Dear Alice,

It’s strange being in a spiritually gray zone. I feel as if I’m still a part of the greater Christian narrative, but somehow removed from it. I think the best way to describe it is that I feel uncomfortable.

Why am I uncomfortable? Well, mainly because when I inhabit Christian spaces, I feel somewhat unwelcome. Let me give you an example: I participated in a lock-in my school had and I was supposed to talk to the guys about sex. Upon entering the space, I felt something was off, but I decided to ignore it. The pastor wanted to talk to us before the event started, specifically to know what we were going to talk about, then proceeded to say that we shouldn’t talk about queerness in any way.

That made me feel unwelcome. Not only was I supposed to talk about this with teens, but I couldn’t even share my experience of being a queer person. To add to the discomfort I felt, when the talk actually came, it was disastrous. I was so angry and frustrated that I had to take a minute to lock myself in my car and breathe before going back to the church to finish the night.

Christian spaces make me uncomfortable because they make me feel unwelcome. I know that there are Christian spaces out there that welcome queer people and celebrate them, but I’m not sure they exist here in Puerto Rico. The Christian tradition here is so…conservative that I fear that staying means leaving Christianity (or at least the specific brand of Puerto Rican Christianity) all together. I know I said that that’s what I wanted a few letter back, but I’m not sure anymore.

I think I want to retain some level of Christianity. Maybe I’ll go to church every once in a while, just to make sure the people don’t forget I exist and they don’t think they’re wasting their prayers (which sometimes I think they are). Some people in the churches I’ve attended have been very very welcoming! Sadly, I don’t think they would be if they understood what my queerness means for me and my spiritual development.

I think I need to find something new. Maybe not a new church or a new denomination, but maybe a new place and a new way of living. I think that what I needed to find in Puerto Rico was not a piece of myself, but a lesson. I needed to learn that I was strong enough to leave and find a life somewhere else. Puerto Rico will always be home, but I think I need a bigger pot if my roots are going to get stronger.

While I don’t envision myself leaving any time soon, I know it’s in my future to go back to the States. I don’t know where just yet, but I know that wherever I go I’ll be okay.



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