“Why Do You Care So Much About LGBT Issues? Are YOU queer?”

It’s an honest question, I guess.  But the implication is that in caring for friends who are gay, lesbian or bi-, or any persecuted population, there must be some underlying story.  Let’s be truly honest, at least I will be, for a moment.   And I guess I’ll generalize dangerously, but I think I’m fairly close to the truth when I say …

Some Christians don’t know how to love people that they do not like or do not understand.

They are often the ones who avoid the discomfort of being in a setting with any group that makes them feel a minority.  That is if they even think about it.

They may wrap their beliefs up in a neat and tidy box, but the fact is they are unwilling to have a friend who is queer.  I dare you to step out of your comfort zone.  And I can promise that nothing untoward will happen.  And you just might learn something about yourself.

Let’s broaden the conversation and throw out an even broader generalization but I believe that most people, Christian or not, very rarely allow ourselves to be without our power.

Perhaps unintentionally, but it rare that white people put ourselves in places where we don’t hold that (white) power.    Yeah, I’m talking about white people because being white, we have power just because of the color of our skin.  And we might be complete wing nuts, but it will stay true. Also, being straight in today’s society holds power(Being a man holds power, but that’s not the subject here I just had to say it.)

Here is the real truth.  I have someone very close to me who is bi-sexual.  This is someone who I love.  Someone that I would like to come to know the Jesus I know,the way I know him.   Someone who rejects Jesus because of reputation of “the Church” and someone who considers it evidence of bigotry that Christian’s lack love for them…

The friends and acquaintances over the years that are queer — some out and some not, but I love them.  I hurt for them.  I heart aches over the rejection and disapproval that is shown to queer people mostly by Christians.  When I picture those friends in my mind  I have to acknowledge to myself that their lives are incredibly difficult and it is mostly because our culture is so bigoted and I want to love them, take them home and care of them.  It’s the Mother in me who would adopt all these “kids” so that they’d know unconditional love.

And as for being a minority within a dominant culture, well

the little I have learned is that I have all this power that I don’t even acknowledge most of the time.

And this power makes my life so much easier than those that are not white or straight.  Most people, other than whites,  face  the biases and prejudices of the dominant culture every single day.  My culture. My people.  My tribe does this and it hurts me.

And one of my new year’s resolutions (Go ahead, check.  I wrote them down here.) was to place myself in positions where I was a minority — Whether that is my lily whiteness — or my being straight — or my being  a Christian — I want to be with other people, without my power getting in the way, so that I can learn.  I’ll become the better person for it.

So why do I care so much about friends who are LGB or T — and People who are Homeless — and People of Color — and Women ….  And generally anyone who is persecuted for something that they are, because I hope I am a bridge person in between.

I believe that this is what Jesus would want me to do.

It is as complicated and as simple as that.

OCTOBER 8TH UPDATE: I JUST READ AN ARTICLE THAT MADE ME REALIZE HOW STUPID (REALLY JUST LAZY THINKING TO BE HONEST) IT WAS TO CALL MYSELF, AS A WOMAN, GAY.   HENCE THE CHANGE IN TITLE.

http://www.qideas.org/essays/project-love-restoring-a-bridge-with-the-gay-community.aspx?page=4

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Amy says:

    Thanks for this. For many years I was in love with a man who was gay. He was in love with me…but not the same way I was with him. But we were connected. It was all romantic and doomed and so 20-something. His parents were devout, conservative Christians. When he came out they were horrified. They sent him to their pastor who basically said “Change or leave this church.” He left the church. He spent years trying to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. I was conflicted but loved him. Once I went to visit him and while there, we went out to eat. Several times (more than once for sure) when it came time to pay our bill, we were told it had been taken care of. Friends of his also eating there had finished before us and paid our bill as well as theirs. During my time with him I saw an amazing picture of community. I was shamed that the church had not come together to live in such a way. After a while, my friend lost his job. While he was searching for a new one, he was taken care of by the GBLT community. He was housed, clothed, fed, and his bills were paid for. Again I marveled at a community living and loving each other through the hard times. No church I knew at the time was living in any way similarly. It was a huge lesson to me then…as well as now.

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