It amazes me that our movement had not yet really handled this belief. We as LGBT Christian Scientists demand a cure! And we have it right at hand. It should be simple. So why the delay? Are we all ( Gay and homophobe alike) too much handled by side issues like self righteousness, judgementalism, shame, belief we are sinners, belief in malpractice, and I’m sure, many others.
Robert McCullough – Member, Board of Directors – Emergence International – 12/01/2013
Homophobia and HIV Risk: What’s Family Got to Do With It?
It’s a familiar and haunting refrain: People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) are systematically rejected by their families.
But to maintain these familial bonds, LGBT folks usually don’t have the most empowering options. They can either hide their sexual identity from their loved ones by pretending to be heterosexual; or be open with their sexual orientation and endure dismissiveness and disrespect. In some instances, they may choose to cut ties to their family altogether and create new families within queer-affirming communities.
In all these scenarios, not only is the onus on the LGBTQ family member to endure hardship, discomfort and isolation; but there is no accountability placed on the family for their own ill behavior. Moreover, there is no faith put in that fact that perhaps the family members can change or heal from their own biases.
This familial homophobia and rejection not only deeply impact LGBT people’s mental health, but their overall health — especially their sexual health. Data collected by the Family Acceptance Project highlights clear connections between family rejection and risky behavior. Lifetime suicide attempt rates for LGBTQ folks from highly rejecting families are 8 times as high as for those reared in “low-rejection” families; and LGBTQ youth from highly rejecting families are more than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs, and to be at high risk for HIV and other STDs.
By Olivia Ford
My personal awareness of another insidious disease, malaria, may have analogous value. I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog (February 6, 2012, “Defeating Malaria”) that I had been healed of malaria when I was in the Peace Corps in the late sixties, before HIV/AIDS was known (apparently discovered around the mid-seventies). I was living and teaching in Palawan, when I became delirious. The symptoms persisted and, as I had done throughout my life, I turned in consciousness to a sense of the presence and power of divine Love, or God as I would know it, and of a more spiritual view of myself than just a mortal out in the jungle of the southwestern Philippines. Others with this condition had needed to undergo blood transfusions to find cure. As confirmed by the Peace Corps physician, my encounter with the disease was completely cured without any medical intervention. This physician had seen both the “before” and “after” of my case. Another volunteer during the same period underwent the transfusions. We both survived the disease.
My cure was not a first. I had looked to earlier examples of the healing of another insidious disease in its day, leprosy. The master Christian proved that there was a spiritual cure for such diseases. That was inspiring to me when confronting my own situation.
So, I am aware that there is more than one way to find healing from an infectious or fatal disease. Perhaps HIV/AIDS International Awareness Month should include a vision of the possible solutions besides those of medical research and consider the evidence to be found in more spiritual proofs.