“I thought maybe God could fix me. I confessed I’m broken and I had hope and I believed God could work a miracle.”
It’s a powerful statement from one of the performers of the Coming Out in Faith Monologues.
James Bellamy-Henn is sharing his personal journey with a crowd this weekend at Calgary’s Hillhurst United Church.
Bellamy-Henn was an evangelical minister who was married for 16 years and fathered four children. But after coming out as a gay man, he decided to leave his faith behind and now identifies as an atheist.
“I stopped filtering my life based on teachings of the church,” he said. “For the first time, I was happy and had peace, and I no longer needed to feel judged or different or a sinner or a freak. I am just gay.”
People in the LGBTQ community will be sharing their experiences of how their identity and faith collide. It’s a project that makes organizer Pam Rocker proud.
“These events highlight what it means personally for people to be impacted by having something that’s rooted in you, that ends up to being a barrier to you expressing who you are,” Rocker said. “Those things actually go together and you don’t have to choose one or the other–you can be all parts of yourself.”
Shuby Bhattarai, 27, is delivering a monologue about their journey of growing up with Hinduism and being queer.
“There’s a lot of queer themes in Hinduism and that’s a huge thing for me. I didn’t grow up with this. Where were these stories when I was growing up?” Shuby said.
“But now I know they exist and so do I.”