Making peace with cultural conflicts

**Still in construction


Religion, God and spiritual practice has remained an important aspect of Traveller heritage. Being Gay and a Traveller can therefore offer up many points of conflict, especially when it comes to the tricky domain of religion.

Although we originally had full plans to avoid any and all topics on a theological or dogmatic stance (as they are deeply interpretational and personally subjective) but due to it being a repetitive trend of concern among the Gay travellers we know and speak to, this section is dedicated to the attitudes and faith of Travellers and how they relates to Religion.

It is important to realise that Homophobia in religion isn't about god - it's about how people treat other people.

It can be hard to reconcile religion and sexuality, especially when living at home with your parents who may have homophobic religious beliefs, or surrounded by others who may not realise what such opinions and belief mean to others .

While trying to avoid alienating people, organisations and support networks by a distracting discussion into Traveller culture and spirituality there is a list below of how, if you wish, to have a sense of God in your life, while being true to yourself and who you really are:

  • Take away what speaks to you
    You might not like some of the things your parents or elders say to you about god and religion, but you might like some of the what you're hearing. Focus on the teachings and beliefs that you feel are right and good and not homophobic or exclusive.

  • Read and research
    You may find that when you read religious texts you don't find any homophobic messages at all - that it's largely through their interpretation by other people that negative messages are passed to you. So read about and research topics yourself to get closer to the facts and make up your own mind about the messages therein.

  • Worship at home
    Living with your parents or being from a small community, you might have to attend, due to the critical importance of marriages, baptismal and funerals, a church whose message isn't right for you. It's unrealistic to refuse to attend if you are under a certain age and dependent on your parents, or simply out of a blind dislike for the message given. This however doesn't mean you can't worship and pray at home and say what you want to say to god in private and explore your own ideas.

  • It's okay not to believe
    It's normal to explore ideas and question what you're told. This goes for all areas of life. You don't have to accept everything at face value, or believe everything you are told. Challenge ideas and explore your own.

  • Honour your heritage by making it “real”

    Making it “real” means filling it with intention, belief and faith. There seems to be few things more corrosive then a empty follower doing things out of pattern rather then a hunger to belong. Find what aspects of culture that support your being, and offer the least resistance. There are ways to make peace between your path and your honest orientation. It takes but time, thought and trust.