Ten Things I’ve Learned About Gay People in Ten Years | A Christian Perspective


In 2001, if you had asked me, “Kathy, can you be gay and Christian?”  I would have hedged a bit and fallen on the side of “No”.  I did not have any close relationships with gay people nor had I ever studied the issue in the Bible.  I did not even know one gay Christian, that I knew of.  It was from this paradigm that I formulated my opinions about the lives of gay people and made assumptions about their status with God.  All that changed when I met Netto on a hiking trail.  It is now ten years later and I offer ten things that I wish straight people, especially Christians, knew about gay people.

The FABULOUS Netto

People who do not understand the views of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are not all bigots; and people who are fully affirming in their support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender* people are not all heretics.  This conversation often is relegated to love and hate, right and wrong, but there is a wide expanse between the two sides.  And that middle group is, for the most part, silent.  You are the ones to whom I am offering these insights, from experience, knowledge, study, relationship and with a genuine interest in engaging the too often silent middle.

With Bible in hand and in spirit, an open mind and heart and a willingness to listen to people, I entered the conversation that often brings out the worst in people.  I hope to inspire you to move and to speak up with the Jesus-voice inside you.

Ten years and thousands of miles ago, I met Netto on a hiking trail.  It was a time for conversation, the answering of all my stupid questions, and an opportunity to get to know my Native American, agnostic, lesbian friend.  Miles translated to trust for both of us and the growing relationship challenged my cultural Evangelical stances on homosexuality.  My insights include a timeline to show the long, thoughtful and prayerful process. These are ten things I have learned in ten years about the gay, lesbian and bisexual community; especially the Christian segment of that community.

1Being gay is not a choice.  In the US, we are almost evenly divided on the question of choice: “Are people born gay?” (42%) vs. “Do they choose to be gay?”(44%).  For the most part, how we answer this will dictate related views about inclusion in the church and civil rights for gay, lesbian and bisexual people. When individuals hold the “born gay” option as true, it is more probable that they are also supportive about extending equality to the gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

To the contrary, those who believe people “choose to be gay” most often see being gay as a “behavior” and not an intrinsic part of a person’s being.  Behaviors, they reason, are controllable and changeable and therefore, they conclude, sexual attraction is controllable, if not changeable.  When sexual orientation is seen as a choice and a behavior, people are less likely to extend civil rights and inclusion in the church for gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

This one issue is the key and it took a long time and many relationships for me to understand.  What you believe either unlocks the passage to equality or it keeps the door shut and segregates.  It is the premise upon which most of the insights I offer builds.

There is no gene yet discovered for human sexuality, whether that be heterosexual or homosexual.  Opinions formed in and out of relationships along with anecdotal evidence become the basis for each of our truths. Relationship.  I write and say that word a lot — it matters.

I was raised in a moderately prejudiced home in the New York City area; my stepfather was horribly biased against the black community.  While he was recovering from cancer surgery, he roomed with a lovely elderly black man.  After a week together in a hospital room, sharing experiences and interacting with this man’s family, my stepfather’s views about the black community changed.  After six decades of bigotry, he saw this man as just another human.  Relationship does that.

With Chris, Richard, Stan & Dean (and Jasper)

Similarly, for me and the 42% who believe that being gay is not a choice, that conclusion is the fruit of relationships and listening.  Informed decisions based in information and experience are best, lacking that your opinion on this issue says nothing about your intelligence or your ranking on the “good person” scale.  Without interaction with gay people, you may not understand that most gay people know between the ages of five and eight that they are “different”; this was a powerful message for me.  Before a sexual thought ever occurs, they “knew.”  Typically, it took another five years before they began to label the difference.  When puberty kicked in, they noticed the comments and feelings of their friends did not jive with their experiences.  What followed was an average of another three and a half years of struggling, in confusion, for a self-acceptance of being gay.

Being gay and sexual orientation are not as simple as “who you have sex with.”  Sexual orientation speaks of an emotional, relational and sexual fulfillment and comfort.  Gay people, just like heterosexual people, are attracted, at the core, to a gender at a young age.  All of this is innocent and has no sexual overtones.  As heterosexuals, when we recall a crush on a second grade teacher or the warm ease of being with a family friend, we never associate “sex” with it; yet we will often insert “sex” into the historical impressions of a gay person. Long before thoughts of sex enter a child’s brain, both heterosexual and homosexual children have a brain imprint of attraction.  There is no choice for “behavior.”  It is innate.  Actually, 93% of mothers say they knew their gay sons were gay at an early age.

With Mark & Todd, President of The Evangelical Network

All this information bore out in the lives of people I met while with Netto.  I started to meet people in long-term, same-sex relationships that had never been romantically interested in the opposite sex, ever.  Others had been married and were parents.  I had fallen into believing marriage to the opposite sex was “proof” of a person’s heterosexuality.  Being married and bearing children do not mean one is straight.  As one of my friends puts it, “It just means that you fantasize really well.”  There are numerous reasons gay people marry the opposite sex:

  • They know they are “different,” however, exploring that difference is taboo and culturally or religiously unacceptable.  Some people get married before they understand that they are not heterosexual.
  • They marry because it is expected, or they want a family.
  • They are told they will change by getting married.  Some people still believe the careless attitude of “All you need to do is find the right woman/right man and you will get rid of these feelings.”  No amount of time I spend with women, and in the last ten years, with legions of lesbians, can or will make me a lesbian.  Just as I am straight, about 5% of people are gay.  (Situational sex in prisons does occur.  This is NOT a change in orientation; it is a sex choice for convenience.)

The question of “born gay” or “choose to be gay” is the hinge of the rest of my insights.  A passing relationship with the lesbian coffee shop barista, your gay hairdresser and/or a neighbor as he passes you walking his dog will not help you honestly evaluate an entire class of people.  Don’t rely on an equally uninformed pastor, politician or pundit.  Actually get to know people.  Using uninformed opinions to decide on civil matters for a class of people is careless.  Allowing those same distant opinions to influence spiritual “policies” is even more egregious.  Do relationship: ask, listen and listen some more.

2.  There are gay Christians. It took me six years amongst unchurched gay and lesbian friends until I discovered groups of gay Christians.  They were there; I was just not among them.  It was a “chance” reading of a New York Times article about the Gay Christian Network (GCN) that sent me to their website.  I was confident that I would not agree with the mission statement or statement of faith, but it was Jesus focused and I did agree.  Feeling a definite tug, three weeks later I flew to Seattle for four days to the GCN annual conference.

The experience of standing at the back of the room on the first night filled with four hundred gay Christians stunned me.  The depth and richness of God and Jesus worship was unmistakable, the resonance of the Holy Spirit flipped my theology on end; real relationships confounded my created theology.  When I left the GCN conference, I was willing to be uncomfortably in doubt.  I am a list-maker, driven, likes-to-have-answers person, but seeing the Trinity in gay people made me question what I believed and why I believed it.  It is scary to be in doubt and not know when black and white, right and wrong segment your world.

With Mark

I began to ask, “God, is the truth as I understand it about being gay and Christian Your truth?”  I knew whatever thinking process I had used to conclude a person could not be gay and Christian was deeply flawed.  I stood in a place few straight Christians have stood, as the only straight person amongst hundreds of gay Christians.  I knew I was the one in error, not them.  Reconciling my faith and beliefs with what I saw in gay believers became a God-quest in which I have risked precious things over the past ten years.

I know thousands of gay Christians.  Sexual orientation is not part of my “assessment” of their status in God. When the invitation to Jesus is extended, I believe the words “all” and “whosoever” in the Bible are intentional. My evaluation list is non-gender, non-orientation, non-any-condition specific: is there a profession of faith, do they follow Jesus, are there fruits of the Spirit and is there a changed life?  Does your list require a change in sexual orientation or celibacy?  Humbly consider that you may be wrong.  There is a link to affirming churches and online sermons at the end of this post; attend one.

3.  Gay couples do enter into long-term, committed, loving, and monogamous relationships.  I had been warned by my heterosexual religious culture that gay people had erotic love, and not deep, committed, monogamous love.  However, the relationships I witnessed as I engaged socially in the gay community with Netto were not distortions; I saw authentic relationships.  My know-it-all, possessor-of-all-truth, gift-of-evangelism self had to struggle with a simple question:

How do I tell a gay person about the possibility of a relationship with a God they cannot see, if that relationship first requires them to stop loving the person they can see?

With Family Counselor, Ling

As trite a thought as this seems, it tripped me up.  Asking people to deny authentic, earthly love as a condition of God-love is never a condition we heterosexuals ask of ourselves.  Yet, we ask it of same-sex attracted people.

“Studies” tell us gay people cannot honor monogamous relationships and that they will “destroy marriage.”  I have researched most of these “studies” on relationship length, health issues, child safety and emotional health, and have not found one study or paper concerning the gay community presented by groups like Family Research Council, Americans for Truth, Family Research Institute,  NARTH or Concerned Women for America, amongst many others, to be truthful.  Not one.  That is a bold statement to make, but I have done the work.  I dig into the reports and check the sources.

One such “study,” “The Dutch Marriage Study,” is cited by preachers and politicians and quoted in conservative materials and books. This “study” has made its way around the world and fuels the anti-gay marriage flames as “proof” that gay people will destroy the sacredness and stability of marriage.  The results of the widely quoted “study” warn us that married gay men will each have eight partners outside the relationship/marriage in the first year and a half.  Yikes!

 “The Dutch Marriage Study” was actually a study conducted to find out how HIV/AIDS was transmitted; it was not a “marriage study.” The control group consisted of only non-monogamous men under thirty who were involved in risky sexual behavior (they were solicited from an HIV/STD clinic).  Furthermore, the test (1984-1996) was completed before the Netherlands even allowed same-sex marriage (2001).  Every piece of propaganda written by conservative groups to discount the ability of gay people to enter into healthy, loving, monogamous relationships will cite the statistics from “The Dutch Marriage Study.”  Good people with good intentions will even repeat these “facts” out of ignorance.  Be assured though that not-so-good-people with less than honorable intentions publish these facts, knowingly.

Rather than discounting the genuineness of same-sex relationships, we should be impressed that they have survived without the benefits of legal contract and the support of family, society and religious communities.  Get honest.  How many of us straight married people would have walked out on our spouses had it not been for a legal agreement, children and the positive tension placed on us by families and faith communities?  Lacking all of that benefit, gay couples stay together.  Get to know some gay couples and families; they are as partner- and family-focused as the rest of us.  True story.

4.  Every word translated as “homosexual” in the modern versions of the Bible is speaking of same sex behavior in an extreme circumstance.  I have consistently asked God, “Is the truth as I understand it, Your truth?”  I love the Word of God, the challenge to follow Jesus and the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit.  I know thousands of gay Christians but still needed to align my understanding of the Bible with what I saw in their lives.  It was another simple question I asked:

Why, God, did You create people that you would reject?

Theologically, I knew that was not possible; no one makes a choice to be gay, and all God creates is good.  Once again, the thinking I used to understand the five verses had to be flawed.

with Apostle Naomi & Pastor Darlene

When I finally took several days to study this on my own in earnest, I got very angry, very angry about the lies I believed about gay people.  I had believed what I had been too lazy to investigate for myself.  You can start on my VERSES link, but nothing will substitute doing the Bible study for yourself.

I am quite strong in discussing these sections of Scripture, yet I encourage readers to go through the process I went through.  Believing what others told me caused me to consider gay people as “less than” in God’s eyes for three decades of my adulthood.  I am confident enough in God to let go of the process and let Him talk to His people when they earnestly ask and listen.  Until I met gay Christians and did the work myself, I was exactly like the silently judging majority of the church.  I read the verses used to investigate same-sex attractions as stand-alone verses out of context and with the English translations of words. investigate same-sex attractions as stand-alone verses out of context and with the English translations of words.

It is risky to lay down a belief and study it.  The far greater risk is casting aside people in our laziness.  For parents with gay children, please read “Dear Moms and Dads, A Letter to Christian Parents of Gay Youth” — you have even more at stake.  Make sure you go after the truth; your precious children are jewels and deserve your personal investigation of these verses.

Ten years of experience show that people rarely study the verses without prejudice until interaction with a gay, lesbian or bisexual person challenges their theology.  When I could not reconcile the lives I could see with the words I thought I understood, then I did the work.

5. The church is not offering a model of being gay and Christian and living a virtuous life before God.  Gay people exist, gay Christian kids exist (even gay preacher’s kids exist) and they are in your churches. In most churches, we give them two options: “stay and hide” or “get out.”

For gay youth, this is the message: “Sex is only appropriate inside marriage.  However, you gay kids, it is never appropriate for you.  God has called you to a life of celibacy, forever.”  Do you remember being a teenager or a twenty-something?  The sexual drive is strong.  Most churches do not give gay youth a “wait until” time and they take away all hope of normal relationship and family.  They effectively trapped this kid.  He cannot be gay, he cannot be holy, he’ll always be alone, he is broken.

With Pastor Josh

The most common reactions will be either:

  • internalized shame with a reaction of rebellion or depression; or
  • he or she will walk away, never able to please you, and rebel against all the hopeless and impossible teachings on sexual morality.

