I came across perfectnumber after she linked my blog to her “blogaround” post and, after spending some time mining through her work, I knew I was a supporter. Her story is one of many in our generation- of those that once had this whole faith thing figured out- until they didn’t. Until they started asking questions and received unexpected answers which led to more questions and more questions and, well, you get the point.
More than that, she has developed such a drawing voice in her work. I am brought back to it because you can feel the raw emotion, the humor and the honest wrestling that she lets animate across the screen. I highly recommend you go check out her blog. And while you’re at it, throw her a big bon voyage for her upcoming move to China!
If the words below hit you square in the heart, like they did mine, drop in a comment. Let her know what this means to you.
First, I want to say I’m sorry.
I used to believe all those anti-gay warnings, about how “the homosexuals” are trying to destroy families/marriage/America, and how as Christians we need to take a stand for what God apparently says about sex and marriage and gender. And how there’s this movement of “homosexual activists” outside the church- definitely outside the church- that’s trying to deceive the culture into believing that gay people are real people who deserve respect and equality and compassion. But we Christians need to stand strong in this war, this us vs them war.
There are many arguments put forth in support of this anti-gay ideology. How love doesn’t mean letting people just do whatever they want. How this is really a threat to religious freedom. How children need a mother and a father. And it’s all internally consistent and I could argue from that point of view all day long.
And that’s what I believed. Until reality happened.
I guess I took “hate the sin and love the sinner” a bit too seriously. Actually, I skipped the “hate” part because I wasn’t sure how that would work- which sin, exactly, am I hating? Unclear, more research needed. But I knew that loving people means listening to them and valuing them and helping them if I knew how. So I started listening to what gay people had to say.
And SURPRISE! It was totally different than all those stereotypes based in ignorance and fear.
Because you can only hear so many accounts of what it’s like to come out… before you realize it’s just not true that people decide to be gay as an act of selfish rebellion against God.
You can only read so many statistics on LGBT students affected by bullying and suicide… before it’s obvious that those warnings about “homosexual activists in schools trying to indoctrinate our children” are a bunch of garbage.
You can only read about so many same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships… before you realize how wrong that stereotype was, saying that gay people are all promiscuous and don’t care about actual love and commitment.
You can only listen to so many LGBT Christians talk about their lives… before you reject the “us vs them” mentality, the idea that we Christians in here need to respond to those sinful LGBT people out there.
And you can only hear so many accounts of how the church has mistreated and misunderstood LGBT people… before you refuse to believe for a minute that “the most loving thing we can do is tell people about their sin.”
So that’s what I want to say to the LGBT people reading this: Your voice is so powerful. Your stories and your openness about your own experiences changed me. And slowly, through your voices, the truth is coming out, and the stereotypes and ignorance and fear will have nowhere to hide.
If you can, tell your story. Some people will listen and some will not. But in the long run, I really believe that the light will win. People will no longer be able to deny the fact that you are real human beings with complex lives, and you deserve respect and love and equality. And straight Christians cannot continue to be so blind to the existence of our LGBT brothers and sisters.
There is so much ignorance and fear and hatred. But I hope and pray that, as more and more people speak out about the reality of LGBT people’s lives, the truth will win.