All my life Iʹve been a Lesbian and a child of God. I didnʹt know about those things at first, and it took a few years before I realized the gifts I was born with. It took only 21 years before I realized I was a Lesbian. Unlike many other people, this was not a difficult realization for me. It took 31 years for me to realize I was a child of God and to accept Jesus into my heart and life. It was tough coming out as a Christian. I didnʹt know what my Gay friends would think of me, or whether they would accept me for who I was. Fortunately, they have, although we donʹt always talk about that part of me.
I wish more Gay and Lesbian folk felt more comfortable with God. But for good reason, they donʹt. Most churches have not only chosen to close their doors to us, but they make it their business to attack and publicly degrade us. Some churches even resort to ugly, mean spirited protests of our private times, such as funerals and pride gatherings.
Fortunately, more and more churches are opening their doors, and more and more members of various congregations are working to change things according to the example set by Jesus. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Seems clear enough to me.
Itʹs not always so easy. Iʹve been involved with the Reconciling Movement in the Methodist church for almost a year now. I felt a call from God to be involved. Over time what Iʹve come to understand is that my call is not to reach out to Gay and Lesbian people. My call is to reach out and love those who hate me. It is to reach out and help those who donʹt understand who I am, who my friends are, and what my community is about. In order to do that, I had to first accept the love and grace of Jesus Christ, and heal my anger and hurt from being rejected and condemned by a very vocal segment of Christianity.
I care deeply for the Gay and Lesbian community and want each member to know the peace that knowing God brings to oneʹs life. But my energy must go to love those that donʹt accept me, and that does take a lot of energy. It must go to my Pastors, who risk loss of employment and standing in the Church in order to speak out for me and all who are oppressed and marginalized. It must go to my straight friends who work by my side, who have not yet experienced the hate and the ugliness that this issue sometimes brings to light.
I donʹt want to push my Gay and Lesbian friends towards closed or partially open doors. I want to work to open the doors, so that my friends can simply walk in, hand and hand with their partners, without effort, without struggle, and without regret. I know thatʹs the way God wants it to be.