


People tell me to “shut up” when I point out that if you give money to the Roman Catholic Church, you are paying to print catechisms that condemn me and other LGBTQ people as LITERALLY “depraved, disordered, and morally evil.”

People condescend to me.

They make fun of me.

They act like my pain doesn’t matter or shouldn’t matter.

Even other marginalized people don’t give a fuck.

I’m furious, but I’m also deeply sad. I despair. I grieve. I cry. My keyboard is wet, literally.

I know beyond a doubt that homophobia and transphobia are acceptable to most people. I have no idea what to do about that. I’d like to ask for empathy and love, but when I do, I can be sure of one thing.

Lots of people will tell me to be quiet.

And lots of my friends will walk the other way and pretend they didn’t hear me.

Yeah, you know who you are.

To be clear, I’m not tagging you guys because I’m saying you’re among the ones who don’t hear me. To the contrary. But please read this. I can’t do this alone. I’m sad beyond words tonight.

Kay Bolden Marley K. Sam McKenzie Jr. Kira Wertz Ken Wilson Emily Swan John A. Giurin Done with Religion

James Finn - The Blog

Collected Writings. Stories and ramblings from a long-time LGBTQ thinker and activist.

James Finn

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

James Finn - The Blog

Collected Writings. Stories and ramblings from a long-time LGBTQ thinker and activist.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade