Listen: Gay guy opens up about being disowned by his parents because of religion
A gay man has spoken about being disowned by his entire family, in a poignant radio call.
The speaker, Jonathan in Worthing, phoned LBC presenter Maajid Nawaz during a discussion on religion over the weekend.
Jonathan, who was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, explained that his parents cut off all contact with him when he came out five years ago.
He said: “I’m a gay man, and I was brought up in a very strict faith, and their views on homosexuality are, quoting what my father said to me, if we lived in Bible times you’d be stoned to death.
“I’ve experienced a lot of homophobia and a lot of rejection. It’s five years this month since my parents disowned me all because I was born gay.
“It’s very hurtful. I live in the same town, I walk through the street, I see my parents in the supermarket, and if they’re on the next till to me, they put the shopping down and walk out.
“I have to struggle with this every day, and it has affected my mental health. Fortunately I have some very supportive new friends, but unfortunately I’ve lost my faith.
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“I think I would be described as atheist now… I have nothing against other people with a faith, but I think it’s about time we live in the real world.
He added: “I’m very disappointed with religion… in all the years I was [growing up] I kept hearing the words ‘unconditional love, we show unconditional love’ – but that’s not true, because if you can’t be accepting of other human beings, and accept them for who they are, be it gay, straight bi, transgender… if you believe in Jesus, follow his example and show unconditional love.
“That means be accepting of one another. Two people, they might be of the same sex, but if they want to marry one another, they should be able to no matter what their church says.
“Gay people should be able to go to church and not be looked down upon by other people. They’re just as worthy in God’s eyes as a straight person.”