The Reluctant Activist

listenspeakcreatev2:

First off let me start off by acknowledging that a lot of who I am now is thanks to the work of millions of lgbt rights activists who preceded me and paved the way for a world where I feel lucky to be open about who I love.

However never once have I considered being an activist. In fact when my mum told me she went to a PFLAG meeting and felt like her calling was to share her story at church and to become an advocate for acceptance, I was mortified. She asked me if I was okay with it and I was uncertain. If she started telling everyone at my old church that she had a gay son I just couldn’t deal with the fall out. Especially since I used to hold a prominent position on the church band as the drummer, everyone knew me.

Outside of my parents’ circle I am being challenged daily in reconciling my faith and sexuality. The pastor who conducted my sister’s wedding ceremony called me up last month and told me my sister had shared that I was gay with him. He was running an “ask anything” forum at his church the next Sunday and the topic was about “same-sex attraction”. He asked if we could meet up over coffee cause he wanted to know more about my story, being openly gay and openly Christian.

I told him my story. How I first figured out I was attracted to men (porn), how I was still uncertain of my sexuality up until I was 20 because I was dating a guy but was romantically attracted to a girl.

Then he started to ask the hard questions. I know he wasn’t trying to corner me but legitimately wanted to know my perspective. He asked me how I thought gay marriage could work from a Biblical perspective. About parenting. How I feel after reading the few verses in the Bible that say “men lying with men” is an abomination.

And you know what the problem was? I didn’t have a perspective on any of his questions. I am trying hard to be the confident, intelligent Gay Christian who has my life sorted out, but the honest answer is that I am living by feelings everyday in a world that demands hard science and Biblical apologetics. I haven’t thought about how gay marriage sits alongside the Bible. There is nothing in the Bible for or against gay marriage or gay parenting. there is nothing. 

And yet as an anomaly, I am expected and I wish I knew, everything there is to know about gay rights and scripture. This is why I call myself a reluctant activist. Because even though I have no ingrained desire to explain to people who I am, everyone expects it from me.

An interesting spin on coming out by @listenspeakcreate. I was fortunate that when I came out to my parents, there was no explanation needed on “where” my same sex attraction came from; it was simply a natural part of my identity. But for others, their families struggle with acceptance and a common reaction is to ask their LGBT children to “justify” their queerness. An effective retort is to turn the question around and ask family members to examine the origins of their heterosexuality. Yet religion adds a complex layer where Truth is measured in Scripture and sometimes, the answers are simply not there. But in that void is the opportunity to shape your own Truth and I hope that @listenspeakcreate and other “reluctant activists” find the answers they seek.

-Jeffrey

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