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Many of the people who responded to Katelyn Beaty’s tweet shared how there’s no need for us to be “melodramatic,” and the #IKDGstories team has also received similar thoughts through tumblr and twitter.

Katelyn’s tweet, though, is a good place to start talking about a really important concept that all of us– those of us who are critical of purity culture and those not– needs to understand moving forward.

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, the ideals presented weren’t foreign to me, it just put a more romantic spin on the whole “save yourself for marriage or else no good Christian man will ever want your whore ass” bullshit. It’s misogyny cloaked in religious language programmed to make women hate themselves and hate one of the main things that makes them who they are. He took me in when the church looked down on me for losing my virginity, my ministry kicking me out, and my “friends” slipping away.

It seemed like a really good idea at the time, because I was in college and involved in a Christian ministry where women were constantly critiqued for the style of clothing they wore, the way they spent their time, what men they spent their time with, and if they were “flirting” too much. He spent many late nights convincing me not to harm myself, that it was all going to be ok. That man is the main reason I’m alive and decently happy today. I had the worst panic attacks at the beginning because I was convinced our relationship would fall apart and he would leave me because that’s what Joshua Harris and my parents and the church and everyone else said would happen. And eventually I figured out I was anything but a good straight monogamous Christian girl.

at nineteen- and even as I read it- as a wide eyed girl longing for a picture perfect marriage in my future, something was missing for me.

While I still held on tightly to the rules of purity culture, I was clear on many of the ways race affected my life.

It was glorious, but I instinctively knew that I could never tell anyone about it.

Purity culture doesn’t curb sexual appetites, it just teaches you how to hide them.

I’m sorry for all those sleepless nights, those horrible dark days when you just wanted everything to end.

I can’t promise you that it gets better, because my story is not your story.

, and the scene where Aladdin and Jasmine kiss for the first time came on.

My mother made a face and said, “they should have waited until they got married to do that.” That is the very first bit of sex education I remember: you should wait until marriage to do anything remotely sexual and if you don’t, there’s something wrong with you. Because I was a very curious and sexually driven child, I learned from sneaking books off my dad’s bookshelf about the consequences of sexual abuse and rape.

Don’t EVER let anyone tell you that you need to be straight or the gender you were born with to be ok with God.

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