i admit that i am offended by how some people who dislike homosexuality routinely fail to consider how commonplace their arguments are in the lives of LGBT people. I suspect many gay people have already thoughtfully considered the tired old points of contention our self-made foes bring up like they’ve just discovered new stones to throw. We’ve all certainly heard them ad nauseum.(“God created Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve,” “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” “Do you know what the BIBLE says about homosexuality!!!!” “You’re not born THAT way – it’s a choice,” “being gay is an abomination in the eyes of God,” etc.)
i would bet that most gay people of my generation have taken any one of these unoriginal pronouncements to heart at some point in their unique histories. We have considered them, believed them, proclaimed them, discovered the fatal flaws in them, and discarded them before, during, and after the ongoing process we call ‘coming out’.
So whether it’s during face-to-face interactions or in an online forum when someone from the anti-gay camp whines “You want me to listen to you, but you’re not listening to me,” i want them to understand that it’s just possible that i’m not being dismissive of their homophobic statements out of a personally directed disregard for their opinion.
It’s just that i’ve already ‘been there, done that, bought the tee shirt’ innumerable times. At some point in my past i even shared their opinion. Then life brought me up short by confronting me with an undeniable experiential reality: when i feel sexual attraction, it’s always to people of my own gender, never to people of a different gender.
For the sake of my sanity and in order not bear false witness, i had to accept that my sexual attractions are just as normative for me and others as theirs are for them.
The opinions i have today about being gay are at least partially forged from that process of discernment. And to the churched folks who knew me then, were you there when i felt lost, confused, ashamed and could have really used your help? Do you believe you were helping by showing your disapproval of my God-given sexuality? You certainly could see that i was just a kid. Would it change anything for you to know that i was still a virgin when you shamed me, and therefore hadn’t yet committed the ‘sin’ for which i was judged? How was that “loving the sinner and hating the sin”? The only thing sexual i had experienced to that point was getting spontaneous erections whenever i saw a sexy guy, and believe me, i fervently tried to pray them away. In fact, i incessantly begged God to make me heterosexual. The answer i ultimately received was “No, I have something else planned for you….”
Even with that, i make it a part of my spiritual discipline to periodically question the beliefs and ideas that i take for granted. That includes what i believe about being gay. And don’t think it’s easy to honestly ask myself the question, “What if being gay isn’t part of God’s plan for me?” after years as an out, loud & proud queer activist. It’s even harder (and humbling) to wait, in the tension of the possibility that i might be mistaken, until the answer comes.
So please understand – it’s not you i’m tired of, it’s your tired old arguments. Give it a rest. Deal with your own baggage. Honestly and openly ask yourself and God “What if being gay is part of God’s plan for some people?” Wait for an answer without jumping to a conclusion.
i’m too busy taking up my own cross. So, let’s talk about something else. Surely we can both find some way to follow Christ together that doesn't depend on our agreement over the place of homosexuality in the world.