“Live with love and only love.”
It’s an issue we’ve all seen debated on the internet and in-person: does identifying as non-straight cancel out your ability to be religious? In her latest video, Georgia Bridgers offers a frank discussion on the topic. Being both bisexual and religious, she recognises how her point of view is unique on the internet.
Georgia, who explains how much “joy” she gets out of making her “gay videos” for her audience, is also vocal about being “religious and spiritual”. As such, she argues that these two identities can coexist in peace, but begins her video with a disclaimer that she isn’t trying to force religion on anyone.
She also notes how most people see being religious and identifying as gay as an “oxymoron” because of the “terror, hatred and pure harassment that a lot of religious groups throw at gay-identifying, queer-identifying human beings”. She takes into account the anti-LGBTQ+ groups we see across the world, which can be disheartening for any person coming to terms with their sexuality.
The video runs off questions and comments submitted by Georgia’s own Instagram followers. The first submission is from a fan struggling with handling being both “queer” and “religious”, as a friend claimed that the two “aren’t meant” to be together. Georgia takes this opportunity to share her overall belief that “God is love”, that “God created everyone in the image of Her love” and, as such, does not spread hateful views about people’s identities. She reassures the fan of her identity with her belief that “there is no right or wrong” when it comes to religion, and that each person is welcome to live their religious journey as they please.
Georgia carries on to answer “what religious views” she grew up with, describing her childhood and coming-of-age in Cincinnati, Ohio, attending Catholic schools until college. She notes how much of what she was taught was grounded in “Conservative Republican” ideals, which she doesn’t identify with. This political disagreement brought her to start rethinking her religious beliefs. She explains how in high school, she gained her own “autonomy”, which made her realise she “wasn’t comfortable with the teachings” that she felt were being “shoved down” her throat.
Coming into our own can see our perspectives of the world change. Georgia relates to this and shares how coming to terms with her bisexuality eventually drew her completely away from the church. “I kind of turned my prayers to God into prayers to the universe,” she says.
It’s not uncommon to feel lost when we move out of home, especially when faced with difficult, real-life challenges. Georgia recalls how she felt “confused” during college, where she experienced “many ups and downs”. “My soul felt empty,” Georgia states. “And I wanted it filled up again.” She then dedicates the next section of her video to the process of returning to the church while living alone for the first time at age 20.
Understanding that not all churches are exactly welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community, she gives her number one tip for finding safe spaces: Google. Georgia goes on to rejoice in the comfort she was able to find in both Cincinnati and New York City churches. She even details how her current church in New York has strict safety requirements to protect its members. “There’s a security guard outside that’s looking through purses. You’re not allowed to have bigger than a certain size purse to go into the church,” she explains.
Georgia wraps up her video describing how she is now confident in her faith and her belief that the two parts of her identity don’t “clash”. She also recognises that it does “take time to reframe your thinking” away from the notion that sexualities aren’t valid within religion. These days, Georgia explains, the church “feels like home” to her and she classifies herself proudly as “a gay, God-loving girl”.
Georgia’s unique experience shows us the ever-expanding diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, and it’s always great to see a story that ends with someone at peace. We’re a sucker for a happy ending here at TenEighty HQ.
Leena Normington recently looked into how the YouTube algorithm affects the content she puts out. Alternatively, you could read our Channel Spotlight on Mais Violet.