April 29, 2015
When Sydney Tagle (10) was in middle school, the topic of homosexuality was discussed in her church. They concluded that same-sex relationships were a sin. As the topic was discussed further, Sydney began to question her own sexuality.
When she began to establish feelings towards other girls, she neglected them in fear of the deterioration of her relationship with the church that had always been the center of her life.
After discovering that she was not straight, Sydney sought relief from members of her church. She came out as bisexual to two of her Life Group leaders and a few close friends, but she was still confused and did not feel comfortable with this sexual identity.
As Sydney accepted that she was a lesbian, a sexual identity that she was able to appropriately identify with, she came out and experienced backlash. Her church community began to treat her differently and distanced themselves from her. Sydney took the initiative in an attempt to mend her compromised friendships as they had been some of the most important ones in her life. Her friends apologized and made their way back into her life.
Sydney grew up very involved in the church and felt most connected through her service in leadership and music. After it became known that she was a lesbian, the church created a rule that no members in the serving ministries would be able to be in a same sex relationship. Sydney was put on a long break, leaving her confused with her personal relationship with God.
The leadership team of her church has made it clear to Sydney that being in a same sex relationship dishonors God; therefore, Sydney is no longer able to be as involved in the church as she had previously been. The place in which she had grown up in and felt at home suddenly became a place where she received judgement for being herself.
Although she has been distanced from the church, Sydney’s relationship with her religious community has greatly improved.
She admits that it is difficult for her to understand the consequences that the Bible states for being in a same sex relationship. “The Bible states that being in a same sex relationship is a sin and I am scared knowing that I might be going to hell because of it but I don’t understand why. I am not hurting or affecting anyone else and, in my eyes, anyone should be able to love anyone they want.”
Sydney came out to her parents the beginning of her sophomore year. Her parents are not homophobic, but they don’t necessarily agree with her lifestyle.
It was hard for her to come out to her religious parents as she was unsure of what their response would be. Regardless of her sexual orientation, her mom still makes it a point to take Sydney to church every Sunday; however, her mother is supportive of her daughter as she makes an effort to understand and learn about Sydney’s sexual identification.
At school, teachers treat Sydney the same as any other student; however, when she notices other LGBTQ+ students receiving harsh treatment on campus, it is easy for her to identify with them as she experienced a similar struggle at her church. Sydney always stands up for what is right and for those who are on the receiving end of mistreatment.
Sydney is a member of the SJHHS Queer Alliance. Although her mother was apprehensive about her joining, the club has allowed Sydney to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community and has taught her that being comfortable with herself is important.
When Sydney began dating, she did not want to show any PDA at school because she was afraid of the reactions of her peers. Now, she is more comfortable with being affectionate with her girlfriend at school and she is going to continue doing what makes her happy.
Sydney stresses the importance of accepting yourself because in high school, people are going to judge you no matter what. Being comfortable with yourself is vital to your happiness.
“When you’re in the closet, you become shy and scared. But when you come out, you will begin to see the world in a different light,” said Tagle.
Sydney had always thought she would make her impact on others by playing music at church, but now she realizes now that God put her here in order to support and inspire those who are forced to endure similar struggles.