To my precious friends and family in the LGBTQI community,
Thank you for your friendship.
Thank you for loving, and accepting me just as I am.
Thank you for embracing me with open hearts and open arms.
Thank you for not questioning the validity and worth of my relationship with the person I have chosen as my life partner.
Thank you for not asking ignorant questions about gender roles within our relationship.
Thank you for not questioning my right, and capacity to raise children- even when my drug history and repeated poor life choices could warrant such concern.
Thank you for not debating my right to share with said offspring, my experiences and evolving worldview.
Thank you for keeping your heart walls down, even upon discovering that I’m a passionate Jesus follower.
Thank you for choosing to acquaint yourself fully with me, instead of immediately writing me off for my faith.
Thank you for not hosting an inquisition around my ability to love Jesus fully, including my attendance and participation in church life, based solely upon my gender identity and sexual orientation.
Thank you for sharing your time, your stories, your dreams, your passions, your hopes, your fears, your table, your heart, with me.
Thank you for the insight you have given me.
Beloved friends, thank you.
Thank you for being you. Just as you are, in this moment.
I am so sorry for some of the sentiments arising from faith-based communities during this time of discussion and debate. Whilst I firmly believe that respectful discourse and expression of opinion is valuable and needed, I admit that I am saddened, and truthfully; ashamed, by much of the fear-fuelled ignorance coming from the mouths of some religious folk.
Please know, I am sad- not out of pity for you, but out of pity for those who cannot see the souls before them, and the damage they are doing, ‘in the name of God’.
I am mad for you.
I cannot begin to imagine how it must feel to be misrepresented and misunderstood time and time again. To have your ‘agenda’ questioned, critiqued, mocked and maligned all whilst standing, clutching front row tickets to the ‘show’.
I am so sorry that even when faith-based communities appear to be allies, we extend string-attached invitations to you;
All welcome! Come as you are… as long as you’re open to change.
Yesterday I had lunch with a friend, and as conversation flowed we stumbled into discussion about Same Sex Marriage. My friend is a Jesus- lover like me, and remarked: “You know that old WWJD saying?…”
(Just in case you were fortunate enough to have missed all the cringeworthy merch that materialised through the 90’s, WWJD stands for: What Would Jesus Do?). Unfortunately I was immediately familiar, and so my friend continued… “I think there’s a whole bunch of Christians who really need to start asking themselves this question all over again.”
Whilst none of us can answer the ‘WWJD question’ with resolute certainty, I know my relationship with Jesus. The Jesus I know, chose, and continues to choose compassion, and honours free will.
I see this in the bible text I read, and I see it in the lived experience of my life, and the lives of those around me.
When I envision exactly what Jesus would do, when face to face with a person from the LGBTQI Community: I see him respond as he would with any member from any community. I see an exchange of agenda-free love…
I see my Jesus standing in front of a gay man, arms stretched wide, inviting him into the hug he never knew he needed. For in this embrace every rejection, every hurt, worry, questioning, wonder, fear, heart scar and soul mark, dissolves in pure love. The words shared amid this embrace, spoken or silent, are not the business of anyone looking from the outside in. This is an intimate spirit exchange; and it needs no interference from me. I simply stand in awe, blessed just to bear witness.
My precious friends, I am not Jesus. But oh, I so want to be! I want to be His hands, I want to be his feet, I want to be his warm smile, I want to be his very beating heart!
So I stand before you with arms wide open, and I declare with every truth that resides within me:
I love you. I genuinely, wholly love you, right now. Just as you are.
You are enough. You always have been.
I want you to know that you, and anyone you may like to bring, are welcome at my table, friend. You are so welcome in our home.
You are welcome in our hearts.
(*** BEFORE commenting: please know that I will delete any and all comments that I deem, at my discretion, to be hurtful, hateful or argumentative. This is not a thread to engage in discussion or debate. There are plenty of other spaces for that. This one, right here, on my page, is not one of them. If that’s your jam, spread it elsewhere.
This is a safe space I am choosing to create, where members or friends of the LGBTQI community can respond to, and comment on the letter above.
Thank you in advance for respecting this.
Don’t ask how I’m voting in the Australian Gay Marriage plebiscite, that’s a whole other post that may or may not ensue, pending articulation… and sufficient emotional energy reserves.)