We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
Joan Didion, title essay, The White Album (1979)
I grew up in a Baha'i family and community. At one point I thought I may be gay or bisexual. I struggled with this for many years. I married someone of the opposite sex and had children and still wondered as my sexual relationship has not seemed complete. I turned to pornography but that did not help and made "real" sexuality even less satisfying.
Over time, I realized that I was thinking of my identity in relation to sexual attraction. I am no longer trying to identify my sexuality as part of who I am. I am finding that these questions of sexual identity are finally beginning to fade for me and I am also finding that I am less judgemental towards others who struggle with sexuality in our over- sexualized society. I don't beat myself up because of homosexual thoughts any more. I just try not to judge myself harshly and redirect my thoughts and understand that we live in very difficult times and must be patient with all in regards to sex-- especially oneself. We must never judge another Baha'i or any other person. Love and unity helps our Faith not judgement.
I've grown up a Baha'i, and am now 15 and can declare, but the Baha'i views on homosexuality are what are holding me back from actually declaring I guess. I want to know more about the Baha'i views on it. I identify as bisexual, and I sometimes feel uncomfortable in Baha'i gathering and family situations in general where everything is quite straight oriented, and people assume I am straight. I've been reading about how homosexuality is seen in the Baha'i faith, but I really want to talk to someone and get advice from someone who has experienced all of this.
I could never have imagined a website like this! Congratulations.
I was born as a male child in Melbourne. From the age of four I wanted to dress as a girl and was happiest playing with girls. As I grew older the conflict in my perceived sex and my legal sex was to lead to decades of confusion and emotional pain.
During the years 1956 to 1961 I lived in Israel. In March 1957 I visited the Shrine of the Bab. A Persian gentleman met me in the gardens and showed me into the Innermost Shrine of the Bab. There I experienced something I cannot describe other than I had found something that was to be important to me. The gentleman was Lotfullah Hakim who had been with Abdu’l-Baha on his European journeys. This is going back a long way isn’t it? Indeed, I met two who had been in the presence of Baha’u’llah Himself.
Eventually I made my Declaration in London in March 1961 and pioneered several new Assemblies in the UK. In 1963 I attended the First International Baha’i Convention in London. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to Lotfullah Hakim who not only remembered me, five years later, but informed me “You were expected.”
I became a Registered Nurse while in England and married. My wife was a beautiful lady from India, Also a Registered Nurse. We sought permission to marry from the London LSA. Wow!
I could supply all the ID they demanded, but as for my wife-to-be it was impossible and very upsetting emotionally. We made every effort to find her birth info in India, but unsuccessfully. Her mother had been unwed and my wife-to-be was raised in an orphanage. Later she gained admission into an Anglican school where became school Captain and captain of the netball team.
When she decided to train as a nurse, the school Principal managed to have a fake birth certificate issued to her. Eventually, years later when in India I did find a record of her birth and parents. Anyway, I was rather annoyed that the LSA was imposing Baha’i requirements upon my non-Baha’i wife, so we went ahead and had a civil wedding. The outcome was the removal of my voting rights, which, to Baha’is, was much as if one was a Covenant Breaker.
After the election of the first UHJ in 1963 I appealed the ‘sentence’ handed down by the British NSA. The UHJ instructed the NSA to restore my voting rights. We return to OZ in 1971.
We had two beautiful children and have four grandchildren.
My wife accepted my conflict as to whether I was a male or a female. When the children were independent I sought medical advice and, after many tests and assessments I was diagnosed with an Intersex condition – a congenital sex identity disorder – probably due to ovarian tissue on my kidneys. I went ahead with the medical and surgical sex change procedures and become emotionally, physically and legally a female.
I was kicked out of the Faith. Not the NSA or the UHJ would respond to my emails enquiring about my status.
It is years since I have had any info. About the Faith which seems to have gone beneath the radar. It does seem to have acquired the characteristics of a fanatical sect.
Gayle, Perth, WA