For most faith communities, we do not offer a place of safety for gay Christians.  The affirming churches offer strong gay Christian role models and the balance of the churches offer up condemnation.  When kids find me, I point them to a list of welcoming churches and suggest they get back in community where they are loved and safe.  In lieu of a nearby church, there are online churches who will feed them spiritually.  I always point youth to The Gay Christian Network, an online community of over twenty thousand gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians and their allies.  I also try to find them gay Christian mentors on Facebook that I know and trust.  Many of us will do what it takes to keep these kids in a faith community where they feel loved, supported and hopeful.

6.  Asking gay people to deny their natural sexual orientation is destructive.  Recall, homosexual orientation is no more a “behavior” than is heterosexual attraction.  Both are orientations, innate attractions.  Reparative therapy (Exodus-type programs that offer results that take away “unwanted sexual attractions” or allude to a gay-to-straight conversion) treats homosexuality as if it were a “behavior” akin to other life choices like drug and alcohol usage, adultery, cheating and lying.

I LOVE these two-Michael & Stan

You would expect that the elimination of bad behaviors would result in life benefits.  However, if you force a gay person to “not be gay,” loneliness, depression, isolation and shame can result.

Some gay people do make a choice to live celibate lives.  This is called “Side B” for gay Christians; they come to a personal conviction that God is calling them to be celibate.  This is not the same as the imposition of celibacy by an outsider for acceptance before God.  Celibacy does not take away attraction; it only means a person is not engaging in sex.  A celibate straight person is not “no longer straight” simply because they are not being sexual.  Likewise, a celibate gay person is not “no longer gay” simply because they are not being sexual.

with Courtney & Kim

 The rejection or insistence on change is destructive.  Statistics on gay youth prove this.  Gay youth, unaccepted by family, are:

  • eight times more apt to attempt suicide than those who are accepted
  • six times more susceptible to depression than those who are accepted
  • three times more likely to get involved in drug and alcohol abuse than gay youth that are accepted
  • three time more likely to contract HIV/AIDS and STD”D than gay youth that are accepted?

If a person is indeed gay, then no amount of a wishin’ and a hopin’ and a prayin’ will make them straight.  Of course, you will hear of “success stories” of people who are “no longer gay”. I have hundreds of friends who tried to play the “I am not gay anymore” game. I know dozens of former leaders and founders of Exodus type programs and all say they do not know one person who was strictly gay and is now straight. I have never met one such person either.  I did register for an Exodus Conference and was uninvited. I was and am willing to be wrong and see the other side of the reparative therapy issue and meet some “success stories”.  Of course people can “live as heterosexuals”, they’ve been doing it for millennia. Some of those success stories are actually bisexual people.

7.  Bisexual people are attracted to both sexes in varying degrees.  It would be wrong to say bisexuals are equally attracted to both sexes.  The Kinsey Scale, for which there is no definitive “test,” classifies sexual orientation on a spectrum from zero (strictly heterosexual) to six (strictly homosexual).  Bisexuals might be mostly attracted to the opposite sex and somewhat attracted to the same sex and be a two or a three on the Kinsey Scale.  Conversely, bisexuals might be mostly attracted to the same sex and somewhat to the opposite sex making them maybe a four or five on the Kinsey Scale.

Perhaps you believe that people who identify as bisexual just “want to have sex with anything that moves.”  I actually hear that too often because it appears that way to us zeros, and even some sixes.  That is a patently wrong and hurtful assessment.  Simply, bisexuals are somewhere on the continuum of one to five on the Kinsey and they are about 5% of the population.  Bisexuals can be satisfied emotionally, relationally and sexually with either a man or a woman.  They are not hard-wired for only a man or only a woman.  Oh my, this is not at all comfortable for those of us who live in a construct of pink and blue.  Some of the “no longer gays” are indeed bisexual who have chosen to be in relationship with the opposite sex.

An illogical, fear-based statement I often hear is: “If we accept bisexuals then we have to redefine marriage and let them have two spouses.”  Nooooo.  Marriage is a contract between two people, not three people; two people. Two adult people.  Bisexuals would and currently do, marry only one person.

8.  There is no “radical gay agenda” and no demand for “special rights.”  The “gay agenda” said to threaten America with “complete elimination of God and Christianity” was created in the 1990’s by . . Christians and political conservatives.  I have read many “histories” of this fabricated agenda and they all are birthed in a few small groups creating negative buzz about gay people in the 80’s and 90’s. The term “gay agenda” is a joke in the gay community.

Gay people do not want to destroy marriage; they want to participate in it.  Gay people do not want to destroy churches and religion, they want access.  There is no “recruitment” of children.  My goodness, where do we think gay children come from?  They are not recruited, heterosexual couples keep having them!

What gay people want is equality. They do not want “special rights,” just equal rights. They do not want “gay marriage”; they just want marriage. The only agenda of gay people is equality.  Jesus talked about equality a lot; it made the powerful quite uncomfortable.

As a side note, Gay Pride is not about “pride”; it is a celebration to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in 1969 when the gay and transgender community decided to stop hiding in society-imposed shame.  So when we heterosexuals say silly things like “well, there are no Heterosexual Pride parades.  Why do we need gay pride?” it really is that –silly.  Heterosexuals have never been forced to hide in shame for being heterosexual; we don’t need to celebrate our freedom to be who we are.  We get to live it daily.

9.  The loss of gay believers to the Church has been tragic.  Eighty-four percent of gay people were raised in some kind of faith community.  Sixty percent of gay adults describe their faith and a relationship with God as “very important” in their lives. Fifty-eight percent of gay adults have made a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.” Twenty-seven percent describe themselves as “born again.”

I am in an extremely rare position to have participated extensively with gay believers in one-on-one settings, conferences and camp meetings; I know thousands of gay Christians.  The gifts, the anointing, the worship and the devotion that I see in the gay Christian community is genuine and rich.  They want to love and serve God, and for the majority of Christian churches, this is a challenge.

Receiving the prayers and blessings of my gay and lesbian siblings in Christ

 I am immensely thankful for the Holy Spirit filled gay Christians who influence my life. Without doubt, some of the finest preachers and teachers I know are gay.  Although this statement will torque some of you, it is one of the most profound observations of the ten years of this journey.  The loss of their contribution that we as a church have already suffered is tragic.

I suggest that churches openly discuss gay Christian inclusion with love.  Invite gay believers to be full participants in the dialogue and struggle to a conclusion together.  If you are not willing to wrestle with this with gay believers, I suggest they leave your church and find somewhere that will allow them to grow spiritually and in an honest relationship with God and others.  More and more options are becoming available for fellowship.  From my experience, you will deny your church body of some of God’s most anointed people if you do not reassess church policy on this issue.  Please do not become part of the “(un)Welcoming Committee”– we have already lost too many gifted gay Christian leaders of our churches.

10.   The loudest message the gay community hears from Christians is one of intolerance and hatred. Imagine the sadness when a darling young lesbian pleads with me for an answer,

“Why does God hate me?”

What would you say to her?  If she really wanted an answer, what would you say?  Very few would tell her that God hates her, yet this is the dominant message.  Some would tell her she needs to change her sexual orientation for God to have a relationship with her.

The reality is that most of us know something is wrong with both of those messages.  Most of us believe that God loves unconditionally and half of us already believe sexual orientation is not changeable.  We may not understand the issue well enough to verbalize anything, so we stay silent.

Ten years ago, I too was in that spot, not at all unkind to the gay community, just doing my Christian thing in my Christian heterosexual world.  I had ceded my “kinder” voice to those who stand on street corners and in pulpits and passionately preach “homosexuality is an abomination.”  This is the minority voice that is heard by the gay community.  I go to Gay Pride events often and do not see Christians equally and passionately declaring a “Jesus loves you” message.

So, what would you say to this darling young woman as she pleads with you for an answer?  It is time to find your voice in this equation.  As the silent majority conveniently avoids the dialogue, people are walking away from Christianity and hating us, thinking we hate them.  We get lumped in with the intolerant and hateful.  Have you found yourself saying, “Oh, I am not that kind of Christian,” in defense?  Well, what kind of Christian are you then?  The kind that stands at a comfortable distance while gay people hear select pieces of Scripture and not the message of love?  What drew you to God?  The condemnation or the love?  You may not know where you are on this issue, but silence and indecision occupy a position in this dialogue.  By default, your voice is thrown in with the loud “you must change” voice.

Desmond tutu do not stay neutral

THE CHALLENGE  In 2001, I considered myself well-educated and strong in Bible knowledge and understanding.  I thought it was sufficient to let others tell me what to believe about gay people and what the Bible says about them.  That all changed in one relationship making my place of uninformed comfort no longer reasonable.

I intentionally inserted a time line to show the decade it took to come to these ten insights.  On every one of these points, I either did not care or believed the contrary position.  Please, take what I offer and challenge yourself.  The wrong thing to do is nothing and sadly, the majority of Christians are comfortable right there, doing nothing.  I understand that.  I was silent and lazy.  Come on, we know that is not the Jesus-model; the Jesus model is filled with verbs: love, go, heal, make, do, serve.

While the majority of Christians ignore the issue of faith and orientation, the minority of Christians passionately sends a message of hate or one that demands change.  While the majority of Christians ignore the issue of faith and orientation, most of the eighteen million gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the US walk away from the possibility of a God-connection, feeling excluded because the loud minority is telling them they are excluded.

Maybe you are at step one and you do not have gay friends and honestly do not know if sexual orientation is innate.  If that is the case, then purposefully engage in relationship with gay people.  Start with coffee if dinner is too intimidating.  Just be humans together, find commonality, break down some walls.

The next step might be visiting an affirming congregation.  If that scares you, “visit” one online.  (There are some suggestions at the end.)  If your child is gay or lesbian, reach out to others for answers at a local PFLAG, come to the annual Gay Christian Network Conference with your son or daughter, or go to the forums online and engage other Christian parents.

Intentionally spend some time with a Bible and concordance and read, in context and original language, the sections of the Bible that refer to same sex activities.  Most of you have probably never done this.

While you navigate the authenticity and implications of these insights with your faith and life:

  • Being gay is not a choice
  • There are gay Christians
  • Gay couples do enter into long term, committed, monogamous relationships
  • Every word translated as “homosexual” in the Bible is in an extreme circumstance
  • The church is not offering a model of being gay and Christian and leading a virtuous life
  • Asking people to deny their natural sexual orientations is destructive
  • Bisexual people are attracted to both sexes in varying degrees
  • There is no radical gay agenda
  • The loss of gay believers to the church has been tragic

This last point needs to be held in the forefront of every step:

  •  The loudest message the gay community hears from Christians is one of intolerance and hatred.

Is this the message in you?

God loves you. I love you

Then say it with passion until you drown out the hatred and intolerance.  This is the life-changing message that all of us, including the gay community, need to hear:

God loves you. I love you.

I encourage you to be uncomfortable and to challenge yourselves out of passivity.  For God’s sake and the sake of His people, please care, please.

Start with a step.  Start with a whisper.

Online church services to “test out”:

Diversity Christian Fellowship International, Tulsa, OK

New Covenant Church of Atlanta, Atlanta, GE

Church of the Holy Spirit Song, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Covenant Community Church, Birmingham, AL

RESOURCES:

Gay Christian Network

Welcoming Churches List

Resources page on Canyonwalker Connections

Comments

comments

Post Author

This post was written by who has written 173 posts on .

nals says:

First off i wanna say i am a christian who believes being gay is a sin and abomination to God, but i don’t hate people who are gay is i don’t like it, but i wouldn’t ever hate them as a person i wouldnt mind having a friend that was gay i just would you let them know what i believe, i admit a lot of people treat gay people horrible when they should help them get right not hate or bully them as but love them as anyone who is in sin and you are trying to show them the truth, if i ever have a kid of my own and they tell me they are gay i would tell them its wrong and show them but i would love them just the same cause yelling or disowning them doesnt show you want to help them get rightor that you love them no matter what.

[Reply]

Ryan Reply:

If you have a kid and they are gay, you are better off disowning them. I don’t mean to be rude, but you don’t understand. You just don’t. Your kids life would be miserable if you tell them their inert sexuality is wrong. And it would be your fault. This isn’t an expressed sin in your bible, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Situationalism hun. The world isn’t black and white.

One more thing. I have a theory that a good portion of people against gays are terrible at math. I also believe religious folks would be bad at math too. We should start a poll on this, and you can answer first. Do you suck at math and are you Christian and are you against gays?

[Reply]

Casey says:

Canyon Walker Connections – Kathy, I am writing this as a newly Catholic man who is also gay. I appreciate that you took the time to write this and connect. However, I do have to dispute a few things you say.

First of all, there IS a gay lobby who ARE aggressive about wanting to remove gender distinctions from the institution of marriage — Pope Francis has spoken on this gay lobby that exists in the Vatican. I might be gay, but I also have to be honest about what marriage is — and that a man and a woman can have special bonds that are different from other types of relationships, and this form of relationship needs to be recognized apart from gay ones. I went from being pro-gay marriage to pro-civil unions (I am Catholic and choose chastity, but am open to government recognizing gay relationships).

After studying Catholicism in-depth, I have embraced what the Church has to say on the matter: “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

“Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

While difficult to accept, I cannot ignore the words of the Bible. I cannot ignore the very clear logic found here. I cannot ignore natural law. So, I am choosing to be chaste. This doesn’t leave a gay person in an impossible spot by any means! My life has gotten much better ever since I decided to pursue chastity instead of sexual relations.

