Breathe. A whole year has passed since I came out as the parent of an LGBTQ child and an ally. So much happened, and I still have so much still to say!
First off, I love you. You have meant so much to me – reading, responding, trusting. You’ve told me you’ve felt heard and valued; well, I’ve felt the same way! There’s not much better than that.
Whether you have struggled through the discovery process of your own sexuality, or whether someone you love, like your child, has had to struggle through that process – I have experienced something of what you’re going through. Having walked in your shoes, or walked right next to you as you wear them, I take your hand in mine and say, “Things are getting better!”
Some friends and I have developed a community of Christian women who have learned how to love their LGBTQ children well – non-optional as Christians and mothers – even as they’ve navigated family, friends and church. They have learned that this kind of love, affirmation and acceptance is actually consistent with the truth of their faith. This demographic grows, despite the protest of much of the church, because God is in charge here and not us. God is moving the culture this direction despite the church’s every effort to stop it.
Jesus has righteous anger at self-righteous people who determine who is okay and who is not.
He showed us that anger when he was on earth with us. Still, I have sometimes lacked compassion for unloving and rules-based Christians, and God has had to increase my compassion. (God used you and the beautiful women in my group to do that.)
My beautiful daughter come out as bi to her own and the larger community. People have come out of the woodwork with love and support – which has been incredibly refreshing. On the other hand, I’ve watched people end our friendship, to become “Somebody That I Used to Know” – with rancor on the way out, or else just quietly disappeared. I’ve even received rejection from close family members. The fact that we can’t be friends or even family who agree to disagree is evidence that Christian’s issues here are way out of proportion. Multiply that by a thousand to see what many of you have dealt with most of your lives.
Where do we go from here?
I believe it’s time to peel back the layers of religion – God loves relationship – but he hates religion. To pull back the layers of our own perspective – fraught with self-interest. To ask God: “How do you want me to love?” We let everything else line up under that, just the way Jesus said — and here. We trust our God instead of ourselves, knowing he’s still got it all going on. If we struggle to trust God, then that’s an issue we need to look at full in the face.
I was incredibly heartened by Ken Wilson in this interview about how he led his congregation on his “path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgendered into the company of Jesus.” Ken had to recognize what his heart was telling him about a group of people who, like all of us, need Jesus. He had to admit that the non-affirming church’s approach wasn’t working. He set aside the mainline answers, and he dug into the Bible for himself. His book, A Letter to My Congregation, was the happy result.
A year ago I had doubts about jumping into this arena; now I am on fire to continue. A year ago I knew few of you; now I am honored to have many LGBTQ friends and allies. A year ago I wondered when I’d run out of things to say; now I feel that I’ve just gotten started!
My voice is stronger and more confident and passionate than ever. Thanks for listening. : )