This upcoming Saturday, April the 8th, I will be doing a presentation on the wide spectrum of human sexuality at my father’s church for a Social Justice Day.
I understand that these kinds of situations are not so common, are controversial and seen as a threat to the “natural order.”
But I will say that I have also seen how a lack of proper education, leads to people’s deaths.
Teens have been “exorcised” of “gay demons” in churches. I have never witnessed this myself, but I have heard stories of it happening to some unfortunate individuals.
Some people in the church are absolutely terrified of the LGBTQIPA community and think that we are all sexually confused, mentally ill, deviant pedophiles.
*If you don’t know the P in that acronym stands for Pansexual* We are NOT fighting for the rights of pedophiles.
I understand the why there would be an initial shock and resistance to a person growing up in a world where these realities were fairly unknown and not talked about.
I understand why there is push back, especially considering that there are STILL and have been anti-gay camps where children and teens are abused and tortured mentally and physically into being “converted” back to heterosexuality.
What hurts is the silence. If we are true Christians, we would fight for justice. We would fight to protect those who are so beloved by Christ.
That’s really all I’m trying to do.
People act like the demand for LGBTQIAP rights is so damn revolutionary and radical.
Who DOESN’T want to have rights? Why would we deserve any less? Plenty of LGBTQIAP people are Christians, and that faith doesn’t just get abandoned upon realizing that one is gay or some other sexuality.
I know that I certainly could not divorce who I am from what I believe in either. If I were to say I was no longer a practicing Christian, that would be an outright lie!
What is crazy to me is the female pastors who preach against it. Biblically female pastors aren’t allowed to be preaching.
What’s crazy to me is the pastors who have committed adultery. Biblically speaking they aren’t allowed to be preaching.
What’s crazy to me is true deviants, the true pedophile priests who have raped children, mostly male children, who shouldn’t be allowed to be preaching.
And what’s crazy to some looking from the outside in at me, is why in the world I would bother to stay, to try to fix something so broken.
I understand that the church is a powerful entity that has a history of abuse alongside the benevolent things.
Even when I call out that abuse some Christians get uneasy and feel that I am attacking them personally and I am not. I am just trying to hold us as a community accountable. If we don’t speak out, nothing will change. If we don’t speak out people will only associate us with negative things.
I am a Christian and I am so tired of being misrepresented by right wing conservative with no empathy for human kind.
Those people are the ones who truly cannot claim that they are followers of Jesus Christ because those are completely opposite what Jesus Christ would do and had done.
Jesus cared for everyone, and he especially emphasized caring for those who are marginalized.
But the point of this presentation is not to argue whether homosexuality is right or wrong. The point is to simply educate people on what terms mean, what varying sexualities exist that we know of, (because some are still being discovered, revealed and named) and to simply create a space where people can ask questions.
I am proud that I have come from a time in my life where I thought that I could not truly be myself and that I would have to live a lie my entire life and now I am boldly and unapologetic-ally speaking about this, helping the community and spreading the word to church goers.
There are plenty of people who want to be educated, who want to understand, who want to give themselves a chance to change and open their hearts.
I never would have seen myself being able to even come close to doing something this bold years ago.
I never would have imagined that there would be churches that were accepting, reconciling, loving and outright supportive of the LGBTQIAP community.
I wish that those who have left, were able to be given healing from those scars. I have not endured a lot of scars directly, but in conversations and sermons had in various churches I have been to, there have been plenty of times, that I stayed silent, because I was terribly afraid of being outed if I stood up for them, or attacked.
No Christian person should ever have to feel that fear for any reason whatsoever.
It was hard, pushing myself to love other people who I truly questioned whether they loved me.
There are churches I have left with people whom I love because of this.
It’s very hurtful and will take some time to heal from.
It’s not even really like I am fighting for the right to date or marry of the same sex. I am bisexual. I could end up dating or marrying a man.
But even if I ended up in a hetero-normative relationship, I would still be fighting because it’s really not about me or my rights, it’s about the community’s rights.
If I were heterosexual, I’d hope that I would be a gung-ho straight ally.
It’s about being loved, accepted, understood as a bisexual woman.
Some people are never going to be open to this. Some people are never going to accept this. Some people will call me Satan and demon possessed for even attempting to include this within the church.
I have lived too much of my life in fear, and cried too many damn tears thinking I was some kind of freak.
I thank God for the loving, accepting parents that I had because I know so many who do not have that luxury.
I can honestly say that if they did not, I probably would have killed myself.
Because I could not see myself being able to handle to social ramifications of being attacked at three angles for my Blackness, my Womanhood, and my Bisexuality.
Bisexuality is less understood than Homosexuality, so to a degree, I won’t say that we have it worse, but it is lesser known than what being gay is.
Anyway, I look forward to doing this presentation, even though I am sure that I’ll be nervous.
I am more than proud of both my parents for whom openly and boldly support within the church.
My father wore a rainbow stole to Annual Conference years ago and sat at the table with the LGBTQIAP Christians. It was one of my proudest moments and I was not out yet then.
My mother runs a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at her school.She has done transgender presentations as well.
My parents are both allies and they are heroes in my eyes, especially my father who is a pastor. I know that he probably faces heavy criticism for his beliefs but he stands by them fully. He stands by me fully. He loves me fully. I love him fully.
I don’t love myself fully for various reasons, but I’m working on it.
And I’m proud to say that I love myself a lot more than I did in my teen years.
So if you’re in the area, please come out to the Social Justice Day presentations at Newark UMC in Newark, Delaware April 8th! Register online today!