A new website called Church Clarity launched today with the goal of encouraging churches to be clear about their policies about LGBTQ people. They don’t advocate for churches to be affirming of same-sex relationships or non-affirming; they simply want churches to be transparent about their policies. Here’s why this is so important.
Students are back in school now and, as always, LGBTQ students are on my mind. College is an exciting and terrifying time. These are the years when you admit things to yourself that you had to suppress before. It’s when we question everything we previously assumed to be true and discover new language for our principles. For some of us, the college years were a time when we thought we were the only person in our entire dorm who was too depressed to make it out of bed for afternoon classes.
I first heard about Amanda Hite in the Fall of 2015. My friend Dave and I were scrolling through Instagram over lunch when he suddenly squealed, “Oh my gosh! I have an Insta-crush on this super hot lesbian named Amanda Hite and she just wrote the most adorable article about coming out to her grandparents. You HAVE to read it.”
If you’ve served in leadership at a church or a Christian organization, policies about LGBT people have surely come up. It comes up when a lesbian couple asks to have their baby dedicated or baptized. Policies are questioned when a boy in the youth group begins to experiment with eyeliner. Leaders in the organization want to provide clarity, so they move to create policies that articulate exactly how LGBT people are allowed to exist within the community
No one prepares you for the lows in life. We’re well-versed in stories of triumph over struggles, but no one taught us how to go on living when we’re lost. We become drifters in different seasons for different reasons, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a community, a career, or sense of purpose.
In May of this year, I was invited by the InterVarsity chapter at UCLA to speak about what it’s like to be a gay Christian. The crowd was packed with LGBTQ students who came because they heard a lesbian Christian was going to talk about Jesus. Some came for the first time and some returned after spending some time away. They thought maybe this would be the night to come hear about Jesus.
Just when LGBT people started to feel safe to be out and open in public, our community was targeted for the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. And within hours of learning about the massacre at Pulse, we heard a man from Indiana was arrested on his way to LA pride with three assault rifles and chemicals that could create an explosion.
Russell Moore wrote an article today about the Obama administration’s move to protect trans students in public schools across the country. While I disagree with Moore on many topics, I respect him as a compassionate leader and I’ve appreciated the ways he’s challenged the Southern Baptist Convention to seek justice for many who have been marginalized. This article was uncharacteristically culture warry and fear-based, though.
We were in Switzerland and I was too wasted to find my way home. We had hitchhiked up the mountain to grab some beers, and it was all good fun until a guy named Josh turned to me and asked what I was running from back home. Since I didn’t want to tell him that I was a Baptist and a lesbian and a speaker for an ex-gay ministry