Imagine a congregant who is commited to a straight, traditional marriage, coming to you, the pastor, distressed by finding homoerotic websites on a spouse’s computer.
Or what would you think, or do, if a teenager in the youth group where you are an advisor, comes out, one evening, as bisexual?
As I say in all of my “10 Things You Can’t Do While Following Jesus” articles, this is by no means meant to be a complete list, but it’s a decent place to start.
I remember a conversation I had soon after I left the monastery. I'd been a monk in a Roman Catholic religious order for a few years, and once I was back in the real world, a family member asked me what I wanted to do with my life. “I guess I’d like to be a writer,” I told him. “That’s wonderful, great to hear it! So what are you going to do about money in the mean time?”
During the 2013 Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, I caught two films that highlight the impact religious bigotry plays in the actual lives of LGBT individuals.
Rejection, shame, and loneliness are common feelings many of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community have experienced, especially after coming out. These are feelings we have encountered from people’s reactions in our churches, families, and circles of friends. What would be the opposite?
LGBT saints are important because people are searching for alternative ways to lead loving lives. Churches have tried to control people by burying queer history. The LGBT saints show us not only their place in history, but also our place—because we are all saints who are meant to embody love. We can tap into the energy of our ancestors in faith.
My feelings about “allies” to the transgender community are complicated. Sometimes this "ally" concept seems really powerful to me, and other times, it just seems like another shallow label.
Sometimes the way we talk about "allies" feels insightful and important. Sometimes our language feels rigid and inadequate.