Last week, my workplace held a session to reflect on what it means to be LGBT and to have faith. To think about God’s unlimited, intimate love for all of us – whoever we are. To give time to pray together and to reflect on what Jesus means to LGBT+ people.
I am privileged to work in such a place.
The prayer we said together, written by one of my colleagues, is here:
As I grew up, and came to know myself, I learnt how I didn’t quite fit into the world. A world built for those not like me – normal people.
In the tangled, layered mess that is our society structured by privilege, I do pretty well. I can’t imagine the experience of those queer folk – queer in the broadest sense of different – whose radical identities are routinely refused; whose heritage is one of the deepest oppression and pain.
Though I can’t speak for everyone outside of the normal, I want to learn – to be ready to listen, to bolster others with the power that society, through privilege, arbitrarily bestowed upon me.
I think that living as queer gives us all a power, however.
In the gospel of Mark, Jesus gives the second of his ultimate commandments:
Love your neighbour as yourself.
How familiar, how oft repeated, how beautiful. Jesus tells us to love God with all we are, the necessary extension being to love our neighbour unconditionally.
Love your neighbour as yourself. How powerfully this resonates with LGBTQA+ people. How many times have we heard the sentiment tacked on to the most cruel of judgements, the most unthinking assessments of our identities, the most bitter rejections of who we are? How tragic that such a pure message of love could be soiled when coupled with the most condescending refusals of how we feel ourselves to be.