Eve Tushnet (a Catholic blogger who is also lesbian) speaks on this subject much better than I can.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

So your G_d would ask gay people to not have any kind of affection as heterosexuals do? Isn’t that a bit cruel?
Doesn’t making folks deny themselves the affection of another adult do harm to a person’s psychological well being?

[Reply]

established making the girl Tribeca flat inside Los angeles concerning Ending friday, is not constantly excellent high xboter 2014

[Reply]

There are numerous tactics, slightly older a lot of women looks fine and you also do not need to generally be sleek or possibly gorgeous xboter 2014

[Reply]

Even while isn't straightforward whatever Clyburn'vertisements newer responsibilities will undoubtedly be, he'azines typically chatted regarding xboter 2014

[Reply]

Now i am just looking for info, enable, ideas, etc.!.

[Reply]

Brad Oviedo says:

Now i am just looking for info, enable, ideas, etc.!.

[Reply]

Lisa says:

Kathy, I wanted to thank you so very much for everything you’ve done and are attempting to do. You are truly inspirational. And it’s so wonderful to see that some Christians are attempting to bridge the gap between these two worlds once and for all.

I was one of those people who walked away from Christianity because it was constantly rubbed in my face not only that what I was doing was wrong, but that I, personally, was just plain old sick and perverted. I never could understand this, as I felt as though I were just like everyone else. But there’s only so many times you can be told you’re going to hell and that YOU, as a person, are disgusting, simply by being who you are, before you just can’t take it anymore.

My roommate is similar to me, except her experiences with rejection are actually much worse than mine. She was born with both male and female parts, and her family chose to make her female. She has always felt (and looked) like a man trapped in a woman’s body. Most people mistakenly call her sir because she looks just like a man. She has been given tremendous amounts of hell for who she is. People just don’t understand. If she dressed and carried herself as a woman, it would honestly look ridiculous. It would look like man in drag. And if she tried to become straight – wow. I honestly can’t even imagine.

Last year, she decided she wanted to get involved in church. She started attending a local church and was instantly ostracized. During bible study classes, the men and women often separated and my roommate went with the women, originally. But a bunch of the women complained, feeling as though there was a man in their bible study and that it made them uncomfortable. So she attended the men’s, per request of the women, and the men said the same thing, that they weren’t comfortable having a woman in with them. So in the end, she was kicked out to study the bible in the hallway alone because everyone was too busy judging her and being uncomfortable in her presence to take the time to learn who she was and accept her. Also, after a handful of sermons geared around why who she was a person was fundamentally wrong and abhorrent, she eventually stopped going and is now like me – completely put off by religion.

I think it’s tragic that people are coming to God and being turned away because they are different (in such a minor way). It’s not only something that makes me angry, but more than anything, it hurts. To read these things comparing me to pediphiles and bestiality – it’s hard not be plain old HURT by it. I pride myself on who I am. I’m honest, sincere, educated, loyal and I’m all-around a good person. I’m so tired of hearing how gross I am.

The best way to cure ignorance is exactly as you have done, Kathy. You took the time and initiative to walk with us as people and see who we really are – which is just like you. And you learned first hand that we are no different. That we hold jobs/careers, have steady relationships, love our family and friends, etc. It’s easy to sit and judge when you’ve never met a gay person. I encourage everyone who believes what you used to believe about gay people to educate yourselves. Open your mind and heart and see who we really are. We are your neighbors, brothers, sisters, and friends. We are nothing to fear. We are simply just human beings, just the same as you. And we are reaching out for your acceptance. Please stop rejecting us.

[Reply]

Sy says:

@gryph: Look at a Bible and then look at a mirror and then you’ld find out you’re the one with faulty logic.
Being a pedophile is a choice just like being gay is a choice.
God doesn’t create gay people, He creates people, moral people that can become immoral.
If being gay is not a choice then we can go to the nearest hospital and you can point out ALL the gay babies.
There are several normal relationships that last 50 years so that your arguement for abnormal relationships is baseless.
-
Stop bringing up baseless arguements of “limiting” God. Homosexuality is a sin of denying God clearly stated in Romans.
Equating pedophilia with homosexuality is not demeaning, it’s reality.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

I’m so sorry you limit your G_d, I bet he’s sad for you too. *Laughs* Have a good life child. May your G_d open your eyes and your heart to what is real and true, as you DO have a lot to learn.

I know when to not try beating my head against the wall of willful ignorance.

[Reply]

Sy Reply:

Good job projecting your willful ignorance on me. I wonder who this “G_d” is (ie. G underscore d), perhaps it’s the code name for your deity.
Jesus Christ warned us of liars and pretencious wolves in sheep’s clothing like yourself. Read John 8:44 to find out who your “G_d” is.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

Actually it’s the Jewish way of spelling God and I do it in honor of a friend who passed away a few years ago. I’ve read your book many years ago too. I found lots of contradictions and well, I guess if you have to rely on a book to be good, then you have a lot to learn.

Sy says:

5) Should the church be offering a model for living a virtuous life before God as a pedophile?
6) That’s a lie. Haven’t you read about Nicodemus? John 3:3-5.
7) That doesn’t make it less of a sin.
8) Yes there is a gay agenda just like there was an abortion agenda until now that it has started failing.
9) “Go and sin no more”. Welcoming sin as normal and “not sin” makes you no better than the sinner.
10) That’s a lie. Speak the truth and it shall set you free. The gay people are the intolerant ones. They prefer lies over truth. Would you prefer your friend not tell you your wife is having an affair with your brother?

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I am going to let your comments stand as a testament to Christian ignorance on this issue.

You stereotype and demean others. Do a very simple search of medical statements on sexual orientation. Get educated.

It might be wise to focus on your own heart rather than the lives others — that is something you can do something about.

[Reply]

Sy Reply:

Are you sure you’re a Christian? I mean this seriously, are you? Have you taken your time to read what i said? Where did i demean anyone? I spoke the truth and you called it ignorance? No wonder Jesus Christ spoke about people of your calibre, people who pretend to be Christians but follow men. Read Mark 7:6-9, educate yourself on the truth.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

In equating homosexuals with pedophiles you demean homosexuals.

Jesus also spoke of folks like you who think they know the mind of G_d and have to push your views or silence the views of others. I believe you would fit into the category of a Pharisee.

Too bad you limit your understanding and your Deity. Keeping your Deity in a box limits the miracles that can happen.

Sy says:

1) Being gay is a choice. If it’s not a choice, being a pedophile is not a choice. There’s no gay: brain, gene, nervous system, sexual orientation etc. Gay is simply supression of heterosexuality. You choose to be gay indirectly.
2) There’s no gay Christian. The very reason for being gay was not knowing God and you can’t be proud of sin and be Christian at the same time. Read Romans 1:24-32.
3) There is hardly any monogamous gay relationship.
4) The Bible clearly talks about homosexual behaviour. Read Romans 1:24-32

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

Sy, your logic is faulty. Being gay is not a choice, being a pedophile is. Pedophiles are about power and control, just as being a rapist of an adult is about power and control.

Being gay is about sexual orientation and love.

I know many gay relationships that are monogamous and very long lasting, some have 30 or more years together. Many of them lasting far longer than many heterosexual relationships. Sad isn’t it when heterosexuals can’t take the high ground on this. *ironic grin*

Again another who chooses to limit his Deity by not thinking that Deity can make beings who are gay.

[Reply]

R.T. says:

There are groups on the Gay Christian Network by location that can help you meet people in your area. Hope this helps!

[Reply]

Creatia says:

I don’t know how old this is, but I’m going to reply anyway. I love the fact that you’ve written such a wonderful report, but because of the comments below, I seriously have no hope for Christianity shining a light of normalcy on the LGBT side of things.

Mind you, I was raised in a Christian home, but I’ve always felt different. I never felt I really belonged. I realized I was actually pansexual a year back, and because of the countless backlash of people who hate me, and others like me, I’m a “sheep whose strayed from the flock,” so to speak. I turned away from Christianity and welcomed a Pagan lifestyle (homosexuality is not what I’m talking about with the term “Pagan lifestyle”) because of the things I’ve heard similar to the hateful comments below that made me feel like I’m less than human.

Hasn’t homosexuality been around before the Bible was written by human hands, and translated over and over? Isn’t it also prevalent in animals as well as humans? I just look at every single comment nowadays condemning us, hating us. Wanting us DEAD. Are we not human anymore? Are we reduced to beasts and monstrosities in the eyes of God when we want a stable loving relationship of the same gender? Don’t we deserve happiness too with whatever religion we’ve chosen?

More and more each day, I feel like the world is falling apart. Not because of the LGBTQ community wanting something they rightfully deserve in my opinion, but because of the loud, hateful minority getting louder and more panicked before they decide to start another Civil War of sorts. Like the South refusing to give slaves freedom, so too does the ones who feel homosexuality is evil refuse to give us equality. Just a humble, longwinded opinion.

Let’s not forget: long ago, black people were seen as sinful monstrosities by the eyes of God as well. All because they were different too.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

This is the dying gasp of the haters, they will do what ever they can to make our lives miserable before they are pushed to the back and out of the realm of the sane, honest folks. I’m also Pagan and I like what Kathy and her folks are working towards.

I think the best way to think of these folks who are wearing blinders is to see them as seven year old children who are “following the rules” and who are stuck on following rules that are outdated and cherry picked for their pleasure. Eventually their spirits will grow up, but not necessarily while they are in these bodies.

[Reply]

JT says:

This article is probably the best thing I have ever read in regards to homosexuality and religion. The idea that “the loudest message the gay community hears from Christians is one of intolerance and hatred” is unbelievably accurate. Many people turn to religion for guidance, and excluding a group of people for a minor difference seems very unfair. I applaud you for taking the time to observe the gay community, and I am truly inspired by your acceptance. I am gay and I am catholic; however, I have not practiced for a very long time due to the rejection I felt from the church. This article has touched me on a very deep level, and I definitely want to find a religious community where I feel welcome. I happened to find this post on a night where I was feeling lonely and isolated. After reading this I really do feel better. I seriously can’t thank you enough.

[Reply]

Jeremy says:

hey Kathy! all i can say is thank you! you are such an inspiration and I loved this blog. It has helped me be able to be comfortable with being gay and a christian! I have shared your blog with several people and it has opened their eyes in ways i couldn’t have done alone. I appreciate everything you are doing and hope your journey is far from over so you can continue being an inspiration! I also have a question if there is any gay christian communities in the Illinois area. I want to get connected! thanks again so much! :)

[Reply]

Gryph says:

Understandable Justin. I’m Pagan, but I give kudos to folks like Kathy and will back them in their effort to help others.

[Reply]

Catherine says:

Hello Dear, are you truly visiting this web page regularly, if so afterward you will definitely
obtain nice know-how.

[Reply]

truth isn't always pretty says:

Cathy preaches what she wants and then tries to back it up with the bible. However, people should stop insulting her. She does mean well. Unfortunately, society has no morals. The only rule left is….. “will what I’m doing hurt someone else” if the answer is “no” society says it’s ok. Now we have a problem that we have to fix. Being gay didn’t hurt anyone so society says it’s allowed and whoever says it’s not allowed is a terrible person. Christians believe the bible and g-d are good but the bible says homosexuality is an abomination. Now Christians have a conflict. Comes along people like Cathy, who want to help, and come up with a great solution. “Gd says it’s allowed”. The problem is, once you do that, you make yourself into a g-d. You take g-ds words and make it fit your understanding of the world.
Maybe g-d knows best. Maybe homosexuality is wrong. Maybe I don’t understand as much as g-d does. Kind of like a parent telling a child what to do and in the child’s mind it doesn’t make sense.. we won’t say in that situation that the parent said something else.

If anyone wants to talk without insulting others, and is looking for truth, not what makes them feel good, email XXXXXXXXX

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I removed your email address — I do not allow them on my site. I can support my position. You may not agree with it or like it, and that is okay. I do not think the Bible says one word about the population of people we know today as “homosexuals.” Long explanation. If you want the reasons, my book will be out in late May.

[Reply]

justin Reply:

Cathy I appreciate that you have opened your mind to us gay folks. I am glad you don’t condemn us. I appreciate what you are trying to do. But I was born in a Christian home, my own fresh and blood told me that I wasn’t welcome. I would have liked to keep being a Christian once I accepted myself for who I am. But I received a resounding “&%#$ OFF!” followed by “the lord despises you, you are an abdomination you will burn in hell for eternity” and so on. The thing that was really bitter about the whole thing is that the people that told me all those hateful things said they did it out off love. Not only did they beat me down they spit in my face.

This is the thing that they call “Christ’s love.” Back in the days when I was in the closet in my late teens begging God to fix me these demons that call themselves Christian where cheering me on. There were weeks where I didn’t sleep more than six hours. I was in a delirium, I flunked all my classes and it still wasn’t good enough, God’s silence was defining. I did the only thing I could, I drank myself into a stupor, waking up with a headache is better than lying awake knowing God doesn’t give a crap about you.

I since recovered from my depression finding happiness without “christian fellowship” and for the first time I felt love and acceptance, the warm embrace that Christians promised and then quickly revoked pending an impossible condition.

I don’t feel welcome form Christianity all I feel is coldness and when I reach out I get slapped away from the table.

