When I read Rev. Cody Sanders' new little gem, A Brief Guide to Ministry with LGBTQIA Youth, I get the feeling that I’m sitting with a very smart and very compassionate friend. He knows that I am eager, but a little intimidated.
Back in the day, Girlfriends was one of my favorite sitcoms to watch. To see the interactions between strong Black women on television that mirrored what I was exposed to in my family always left me joyful and anxious to watch the next episode.
When I was in high school in rural North Carolina, I wasn't very out. It was the early days of what you might call online social connection. I set up dummy email addresses to create secret identities on usenet forums where I tried to figure out what it meant to be transgender. I had friends I'd never met who I came out to over AOL Instant Messenger.
You sit straight up in your pew, white shirt pressed, artificially hiding all of your stains, amen'ing each time the pastor condemns me: "Homosexuals, unnatural, abomination."
You nod your head after each sentence, blindly stamping me a first class ticket into exile: "It's a choice, you have to be celibate, I don't agree with your lifestyle."