I am a gay christian.
There are times that I say or write those words and pause. I look at them and reflect on the journey that they represent. The years of hiding, the years of shame, the years of struggle. These days, I say them with a nonchalant air.
Yet, there was a time that I couldn’t even utter them.
Dear Gay Catholic Priests,
The dust is settling from the cultural upheaval of the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that established marriage equality across the United States and, in my Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the almost simultaneous adoption of a description of marriage as “between two people,” which permits pastors to preside at the weddings of two people regardless of gender.
After last June’s historic Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, “the love that dare not speak its name,” which publicly outed Oscar Wilde at his “gross indecency” trial in 1895, is finally and forever out of the closet.
Within my Christian upbringing, I attempt at being a spiritual person. I believe that our spirituality and faith is a source of strength and hope. Unfortunately, I have seen religion too oftentimes be a firmly held set of rituals beholden to a literal and legalistic interpretation.
I wasn’t going to call him back.
I got the message off our church’s answering machine: “I want to ask you some questions,” the caller said, and he left his name and number.
But I wasn’t going to call him back.
Today’s Ash Wednesday. Wait! What? Already? I still have to put some boxes of Christmas decorations back in the attic.
Lent begins early this year—probably about the earliest that it can be. But, truth be told, Lent always kind of creeps up on me. I never seem ready to begin 40 days of fasting, prayer, and renewing my relationship with God.
The discomfort of being THE black guy in the room is something that I have to negotiate over and over again. Often/especially in progressive and/or queer political spaces, I am one of very few people of color—it seems that there are places where the demographic “count” to cover all bases means that there’s one of this and one of that and a whole bunch of white folks at the table.
As people who believe that Christianity has room for the LGBTQ community, we can be zealous about our efforts to win people to our side. We want people to understand that God truly does love everyone, that the Bible isn’t just a queer bashing book, and that people don’t have to throw away their faith to embrace their sexuality/gender.