I recently came out as a straight, married, Christ-following mother-of-five, in support of the LGBTQ community. Since then, I’ve received quite a few emails and comments — many incredibly encouraging and some less-than-loving. I understand that views on this issue are deeply rooted, and people don’t want to make the wrong move. I took this on because I know in my heart that families are facing this issue every day, and theirs are the hearts I want to connect with.
My vision is 1. to be a voice of encouragement to LGBTQ in their struggles and 2. to be a safe place for family and friends of LGBTQ to express their questions and challenges. While I welcome open dialogue, I’m not particularly interested in answering naysayers to the nth degree, especially those who don’t have a horse in this race. Those issues have been answered at length (check my Resources), and while I have unique things to say, answering those issues to your satisfaction is not my direct purpose. I cannot answer every question, but I will soon post an FAQs section.
Christians love to say homosexuality is a sin like any other sin. I have challenged us on whether it is a sin. But even if Christians truly viewed this as any other sin, the overarching perception of us would be a lot closer to the love of Christ than the current perception. You see, we don’t really treat this issue the same as other issues. People are more disgusted by this particular issue than many other issues. I’ve watched it happen. For example, my friend joined me at my daughter’s volleyball game. As we took our seats on the bleachers, I sat in front of her so she could massage my stiff neck. This friend was wearing baggy sweats and a baseball cap. A nearby couple turned and looked at us in disgust, and then scooted away. That was their response to what they thought they were seeing. I thought, boy, that would be hard to take after a while. I don’t blame gays and lesbians for getting angry/frustrated/depressed when they have been on the receiving end of this time and again.
On the other hand, a conservative Christian friend who speaks in favor of traditional marriage told me he has been on the receiving end of the same judgment his whole adult life; he’s received death threats starting when he was 21; he’s had to leave events under police protection; and he’s feared for multiple threats against his family. “Hate speech” cuts both ways.
I wish we had the freedom just to be with each other. As I took a long flight recently, a woman took the middle seat, between me on the aisle and a man at the window. I assumed by her appearance that she was gay. She glanced at me, and the CS Lewis book in my lap, and then turned and talked to the man on the other side. She had no interest in the person she’d sized me up to be. Of course, I was sizing her up too — I could be way wrong. I tried to engage with her. Mildly. But after a couple of sentences about the Words with Friends app vs. the Scrabble app, I found myself wondering what to say. “You can talk to me — I am gay-friendly! I talk about LGBTQ on my blog — I’d love to know what your issues have been. And by the way, do you know Jesus??” Yes, that’s what I’d really like to talk about, if we could get the other issues out of the way.
What might the world look like if we were Safe Havens for each other, as Brent Bailey guest blogged on The Marin Foundation website? Whatever else may or may not be true, Jesus offers us a safe haven in Him, as He wants us to offer that for each other. It’s part of loving Him and loving others.