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Wedding Woes

Oh LW, I want to hug you.

Dear Prudence,

I have wondered for years if I am bisexual. When I was younger, I even discussed the possibility with my mother. Part of my hesitation may have come from my religion: I was raised in a strict Lutheran synod. I’m 30 years old at this point, and I still wonder. While I’m still Christian, I’m not sure I belong with that synod. I even think my mother still wonders because she’s mentioned a few times recently that if I wasn’t straight that she and my father would support me. (I don’t know if my siblings would, but that’s not a can of worms I’m willing to open right now.) I’ve never investigated things further since that conversation 14 years ago, but it weighs on my mind. I’m single and haven’t been in a relationship with a man in over two years. My longest relationship with a man was in high school. I’ve never had sex. However, I do enjoy looking at women.

While I know that alone probably doesn’t make me bisexual, I can’t help wondering still at this point in my life if maybe I am. I don’t know what to do to figure it out. I’m lost and don’t feel comfortable discussing this with the people around me—mainly because the only LGBTQ+ people in my life right now are co-workers, and that wouldn’t be an appropriate discussion for the workplace. I don’t know what to do to proceed here, and while it might seem trite, I need to know. What should i do to figure this out for myself? I’m concerned that if I reach out to a LGBTQ+ community that I’ll be judged for not being sure, but also for thinking I may be bisexual.

—Maybe Bi

Re: Oh LW, I want to hug you.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Q stands for questioning! Reach out to the community. Also, therapy. 

    I feel for LW too. 

    MissKittyDanger
  • Therapy could certainly help, but I do think LW should reach out to the LGBTQ+ community. I bet they'll be a lot more understanding than LW expects.
    image
  • I think reaching out to the LGBTQ+ community helps but a trained therapist can also help LW get to now herself and be introspective.   
    short+sassy
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 15
    My cousins were raised Lutheran synod and still practice (along with my aunt and uncle).  I can only imagine the mindfuck that church is on someone who doesn't 'fit the mold' and especially someone who is not sure they are straight or cisgender.   I mean I know many faiths that are not accepting, but they would likely outright ostracize people with zero qualms as it's all 'in the name of Jesus'.  While I think that it's nice that LW's mother and father might would be supportive and sounds like they would not disown LW, I can see how LW is distrustful of the situation especially since they seem to feel their wider family (siblings especially) would not be supportive or accepting.  

    LW should reach out to groups and I think they will find more acceptance than they realize.  I can understand their hesitation given the messaging they've received all their lives about identity and who they should be in the world.  
  • I'm not familiar with that religion, but I know many aren't very 'open' to non-hetro relations.
    But agreed with PP's, LGBTQ+ would definitely help. I would start there and if LW feels there's more questions they aren't able to clarify - or anything deeper - they may have a counselor or someone many are familiar/comfortable with and understand more of the spectrum.

    LW may not be bi, they could be Pan or something.
  • A little off-topic from the letter, but I was raised in a Lutheran church; however, I had never heard the term "synod".  So I just went Googling.  Figuring it was a more stringent version of Lutheranism.  But apparently no, it isn't.  It's a council or governmental body of the church and there are three major synods in the US, with sub-synods in them.  The Missouri Synod (one of the 3 major synods) is the one that sounds extra sucky, intolerant, and stringent.  Perhaps that's the one the LW and her family belong to.  That synod is very anti same-sex relationships (insert all the Bible verses the Christian right likes to trot out on this subject).

    Still reeling over here at how different that Missouri Synod sounds from the values and beliefs I was taught at my church, despite us all being Lutherans!  It's kinda bothering me now.  They also don't allow women to be ordained because it is not "God's will" for women to hold a lofty position like that.  "Lofty" is literally the word they used in their literature I found on this.

    I'm not saying the rest of Lutherans are some pantheons of virtue on these subjects.  It's still largely a man's world for Lutheran pastors, but they have been ordaining women since at least the 70's.  I never heard anything negative/derogatory about same-sex relationships.  Though I was surprised it was as late as the early 2000's that same-sex pastors could become ordained and 2009 was when same-sex marriage was allowed within the church.