It’s as if they have edited the bible, where Jesus says “come as you are” the Christian church added in (Unless you are gay, if you are, drop dead). And on topof that they call this nonsense love.

I used to be a member of the GCN they welcomed me, though I felt like I wasn’t being callously kicked to the curb, I didn’t feel welcome.

I can only be kicked so many times before I turn my back on it. Christian “love” comes with an impossible condition. I am not telling you not to be Christian, but they are going to show you what they call love of you do stand up. And it isn’t love, it’s diabolical because they smile to your face and say they love you as the beat you down mercilessly.

Look at these comments from socalled “Christians”

So, I already know what some Christians call love to be hated. The part that keeps me away is that this is almost unanimous. I only ever hear the slightest comment from somebody like you who believes Christ can and does love all of his people, but these people are quickly beaten down.

This is the main point I am making Christianity only brought me suffering and pain and shoved me out in the cold when I needed love the most. Why in the hell would I ever go back?

It left a void in me, I am not going to say I am atheist, but the part of me that believes in God and Jesus is nearly dead. The life stolen from me buythe people who claim to follow him.

What is left but to abandon it?

[Reply]

JEAN ARROYO says:

Read your bible again be not deceived by this devil nonsense god is the same yesterday today and tomorrow and before a homosexual gets into heaven hell will freeze over! …. and what are the odds of that?

[Reply]

JEAN ARROYO says:

It is written in revelations as well as thorought the bible gays, homosexual, effeminate will not get into heaven so i dont know what bible your reading… it must be niv! Not inspired bible! It is abomination to lay down with the same sex! Repent! For the kingdom of god is at hand!

[Reply]

Anon says:

Looking through the comments, I’ve seen so much ignorant backlash to your writing.

If it helps at all, your piece has made me completely reconsider my rejection of Christianity. Your love of people and clear value of kindness over all else could do more to set you apart nor light a candle upon a hill.

Thank you. This article truly has made a difference.

[Reply]

Anon says:

I stumbled across this piece one night when feeling frustrated about gay acceptance in the Christian community. This piece, so full of love, intellect, and Christlike acceptance, invigorated me to consider a religion which, for so much of my life, seemed consumed by hate. Thank you, so very, very much, for writing a piece which values intelligence, understanding, and love, over ignorance and fear.

[Reply]

heshallspeak says:

This article is heretical. Youre attempting to validate circumstances, which the Bible explicitly defines as wrong. Instead of teaching individuals they are committing a wrong act so that they may be enlightened, you are condoning the action. You’re trying to manipulate God’s word to fit you. That is unacceptable and is not a Christian mentality. I am a devoted follower of Christ and I have friends (some my best) and family who are homosexual, and I love them. However, I do not accept their lifestyle as “ok”, for by the Lord it is defined as sinful. You can not be a Christian if you knowingly and purposely engage in sin. It’s impossible. Sure it may be difficult, but no one said that Christianity was an easy path to walk. “Those who suffer with me, shall reign with me. ” When you choose to be a Christian, you pledge to accept and follow the rules, defined by God. if you do not do so, then you are not a Christian

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Shaquan, you are young. Maybe when you live a bit more life you will see that your view of how things SHOULD be are not how they are. There are gay Christians. I really am a Christian. I really have studied all this. I would suggest you go visit your LGBT brothers and sisters in Christ. I have churches to suggest for you in SC. The question of gay Christians is already settle with God. Their witness is growing and maybe you will see for yourself.
It is pretty arrogant to assume that I am off track, manipulate God’s word and am a heretic from one post.

If you would like to be brave and go see LGBT Christians for yourself, let me know — I will direct you to a nearby church. Screen names like “heshallspeak” drip in self-righteousness. I assume it is linked to your words are God’s word; maybe I am reading that wrongly. I get mail from people with godish screen names all the time that lack the humility to hear others. You have not failed my expectations.

[Reply]

JEAN ARROYO Reply:

There are ni gay christians ! Whoever says that is antichrist and kathy you shall be one of those the lord says to: away from me workers of iniquity! I never knew you! Your leading souls to hell and i rebuke you in the name of jesus christ of nazareth!

[Reply]

M says:

C

If you were brought up Catholic and still find connection in those roots I would highly recommend seeking to find a Catholic intentional community which practice radical inclusiveness just as Jesus did. They normally are connected to Dignity USA where gay and lesbian voices are welcomed and heard http://www.dignityusa.org

One type of intentional community forming across the country is that of the Roman Catholic Women Priest…and yes although the church does not recognize the women’s ordination it has all been achieved through apostolic succession just as the male counterparts and IS valid. Those communities will cherish, nurture, and protect your faith. Not only are these communities outstanding they are accepting and provide a place of great healing regarding organized religion. People’s attitudes ARE changing, churches are recognizing their failings, and more importantly your presence is more needed than ever. Thank God you never gave up your relationship with God…Or gave up the perfect person created in you EXACTLY as you are.

In 2013 Pope Francis himself answered a letter written to him requesting more openness and dialog with gay believers … He also publically stated that the church shouldn’t “interfere spiritually” with the lives of LGBT people.

On Monday 2.24.2014 the topic at Lifetree cafés ( lifetree cafe.com) across the nation was “Gays and the Church”…. It was packed and powerful and many spoke with Spiirt infused statements regarding the Church’s failure to accept ALL members of Christ body into their communities. Pastors approached tables and admitted how great the conversation, how it stirred their souls, was and how important it remains. Expect great things.

Just twelve hours ago this article has hit the airwaves and just as you stated in your recent post one day they will be called on it.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/26/homosexuality-opinion-survey/5828455/

May you find a place where you can openly express and share your personal relationship with God that has overcome this judgmental world.

Peace…and forever rock on in love with Christ!

[Reply]

bb says:

Stop throwing out insults to mask your lack of reasoning. I’m adding if you can answer any of these questions.. that response sounded like you can not.. don’t worry nobody can…. that’s the scary point

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

NOTHING anyone responds to you will satisfy — you just do not want two gay adults to be able to get married. Oh well. The Constitution holds greater power than your what-ifs. No one is asking to marry their mom, horse, dog, sister or child. Those issues have been settled. If a large enough group wanting to marry their dog, horse, sister, mom or child wants to bring a case to the Supreme Court thru the system — IF it makes it that high under the Equal Protection Clause — have at it. We, as Americans, can petition for what we want. I do not imagine there will be a groundswell of fellow Americans marching for the right to marry their sister, dog, horse or mother.
TRY to respect the dignity of your fellow citizens and the Constitution which protects the rights of others, even when people like you think them as unequal.
I don’t waste time on ridiculous questions that are distractions. What-if people are wrapped in irrational fear much of the time. I would rather spend my energy of positive and good things. I wish the same for you.

[Reply]

JEAN ARROYO Reply:

Gay marriages are from hell where they will end up god nade adam and eve not adam and steve or eve and esther may god have mercy of your souls our living god will not wink at this he call men everywhere to repent!

[Reply]

justin Reply:

So God never made Steve? So who did?

bb says:

Can anyone please tell me y someone
1) can’t marry their sister?
2) can’t marry their mother?
3) can’t marry their dog?
4) can’t have sex with a horse (that’s willing)?
5) can’t marry 2, 3, or 4 wives/husbands?
6) can’t marry a 13 year old?

(If you only answer one, that means you can’t answer the others)

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

This is a conversation about two consenting adults that share a loving, not related relationship. Get your head out of the trash and sit like an adult at the table with people who want equality and not some form of relationship you are imagining in your mind. Be respectful. If you cannot extend human dignity and civil rights to others, please step aside with your dog, sister, horse, many babes and child.

[Reply]

C says:

As a woman who was brought up as Catholic and is a lesbian. I completely understand what you were trying to do in your article and just wanted to know that you may never change people’s views on this topic. Thank you though. My relationship with God is as strong as ever but due to the kind of hateful attitude preached by some churches I don’t feel accepted there any more. God knows their behaviour and one day they will be called on it. I do not need to be prayed for to repent, only God’s love that alone is enough. People always persecute that which they have no understanding of. I understand this and to all the hateful people, I forgive you.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

According to Titus 3:10 – you have now had your day in the sunshine and gotten the opportunity to TELL. You are now being blocked. It is ironic however that you accuse others of not being able to read. Your typed record is a gentle indicator, that perhaps, you could use some further education on reading and writing skills.

[Reply]

Kwanele says:

In the kingdom of christianity, they may be gay christians, lying christians, murderer christians, lukewarm christians, backslidden christians, the whole lot
BUT
In the kingdom of God, all these will not enter in.

Not everyone who calls me Lord Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven.

Flee from Christendom and run to Christ.

Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand

He who called you is Holy.

He is not just love, He is just. His scales are perfectly balanced.

He is not a man that He should lie. Nor the sonof man that He should repent

Heaven and Earth will pass away, but not an iota of His Word will.

Let there be light in your mind and soul in Jesus’ s Name

[Reply]

Francis says:

How dare you, you try to support what destroyed sodom?. Don’t you know though we may not judge you the words that are written in the bible will surely judge you? Repent and turn away from evil lest you perish with your sins.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

How dare you think Sodom was condemned for just sex. Sodom was condemned for her in hospitality. And being homosexual is not just about sex, no more than being heterosexual is just about the sex.

[Reply]

justin Reply:

You thumpers really perplex me, you would read this article just to troll the comments?

Perfect reason to not be Christian it would mean I would be associated with puerile like you. And there is nothing worse in this world than a thumper.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

Justin, I tend to think of the folks like the woman above to be young spirits who have to cling to laws in order to make sense to their little box of a world. They are not like Kathy, who is writer of this blog and old enough in spirit to see that not everyone is the same or should be the same.

Looking at life from a different perspective is always a good thing because we lose so much when we don’t. I am triply condemned by some of these folks as I’m female, gay and Pagan, but I’ve found Kathy to be a warm hearted woman, who truly cares.

Maybe your path leads not to formal, organized churches, but to a solitary walk with Deity.

I wish you the best.

[Reply]

justin Reply:

Thanks, organized religion is definitely not for me. I have looked into solitary worship and out seems appealing

Seririer Cortis says:

Here is the thing. If you stay sinning and do not repent, than you will not really be a follower of christ. You will just be lying to yourself,
It is okay for people of the same sex to love each other. But what the sin is is when people of the same sex have sex with each other, thats the sin,
Even when a man and a woman do certain things. like putting a private part up an anus. tongue on a private part.
The hard reality that people do not want to accept is, Those actions are wrong. It is not a natural thing to be doing.

You know in your heart if you have the holy spirit inside of you or not, If you do not, You are not a christian, Period. And if the holy spirit will not enter you it is because you are still committing sin and you refuse to repent,

You can write all the articles about christians accepting gays and all this stuff all you want but the reality is, You are either still in sin and committing sin, which will keep you seperate from God,
Or you have repented and are following the ways of christ.

Its just that simple.
You can lie to yourself and say to yourself “I am good, I am a church going christian, I go to church every sunday and give money to my church. But it really means nothing to God if you are living in sin.
Deep down everyone who reads this will know what I am saying is true. If your heart is corrupt and full of sin and you refuse to repent because you don’t want to give up your sinful life, than how can you ever have the holy spirit enter you and be a true christian?.

Wake up to reality.
I am not a christian and I know this. Its basic stuff.. You are trying to complicate what is simple because you do not want to face reality.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Thank you for your opinion. I would suggest you get your head out of the trash and your tongue out of the anus of others. Sexual orientation is NOT about just sex and gay people are not just people who have sex. Until you can invest time in getting to know others as human and extend them dignity, I am afraid it is YOU that is sinning. Take a basic class in human sexuality and do stop focusing on anuses, tongues and vaginas and look at the whole of a person. Thank you.

[Reply]

justin Reply:

Thank you, I appreciate that.

[Reply]

Marielka says:

Regardless of the word homosexual being translated wrong, there are too many verses that condemn homosexuality. I not only know and have friends and family that are homosexual, i’m by definition one. I connect with my same sex emotionally, i’m more comfortable in a sexual relation with same sex; I was in a relationship for over 20 years with a person of the same sex and used many of your points to justify my homosexuality. I sought out therapy to change and ended up accepting my self after i survived the journey and i did not kill my self even though i wanted to.i had to accept my orientation to later give it up after living years within that lifestyle. I knew at five also, and yet i was confronted with what the bible says and i chose my orientation over my theology as i understand it. I was unable to beleive that you can be gay and christian. Now i know that you can, and is simple, we can not stop our sin nature, we can just hope to subdue it with the help of the holy spirit. can not we do all things in Christ? But do we want to. It is unfair and i asked why me? There is a verse that says that we can overcomme the work of the flesh through the spirit of God. I decided to be celibate 12 years ago. It was hard at first. I’m still feel those feelings but i walk by faith not by sight or by feelings. I chose to deny myself and it all makes sense to me now.

