is it just me????

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Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
March 13, 2011, 16:39

Hi Tez,

I appreciate your post and thank you for voicing your concerns. The mission and objectives of Freedom 2 b[e] have not changed. And there are many, like yourself, who no longer identify as Christian. We wish to provide a space for those people (both in and out of churches) that are from Christian backgrounds.

However, I think you may have not understood the direction of the float this year. We had 8 signs and we tried to represent f2b as best as we could. Having 1 sign that represented Jesus/Christianity/Church was not too much to ask. If we had not done so, then we would not have provided a voice to the many many Christians in our parade entry this year. We would have silenced them and therefore violated the mission and objectives of f2b. There were another 7 to choose from if you did no longer identify as a ‘christian’. My parents were carrying a sign that read ‘freedom to love our son’. That didn’t mean that everyone in the group had a son. I certainly don’t!

I would also like to say that I am deeply hurt by your comments and they have indeed offended me (and probably others). I don’t know what upsets me more….the fact that you labelled us ‘happy clappy christians’ which is a term used by those who criticise those from pente/evangelical Christian churches or the fact that you feel that the people who are Christian in f2b should not be allowed to be open and honest about their faith. For me, having Jesus in my life is important and I would be very proud to carry that sign. Without that sign, I don’t think I would’ve marched.

You also need to take into account the fact that this year we also had 6 of the 100 revs marching with us and a large proportion of Christians. Additionally, many of my friends are athiests, they saw the parade and in no way were they offended by the word ‘Jesus’ or the sign. Instead, they were happy that people felt that they could reconcile their faith if they wanted. They thought that it was important to have that representation.

I am very happy that you chose to march with us Tez, but please realise that we have a huge number of people we have to support and we can’t please everybody. We simply do our best, sometimes make mistakes and seek to love and support people where they are at. F2b is a place for those with or without faith and I will personally endeavour to represent both sides as best as I can.

Please read my post with grace and love but understand that I feel like your post was an attack on all of us who spent countless hours, working hard to make this the best parade entry ever. Also, I will not apoligise for supporting 1 sign that mentioned Jesus. It was simply a representation of a person’s freedom to still choose to love jesus if they wanted, despite the hurt, pain and struggle most of us have been through.

In love,


Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
March 13, 2011, 16:50

I however will not be marching again with there being references to Jesus.

Why are you so offended by Jesus??

Joined in 2006
March 13, 2011, 21:43

For the offences I have caused, I am truly sorry.

It was never my intention to offend anyone in anything I said. I was merely trying to convey my feelings.

The horrors my children and myself have faced while in full service of God/Jesus will not be aired here, but i have no reason to trust Jesus.

I will leave this conversation now and will not return as I do not wish to hurt or offend anyone anymore.

Joined in 2006
March 14, 2011, 07:47

Our mission is to create a global network of LGBT people from Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical backgrounds that assists them to address issues of faith, sexuality and gender while further broadening the work of creating understanding and acceptance. freedom 2 b[e] is not a Christian organisation as such, but a network of people with similar experiences. We welcome those from other Christian denominations along with our heterosexual friends and supporters.

I think that diverse signage is a good idea and freedom to love Jesus sign, doesnt make us a christian group, it falls under the mission statement, we arent classed as a church so how people would assume that, not sure, F2B doesnt sound like a church groupto me anyhow at a glance and the amount of people i know inspired by the group just watching is huge :)…….a sign freedom to be myself, could be carried by someone/s? I joined freedom2b because i can be lesbian and love God and make a statement of that. I see freedom2b as diverse, some who have resolved issues of faith and some not, as the mission statement covers. I’m sure something can be done so people arent offended in the group by either side of the fence re: signage or anything else…… sure F2B covers the statement to also maybe be accepting of each other without finding reason for offense…….knee jerk re-action!

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
March 14, 2011, 15:05

Hi Tez

That’s a shame if you don’t return. I accept that you weren’t trying to cause offence and appreciate you saying that.

I’m really sorry about what you and your children went through… It took me many years to recover form the spiritual abuse I experienced. It’s a shame that a lot of people don’t understand the impacts of this rather insidious type of abuse.. And maybe the name of Jesus triggers memories of that for you. I understand how that can happen and I’m sorry.

I still think that this has been a good discussion and everyone has made excellent points despite some upset along the way.


Ann Maree

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
March 14, 2011, 15:27

Hi magsdee

Thanks for joining us here in this discussion! πŸ™‚

I agree that our name doesn’t sound like a church although I still think it might be confused with a Christian group. That said, as you say we are trying to reach those who have come from certain Christian churches so having the name of Jesus mentioned is not out of context with that.

