I already introduced myself in the following thread called 'New to f2b' http://www.freedom2b.org/forums/new-to-freedom2b–t1948.0/. However I was also pointed towards this forum so here I go… 🙂
I grew up with a very Catholic upbringing. I was at Church every Sunday, attended youth groups and went to Catholic schools.
My dad is an atheist, so I did get some exposure to opinions and beliefs outside of the Catholic view, but mostly Catholicism was my life.
When I was little I never stuck to the 'gender norms' and loved playing sports with my dad and dressing in my brother's clothes.
When I was about 11, we were on a trip to Europe and more specifically in England meeting family.. and came across a friend of my cousin who I instantly felt attracted to. Scarily this person was also a female. My world fell apart in an instant… but I pulled it together and squashed this into my subconscience and convinced myself that I only liked boys.
I went to an all girls Catholic high school and so my social life outside of school consisted of mingling with people from the boys school. I was never promiscuous, but I was also never without a boyfriend.
In my senior years of high school I went through a number of depressive stages because I couldn't work out why I was never physically attracted to any of the boys. I always turned to the Church (without telling them what was actually going on) and my youth group was an amazing support for me. In 2008 I went to world youth day in Sydney, and this is the point where I lost all of my faith in the Catholic Church. I couldn't believe the amount of money spent on ridiculous things which could have been far better spent on supporting vulnerable people.
By the time I reached uni, life became really difficult and I went through the darkest stage of my life. I still turned to Church and youth group but it felt more out of duty than want.
When I was 18 I met the most amazing woman. She made me smile and see the good in life again. She became my best friend and we did everything together. Eventually I realised the feelings I had for her were more than those had in friendship and found out that she felt the same way. We moved in together and have been happily in love since :).
I came out to my parents when I was about 19. My dad was really supportive, and my mum really tried to be but I could see that she wasn't comfortable with it. Coming out to my friends was really scary, and I did lose quite a few of them because of it. My youth group stopped inviting me to events and I left because of this. I had an ex-boyfriend tell me that my love for another woman was a sin and that God could save me from my lifestyle. From that moment on I completely distanced myself from the Church and kept my relationship with God a private one that no one else could interfere with.
Two years later, and I still haven't been able to step into a Catholic Church, but my faith in God is strong and won't ever end. I find that I get really affected by the negative comments from the Catholic and other churches in the media, but I am lucky to have my beautiful girlfriend by my side to get me through :).
I'm searching for a new denomination and this is really making me feel quite positive. Over the years I have found it quite difficult to find a supportive community who not only understands the stigma and discrimination that I experience as a person who does not identify as 'straight' but who also understands my faith in God. Up until now, it has always been one or the other, so I'm so glad I found this site :).