If I am Gay, and complain about the church so much, why do I take the Christian label? This label may be subject to even more misinterpretation and stigma than even “Queer!” Definitely in some circles, “Christian” has become the slur it was when the ancient Romans first coined the term.
But particular aspects of “Christian,” particularly the redemptive love of Jesus, also describe my experience in a way that is profound and enduring. I believe in God. Against all odds, I cling to the hope that God is good and present and interested in relationship with me. And if the After-Life is what they say it is, I definitely want to be on God’s good side for it.
So I hold on to the “Christian” label.
But why both? This puzzles people whether they be Christian, not Christian, Queer or not Queer. What some people forget, though, is they are likewise a mix of factors. For example, an individual is a mix of Christian, heterosexual and male factors. This is a majority combination and a person like this has a privilege that they often take for granted. The straight man will never be required to justify his sexual orientation. But the straight man is shaped by his straightness just as much as a gay man is shaped by his gayness. A Christian is shaped by her beliefs just as much as a not-Christian is shaped by her beliefs.
So why is it so important to me that people know I am both Christian and Gay?
Because both are true for me! I am Christian and Gay just like I am male and a mix of Filipino, Italian and Polish heritage. These are the things that impact how I see God. Sad that I have to justify them.
For me, being Christian and being Gay is not a contradiction. It’s a complex reality. The easiest thing to do would be to abandon one or the other community, but then I would not be living true to who God made me. Therefore, I choose to stay in both communities and even cling to both labels.
I long for others like me to stand with me. I long for those who are not like me to give me space to be and time to grow, love when I’m lonely, support when I’m weak, listening ears when I need to talk.
In return, I will be present with you, or make space for you to be and grace when you stumble. And when you are ready to listen, I will tell you what you may not know about God that the different people know.