What I Wish You (the church) Knew

I don’t want to be angry anymore. I’m tired of being angry. In fact, I’m exhausted—especially every time I get on social media lately, because toxic, downright hostile things have been circulating around the worldwide web ever since the SCOTUS decision on June 30th. I get it. You’re all in an uproar because you feel that marriage is being redefined—traditions in this country are being rewritten, all that jazz.

But I would caution you to think before you post that next Franklin Graham or Jerry Falwell opinion. Think about not only those who agree with you or disagree with you, but think about those you’re hurting with the vitriolic and incredibly insensitive posts. Marriage equality is so much more than a political issue. There are people—real live people involved. Imagine that? People?! Yes, people who are human beings who walk on this earth and breathe the same air you do. People…like me. I am a Christian. I am a part of the LGBT community. And I feel stuck in the middle. I feel like I have to choose between my faith community which is a part of who I am, and my orientation…also part of who I am. Don’t make me choose. I shouldn’t have to choose which group I want to love me.

I don’t want to be bitter because of your lack of love and support. I don’t want to be angry or so weighed down because the people who say they will love me the most might just abandon me when I tell them I’m gay. I want to speak on the behalf of so many closeted gay Christians out there who are struggling and maybe even contemplating suicide just out of the pain Christians (often their own family members) have caused them by saying they hate a part of them. So, here are some things I want you to know:

1. I’m not asking you to accept a “lifestyle.” I’m asking you to love me. Love me like I’m a person. Love me like you would want someone to love you if you were in my shoes. Love us. Support us. Stop judging us for something we. did. not. choose. Yes, I said it. I did not choose this. Believe me, if I had, I would have changed my mind a long time ago. No one wants to be a marginalized people.

2. But I AM asking you to love me like you want to be loved. Of course, you’re probably asking, what does support and love mean if I disagree with you acting on your same-sex attractions? It is actually possible to love someone you don’t agree with. I do it all the time. No one agrees 100% on anything. ever. Even other Christians. If you view it as sin, call me out on it by all means if I choose that life for myself. But…love me. Don’t ever stop loving me.

3. I’m asking you to accept that I. am. gay. Some may be asking, what if I just think you can’t possibly be gay? How then do I proceed? That’s like asking me if you can love me if I have brown hair and brown eyes instead of blonde hair and blue eyes. I’m gay. I’ve tried tirelessly to change that, and had to accept that I couldn’t. Most everyone else who’s LGBT will tell you the same thing.

4. I’m asking you to be courteous. I want to understand what it’s like for you, but in return, please afford me the same courtesy. If the world were majority LGBT and minority heterosexual, would you want me to ask of you the same that you’re asking of me?

5. I’m asking you to consider that celibacy might be an option. Guess what? Some of us who are gay/lesbian/bisexual actually agree with you on the “one man, one woman” thing. But some of us do not. So, instead of forcing us to marry someone of the opposite sex, help us in our singleness.

Even if you can’t understand what I’m going through, will you be there as I’m journeying through life? THIS is the support I need: that you will be there for me in the tough times just as I hope to be there for you regardless of what those tough times may be. I want you to be a community of believers who love Jesus and love like He loved.

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