The amount of courage and faith these people must have to speak on film about faith and gender and sexuality and the Bible and God and family and church and all these deeply intrinsic values is off the charts. Some of the interviewees have support systems around them, and others… others have lost a lot.
I must confess, I’m finding it easier to be an ally on my blog than sharing the movie direct to Facebook. I’m scared of the backlash, the comments, the messages, the bible-thumping, the atheist-thumping. FB, oddly enough, seems much closer to people than this little blog.
I wish segments of Christianity would cease and desist all of these harmful doctrinal teachings, ex-gay “ministries”, bullying, abuse, and intrinsic fear that God is going to somehow punish the church for embracing, affirming and living LGBTQ+ people.
I want everyone to know that LGBTQ+ people aren’t condemned to hell (and believe me, my view of “hell” has changed dramatically over the years)… we are worthy of love… we are fully human, and not sexual stereotypes… we are servants in ministry… we aren’t aberrations or monsters… we aren’t child predators… we are created in the image of God, fully loved and fully embraced.
Even saying the word “we” is terrifying. I don’t feel I can say “I’m bi” to just anyone because I feel sick. I don’t want the 7 clobber verses from the bible flung at me… I don’t want to be told that I’m a physiological anomaly… I don’t want people who have their own issues with Christianity hurl their angst at me because I’m still choosing to root myself in Jesus… I don’t want to be alienated or hurt or left behind. Saying “we” makes it real, but that doesn’t mean I’m anywhere close to where I want to be on my journey.
Guys are emotionally, romantically, intellectually and spiritually attractive.
So are women.
It’s as simply confusing as that.
Maybe that part of my story will be told another day, but not today. Today I want to stand and applaud courageous people who choose both their orientation and their faith. They aren’t living on the outs in the alleys, away from God. God is living out on the outs with them.
I know, too, LGBTQ+ people who have chosen to walk away from church and God for various reasons. And that’s a deeply profound part of their spiritual journeys. I don’t want to exclude their experiences and choices either, because I know some hurts run so deep that walking away is the only option for some.
For other friends of mine, faith came later. They came out as LGBTQ+ first but then embraced faith fully and wholeheartedly, discovering an “aliveness” in this quixotic person of Jesus. Their journeys are to be affirmed and appreciated too.
Take the time. Watch the film. If you have any questions about the “Christian-ese” language some of the interviewees use, please ask me and I’ll do my best to explain the meaning behind the words. But most of all, I beg of you to be open to the stories and transformations these people have experienced. Whatever you believe, it took an incredible amount of courage for these people to speak as they have, knowing the possible consequences. Everyday heroes… right here.