We take little things for granted, its a fact of life. When was the last time you realized how thankful you were for something small like shoes, or your fingers? Ever wonder what it feels like to not have little things you have but others don’t? Ever wonder whats it like to be on the other side of the story? I remember at the conference back in January we were asked to take a side depending on the question. If you were heterosexual you went to the majority group side, homosexuals went to the targeted side of the room. Christians and Roman Catholics on one side, other denominations or non-believers on the other etc. Back then I realized how there were certain benefits I had for being part of the majority in some group categories. But I didn’t really see the change or the effect it would have moving to the other side of a group.

I recently came out to publicly say that I am agnostic. Previous to that I would classify myself as a Christian. After all that’s how I was raised, that’s what I knew, that’s what my family is a part of. Many times people would come to me, make conversation etc. and somehow the topic of my religious affiliation would come up and I would answer with: Christian. I got the “Oh that’s great! You were raised with values etc.” because I was seen as a Christian. People seemed to like that. Ever since I began to reply with: Agnostic, everyone seems to look down on me. Now I get “Oh” or “I’ll pray for your soul” or “You’re wrong, you’re unhappy… etc.”. I’ve had people unfriend me because of that, others to argue that my beliefs are wrong and whatnot.

I didn’t think that living in today’s society being part of the non-believers would be so different. It really is different on the other side. I may be agnostic, but that doesn’t mean I lost my values, my ethics and morality. I know right from wrong, I’ve read the bible too, I’ve followed the traditions, I know them. Now to people I seem like a bad influence, a bad person, just because I believe in something different. I haven’t changed, I’m still the same person, with different ideas. I took for granted my “benefits” of being a Christian but now that I am part of the targeted group I don’t mind not having them anymore. Why? Because I’m standing up for what I believe in too. I would rather have no “benefits” than to keep pretending someone I’m not just to please others. So think of me as the bad influence, the black sheep, the outcast, but I’ll smile because I know who I am, and I know I’m not pretending to be someone I am not.

Smile, different doesn’t always mean bad.