I struggled to write this reflection. The central focus of Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, is the joyful anticipation of Christ’s birth, but how to write convincingly about joy when it eludes me as I wrestle as a single, gay Catholic away from home with the pain of loneliness?
During the season of Advent, when Christians around the world prepare for the coming of Christ, our families and communities come together to reflect on our spirituality and our beliefs. This year at Believe Out Loud, we’re queering the season of Advent, considering traditional Advent themes as we reflect on our work ahead toward justice for all LGBTQI people.
I am sick of Transgender Awareness.
November is a month that has become riddled with our religious allies checking off the box for transgender "issues"—often with a special service that turns the death of transgender women of color into a sort of morbid pageant.
In the current political climate, many claim that LGBTQ folks have achieved full equality since same-sex marriage was dubbed legal in 2015.
Return, return, the Shulamite.
Return, return, and let us gaze on you.
How will you gaze on Shulamite in the dance of the two camps?
How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter.
The curves of your (quivering) thighs are like jewels crafted by artist hands.
“If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”
LGBTQ persons of faith know well the importance of seeing reflections of ourselves in the pulpit, pew, and podium. There is life-changing power in seeing a person who looks and loves like you affirmed, ordained, degreed. Because not all persons of faith are straight, white, cisgender men.
Recently, two people–one queer and neurotypical, and one straight and mentally ill–confided similarly troubling worries to me. The first told me his mother had disowned him because he is gay, and, as he said, “to her that meant rejection of, and rejection by, God.”