If my purpose is to create change, to help bring about the end of legalized discrimination against LGBT people, my actions should be such that they are effective at bringing about that change. If I want to help people understand what it is like to be transgender, I need to present a message that more effectively gives people that opportunity.
Love is one of the things that makes us, as a people, thrive. We love our families. We love our friends. We grow to love those in our communities. We love those in our church. And we even love those who are in our schools. Love is a matter of the heart. Most persons who have found love can testify that it was heart over mind, a feeling over teaching—spirit over doctrine.
I've been in church since I can remember. I was baptized as a baby in the first Pentecostal church that was ever built in America—Keelville Pentecostal Church—in a tiny community in southeastern Kansas. When I was a kid in the early to mid-eighties, our congregation ran somewhere between 60 and 80 people, two-thirds of which were my relatives: grandparents, aunts, uncles. and cousins.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In my heart, I've always known that God is a God of Love. That at its core, the Bible preaches Love—a hand for the downtrodden, glory for the cast-asides, another chance for your enemies, and boundless, difficult Love.
This Valentine’s Day, I pledge to love my queer identity.
I pledge to honor the truth I hid for ten years—the door that remained unopened, the secret I was too afraid to face.
Today, I pledge to love the part of myself I was told to hate.
“So...do people from Kentucky wear shoes?” I sat there, slack-jawed, trying to comprehend the words that had just come out of her mouth. I had recently moved to Nashville for college, and this was a big change for a girl from rural Kentucky. My new classmate was obviously curious.
Personally, I am tired of religious irony. My own snarky, judgmental attitude about a Christian mega church, no matter how much in check I was able to keep it in the moment, almost kept me from making a beautiful discovery about the depth and capacity of the human heart.
When I walked into Overlake Christian Church, I half expected the walls to come crashing in.
“I’m going to love you till I don’t love you no more…” So sang a song from the speakers in The Sports Connection, my gym when I lived in West Hollywood.
My parents wrestled with the idea of me marrying my partner. The sanctuary was packed but my father didn't come. Dad was brought up in the Deep South and my husband looked like the people who had practiced the nauseating hatred of Jim Crow in my father's hometown.
It was an ordinary morning, except my partner was the one still lazing about in bed rather than me.
I intended to wake her with a kiss and a cup of tea but I was suddenly stopped short. I stood fixed in the bedroom doorway watching her sleep when it struck me: I love her.