[Reply]

Brittany says:

Alright so I am 18 I am not gay but I am really having a battle. Everything in the Bible says that being gay is wrong. And it says that we don’t struggle against the flesh, but against powers and principalities. For the first time ever I am truly in love but it’s not with a man, it’s with a woman. I’ve always been straight, however every relationship I have been in felt wrong and this is the first one that feels right. I don’t really know what to do. I want to believe you when you say it’s okay, but how can I do that when everything tells me that I either let her go or I pretty much condemn her to hell. If it were just me it might not be such a big issue, but it’s not. This involves her to. And though I want to be with her and am with her I don’t know if I can continue doing so because I want her to be safe and okay. I want her to go to heaven and be with God. But I don’t want to have to choose between them. I’ve been looking everywhere and researching everything I can think of. But it all points to the same thing. That being gay or being in a gay relationship is wrong. If you could show me a verse in the Bible that disproves that or somewhere in the Bible where it says that it’s okay I will believe you. But we can’t take things in the bible out of context or we risk not only our souls but the souls of others. So a little help here would really be appreciated. I want to be right with God and I’m desperately searching for a way to make my relationship right.

[Reply]

Gryph Reply:

Let me ask you a couple of simple questions. Is God that small and weak that he can’t make folks who are gay?

Does God hate so much that he would condemn his creatures who are living the best they can to a place without love?

I tried for many years to put myself into the straight world, but I’m not straight and when I finally understood that we are not all the same for a reason, then I was able to accept myself. We all have things to share, some share the best of themselves with love and some don’t.

[Reply]

Greg L says:

I believe we mix up truth with tolerance. You can’t truly follow Christ and continue in habitual sin 1 John 3:6 God loves you but he has moral standards that command you to shed off your old nature and gives you a new nature of purity. Many want to mix God’s love with tolerance. God hates sin. He has given us the power to overcome sin and the evil of this world that’s why we are a peculiar people. The devil has a stronghold against you and rather than fight him you’d rather include that into you life and claim it as old thinking. I pray for those that are struggling with homosexuality because I have my own struggles and I know how the devil can influence you to try and accept what inherently is wrong. God’s word is truth we can’t cater it to fit what we want and Sin is Sin in his book. You must answer this true question am I allowing the hateful talk I hear from so-called Christians to cloud my view of God’s truth or am I making God’s truth fit me. The closer we all get to Christ and the more I follow his word the more I can put on the full armor. And for those that write hateful messages to those that are struggling with this issue I remind you of Galations 6:1 Don’t Judge restore!!!

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

When people make completely ignorant and uneducated remarks about another people group, there really does come a time to say STOP. So, Bob, STOP. You are very wrong about the non existence of gay Christians. Very wrong. I am going to block your comments now. My site is not for you — it is to educate and engage in productive exchanges. You are stuck in a black hole of the 70′s on information about who gay people are. My site is not for you. Thank you for reading tho.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Because you are using a fake email address, I need to write this to you here Mr. Sathis.

I exit exchanges are no longer productive. We are there.
One “ONE more question” is never the final question.
We disagree, that is okay. I have things to do. B/c I monitor my blog and
no longer choose to answer you, I am blocking your IP address. It is my
space and I really do get to decide that I am done.
There are many places for you to engage, CWC is not one of them.
I would encourage you to visit a church in the Dallas area that is
affirming. I think there is one in Longview as well. You really do have gay
brothers and sisters in Christ.
http://www.gaychurch.org/find_a_church/

Your IP is blocked from commenting. Thank you. Real email addresses add a layer of accountability in exchanges that I value.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

When you gain the integrity to ask your questions with both an email address that has accountability attached to it and a real name, THEN MAYBE we can have a productive exchange. I do not do shooting in the dark. Sorry, just my policy for my life. I like accountability and engage in it. Your IP is blocked Bob and, if you use other emails, I will still disapprove them.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

At least we can agree on this : ” Believe it or not – it is possible to be 100% loving toward gays and still 100% in line with the Bible.” I wil do what God has called me to do and I trust you too hear His call in your life and honor that and follow it.

Not only do I live a life FIRMLY entrenched in the Spirit of God, so do hundreds, probably thousands of gay Christians with whom I associate.

Your psych knowledge is firmly planted in the 1950- 1970′s, it may be scary, but I suggest you do some reading and catch up with the last 40 years of understanding of what homosexuality is. It IS sad that people speak with authority on issues they know little about. You seem a considerate person–go meet some gay people, some gay Christian people and be surprised. Because Bob, you could not be more wrong about so much of what you typed about gay people. http://www.gaychurch.org — be brave.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

Thank you for reading my blog. We do not agree. We have different revelations of who Jesus is as the Word, and in the Word.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

I do not agree with you. Perhaps you will consider reading a full account as to why in the Late Fall when “Walking the Bridgeless Canyon” is published. I cover the topic by looking at the Bible, science, culture, and history. Thank you for reading my blog.

[Reply]

Gian says:

I was raised Christian, and I’ve known I was gay my whole life, even before I was sexually attracted to someone. Yet I’m 30 and I still have trouble harmonizing the two. I’ve always complained about how straight Church people want to dictate who I should be when they don’t even know what it’s like to be me. This is the first time I’ve felt that somebody who isn’t gay understands. From someone who’s gay and identifies as a Christian, I would say you’ve hit the nail right on the head. What you’ve written is exactly how I’ve felt all these years. I wish that more bible thumpers can read this post of yours. And I wish more people were like you… Maybe then the world would be a better place for someone like me.

[Reply]

Jonathan says:

Hey Kathy, Thanks for all your great posts, they are encouraging to me as a young gay man. I did have a question about a harsh article I read by our favorite “Family Research Council”, while I know I need to take it with more than a few grains of salt, I found the statistics brought up to be very troubling (for example rates of sexual fidelity.). I’d be interested to hear your take on it.
http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

How is it EVEN POSSIBLE to give stats in the US on married gay couples from 2002??? The study they LOVE to cite is the Dutch Marriage Study.Read what the study is and think about the UTTER DECEPTION these folks peddle.
http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/statistics-that-lie-the-dutch-gay-marriage-study/

[Reply]

Rochelle says:

wow…thank you so much for being Christ-like and a true Christian. The mysteries of God are so great, and this issue is one of them. The Bible is filled with them! God told us to look deeper and we don’t about any issue. I couldn’t agree more with every single word in this post. Thank you and God bless.

[Reply]

Christian says:

Thank you for sharing this post. It give us insights of how great Gay people are. To the readers, who want to be part of a gay-friendly christian church, I’d like to take this opportunity and welcome you all to our growing community. We are a gay-friendly christian church located in St. Petersburg Florida. For more info, you can visit site at http://www.churchstpetersburg.org.

[Reply]

Bronson says:

I’d given up on Christians a long time ago, having been subjected to every sort of un-Christian treatment at their hands: from scorn and derision to being disowned by family, to molestation by “devout Christians.”

While Christianity is not the spiritual path for me, personally, I respect it’s followers and the the good it does so many. I would more vehemently defend their right to practice it than most of them would defend even my most basic rights.

That said, this is possibly the most cogent, educated, and loving discussion of LGBT issues I’ve ever heard from a Christian, and wow, that is incredibly refreshing.

My most persistent impression of Christians is that they’ve completely lost their way, confused by dogma, politics, and what I call a la carte morality: picking and choosing ideals to follow and others to ignore. Damning me for one Levitical phrase and indulging themselves in the very next.

I found this page unintentionally, but I don’t believe it was an accident. Thank you for your kindness, courage, and candor. You, Kathy, are a bright light in this world, and I am grateful for your presence in it.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

That is a VERY kind thing to read, THANK YOU.

[Reply]

Gryph says:

LMAO!!!
Thank you, you have shown me exactly why I have no love of many Evangelical Christians. I know I’m fine, Jesus and God both kept putting me back on the path of my youth.

I asked you an honest question and you start preaching at me. Too bad you put your god in a box and say he doesn’t make gay folks and that it’s a part of idolatry and on and on and on. I won’t answer you back after this as you have nothing I haven’t heard many times over. I will however wish you a good life and that your Lord take the blinders off of your eyes.

[Reply]

cristine Reply:

you heard it many times before, because GOD’S WORD NEVER CHANGES!!!! Jesus says “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.” -Luke 17:33 …… keep following KATHY who is making things sound pleasing to your desires , God is so marvelous that he speaks of Kathy and others just like her.. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” -2 Timothy 4:3-4 I really Hope u understand that I truly care for your soul, i don’t know you but, we are brothers and sisters in Christ…. I wish you a good life as well, and hope that you will follow the true Christ.

[Reply]

jean Reply:

Thank you Christine!

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Here is a List of churches in your area that welcome gay lesbian and bisexual Christians. Perhaps she will put your pride and your ego aside and go visit your other brothers and sisters in Christ that you denied the existence of. You may well be surprised. Be brave go see them. And, if my suggestion is wrong, then you’ll have an entire church to evangelize. Thank you for reading my blog. http://gaychurch.org/list-churches-by-state/?loc=IL

cristine says:

There’s a lot of deities around, but they will lead you straight to hell, you think your fine NOW.. Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.- john 14:6 thats why! you love your sin more than you love God and thats idolatry , but your free to worship any idol u desire….. you need to know that your sick first , so you could get the cure, Jesus Christ and like i said its all kinds of sin not just homosexual desires.

[Reply]

Gryph says:

At what age did you make the choice to be heterosexual? At what age did you choose to act on being heterosexual? And why do you think your version of “god” is the only version of Deity around?

Thank you, but I think I will be just fine with out your version of heaven or hell.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

EXPERT say homosexuality is probably mostly due to hormones influencing fetuses. You might want to read up on this in a book or online research printed by medical experts not associated with a conservative family group.

[Reply]

Stormy Reply:

My childhood was good, my parents gave me attention, I never had anyone of the same sex trying to push their sexuality on me, so I really don’t get where you’re coming from on this Mr. Sathis. I also don’t understand why you want to limit your god or limit who he will love and create.
I give Kathy lots of credit for going through what she did and learning more about love. I’m sorry that you are showing you never will.

He Kathie, will you be in Wichita this weekend? I’d love to meet you.

[Reply]

Stormy Reply:

Sorry I misspelled your name Kathy.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I WAS there and left on Sunday!!!!!

[Reply]

cristine says:

See the problem is everyone goes with “feelings”, emotions change, feeling change, but God’s word remains the same….. everyone needs take heed of what God says…. This is behavioral thing , what if i said i was born a Pedafile and i can’t control who i’m attracted to, would that be okay? absolutely not! …….but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. -James 1:14-15 KATHY, i see that your trying to do all of this with a kind and loving heart BUT, you are leading these people to Hell, get your emotions out of it, and Obey and Honor your Lord and savior Jesus Christ before you meet your maker and he tells you “Depart from me you worker of iniquity , i never knew you” you are teaching people that it’s okay to Sin,” If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea –Mark 9:42 …. That’s NOT love… don’t repy back! , your not even supposed to be teaching doctrine 1 timothy 2:12, the woman was deceived first, your deceiving yourself and others! all of you who are practicing SIN all kinds of sin Not just homosexuality., you still have time….. REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!!!!

[Reply]

Michelle Lee says:

Hi Kathy,
Thank you for you article and support. I struggled for years to come to a point in my life where I can finally accept myself for being a transsexual. The pressures that society forces on us to conform to the gender binary forced me into a shell of a person. What I mean by that, since I was about 5 years old I knew something was wrong. Everyone around me seemed to think I was a boy, but I knew that I was a girl, but NO ONE would listen. I remember when I tried to correct my father I got a beating for it, saying “no son of mine is going to play with girl things”. So he tried to beat it out of me. My parent, teachers and friends all saw me as a boy, but yet I was not. The pressure got so strong, that I withdrew within myself and built this wall around me to protect myself from a world of misunderstanding and hatred. As much as I hated it, I watched all the guys around me and observed how they walked and talked and I tried my best to fit it. Did my best to walk like a man and talk like a man, etc. Yet inside I knew I was not and it almost killed me a few times. I remember begging God when I was young to correct what had happen to me and make me a girl on the outside so I could live my life happily. Of course that never happened, so as I grew older these feeling of being a girl NEVER went away. AS the years went by and I started seeing how some of the churches seem to hate on the LGBT issues it made me uncomfortable even setting foot in a church.
I got married in a Catholic church about 19 years ago with my wife, who at the time was (actually still is) a devout Catholic and just before we were to marry she had found some femm clothes that I had kept in a carry bad. She flipped out and continued on how it was a sin and all that. She made me through away my things, and as much as I hated it, I loved this women so much I thought I would be able to suppress it for the rest of my life. So I though everything away and shed a tear as I did, because you see, I was throwing away a part of me. My authentic identity. That shell of a person I became even thicker. We moved on with our lives and had two wonderful kids (now college age), but it was not easy.
About 10 years later that wall I had built up was starting to crack as I could not hold onto this idea of playing a man anymore. I came out to my wife (again) and we ended up separating for about 6 years. Luckily in that time we stayed in contact and I began to try and educate her on my condition (I wish I had the info I have today back then, things may have been different). It’s been about 4 years now that we have been back together and she has a much better understanding of me then she ever has, Even going against her sister after I moved back (She HATED me for trying to be authentic).
Even though I had gone to church with her for years during our marriage, I refuse to go to mass now, because I can’t overlook their views of on LGBT issues. To have the pope to say “mankind needed to be saved from a destructive blurring of gender” really turned me against the church. My wife still don’t quite understand how I feel about this issue. She says to ignore those people, but at the same time I bet if I walked in to one of their churches I would be picked out. The hatred that is going out of some of these churches is sickening. And I will not be apart of it.
It is refreshing to see Christians start to speak out against this hatred and call it what it is. I do understand that some of the people spewing the hatred are ignorant of the facts, but I find it frustrating even when pointed to valid sources of research they fail to see the truth. I’ve even been banned from some of the Christian sites for trying to point people to valid sources. Yet I was never given a reason why (I was not even nasty in any of those comments I left).
Sorry about the long comment Kathy, I guess I had a lot on my mind, lol.
Hope you have a wonderful day.
God Bless
Michelle

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

The topic of trans and intersect is SO different for me. One of my board members and closest friends is mtf. There will be a separate post on that. Thanks for the read; we’ve both been on Brown’s site.

