It is almost Easter a Christian holiday where (almost) all Dutch people have a free day!
Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Most gay man aren’t really religious and going to church isn’t their thing either. Imagine being a twenty-one year old Christian raised gay man who lives at home. To illustrate I am born in a family with two sisters and two brothers. No only am I the youngest but I am also the only open gay person in my family. I am born and raised in a religious family that isn’t a hardcore Christian family. But there are responsibilities to your faith (and parents). Underneath you’ll read my experience as a Christian gay with Easter.
What does this mean for a Christian raised man being gay?
My family goes regularly to church and the holidays are about religion. Where do I draw a line with certain religious activities? This can me a hard choice. For me personally Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. A few years back I would have gone to the church even for maundy Thursday (the day before good Friday) to remember the last supper of Jesus. I would lent before Easter as well.
I am openly gay now and don’t really keep to my religion. Naturally I hold on to the norms and values in which I was raised. However I don’t think It is the right thing to do activities you don’t want to do. I certainly don’t go to church every week and if it is possible I won’t go on holidays either. My family wants to keep their norms and values. For me this holiday is like any other non-religious holiday. Admittedly I do celebrate with my parents but I leave the religion behind for my own sake. I won’t celebrate in the name of religion but I will celebrate in the name of family!
What is Easter for me as an openly gay person?
For my family it is normal to spend Easter with direct family and do certain prayers and rituals. In the first year after I came out to my family i had to tell my parents I didn’t want to do any religious things anymore. Because of this life long traditions came to expire. Someone had to take my part in certain rituals. Something like that is very hard in the beginning but when years past by it became easier. You have to adjust to your own expectations and those who surround you and the other way around.
I had a very good talk with my parents about what I would want to do and what I certainly didn’t want to do. That created a realistic view of our wishes from one-another. My family usually goes to church on Easter. During the time they go to church I prepare an Easter brunch in which we celebrate living and life. We show it of by using bright colors and in using colored Plates and decorations. We pray before the Easter brunch. I join with my family out of respect for my parents and their religious beliefs. This isn’t a thing I have to do or my parents forced me to. I want to do it because I value being together.
Taking family into account isn’t hard!
The period between Carnival and Easter is usually a period where Christians Lent. During this period I take my family into account. I eat the same as my family and lent with them is this way. In this way I want to keep the family tradition around Easter. On Easter I won’t work and I won’t go drinking with friends. Because I know it will be Jolly fun at home. The drinks on a terrace can wait another week.
My family’s Easter tradition changed in the past few years. Coming from a day where we as a family only spend time with religion. Now it is just religion in the morning the afternoons we do family activities. Something with sporting and games just to have fun. Furthermore Easter has a relaxed atmosphere in which I don’t have to do anything but my family gets to keep their traditions.
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I want to wish everyone a happy Easter in any way you celebrate it!