Why Do I Care?

by Caroline Barnett

As issues surrounding gay rights are being brought to attention both in the political and religious arenas, it is impossible not to evaluate my own position within the movement. The question “Why do I, a person who does not identify as LGBTQ, care?” is often left unanswered; instead, we focus on why people are not in support of the LGBTQ community. 

To turn the question back to why we care, students at my college were asked to formulate an answer by filling out this simple statement:

Hello, my name is __________ , and I am an ally because __________ .

We proudly held up our signs declaring why we care about our LGBTQ friends and family. Focusing on love, support, and equality, students filled out these cards to share their reasons: because gay rights are human rights, because I love my friends, because someday I might want to marry the woman of my dreams, because it just makes sense.

On my card I wrote: “Hello, my name is Caroline, and I am an ally because the world needs love.” This is an accurate statement, but looking back on it, the words do not do justice to the conviction I feel to be in community with and in support of all my brothers and sisters. My reasons for being an ally are in fact bound up in my reasons for being a Christian: If I believe in the power of grace and God’s unlimited love for everyone, then the next step is to extend that love and grace to others.

In other words, God loves everyone, and so should I.

In attempting to live out my faith each day, I find I am called to love others and lend my hands to the work towards equality. In a very real way, we are called to be radically inclusive in a world that is so often divided. When it comes to issues surrounding the LGBTQ community, I am an ally because if I was not, I would not be living in accordance with my faith.

We all have a card we can fill out declaring our support for equality and our reasons for standing with the LGBTQ community. Each of us would have something unique written down that would speak to our personal experiences. Whatever our reasons, they call us to push for change, support one another, and to enter into a community that embraces all of God’s children.

Hello, my name is Caroline, and I am an ally because my faith in Jesus Christ demands it of me. 

Originally published by the Covenant Network of Presbyterians; Photo via flickr user ashton

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