LGBT and Spirituality
by Dr. Mark Pitstick
I am honored to write about spirituality as it relates to people whose sexual orientation is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Over the years, I have known many co-workers, friends, and family members who were not heterosexual. Without exception, they are some of the most loving and creative people I have known.
Ever since I was old enough to think for myself, I was puzzled by the overemphasis on differences among people. As a teenager, I saw rioting and cars burned as our nation struggled about racial equality. In the 70s, I saw “straights” judge “hippies”—and vice versa—largely on the basis of hairstyle and dress. People from different countries, religions or even sports teams were condemned. Today, LGBT folks face prejudice and mistreatment because of one minor factor—their sexual orientation.
I use the term’ sexual orientation’ because, in my opinion, numerous indicators show it’s not a choice. As anyone who has worked in pediatric hospitals knows, a variety of anatomical variation exists at birth. Similarly, genetic, hormonal, neurological and psychological differences result in a rainbow of sexuality. Visit Born Gay? to view factors about the ‘choice or not’ question that will, no doubt, be endlessly debated by some.
Academic research aside, unbiased observers can see that human sexuality is not a ‘black and white’ matter. It might seem easier to view life in simplistic terms, but ignoring the shades of gray that exist actually causes more problems. In reality, a spectrum of sexuality exists and various individuals fall along that spectrum.
Most importantly, every LGBT person I have known has stressed that they would never choose to undergo the judgment and ostracism they received. They are sometimes banned from their families. Families are painfully split when one parent finally comes out. These couples usually cannot enjoy the same privileges that married heterosexual couples do. Most unbelievably, gays are beaten or killed solely because of their sexuality. Who would volunteer to endure rejection and hatred?
Societal objections to LGBT orientations are ostensibly based upon concerns about the family as an institution. However, well-run studies have shown that children of same-sex partners are just as happy and healthy as those of heterosexual parents. Likewise, the eventual sexual orientation of children of same-sex parents is similar to those of heterosexual couples.
Religious objections to non-heterosexual relationships reflect archaic attempts to control uniformity and create more tithe-paying congregants. By the way, how many times have fundamentally religious attackers of gays later been outed as LGBT themselves? And I’m not even going to mention the shameful behavior of so many priests and pastors who were supposed to be celibate and/or trustworthy.
Finally, as one who has worked with tens of thousands of patients over the last thirty-nine years, I wonder how much of heterosexual concern about others who are different is simply the fear that others are having more sex than they are. Many straight couples slowly morph into an asexual ‘ma and pa’ relationship and may assume that LGBT folks are enjoying the sex life of rabbits.
In early human history, fear of differences was understandable. Cave dwellers had to distinguish between the red berries that would kill them and the nourishing purple ones. Members of warring tribes had to be recognized to avoid sneak attacks and possible death. Survival depended on staying close to what was known and familiar. Heterosexual adults who produced offspring were more likely to survive because of their children’s assistance with labor and later, protection. Societal and religious laws developed to support these goals.
In the 21st century, however, such limitations are no longer adaptive. In fact, they are destructive to the evolution of humanity. Our world has become functionally smaller due to greater travel and information-sharing capabilities. We are discovering that our earthly village succeeds best when we treat each other as brothers and sisters should.
For one with an awakened heart and mind, it’s very clear. Whatever the reasons for the sexual orientation of all people, it is time to accept it and appreciate the strength and beauty of diversity. I don’t have to justify why I’m heterosexual. Why should it be any different for people who aren’t?
It’s time to live and let live. As all spiritual wisdom traditions have taught, what is most important is to love one another and observe the Golden Rule. Doing so regarding matters of sexual orientation is clearly overdue.
This is especially important given the hate crimes that occur around the world against LGBT people. The first I was aware of was Matthew Shepard in 1998. I had glanced at the news about him being beaten, tortured, and left to die. My brain quickly categorized it as yet “another senseless death.” Later, while doing a Transformational Breathwork session for myself, my heart opened and I felt the horrible pain and sadness that everyone involved felt. What’s more, I could feel the discouragement and outrage of the LGBT community and anyone with an open mind and heart.
Most recently, the shootings in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub took the lives of 49 people and wounded more. Judgment and mistreatment against people who are different is a major cause of such events. Some fundamentalist churches even tacitly support such violence by claiming that God is making His will known.
During my thirty years of research for the book and documentary film Soul Proof, I came across several interesting topics regarding spirituality and sexuality. Researchers such as Michael Newton, Ph.D., founder of spiritual regression therapy, note that souls may choose to be different from the “norm” while on earth because of the opportunities for personal growth and service therein. Challenges and difficulties build spiritual muscles much like strenuous exercise builds physical muscle. The strongest metals survive the hottest fires. LGBT people may well have selected, on a spiritual level, their path for those reasons.
Other social scientists, for example Brian Weiss, M.D., recognize that patterns developed during “past lives” may influence how a person in this one. If a person were a female for several lifetimes in a row, for example, it could influence his wants and desires as a male in this lifetime.
Different cultures have recognized LGBT people as unique and possibly embodying two different souls simultaneously. The term’ two spirits’ was used for individuals who exhibited androgynous characteristics. Many indigenous tribes, including American and Canadian Indian, recognized the special nature of these souls.
Some people with a fundamental religious background fear that they or their non-heterosexual loved ones are destined to hell forever. People wonder if God understands differences in sexuality and if they will get into heaven.
These concerns are ridiculous when viewed in light of the Soul Proof evidence. In short, God isn’t a big vengeful fellow in the sky but, rather, the source of love, intelligence, power and bliss. We each are one with the One—no matter who and how we are. An eternal fiery hell doesn’t exist. Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, degrees of awareness that you are a beloved part of Creation.
Quantum physics and field theory provide another perspective on how minor ones sexual orientation is when compared to the totality of ones being. The human brain is a wonderful receiver of information, however, its limitations have been well documented. For example, if all existing light on the electromagnetic spectrum—x-ray, infrared, ultraviolet, etc.—were the size of Mount Everest, the portion visible by humans would be the size of a golf ball.
This fact points to the heart of the matter. What can be perceived by the five human senses is only a small percentage of our totality. As such, it is patently ignorant to overemphasize one small detail such as a person’s sexual orientation, presence of X or Y chromosome, or distance of melanin from the surface of the skin.
As the collective evidence in Soul Proof shows, we each are infinite spiritual beings. From a religious/spiritual viewpoint, we each are children of the Most High. Clinical evidence from documented near-death-experience studies report that we each are part of Source. From a quantum physics standpoint, we each are beings of energy with electromagnetic fields integral to the Field of All Possibilities. However you look at it, we each are important parts of life—drops of water in the oceanic divine.
This recognition calls for respecting and valuing all people regardless of any trivial differences: sexuality, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, physical appearance, etc. These are inconsequential details in the grand scheme of things.
More and more people are awakening to the truth of our interconnection and essential oneness. Having shaken off the fetters of fear, they are focusing more on the unique beauty and gifts that each person has. From this perspective, we can love ourselves more and appreciate the inner light of all people.
As you more deeply realize these facts, may you increasingly express your magnificence in body, mind and spirit. Let me know if I can assist your journey.
Mark Pitstick, M.A., D.C.—author, lecturer, psychologist, and holistic chiropractic physician—helps others
know and show their magnificence in body, mind and spirit. firstname.lastname@example.org www.soulproof.com