When I worked as a youth leader, I had the pleasure of having a few of my youth come out to me. Having the chance to minister to them as a supportive, understanding adult was a blessing and a responsibility I did not take lightly. While it was certainly serious business, their coming out also led to some moments of fun and amusement between us.
I am the daughter, granddaughter, niece and relative of more than ten evangelical Baptist and Methodist ministers in Alabama and Georgia. I am also an openly-gay married woman and the Alabama State Director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest civil rights organization dedicated to achieving equality for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) Americans.
I was 13 and sitting in the basement of my childhood home in the Amish-laden countryside of Pennsylvania.
When I was a kid my grandmother would rock back and forth on her green metallic rocking chair singing old Spirituals like, “We shall overcome, someday.” I still remember her tears. My grandmother, big and yellow, a proud Christian, guarded our South Dallas porch singing songs like, “I’m a solider in the Army of the Lord. I’m a solider in the Army.”
Affirming pastors can have an immeasurably positive impact in the lives of their LGBTQIA congregants.
Have you ever felt like you're not where you're supposed to be? I'm not talking about misreading directions and getting lost. I'm talking about being in a place, a dynamic, a behavior where your gut tells you, "I'm not supposed to be here."
The Apostle Thomas gets a raw deal.
Really, in mainstream American Christianity, and in the secular popular imagination, he gets reduced to some kind of one-dimensional figure, known only for a moment in which he was proven wrong.
As my queer son grew in maturity and wisdom, I questioned so many things—my importance in my son's life, the world's ideology, family members' loyalties, my son's safety, his happiness, and whether or not who he is is who he wants to be.
Easter Sunday. A day of many questions and confusion within a hope-filled community.