[Reply]

Michelle Lee Reply:

I look forward to reading this post.

[Reply]

Zoe Brain says:

Hi Cathy

Thanks for a very kind essay.

If I can make one remark though – not as a criticism, more of an observation – your essay was about GLB, not GLBT. I fear you have just as much to learn about Transsexual and Intersex people as you did with Gays.

I can also attest to the fact that Intersex people – those born with bodies neither wholly male nor female – get at least as much hatred directed their way on religious grounds as do gays, even though few would say that their situation is of their own making.

Some do though, saying that they must have deformed souls, or committed sins inside the womb. The hate comes first, the religious justification found or manufactured afterwards.

You never hated, you see. Hence your willingness to actually read scripture.

You’re in a minority of people who concern themselves about this though.

[Reply]

Teddi says:

Kathy, thank you, thank you, thank you! I have many gay friends, but live in conservative central Pennsylvania where Christians constantly deem homosexuality as inherently sinful and disgusting. I have known multiple gay Christians who have either left the faith or entirely, or hung on only through anxiety and extreme depression, simply because the Church told them they were condemned. I thank God for you and this message you are trying to spread. It is absolutely invaluable.
In gratitude,
Teddi

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

please do make usre you follow my blog–I have some GREAT posts coming up DIRECTED straight at the church.

[Reply]

Kathy,
Thank you for this page and site and your wonderful expression of your experience. As an openly Gay Priest, In an independent Franciscan missionary order. My last 26 years as a member of the clergy trying to help people find peace that they can be both GLTBQF and Christian and very active Christians, I have run up against the argument that I am blind to the truth because of my sexuality.
It is very refreshing and uplifting to see your courage and strength here in your site. Again Thank YOU, and may God Almighty bless and keep you.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I just watched “Saint of 9/11″ last night–Father Mychal Judge, a gay Franciscan. WONDERFUL man of God and example of Jesus.

[Reply]

Stormy says:

Ah, but in playing with words you show a queer attitude, after all queer doesn’t only denote being homosexual; just as gay is not only happy.

And you’re right one can choose to be happy, but one can’t make a choice to be or not to be queer/gay/homosexual; I know, I tried.

[Reply]

Kent says:

As a gay man, I feel that I have the authority and experience to tell you that Gay is not a choice. Did you choose to be straight? Could you simply choose to be Gay tomorrow? Faye, I understand what you think you know but those of us that have struggled with this know, it is not a choice.

[Reply]

paula says:

Cathy,

I was an evangelical Christian since I was fourteen years old. This issue has been haunting me for many years. About ten years ago I was praying and I said “God, I have to be honest with you because you already know what I am thinking anyway. I don’t think it’s wrong to be gay and I have to stop pretending I do.” It was so freeing to admit that to God and to myself. I had been in contact with some gays in my life and just couldn’t come to any other conclusion than that they were born that way and it was in fact not a sin but simply a part of their identity.

I gradually I began to open up to friends and state that I thought it was OK to be gay and there was nothing wrong with it. I haven’t been met with a warm welcome you can be sure. I can’t think of one of my close evangelical friends who has agreed with me yet. In fact I have friends that I don’t even talk about it with because I know they would freak out.

Interestingly enough about a year ago one of my children has come out with the fact that he believes he may be gay and he knows unequivocally that he is bi. He is still a teen so he has yet to totally understand what he is experiencing. I will tell you that he was really depressed at first and felt like he was a huge “mistake”. Isn’t that the saddest thing you have ever heard. God doesn’t make mistakes and made this young man exactly as he should be. Thank God I don’t believe the way I used to. Every member in our family has been able to tell our son how much we love him and accept him as “perfect” just as he is. I have been going to a LGBT support group in my community and it has been such a joy getting to know some of these fine people. I have met wonderful people who are trangender folk as well. I can’t tell you how enriching it is to meet and get to know these people. I wish all of my Christian friends could understand the heart of the gay community.

Sadly, I quit going to church partly due to my frustration over this issue. I do attend evangelical churches intermittently but am not a regular member of any church anymore. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be gay and attempting to find a place to worship in this town. My son refuses to go to any evangelical church and I can’t say I blame him. It saddens me to know that there are only two openly gay affirming churches in this city and three others who are affirming but don’t advertise themselves as such.

Thank you so much for this wonderful work you do. I am so proud of you for standing up for what you know is right and I hope I can do the same.

Blessings to you and your family my friend.

[Reply]

Gentle Lamb says:

Dear Kathy,

Thanks for caring.

God bless you and honor you for this great work of love, grace
and mercy to the GLBT peoples.

fm Singapore.

[Reply]

Faye Hayden says:

Being Gay is a choice…Gay=Happy
Anyone can be happy…or anyone can be sad…that is a choice…

[Reply]

Faye Hayden says:

As far as being gay, I am gay and my husband is gay, my grandbabies are gay…Gay means happy…We are gay but not queer…

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

yes darlin’ and lots of words have various meanings and that does not negate the meaning in a different context or deny the use of it in another context. I can certainly bear you even if you act like a bear and I will also hope you do not bear any glbt youth. From your other comments to this blog, that would be quite difficult for a glbt person to live with you and bear it. In fact, it would be a bear.

[Reply]

TJ, I am so very sorry that you feel that you have lost some part of yourself, that spiritual part, due to the ugliness of others…that is truly a loss. Please take some time to visit with those who would love and accept you–this article gives some excellent resources. And also, please don’t allow the unacceptable, un-Christian actions of those who expelled you and caused such damage to your psyche and spirit to win. Fight back against them, and seek out a relationship with God, who loves you. Believe me, He is waiting. Perhaps your having read this article is a way of Him speaking to your heart, that there is more to “religion” than what you experienced. Indeed, you didn’t experience real religion, which is a true relationship with the Creator, who loves you JUST AS YOU ARE.

[Reply]

G.P. Ching says:

Thank you for being a voice of reason in the blogosphere.

[Reply]

Jacqui P. says:

While not Christian and completely heterosexual, I loved this post. I know people who have to deal with utter ‘crap’ due to their sexual orientation, and the self-doubt that has been shoved down their throats due to that orientation when it comes to their spiritual path. As a public educator and a past secret victim of bullying, I strive to make sure all the students at my school are educated in the fact that everyone is special, unique, and equally awesome. I had a gay student in my elementary school a few years back come up to me and ask me if he was lovable to people or his God, even though he was ‘that word.’ I told him exactly how I feel: he was created exactly as he is because the way he was created is wonderful.

Thank you, on behalf of my students and others in my life who are not heterosexual, but are Christian, for all you are doing.

Brightest blessings on you and yours.

[Reply]

Stormy says:

Using failed marriages to say that heterosexuality is unnatural for some folks is true though. To gay people being in a heterosexual marriage or trying to live as heterosexual is very unnatural. It would be like a fish trying to climb a tree.

[Reply]

shaed says:

Celibacy isn’t unnatural. People’s libidos vary as much as their orientations, and some people simply do not get hot and bothered about getting hot and bothered.

People try to be celibate who are not built for it, this is true, but to say that they are evidence that celibacy is unnatural is the same as using the failed marriages of gay men to straight women as evidence that heterosexuality is unnatural.

[Reply]

StefGB says:

“Being gay is not a choice- I don’t think you can make this statement. It has yet to be proven and it is almost impossible to back it up.”

Really? Then I don’t think anyone can state that God exists. I don’t think you can make this statement. It has yet to be proven and it is almost impossible to back it up.

SEE the logic turned backwards? Interesting, no?

WHO GIVES A CRAP whether you’re born or become/choose to be gay? The point is, you’re GAY. You are who you ARE, and there’s not a damned thing wrong with that. I contend and believe that it’s born, and will manifest itself eventually, whether you try to deny it or not.

The bit about being celibate if you’re gay is hogwash. Celibacy is unnatural, sexuality is natural. Don’t get me started about how EVERY SINGLE priest and minister should be able to marry and have a family…and people wonder why so many stories of molestation of children exist…BECAUSE the celibate lifestyle they are living ISN’T natural. Who says you have to never have sex in order to dedicate your life to God?!

Anyone who is a bigot or slanders a homosexual…reminder, it’s the straight people who are having the gay children, is it not? Or in your twisted view, the straight people are RAISING gays since the gay person “chooses” to be that way. Who would CHOOSE that lifestyle, with all of the nonsense, slander, hardships, prejudice, bigotry, namecalling, and stereotyping that comes with it?! You’d have to be mental to “choose” to be homosexual!

I’m tired of hearing the BS about “the sanctity of marriage”. News flash: STRAIGHT people have ruined the sanctity of marriage with the 50% divorce rate and lack of honoring their vows. A family member of mine is on their 4th or 5th marriage. THAT is a mockery of the institution, not a loving same-sex couple who only wants the CHANCE to have their own marriage. Look up the number of states where it’s legal to marry your 1ST COUSIN, then look at the few that allow gay marriage. ANYONE see a problem here?

Kathy is a breath of fresh air to people who look down on most Christians because most of what they see from them is hate, intolerance, and constant judgment…ironically, EXACTLY what God says never to do. Being a Christian doesn’t give you some divine right to hate, slander, and judge. If you REALLY cared about following God’s word, you’d accept them and love them anyway, and treat them with kindness. Look at most of the wars, hate, riots, etc throughout history. Notice a pattern? The overwhelming majority had SOMETHING to do with religion. It’s all such flagrant hypocrisy! There’s a quote somewhere about liking God, but not His christians. Makes a boatload of sense to me!

If a good church were any kind of place worth going to, they’d accept and welcome EVERYONE. Gays would be welcome with open arms. If not, you’re not a Christian and not a Follower of God, because He loves and welcomes EVERYONE. A church who turns gays away or chases that person out because “they have no place there, it’s a sin”? Take a GUESS who God’s more pissed at. Hint: It’s NOT the homosexual.

Don’t like gays or gay marriage, then don’t BE gay or get married to someone of the same-sex. Just sit back, shut up, and let other people live their lives in peace and joy. If that applies you have, you obviously have issues of your own and should be spending your time and energy on YOUR behaviors and your own soul.

Most Christians are not like Kathy, if they were, churches would be growing continually instead of attendance diminishing every year. People abuse the Bible and use it to prove their points when convenient while simultaneously NOT adhering to the parts of it that would negate their ENTIRE argument in the first place.

I am 26 years old, my sister in law is a lesbian, I support gay rights 100% and always will, and if one day my husband and I’s son or daughter comes to us and tells us he or she is gay, we’ll be absolutely happy and proud of them and who they are. It just doesn’t matter, period. WHO CARES?!

I care a whole lot more about what KIND of person someone is.

And you know, I’m PRETTY sure God agrees.

[Reply]

Stormy says:

The only ones who can choose who they want to be with are the bisexuals and even they don’t have an easy time of it. They get grief from both sides.

I can speak to the fact that for me it wasn’t a choice. When I tried to live as a straight woman, I had to do it with alcohol and it took me til the age of thirty to get past the garbage of what my family had wanted, of what society wanted of me and the fact that I had to be in the closet to be in the army the way I had wanted. I had no idea of who I truly was and was so miserable that the thoughts of suicide were ever present. Yep, I tried being Christian and even set aside my spiritual walk to make myself fit in with others and it did no good. No one should have to go through that much bending and giving away of themselves to make others happy.

I finally came out to myself and to the world and my life, even with all the hardships and continued learning about myself; I’m much happier now than I had ever been.

[Reply]

Eshu says:

Great to hear this story about how your humanity and compassion overcame the lies you’d been taught about homosexuals. Although I’m straight, homophobia still upsets me, the same way racism does, I suppose. I often think that hatred is never right. No matter who or what you’re dealing with. I can’t think of a single situation where hatred has made things better. So it seems a good rule of thumb that the haters have always got it wrong somehow.

On a slight tangent – the issue of choice. As I understand it, this is a pivotal issue because it confers the idea of culpability. If homosexuals aren’t choosing their feelings, they can hardly be blamed for it. So sending them to hell or not letting them in to heaven because of it would be unjust.

Which leads me to the question of whether belief is a choice. I’ve spoken to many Christians who insist that belief is definitely a choice. I don’t think it is. If someone put a gun to my head and asked me to believe that the Earth was flat, I don’t think I could do it. Could you? Of course we could say that we believed it, but that isn’t the same thing. I apologise if this is an unsettling idea for many, but I don’t think that you got to where you are by closing your mind to unsettling ideas.

Take care and keep spreading your message of compassion.

[Reply]

Dr. Ted Hayes says:

TJ, you may have read my post above about my partner of decades whom I lost to cancer. I posted a tribute to him. It says a great deal about the man I loved.

It does not say much about me, however, other than that he was the love of my life. But TJ, just because ignorance in our Southern Baptist churches may have condemned us and banished us, it does not mean that we must exist without a spiritual life. My relationship with God is stronger now than when I was in the church.

