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Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

We're Already Here

Church gate in Taos, New Mexico
Several folks have asked me in the last few weeks, "What do you think the Christian community is missing in reaching out to the LGBTQ community?"

Your answer is in the question itself and consists of two parts:

1) There is no single, unified Christian community nor is there a single, unified LGBTQQI2S* community.

2) Christian and LGBTQQI2S are not polar opposites. We overlap. There are LGTBQQI2S individuals in Christian communities the world over.

An example of how this problematic question plays out is in John Shore's recent blog post: "An Open Letter From Christians to Gay People." It was a letter of apology in the form of a prophetic dream and offered a hope for reconciliation and expressed sorrow for pain caused. 


What's the problem, you ask? It's fantastic, after all, to find support in the church for sexual counter-narratives when mostly what we hear supports cisgender heterosexuality as normative and blessed.

The problem is that the letter assumes gay people** are not Christians. And many of us are. We are already here. We're not hard to spot often. When Christian communities reach out to LGBTQQI2S individuals and say, "Why won't you come to church?" many of us are confused and disappointed. We see ourselves and other LGBTQQI2S Christians sitting in the pews. By positioning yourself as a Christian reaching out to the gay, you erase the LGBTQQI2S individuals who have already reached out to you by being present. You make us invisible. You disempower us. And you get to look good at the same time.

This doesn't go unnoticed by our friends within LGBTQQI2S communities, and it doesn't go unchallenged. It is as difficult sometimes to be out as a Christian in those communities as it is to be out as LGBTQQI2S in Christian communities. What straight Christians are missing in their outreach efforts is that we are already here, and our absence in leadership positions is noticed, remarked upon, and remembered by those who do not wish to be made invisible the second they walk through the church doors.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, 2-Spirit


**If you're not sure why it's problematic to refer to LGBTQQI2S individuals with the word "gay" as a catchall, please send me an email and I'll catch you up.

3 comments:

  1. Preach it!!

    I know mental health minorities are not the same AT ALL, but when folks ignore the fact that depressed or bipolar or whatever (again, no neat "catchall" word) are in their congregations, it stings.

    So I know like 1% of what you are describing.

    I am so grateful that you use your voice to cry out in the desert.

    And since it's like 3 am, I'm going to go for cornball and say, a desert cryer deserves dessert, have a cupcake!

    xo,
    SL

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  2. I know I normally go with lemon, but perhaps chocolate might be best today :-)

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  3. Katie, a beautiful insight. We could use an invitation from a perspective of equal humanity. Instead, we are offered an "hope to save you" mentality. These cupcakes are free. I wish the world would be trusting enough to take a bite.

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