All of the rhetoric I have seen directed towards queer persons about loving themselves, has been resting on the notion that being LGBTQ+ is not a personal fault or failing. And that is good. Very good. We are harming no one, so we don't deserve to be harmed or unfairly restricted in any way--by God or man.
But what if you can't just shake the notion that you're doing something wrong? That something is wrong with you? Your head is often less stubborn than your heart, and anti-gay or anti-trans programming can take years or a lifetime to fully unlearn. What if you can't stop thinking or feeling that you're bad?
Let me ask you a question: So what if you are?
What if you are bad? What if you are evil? What if you are the worst, most vile human being on the planet? What if you are scum?
Even if everything they say is true--why can't you still be on your own side?
I find myself arguing with the homophobes in my head more often than the homophobes on the internet or in my family. And it's exhausting. Sometimes I write down my own arguments (though it's ridiculous that I have to argue with people for my own life), sometimes I drown out the inner homophobes by humming. But trying to defeat them is exhausting.
So what if the're right? Does that mean that I should just stop taking care of myself, stop trying to be happy, kill myself? I can't do any of those things. I figured out long ago that I have to be on my own side (even against God). If they want me destroyed, they are going to have to kill me. Meanwhile, I'll live my life and try to do things that make me happy.
Maybe you should not try so hard to convince yourself that being gay is good, and you should just say, "I love myself in spite of my faults." And you can save "being gay isn't one of them" for another day. Especially some other day when you have more energy.
And it's not just useful for being gay itself. Gay guilt is also banished with this technique.
I love myself in spite of being kind-of in the closet to my family. (Though it's not my fault that they assume, and their assumptions are stubborn.) I love myself in spite of my closet.
I love myself in spite of my fear of arguing. In spite of a part of me thinking that homophobes are right when they hurt me, and wondering if that means that they're right about me and my sinfulness.
I love myself in spite of the hurt I feel when people are homophobic to me, even though I don't want to care what they think of me.
In spite of wanting to be with another woman, because I would wonder if people really accept me as myself, if I were with a man. (I'm technically bisexual.) In spite of worrying that my extended family would tell themselves I was straight, and not see the real me, and I would never know if they accept the real me, and a big part of me would be invisible. In spite of worrying that being with a man would make me lose a part of my identity that is so new to me, and so precious. Even if my mom says I should not pay attention to gender and just focus on finding a good person. Even if I can't do that, I still love myself.
I love myself in spite of hating myself. And somehow, doing that makes me not hate myself.
I love myself in spite of being gay. In spite of acting on it in the form of reading gay books and watching gay Youtube videos. In spite of cheering on the character Kevin Keller, on the show Riverdale, when he dates that hot bad-boy gangster Joachim. I love myself in spite of all of that.
I love myself in spite of everything. And I'll save combating everything for another day.