I am a former Southern Baptist minister. I have been out of the closet for 34 years and left the ministry a couple of years before that. My departure finally gave me time to study about homosexuality and religion in a depth that I had not been privileged to study previously. My studies of the works of scholars more intelligent than I led me to the knowledge that, if one wants to find written proof of the condemnation of homosexuality as an orientation, one must look elsewhere other than the Bible.

I’m sure that Kathy will not mind my recommending a book or two to you on her blog. So here goes: “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality,” by Daniel Helminiak, a Catholic theologian; “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism,” and “Living in Sin,” and “Why Christianity Must Change or Die,” all by Dr. John Shelby Spong, a world-renowned biblical scholar, now retired from the Episcopal ministry; and “Embodiment,” by Dr. James B. Nelson.

A quote from Dr. Nelson has sustained me for some time: “If [you] must find an important part of [y]our personal security in a status which depends upon the negative definition of those who differ from [you] . . . then [you] are living by something other than the grace of God.” Our churches may have robbed us of the fellowship, but we cannot allow them to rob us of our God (our spiritual lives). And we don’t need the congregation to have fellowship with God.

I try to adhere to a motto as well: “Be yourself. Never mind if someone else is wiser, greater, more useful; that’s not your affair. Dare to get out of yourself the best that is there.” (Harry Emerson Fosdick)

Hang in there.

[Reply]

Bill says:

Churches are not asking LGBT to refrain from sex, the Word of God is. To ignore or dispute the Man Woman institute of marriage as God’s clearly defined standard is too willfully do so.

By refering to Paul’s call for celibacy you make my point for me. IT CAN be done. However the act of marriage and the gift of a good woman is a blessing from God. It is His intended order.

I understand the sensitive nature of this line of thought and it makes me uncomfortable as I write it. Seems unfair, and cruel. But I refuse to accept the fatalistic thinking that so many experts are pushing on our dear LBGT friends. Again as true followers of Jesus we have access to the same power that raised Christ from the dead. To suggest that that same power is not enough to restore God’s intended sexuality to a LGBT is to suggest that Christ never rose from the dead.Why follow such a weak Jesus?

God is not denying sexual fulfilment to anyone, but as usual He is defining His desired structure for it. He says I have created the man woman marriage relationship for you to enjoy sex unhindered. Stick to this structure and the marriage bed will be undefiled. How is this different than any other rule God has commanded.

I don’t know why God asks more from some than he des from others. But no where in the Bible does it say life will be fair, or that all our struggles will disappear when we surrender to Christ. In fact it says the exact opposite. We will face pain, we will face struggles even unto death. However, He does offer grace and peace and the spirit to rise above and overcome. He does offer the promise of victory and reward in this life and at his return. Again is it too much for him ask a LGBT to remain celibate if they can’t work through a hetro union? I don’t think so when one considers the cross.

[Reply]

Tim Reply:

Having been married… to a woman… trying to deny my natural sexuality in order to “please God” I found just the opposite was happening. I moved further from Him. Sexual relations, when they occurred, were not enjoyed by me, they felt like I was being raped.

Most of mankind are sexual beings. We are not all blessed with the gift of celibacy. For those who are called to celibacy, gay or straight, I give them high praise.

I do not see anywhere in the Bible where it says ALL LGBT people must remain celibate. Every mention of same-gender sexual relations are either in abusive relationships (rape, pedestry), or as a part of idol worship.

Do you also call on divorced heterosexuals to refrain from sexual relations for the rest of their lives, since divorce is mentioned much more often that homosexuality? Most divorces in the US are not Biblically sound in my opinion, and Christ says that anyone who marries another after a divorce that is not sound is committing adultery (Matt 19:8-10).

Will you try something for me? Clasp your hands together, fingers interlocking. Then take a look at them. Why do you clasp your hands this way? Why is one hand over the other? Now that you notice it, switch it so the other hand is the dominate one… doesn’t feel right, does it? It’s unnatural for you to clasp your hands this way. That is what it is like for homosexual people to try and force relations with someone they have no attraction to. And by attraction I do mean more than just physical. Even among heterosexuals what one finds attractive, another will go “really??” We are all wired differently. Each with our own unique sets of likes, dislikes, needs, wants, and attractions. OR do you not accept that this is how God intended it to be?

You may interpret the Bible to read that LGBT people must remain celibate, but there are many who disagree with that interpretation. And it IS an interpretation. There are good arguments on both sides. I do not know which is correct. I can only lead my life as God gave it to me, and point others to the BIble to find what they need for their lives. I trust in the work of the Holy Spirit, not only in my life, but the lives of those who are willing to accept God’s Word.

I ask you to please enlighten me with a passage or two that LGBT people must remain celibate during their earthly lives. I do not read God asking that. All I see are churches pushing that on people for whom it is unnatural…. who even Christ said do not fit the paradigm.

[Reply]

Bill Reply:

Your “natural desire” is not the standard. If I were left to my natural desire I would pursue multiple female partners, lie, steal, cheat and basically live my life witout regard for others. Why? Because I am broken, we all are. Like it or not we are born into this world as slaves to sin and only surrender to Jesus can free us. By myself I don’t have the ability to fight these natural urges, but I do have access to the same power that raised Christ from the grave. Again, if this power can’t help you move into the proper man woman relationship that God intended, than it will help you to live a celibate life and Jesus said He himself will grant you the peace and grace to do it.

Do you beleive Him?

I do not intend to minimize your struggle, or that of anyone else. However I must again stress that to deny God’s clearly defined Biblical role for men an women is to choose to do so willfully.

To parse and twist scripture in order to try and justify same sex activity within a “monogomous” relationship is to put your very life and soul at risk. My heart breaks and I ask that the Holy spirit will help you to see the truth.

I also pray that the Spirit will continue t raise up churches that will be more supportive and loving as our friends continue to struggle with this issue.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Bill, after several posts and comments by you, I clearly get that we do not agree. You view homosexuality as a “behavior” and it is at that baseline premise that we part. It is an orientation not a behavior. What you do withing your heterosexuality IS a choice. As is mine. It is NATURAL for a homosexual to be attracted to the same sex as it your attraction to the opposite sex. I would encourage you, as I believe I have before , to go to my VERSES link and read. It may give you insights that perhaps you are interpreting the original language and contest incorrectly. Maybe. You are clearly entrenched in your beliefs and we differ right at the premise. Perhaps not in the Bible. But, what you come to the Bible with is not what I come with. You’ve have spoken your piece several times , not follow the Biblical directives and go. You will not change my theology and me-yours. We can each do what we are called to do. This is mine. Come back and read, but I cannot take anymore time replying to you. Only the Holy Spirit can speak to you on this. I think you are wrong at the very basis of your beliefs–that this is a “behavior”. Your theology has been built on wrong assumptions that have nothing to do with the Bible. Blessings on your journey in Him as will I.

Tim Reply:

So “south-paws”… left handed people, should be forced to use their right hand in everything as that is what the standard is. After all right handedness is 90% of the population so it HAS to be how God ordained it, and anything other than right handedness is against God’s intended order.

You, my friend, have much to learn about gay people.

Larry Reply:

We must understand that we have but one choice as followers of the almighty, JESUS the CHRIST, and that is to simply love one another as CHRIST loved the church. We who haven’t had this struggle at all, or have never known anyone who has confided in such torment to us, really makes us ignorant to everything that would and should be known! So let us all take a deep breathe and see how we may be of great help to those who suffer from the struggles. Let us remember that when we point one finger at someone, we are surely pointing three back at ourselves, now ponder that for a moment! It’s true that 95% of hetero individuals have had sexual relations either with two men, and one women, or two women and one guy, did the guy walk away from this, no! Why you ask, simply the feeling was overwhelming, could this lead us to believe or understand what the issues concerning one’s sexuality, eludes two, Yes the Paul the apostle, did say for folks who have a over active stimulation, to first recognize your issue, and take steps to control it, which I believe is a daily struggle. So is this not something to consider on some level of understanding human issues! When I was married I would loose hours of sleep just to make love to my wife, to the point of leaving bruises, I knew it was an issue, so I vowed to not let it overtake me anymore, I prayed and with my supplication , like all things GOD showed me the way, It’s important we all understand that this is the only way to gather the intel for the issue at hand. So I wondered, has the LORD chosen these individual to help hetero sexuals learn how to treat your spouse’s, Tt’s not like straight couple’s are without flaws, I mean really!!! Question – how many couples lived together before marrying, or moving on because of an affair, or whatever the reason being? Honestly, the hetero lifestyle isn’t without its own issues, maybe before they start passing judgement on others, they should get their acts together!! But as most Christians going to church today think they’re some how above the fruited plains, pardon the pun everyone! So in all things supposedly being equal, what is really going on here? God is very clear about judging anyone, but with licentiousness rearing its very evil and ugly self, the congregation, and the non believers abroad, feel this is the one thing they can hold against people, raise it up as high as you can. You know I have learned your little secret but you surely don’t know mine, kind of thing!!! This is in its most simplistic forum – CRAP If the word of GOD teaches us anything that would be love and tenderness towards one another, if you can’t accomplish this very simple task, look in the mirror, that thing you spend so much time in front of, ‘ASK YOURSELF WHY YOUR SUCH A PUDST’

[Reply]

Larry Reply:

We must understand that we have but one choice as followers of the almighty, JESUS the CHRIST, and that is to simply love one another as CHRIST loved the church. We who haven’t had this struggle at all, or have never known anyone who has confided in such torment to us, really makes us ignorant to everything that would and should be known! So let us all take a deep breathe and see how we may be of great help to those who suffer from the struggles. Let us remember that when we point one finger at someone, we are surely pointing three back at ourselves, now ponder that for a moment! It’s true that 95% of hetero individuals have had sexual relations either with two men, and one women, or two women and one guy, did the guy walk away from this, no! Why you ask, simply the feeling was overwhelming, could this lead us to believe or understand what the issues concerning one’s sexuality, eludes two, Yes the Paul the apostle, did say for folks who have a over active stimulation, to first recognize your issue, and take steps to control it, which I believe is a daily struggle. So is this not something to consider on some level of understanding human issues! When I was married I would loose hours of sleep just to make love to my wife, to the point of leaving bruises, I knew it was an issue, so I vowed to not let it overtake me anymore, I prayed and with my supplication , like all things GOD showed me the way, It’s important we all understand that this is the only way to gather the intel for the issue at hand. So I wondered, has the LORD chosen these individual to help hetero sexuals learn how to treat your spouse’s, Tt’s not like straight couple’s are without flaws, I mean really!!! Question – how many couples lived together before marrying, or moving on because of an affair, or whatever the reason being? Honestly, the hetero lifestyle isn’t without its own issues, maybe before they start passing judgement on others, they should get their acts together!! But as most Christians going to church today think they’re some how above the fruited plains, pardon the pun everyone! So in all things supposedly being equal, what is really going on here? God is very clear about judging anyone, but with licentiousness rearing its very evil and ugly self, the congregation, and the non believers abroad, feel this is the one thing they can hold against people, raise it up as high as you can. You know I have learned your little secret but you surely don’t know mine, kind of thing!!! This is in its most simplistic forum – CRAP If the word of GOD teaches us anything that would be love and tenderness towards one another, if you can’t accomplish this very simple task, look in the mirror, that thing you spend so much time in front of, ‘ASK YOURSELF WHY YOUR SUCH A PUDST’

[Reply]

Bob Young says:

Kathy, a gay friend sent me the link to the YouTube video, and from there I was able to find your website and blog. Thank you so much for being a voice for the heart of God in this! I can think of an eleventh myth you might want to add, or talk about in a new video and blog post. I used to be under the misconception that all gays were pedophiles. I would see stories in the news about men molesting boys, and I made a mental leap from there. I now understand that there is a huge difference between the two, but I’m also sure I’m not the only one who has made that connection. If people don’t see the distinction, there is bound to be an increased level of fear, suspicion, and hatred.

[Reply]

Bill says:

Thank you for your thoughts. Although I don’t agree,I hope t offer my ideas with the understanding that I love and care deeply for those who are LGBT. I freely and openly admit the Church’s failing on ALL matters of sexuality.

◦Being gay is not a choice- I don’t think you can make this statement. It has yet to be proven and it is almost impossible to back it up.

◦There are gay Christians- Yes I would agree that there are Christians who are attracted to the same sex and could b considered gay.
,

◦Gay couples do enter into long term, committed, monogamous relationships- I don’t doubt this, but the 2010 Census data had to readjust their numbers on this. Out of the 600,000 gay couples that reported as living to gether on the cenus. Only 100,000 were comitted, or in civil partnerships. It is not the norm

◦The church is not offering a model of being gay and Christian and leading a virtuous life- I agree 100% and lament this breakdown. It needs to change now!

◦Asking people to deny their natural sexual orientations is destructive- I agree, they do need the freedom to accept and be open about what and who they are.However, is it too much to ask a gay to abstain from gay sex for life? Jesus said if you want to follow me you must DENY yourself pick up your cross and follow me. For the gay Christian the challenge is to deny the natural desire for gay sex. And since the natural man is sinful man it must be sacrificed for Jesus.

“This is too much!!” I hear the crys of shock and anger now. But is it really? Jesus endured a most horrible death on the cross and total rejection from His Father for us, so that we may be saved and so that we may have a relationship with God. When we surrender to Jesus we are made new.

