is it just me????

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Joined in 2006
March 9, 2011, 19:57

HI everyone

Before I offload I want to firstly say, everyone who was connected with the march did an AWESOME JOB. SO WELL DONE. My comments following are not meant to slap anyone in the face, nor be a ‘hissy fit’. They are however real concerns for me.

This was my second year of marching. I was all excited. The build up was great as usual and the march was again fantastic.

When it came to getting into position and handing out the signs to be carried, I was severely confronted. There was one sign that disturbed me greatly. “Free to love Jesus”. I very nearly left right then and there.

I for one have not reconciled to the point that I am a happy clappy christian and I am unsure if I will ever want to be classified as a christian again. Maybe I will one day, but right now I am not. I know some are and that is fine for them/you.

To me the sign clearly stated it is a christian group and to me that was misrepresenting me.

I was under the impression that Freedom2b was an organisation for people who have had great heartache with church, faith and sexuality. To me this meant that Freedom2b is a ‘safe place’ for all those bruised and beaten. I personally feel that that sign was not within this ethos.

Have I a wrong impression of the organisation?

Or has Freedom2b changed its focus and is now a proactive religious group?

Joined in 2008
March 9, 2011, 21:42

Hi Tez,

It was great to see you in Sydney on MG weekend. We appreciate you contributing your time to support our important work. I can definately say that we have not changed our focus to be a proactive religious group and our no agenda statement prohibits any explicit christian evangelising and/or prostelysing.

The sign free to love jesus I think was a statement of choice ie we can choose to be a christian (either in or out of the church) or we can choose to practice another form of spirituality or we can choose to not associate ourselves or identify with any form of religion or spirituality whatsoever. The choice is entirely ours.

What do other people think?

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
March 9, 2011, 23:32

Hi Tez

Thanks for raising this. It’s a good point.

I don’t think freedom2b has changed it’s stance in any way but I think the sign you refer to does give the impression that we are a Christian group. And like you, I can no longer relate to Christianity as I once did. It just doesn’t fit with who I am anymore and so I wonder how I connect with the sign’s message and how it represents our organisation and where I am with that.. I tend to think of myself as spiritual and LGBT rather than limited to one particular faith and style of faith. That said, I know the sign would appeal or sit comfortably with others here. I imagine it would also send a message to heterosexual and LGBT Christians, as well as non Christians, both in the LGBT and wider communities, that gay people can still choose Jesus if they want… you know, that the 2 communities of Christianity and LGBT don’t have to be mutually exclusive… and so that might be a useful message for them to receive. So I support that it might open up choices for people even though I don’t relate to that particular choice myself..

The fact that you and possibly other onlookers might think we are a Christian group however, which we are not, does need to be looked at further. .

I’m interested to hear what others have to say here too.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2009
March 9, 2011, 23:36

I’ve been thinking over this and rewriting my response for about an hour after reading your post. My opinion changed half way through writing.

Tez, you’re right. The sign “Free to love Jesus” gives, to the average outsider, the impression of f2b being a religious group. I saw the sign and it did grab my attention as being somewhat… out of place. I didn’t give it too much more thought at the time though – I figured if someone was not a Christian, they’d obviously not hold the sign, and so that would be that.

But even though you weren’t holding it, it was attached to you by affiliation. Maybe because I am a Christian, and have been surrounded by such language for decades, it didn’t set the alarm bells off loud enough.

Before deleting it, my previous post about this rambled on about how banning such a sign would then mean we aren’t catering properly for our practicing religious members. And also that ensuring our members feel free to express themselves is more important than drive-by (or march-by) impressions with a crowd. But in the end I think that careful enough wording on the signs can give us an acceptable solution for everyone. “Free to have faith” might have been a good alternative.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
March 9, 2011, 23:38

Hi Pierre

Good to hear from you again! 🙂

Yes I like the idea about choice as you outline above but think our banners could reflect this a lot more clearly.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2010
March 10, 2011, 16:18

I didn’t go to the parade as I’m recovering from illness, and the thought of all those people……. So I didn’t see the sign. Had I have I’d have been quite turned off by it.

I appreciate the non-judgmental nature of this forum and open mindedness. And the banner at the top of it that says “Freedom 2B”. If it said “Freedom to love Jesus” I doubt I’d bother visiting the site at all. I have no intention of ever returning to Christianity, and am happy to be without it.

BTW, that doesn’t mean I’ve “not reconciled” with the Christian experience. I have completely reconciled my beliefs with my life, and Christianity is not for me.

Joined in 2011
March 10, 2011, 17:46

My take on Freedom 2b[e] has from the first moment been a place where people of “faith” who are same sex attracted can come and share, support, and surprise each other regardless of whether that faith be Christian, Muslim, Budist, or any of the other faiths in existence. I know F2b[e] does have a lot of people who have come from a Pentecostal Christian background in particular the AOG, COC, and others, where being gay is considered an unacceptable life choice.

I take no offense to anyone brandishing a banner suggesting that being gay and loving Jesus is ok. One of the tenets I subscribe to these days is not mere tolerance of others but rather acceptance. It’s hard enough having to deal with the prejudice of the straight community let alone the prejudices we as gay people put on each other.

I suppose too that ooooooo has raised a justifiable point that would lead me to search from each person who rests within the Freedom2b[e] an idea of what is acceptable from a group standpoint. Adding to that is making sure Freedom 2b[e] is seen as a place where no one is threatened by anothers’ words and actions.

For the short time i have participated here, the wisdom, considered writing, and tone of AVB, Anne Maree, Boi70, to name a few has been outstanding. I look forward to the time when my own lifes pressures allow me to participate in person especially in Melbourne.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
March 10, 2011, 19:01

Hi Peter

I appreciate the non-judgmental nature of this forum and open mindedness. And the banner at the top of it that says “Freedom 2B”. If it said “Freedom to love Jesus” I doubt I’d bother visiting the site at all. I have no intention of ever returning to Christianity, and am happy to be without it.

BTW, that doesn’t mean I’ve “not reconciled” with the Christian experience. I have completely reconciled my beliefs with my life, and Christianity is not for me.

Thanks for your point about reconciliation of the Christian experience not necessarily having to include going back there. It’s important to reflect on the fact that we can make peace with that part of who we are/were and it can change or develop our spirituality no matter where we end up. Even if we take a completely different direction, the Christian experience can still be an important part of our journey, of where we’ve come from and where we are headed.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2010
March 10, 2011, 19:09


I didn’t march this year but surely wished I could have attended. Next year for sure… I saw the sign and didn’t really think too much about it. I would be proud to hold the sign, I am gay and I also love Jesus. I have been struggling up until recently to reconcile my faith with my sexuality. I am at peace with both now and realise as Ann Maree said – they are not mutually exclusive. My faith is based in Jesus – not so much in Christianity and Church anymore.

I do understand completely your comments though – this is my faith journey and I agree that we all have different faith experiences and preferences; so perhaps the sign could have been written to cover everyone’s faith journey and not just those of us that have faith in Jesus. I’ve come to realise that the great news is that we can be gay and have spirituality, we are not condemned to a life without hope or faith… that’s the great news that we should be putting on signs.

It is good to think about these things… thanks for your post…


Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
March 10, 2011, 19:10

Hi Alaska4044

Lovely to hear from you and welcome! 🙂

You make a great point that faith can be in Jesus rather than Christianity or church so there are lots of variations in our experiences of faith, spirituality and the Christian way. No one person’s experience is necessarily the same as the next. I like what you said about not being condemned to live a life without faith and hope. We are as another sign has said: “free to choose” and “free to choose love”.


Ann Maree

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