My Stance on LGBT Issues within Heathenry
Posted by Byron Pendason on , in Heathen worldview, Heathenry, Lgbt, Politics
A question that many new Heathens often ask is, where does Heathenry stand on LGBTQIA+ issues? The reason why it’s so often asked is simple. Christianity has a long history of being a homophobic religion. Although some factions of Christianity are working to change this, it by and large still remains a homophobic religion. So defectors of Christianity, tired of this homophobia, start seeking a religion that does not have this problem. So they wonder if it’s too be found within Heathenry.
As with many other issues, there is a wide variety of opinions, but they generally fall into one of two camps. On the left, you have inclusion, and on the right you have exclusion. The same people who want to exclude non-Europeans from Heathenry (usually called racialists or folkish Heathens) are usually the same ones who want to exclude non-cisgendered and non-heterosexual people. And generally it’s for the same reasons, too: they want to use Heathenry to justify their prejudice.
Since my knowledge of Norse Heathenry is abysmal at best, I reached out to Twitter user and YouTuber OceanKeltoi (a superstar in the online Heathen community for his very informative YouTube channel) for his help in understanding the ancient Norse Heathen views on LGBT issues. I will quote his response in its entirety:
Similar reasoning is generally used by all Heathens who advocate for the inclusion of LGBT+ people, regardless of the specific tradition they follow (Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Gothic, Old Saxon, Frankish, etc). I couldn’t have said it better myself, but I would to briefly touch upon his final point a little.
I think Ocean hits the nail on the head with his point that even if the ancient Heathens were against the LGBT community (which we have zero evidence of), it doesn’t mean that we have to be. Times change, and cultures change with it. This is the 21st century, and we do just about everything differently than they did back then. Reconstruction isn’t about reenactment. It’s about reviving an ancient religion to be practiced in modern times.
Part of being a modern religion is handling modern issues. Do we reject what modern science tells us about sexuality and gender so that we can accept the “traditional” views of ancient people on sexuality and on gender roles, or do we embrace this science so that we can welcome and affirm LGBTQIA+ people? This is a dilemma for monotheistic faiths with scriptures that seem to condemn homosexuality, although even many modern Christians are reinterpreting these texts to welcome these minorities into their folds.
For us Heathens, though, this is not a dilemma. As Ocean points out, there isn’t anything within Heathenry to condemn homosexuality or transgender people. We have no evidence that pre-Christian northern Europeans held these taboos. People within these minority communities are people. They should be treated as such, and welcomed into our faith. They should be able to celebrate each of life’s milestones just like anyone else, and they should be able to celebrate them with their faith communities.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, it doesn’t matter. They are human beings and should be treated the same as any other group of human beings. They should be able to fall in love, form families, lead spiritual communities, or whatever else they want. As long as their actions don’t harm others, they should be free to do whatever anyone else can.
So there you have it, my stance on LGBT issues within Heathenry. It’s a stance of full inclusion and full equality, because there isn’t anything within our religion that indicates that we should accept anything less.