We celebrated Pride by marching in Chicago’s Pride Parade yesterday and this week will continue to share more inspiring stories of our beLOVEd LGBTQ+ community members. Today we share Samuel’s story.
I grew up in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio and attended a small Christian school. My family was also religious. When I was a freshman in high school, I realized that I was different than a lot of my classmates. Scared by the attractions I was having to other guys, I told my mom and sought counseling from a Christian therapist. I did not want to be gay.
Junior year of high school I attempted suicide for many reasons. I didn’t understand my sexual orientation, but I also didn’t know who I was spiritually. The God I grew up with didn’t want me to be gay, and the school I went to expected perfection. At first I turned away from my family and everything I believed in from my childhood, which was not the answer.
Pride to me means looking at your full and true self, warts and all, and celebrating all of it. My relationship with my family today is fantastic. Regardless of any beliefs my family or I have, we love each other unconditionally. That same unconditional love lives at Bodhi. Bodhi has taught me to practice looking at things without judgment to live unapologetically in a state of consciousness that sees beauty in everything.
After digging in to Science of Mind with Foundations, I began to get the concepts of wholeness and oneness. I remind myself of my wholeness with affirmations, “I am whole, perfect, & complete.” My view of God has changed, too, because of oneness. “I am one with this infinite presence whom I call God, Spirit, Holy Spirit, Life, Spirit of Love, and Spirit of Life,” is how I speak the unification part of my prayers of affirmation. My hope is that LGBTQ+ people get the opportunity to explore their spirituality like I have at Bodhi.