My grandmother sat on green rocking chairs, in South Dallas Porches, singing songs like “Cheerios, Cheerios, push them to the bottom of the bowl and then they rise to the top.” My grandmother sat on green rocking chairs, in South Dallas porches, right in front of the drug dealers, in the midst of gun shots, in the midst of poverty singing songs like “I am solider in the army of the Lord.”
My grandmother smiled, rocked back and forth and sang, a little off key, “Cheerios, Cheerios, push them to the bottom of the bowl and then they rise to the top.”
I can still hear her.
My grandmother in those moments taught me what it means to be a person of faith. To be a person of faith means to situate oneself right in the midst of what looks like hell and to provide a vision, to provide a holy resistance, to provide life itself—right where the pain is, right where the wound is.
As a community of LGBTQ people and people who love LGBTQ people we have experienced the wounds—we’ve had to sing songs to ourselves—we’ve had to create institutions that would give us life.
And we did this—
Right in the midst of being called abominations, right in the midst of faith being used to deny us basic rights, right in the midst of being misgendered over and over again and using faith as an excuse, right in the midst of conversion therapies, right in the midst of denying our families, right in the midst of being fired from pulpits for speaking what is right—we have survived.
But now that we have survived, now that we have been through the wilderness and the storms—it’s time to tell the truth; it’s time to tell our story.
We have never been wrong—we have been lied to.
Faith has been stolen from LGBTQ/SGL peoples. We get to reclaim faith as for us and as ours! Today rejoice in this simple truth: They may have attempted to push you to the bottom of the bowl, but you rise—we rise to the top!
Photo via flickr user odonata98