Although we will not be totally free from from the sinful fallen natural man until Christ returns, we do have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Are we really saying that God has the power to raise Jesus from the dead, but He can’t restore the proper sexuaity of a LGBT? Will He? I think He can and does. Will it always be the case? I’m afraid not.

Some dear LGBT may never be free of the same sex attraction and it is a cross they must bear. But the Good news of the Gospel is that they do not have to bear it alone. Jesus Said my grace is sufficient for you and that I will not give you more than you can handle. I think it is a small price to pay for ones slvation don’t you? it is a falsehood to try and say that “God made me this way”.He did not. Yes, He made man in His image, but we are all born broken, because of sin. That brokenness manifests itself in different ways. One of those ways I beleive is same sex attraction. This is a hard and painful truth and it is vital that the church learn to love and support LGBT Christians who are willing to accept the challenge of celibacy. We must be there ot love and support in every possible way. So far we collectivley have done a horrible job.

◦The loss of gay believers to the church has been tragic- I again agree whole heartedly and I am praying that this stops soon. However, thruth must not be abandoned in the effort to right this wrong. There is another way.

[Reply]

Tim Reply:

With all due respect, until churches ask all people to refrain from sexual intimacy for life, they cannot, in my opinion, ask that only of their gay brothers and sisters. After all Paul calls celibacy a good thing.

Of course, that is unrealistic. Paul also says it is better to marry than to burn. The problem with many heterosexual christians is, again my opinion, that they expect the LGBT community to burn while remaining celibate and not committing to another person when they themselves are unwilling to do the same in their own lives.

[Reply]

Brie Reply:

Bill: What day was it in your life that you woke up and chose to be straight? Maybe if you can elaborate on how you made that choice you can help all of the gay people in the world make that choice, too. I never made that choice. I was born being attracted to men so I never know what to say when they ask how I managed to choose to be straight.

I also wonder if you could elaborate on Biblical marriage and how you became convinced that one-woman-one-man was the answer. David was called a man after God’s own heart and he had a harem of concubines. Jesus was the son of God and he hung out with prostitutes and never got married. Ancient law says that military conquerors can take virgins as slave wives. Paul tells us that we should all stay single unless we absolutely must get married, and yet the church glorifies married life so highly that being single and celibate (which I am) makes us feel out of place and broken. None of these positions on marriage reinforce the sanctity (or importance) of one-woman-one-man.

I also don’t understand how verses about pagan ritualistic orgies or same-sex infidelity (or anything in Leviticus) are the foundation for condemning same-sex, monogamous relationships.

It’s all just too weird for me.

For all out there: For the Bible Tells Me So is a film that tackles this issue well from both sides. Rent it or watch it on netflix.

[Reply]

Naira says:

To be completely candid: YOU GO, GIRL!

I think it takes a lot of gumption and personal integrity to honestly and carefully examine our beliefs. Lots of people will probably go their whole lives accepting the same stories and interpretations of holy books their whole lives. Growth is a lot harder. We all know that physical growing pains hurt like the dickens, spiritual ones probably aren’t much more comfortable.

It was a pleasure to read something so well thought out. I plan to share this widely, with people of all faiths. The sad truth is that Christianity isn’t the only religion that has made LGBT individuals lose hope and start to despair. And even though this focuses on experiences in Christianity, I think it very much proves that compassion and understanding have no religion.

[Reply]

Stormy says:

Thank you for taking the time to get to know us as real people. I shared your words on my FB account.

[Reply]

Dr. Ted Hayes says:

In my 80s. A tribute to my late partner. Yes, we do have long, committed and monogamous relationships.

The love of my life has died at the age of 95. You probably didn’t know him. Truly, truly that was your loss!

He was the kindest, gentlest, most loving person I have ever known. All who knew him loved and respected him for who and what he was. As for me, my life is a thing of greater beauty and purpose simply because he was a part of it. In all our years together I was truly able to say every day, “I love him more today than I did yesterday.”

He was one of that rapidly diminishing group of veterans of World War II. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years. Fortunately, he never had to kill anyone. He was a great lover of all life. And, oh, how he loved animals. And he generously supported those organizations whose purpose was their protection!

He supported the community in many ways both culturally and socially. He supported organizations that were developed to advocate for the disenfranchised, the minority, and the poor. He never was in trouble with the law and never shunned his responsibility as a tax-paying citizen nor did he ever shirk any other responsibility expected of the citizens of our country.

A truly model citizen you might say? Indeed! Yet, many who never met him nor ever came in contact with him – mostly people who identified as Christian — demanded that he be both condemned socially and be denied equality of citizenship. Some even clamored for his death! Why? It was simply because he was gay.

He was not raised in a home where he was exposed to any religion. But I will tell you one thing: I saw in him a person much more like Jesus than many, many of those who sought to condemn him in the name of Jesus.

We were life partners for decades and there is a great void in my life because he is gone. Although known as a loving person, I never knew I could either love or be loved as deeply and completely as I experienced with him. As we prepared for his death, we talked about many things. One that broke his heart more than any other was the “Christian” attitude toward us. He never hurt one of them — ever! So he could not understand why those “godly” people so despised us and demanded that we be relegated to no better than second-class status in the country of our births. He never could grasp how our being married would have harmed another’s marriage in the slightest, especially since many of those who condemned us experienced three or more spouses during the time we were a loving, monogamous couple. And so we were separated without our loving relationship ever having been recognized legally as a family.

A democracy is defined as the “practice or principles of social equality.” That he, who loved, was loyal to and served his country — allegedly a democracy — was not granted equality during his lifetime, is an indictment against that claim. I will never forgive my country for that!

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Your post made me cry, in a good way. Part of the fruit of what I do will be people being able to love who the do and to be able to share that love with those around them as a witness to the beauty of two lives coming together. He sounds like a wonderful man, as do you. THANK YOU for taking the time to put this on my blog, I feel honored.

[Reply]

Carol says:

Thanks for answering. I’m glad you don’t need to know now. But for others…I’m sorry, it’s a step in the right direction, but for the wrong reason. That’s just not true acceptance. Who are we to judge?

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Some people NEED the steps and I really do fully understand. I come off as fully equal NOW, but NOT SO ten years ago. I could not have made this grand leap overnight. I took lots of relationship for me. The Evangelical context almost FORCES us to judge , hell/heaven, in/out, saved/not.

[Reply]

Liz Opp says:

Kathy!

I can’t even remember how I came across this post–I think from a link within an article that was posted on Twitter–but I’m glad I took the time to read your whole piece. Like you, I’ve been wanting to find a way to reach out to people who are genuinely wrestling with the issue of equality (including marriage equality) for GLBTQ people.

Without going into my whole story, I do want to say a couple of things, ask a couple of things…

1. Can I have your permission to print this post and share it with my Minnesota faith community (I’m Quaker–part of a socially liberal branch of Quakerism)? I also want to share it with the pro-equality groups I’m active in, as Minnesota gears up for the 2012 vote on defining [restricting] marriage as only between a man and a woman. (I see your PRINTER FRIENDLY button, something I’ve used before.)

2. There is a brand-spanking new DVD out, called “Catholics for Marriage Equality”–made in Minnesota about Minnesota Catholics. You and your readers can go to the Catholics for Marriage Equality website for more information; click on RESOURCES (there’s not much there yet). And the entire content (5 biographical vignettes) is supposed to be available on YouTube very, very soon, so check back from time to time…

3. Current research-based talking points for states that are engaging in the struggle to defeat proposed constitutional amendments that would restrict marriage (eg Minnesota, North Carolina) or to support the introduction of new legislation or ballot measures in favor of marriage equality (eg New York, possibly Maine in 2012) are available in pdf form and put out by Freedom to Marry.

4. I usually end up talking with folks about how we are all “socialized without our consent,” and how the socialization process indoctrinates us with messages about who to assign either stigma or status to; who gets to be rewarded or punished based on who we are; etc. Thought you and your readers might be interested in a larger view of the challenges that face any oppressed group, not just LGBTQ people.

Again, do comment here to let me know if I can reprint and distribute your writing elsewhere: I will include the full name of your blog and its URL, as well as the specific URL of the post itself (maybe in a shortened form).

Keep up the important work of witnessing to Truth and living according to God’s Love!

Blessings,
Liz, Equality Is Coming

P.S. The Quaker blog I maintain is The Good Raised Up

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Liz— GO!!! I write to get it out. just refer back to me so that there are MORE resources for people ; my site is FILLED with really great information. I will go thru your links in the am and THANK YOU for the info. I really appreciate when folks give me resources; it make me better and I feel like I have hundreds of personal assistants looking out for me. THANKS!

[Reply]

Carol says:

Kathy,

I like your article. It’s nice to read about people relating to other people and loving them for who they are as people. But there’s one thing here that is really bothering me, and I can’t NOT reply.

I don’t know if gay people are born gay or if they make a choice. I think they probably are born gay. But I happen to believe that it’s okay for gay people to be born gay or make the choice to be with a person of the same sex. Why does it have to matter? I think the “it’s not their fault, they were born gay” argument is sort of insulting. Maybe they were or maybe they weren’t. I just don’t think gay people need to have an excuse for being gay in order to be accepted.

As you mentioned in your article, we don’t really know if being gay is innate or a choice, and we won’t know until heterosexual and homosexual genes are identified, if that ever happens. So, if “that one issue (‘being gay is not a choice’) is the key,” what if, sometime in the future, we find out that people are NOT born gay, and they do actually make a choice? Will this make it okay to “keep the door shut and segregate?”

My wish is that someday religious people will be able to truly accept everyone just the way they are, not just those with excuses.

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your response to this.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I go down this route because in the “target market” for this article, this is how it is articulated. This is what the “argument” is. I even think sexuality can be far more fluid, but KISS, I told myself when I was writing this–Keep It Simple Sweetie!! In my mind, I don’t need to know now from where I sit. I did back then though, even it was only within the context that I understood which was choice or not. Hope that helps.

[Reply]

Kent says:

What a wonderful, thoughtful, knowledgeable article. I understand it took you years to come to your understanding just as it took many of us gay or bi people to accept our orientation. I am not a Christian although I was raised that way, and I doubt I will ever return to that belief system. Your article proves to me that there are good, caring and intelligent people out there that are Christian that I can be friends with and embrace our different beliefs without diminishing our person. Thank you for such a wonderful article.

[Reply]

Tj says:

I left the Church years ago because of the way I was treated as a queer. I was specifically asked to never return to a Southern Baptist Church because of suspicions that I was gay. I have never set foot in any church since then other than deaths, weddings, etc and even then I get nervous and uneasy. Thank you for reaching out to those who may be able to prevent others from giving up. I know that a portion of my self is forever lost without a spiritual life and I would hate that for others.

[Reply]

Kathy says:

I just wanted to say thank you for this. I am straight, but gave up my faith years ago when I felt the hatred toward gay people, before I even knew any of my friends were gay. Seeing hatred come from people who claimed to be Christian, seemed so… un-Christian to me.

I renounced my faith, and declared myself as agnostic to my family, which I tease to my homosexual friends almost felt like coming out (my dad got mad, my mom got confused and my sister tried to get me to change).

It even caused a rift between me and my father when California’s prop 8 was up for vote, though in his defense, a deep conversation with one of his coworkers who is gay, Christian, and has been in a committed relationship for over a decade, has changed his view since then.

This kind of open exploration and acceptance gives me hope. <3

If there is a God I think he loves everything he creates, and I think he would like us to take his advice, and leave the judgement up to him.

[Reply]

Christelle says:

beautiful. brilliant. I can relate closely to your journey- it just took me longer to reach the end result. I also became very close friends with gay and lesbian people who had and have more patience and love than I was use to in the evangelical Christian world. These relationships changed my life and caused me to want to seek answers and rid myself of the brainwashing that takes place in the evang Christian church ie “gay agenda”. My journey began with sites like JohnShore.com and then in meeting the most amazing human beings I have ever encountered and who happen to be gay… THANK YOU for this brilliant post. This is something I want to keep for future reference to share with both Christian and non Christian friends as well as to help me teach and declare that God does love all – homosexual and heterosexual- exactly as we are. THank you again…

[Reply]

Mary says:

Thank you. You are an amazing person to have the strength to challenge your own beliefs that way, and even more so to speak out.

[Reply]

CaityC says:

Thank you so much for posting this. I have a Christian friend who has been ostracised by his church because he is no longer hiding his sexuality and is finding his path very difficult right now. I have shared your words with him and hope that they help him.

I am not a Christian any more, party because of the attitude of hatred that pervades much of what passes for Christianity in my part of the world. It must be so much worse for those in our congregations who are LGBT if as a white, middle aged middle class woman I can no longer stomach the almost unconscious judgemental hatred that seems to be so much a part of every day Christianity here . Thank you for showing me that not everyone is like that.

[Reply]

Jeff says:

What an incredibly enlightened, intellectual human being you are. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts.

[Reply]

Hazel says:

Thank you, this is an ideal post for me to share to my Facebook wall, in case any of my Christian friends are paying attention!

[Reply]

jessica says:

i just wanted to thank you for posting this. it brings up so many important points. it is refreshing to know that people can recognize when they are wrong about something and change for the better. really. this post is inspirational.

[Reply]