I love your idea of carrying a sign saying “freedom to be myself” and agree that diverse signage is good for representing a range of things that we are about, such as being free to choose, freedom, love, faith, hope, spirituality etc.

And yes, accepting our differences, being kind to each other and being able to objectively discuss them here is important.. And like you, I too am confident that we can make some positive headway when it comes to signage or any other differences/upsets that arise.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2007
March 14, 2011, 22:04

Hi Everyone,

It can be a good thing, when we each have had an opportunity to respectfully express our own particular views. A discussion around these sorts of subjects can often bring out some very different and even some passionately held views, and that is a reflection of who we are as individuals, and who we are as a community.

It is true to say that each of us have an individual experience of the ‘now’.

Some of us here feel comfortable and are happy with attending a Christian church, having a set of values and beliefs attuned to Christianity, and / or a Christian faith.

And then there are some of us, who have set aside most if not all of the things that made us Christians.

As an individual I noticed the β€˜sign’ – and I suppose I don’t identify with it either. However, I know that there are many other individuals within our forum who do.

Ultimately, I believe that there is much much more that brought us together on Mardi Gras night and on our forum. πŸ™‚

I suppose one of the things that I like about F2B is that we are a community of GLBT individuals who have come together, because many of us here on this forum have come from a church background, and identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender. That is what we all have in common, and I suppose at the end of the day, that is the one thing that will hold us together as a community and as a forum. In a forum, when there is such diversity of life experience, like Freedom2B, that is important! πŸ™‚

I really think that the guys / girls who pulled our contribution to the Mardi Gras Parade, together did an amazing job! Their hard work and our willingness to be part of this parade, like we have in previous years and will no doubt, in future years, sends a powerful message to those in the Church – whether gay or straight – that we don’t need to be ashamed when we are also GLBT. It also sends a message to others, who have not come from a Pentecostal / evangelical church background, that we can walk tall, and be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender, even when our churches may say differently.

Joined in 2006
March 14, 2011, 23:00

Tez, by all means Im glad you voiced your opinion, I think that here we can do that and we’re not going to please “everyone” when we do LoL but we do get over it, we all say things at times.

Its important that you speak freely and others feel they can as well, when we put something out there I guess we should expect a number of responses and re-actions and if they arent attacking or rude not take it too much to heart…….we know where youre coming from and I wasnt by any means offended by what you said πŸ˜‰ I know youre intentions are good and youre one of the best of men πŸ™‚

I think its good to be able to say something that can stir conversation and put fresh ideas out there πŸ™‚

Joined in 2010
March 15, 2011, 16:41

I will not apoligise for supporting 1 sign that mentioned Jesus. It was simply a representation of a person’s freedom to still choose to love jesus if they wanted, despite the hurt, pain and struggle most of us have been through.


What if someone had a sign saying “freedom to love Satan”? Or “freedom to love Allah”, or “freedom to love Buddha”? Being specific to one particular religion (in your case Christianity and Jesus) when making reference to an organisation is wrong, IF that organisation is to be perceived by the outside world as without influence or favour of a particular religion.

By aligning Freedom 2B with Christianity/Jesus you are saying to the world that F2B is influenced by that religion. And then when you cause offense to someone who has been damaged by that religion, you basically tell them to fuck off and get over it. The sign was a bit off putting for me, but I find your post way more offensive than the sign itself. You’re behaving just the same way as the authorities in the Christian churches you’re critical of.

I think you should just get over yourself. It seems you care more for your religion and your parade efforts than you do people who have been hurt by it. ooooo had every right to say whatever was on their mind, but you jump up and down about it like some crazed religious nut who can’t handle a bit of criticism. Then at the end of your rant you write “in love”! Oh FFS!…….

BTW, I will not apologise for being offended……

Joined in 2006
March 15, 2011, 18:10

now now…….no need to get personal on Ben……..he’s nothing like youre accusing him of and one thing about F2b is that we have respectful banter without belittling the other, im sure we can all put our points across in that manner.

The mission statement states what we are about and the theme of mardi gras was to just speak out(or something such) we march with many different themes as a whole we dont agree with necessarily but we dont take it personally to represent us as gbltq individually…..we have bondage peeps, leather peeps, naked group peeps, and whatever else, they could give an impression of who glbtq are but we know differently…….every sign in the march represented someone, the freedom to represent someone and what they believe, what i dont believe i dont identify with, its simple.

we know next time to include a sign saying “freedom to be myself” once you restrict things in a group thats meant to be about freedom, its no longer a group about freedom is it? πŸ˜‰ just my thoughts nothing personal……

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