"Cultural prejudice has not only succeeded in making most heterosexuals
hate gays; it has succeeded in making most gay people hate themselves"
-- Randy Shilts
I wholeheartedly agree with this quote from the late Randy Shilts, but I would add that it is cultural prejudice, fueled and reinforced by religious prejudice against LGBT people, spewed by all too many clergy who have vilified Gay people from their pulpits, that has spawned this hate by their justification of that hate and discrimination, that frequently leads to vilification, bashings and murders of LGBT people.
As I've written and spoken of before: Every single drop of blood shed by LGBT people, either through suicide, bashing, or murder, is on the hands of homophobic clergy, professing Christians who in any way support them, and those who remain silent in the face of such ungodly, hateful rhetoric and discrimination, that has others loathing Gay people, and has even many Gay people loathing themselves.
This self-loathing either causes many Gays to lead lives of quiet or not so quiet desperation, some going so far as to kill themselves, believing the lie that they have been told by these clergy and many other professing Christians, that God doesn't love them, or approve of their relationships. Also, many LGBT people commit suicide on the installment plan by engaging in risk-taking behaviors, drug abuse, alcoholism, and the like, as manifestations of their shame and self-loathing.
Always remember that just because someone calls him/herself a Christian, or has his/her collar turned around, doesn't necessarily make that person a Christian! Just because one goes to church every single day doesn't necessarily make him/her a Christian!
Hear Jesus, the Prince of Peace: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:18-20)
Simply put, Jesus is a behaviorist! You are what you do, and you do what you are! If you spew hate, be it falsely claimed in the name of God or not, you have proven yourself to be none of His! There are many wonderful people who, whether or not they know it, belong to God! And, unfortunately and conversely, there are many wolves in clergy and other "Christian" attire, in sheep's clothing, who who spew their hate, even in sanctimonious terms, falsely claiming to speak for God, who are not "good trees" but who are evil.
Only a good tree will bring forth good fruit that manifests the grace and love of God, and homophobic clergy and other professing Christians who align themselves with their lying rhetoric and discriminatory behavior, either actively or by their silence, show themselves to be bad trees who bring forth corrupt fruit that cause untold damage and hardship to LGBT people and their families.
And, by so doing, these "corrupt trees" are liars! They lie about Gay people and their relationships (They bear false witness, contravening one of the Ten Commandments!); they lie about being spokespeople for God, the God of grace Who has unconditional love for ALL of His children, be they Gay or Straight!
Homophobic clergy and their followers are liars! And, being the "corrupt trees" they are, they are none of His! The Apostle Paul has rather harsh words for those who preach any other gospel than the Gospel of God's grace. He says, "God damn them!" (Galatians 1:8-9)
So, don't listen to them! Ignore them, and never let them, or any other "corrupt tree," define your worth, the validity of your relationships, or your standing with God!
Always remember, as my friend Rev. Troy Perry, Founder and 37 year Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, and a tireless fighter for LGBT rights, wisely said, "God didn't create someone whom He could sit around and hate!
Believe me: If you are Gay, God made you just as He wanted, and He loves you, and don't ever let anyone else tell you differently!