    Sorry for all the info about Lutheranism, lol.  I'm just so shocked.  My family and I were VERY active in our church growing up.  And my father was a theology major in college, so he taught and always encouraged us to understand the whats and whys of what we believed, instead of following blindly.  So I thought I had better grasp on what it means to be Lutheran.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875
  • My cousin's are Missouri synod and it's like a fucking cult. 
    charlotte989875
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    We are Lutheran in the ELCA branch of the church. Synod does refer to a governing body in our church but the Missouri (Wisconsin) Synod refers to the branch of lutheranism. Our church is welcoming to all. My specific church has LGBTQ members (or so I'm told - no one has introduced themselves as LGBTQ to me! ) and a woman pastor. Please don't lump all Lutherans into the same group.
    mrsconn23short+sassykerbohl
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 15
    We are Lutheran in the ELCA branch of the church. Synod does refer to a governing body in our church but the Missouri (Wisconsin) Synod refers to the branch of lutheranism. Our church is welcoming to all. My specific church has LGBTQ members (or so I'm told - no one has introduced themselves as LGBTQ to me! ) and a woman pastor. Please don't lump all Lutherans into the same group.
    Yep, I know that mainstream Lutheranism is a lot more liberal than synod branches.  And Missouri synod seems to be the most stringent/conservative of all branches.  I'm not even sure why they consider themselves Lutheran since they seem to have more in common with evangelicals than the more relaxed branches of the faith. 

    ETA: It's probably why LW clarified in their letter. 
    short+sassy
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 15
    If it's in Missouri, it's probably fucked up.

    I think she probably needs to search for a specific bisexual/non-monosexual support group.  They are out there, even if she has to find one online. 

    I hesitate to say reach out to the local community b/c biphobia is so real and even people who think they're strong advocates and allies are casually biphobic.  They really might not be that helpful to someone who is questioning bisexuality (I can hear, "Are you sure you're just not gay and uncomfortable with it" right now).  I was doing all of my community service and on the board of the LGBTQ community center while still married to a cisman and the ED referred to me as an ally once.  I was floored.  She apologized immediately, but I have never forgotten that moment, it still angers and hurts me.  For someone who hasn't been out for 23 years, it could really set them back.
    missJeanLouisecharlotte989875
  • My guess is that LW grew up Missouri or Wisconsin Synod Lutheran.

    Regarding Lutherans...
    I grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran.  Wisconsin Synod is the most conservative with Missouri being a very close second.  ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is likely the largest Lutheran synod and tends to be much more open.  It still depends on the individual congregation.  ELCA is celebrating 50 years of the ordination of women this year.  They also support the ordination of LGBTQ+ folks. My ELCA congregation is intentionally welcoming to all.  
    image
    charlotte989875short+sassymrsconn23ILoveBeachMusic
  • MNNEBride said:
    My guess is that LW grew up Missouri or Wisconsin Synod Lutheran.

    Regarding Lutherans...
    I grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran.  Wisconsin Synod is the most conservative with Missouri being a very close second.  ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is likely the largest Lutheran synod and tends to be much more open.  It still depends on the individual congregation.  ELCA is celebrating 50 years of the ordination of women this year.  They also support the ordination of LGBTQ+ folks. My ELCA congregation is intentionally welcoming to all.  
    Same. I grew up in Missouri Synod and it is not welcoming nor tolerant. I don’t go to church with my family on holidays because of how intolerant their church. 

    I really, really feel for the LW. 
    mrsconn23
  • MRDCleMRDCle member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    MNNEBride said:
    My guess is that LW grew up Missouri or Wisconsin Synod Lutheran.

    Regarding Lutherans...
    I grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran.  Wisconsin Synod is the most conservative with Missouri being a very close second.  ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is likely the largest Lutheran synod and tends to be much more open.  It still depends on the individual congregation.  ELCA is celebrating 50 years of the ordination of women this year.  They also support the ordination of LGBTQ+ folks. My ELCA congregation is intentionally welcoming to all.  
    Same. I grew up in Missouri Synod and it is not welcoming nor tolerant. I don’t go to church with my family on holidays because of how intolerant their church. 

    I really, really feel for the LW. 
    I also grew up in the Missouri Synod, and we must have been an anomaly - it was definitely conservative but very welcoming. Wisconsin Synod is even more conservative. ELCA churches are great and very open. It sounds like LW would have been either Wisconsin or one of the extra conservative LCMS. 
    short+sassyMNNEBridecharlotte989875
  • Individual congregations can vary widely within a Synod.  I attended 2 welcoming Missouri Synod congregations.
    image
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