I spent the first half of my “post out” life saying things like “My identity is in Christ, not in the fact that I’m gay”
I look back at some of my journal entries and chuckle; oh the naivety. I mean it’s true, my identity is in Christ, as much as it bothers a lot of my queer friends, I still have a firm belief in God and His purpose for our lives. I want His love to radiate through me in the most compelling way, drawing folks to a goodness that is truly eternal. However, I also believe that I was made in the image of God and that He made me unique, beautiful, and queer; then he said, “This is good”.
It took awhile for me to realize ignoring my queer identity was not only unhealthy but unauthentic. It’s kind of like if a person of color said, “Well I don’t have an identity as a Black, Asian, or Hispanic person because I only have an identity in Christ”. It’s foolish, friends. Clearly our ethnic identity is an intricate part of our God given design. Our ethnic roots, culture, background, and tendencies are an important part of who we have been created to be. In the same way; understanding, acknowledging, and embracing queer identity, history, culture, and tendencies is extremely vital.
I think maybe it’s hard to believe or accept that because I grew up hearing how evil the gays were, how gay culture was a fast track to destruction, and how all the gays were going to hell. (I wrote another blog about this myth, check it out. For now I’ll summarize.) The heightened hype about gay culture being the absolute worst and more evil than the secular straight culture really only perpetuates homophobia. It did for me, most certainly. The queer community isn’t solely a bad place. It’s a place that has kept many suicidal gay teens alive, its a place of solidarity and unity, it’s a place of acceptance (particularly if you’re a white man with decent size pectorals and biceps but we’ll leave that for another blog), it’s a place full of laughter and joy. The gay community is a group of people who over the years have advocated for the rights of someone like me, to have a family and be happy.
I’m not saying it’s perfect. I’m definitely not saying it doesn’t offer its share of temptation and sin if you are seeking to live a God honoring life, but I am saying it’s not all bad and it’s not to be feared. If you’re a queer Christian who feels like your involvement in the Gay community has lead you astray, I would urge you to ask this hard question: “Is it the darkness out there that’s messing me up, or is it the darkness in here (your heart)”? If you’ve convinced yourself it was only the darkness out there, and as a result completely separated yourself from the LGBT community, then you’re not only doing yourself an injustice, but you are hiding that light of yours under a bush, keeping it hidden behind the four walls you like to call a church, and refusing to let love win. Know your limits, create good boundaries, be prayerful, but let God’s love and light shine so brightly within you, that it has a positive impact in every place you go. And don’t, by any means, ignore this important part of who you are.
You can’t be a testament to what you believe in, if you only hang out with people like you.
It’s pride month. I swore for so long I would never go to pride, because I was a Gay Christian. I wish someone would have told me how self righteous I sounded. I think often times folks feel like they have to choose; super gay or super Christian. It doesn’t have to be that way though. If the journey of reconciling my faith and sexuality has taught me anything it’s this: balance is essential. My primary identity is in Christ, but underneath that umbrella is a whole human created in the image of God, and that human is gay AF. So look for me at pride, I might even have a drink, just to really throw my evangelical friends for a loop. It’s for freedom we’ve been set free people.
Peace and Blessings,