Why I’m Sorry

The following post is from Laura Statesir, Director of Family and Youth at The Marin Foundation.

The arrival of summer means many things to Chicagoans: the opening of the beaches (sunburns), baseball season (Cubs/Sox rivalries), neighborhood festivals (bad cover bands), and the Chicago Pride Parade.  Gay pride parades bring many images and ideas to mind, but regardless of what it means to each of us, the Chicago Pride Parade is a significant cultural and political event that drew 850,000 spectators last year.

For several years now The Marin Foundation has participated in the Chicago Pride Parade by having an ‘I’m Sorry Campaign‘. The goal of the campaign is for individuals to come to the parade and show their remorse for the ways that the Church has fallen short of loving the LGBT community in a Christ-like manner.  We wear shirts and have banners that say, “I’m Sorry” and spend the parade sharing and talking with parade goers.  The goal is to let the LGBT community know that there are Christians who are sorry for causing harm and are committed to making things better.

I participated in the “I’m Sorry Campaign” last year and plan to return this year as well.  However, I am not your typical ‘I’m Sorry Campaign’ participant because I identify as LGBT.  I am not heterosexual like most of the other ‘I’m Sorry’ participants.  As an LGBT individual, why do I go to the Chicago Pride Parade and apologize to other LGBT individuals?  What am I sorry about?

I am sorry that I used to laugh at gay jokes and that I used the phrase “That’s so gay” in a derogatory manner. I am sorry that I have participated in gossip about the sexual orientation of people I did not even know. I am sorry that I believed in and perpetuated stereotypes and put people in a box. I am sorry that I joined in when my friends were making fun of LGBT individuals. I am sorry that I still have trouble using correct pronouns with transgender folks.

I am sorry that I once elevated being gay as the worst of all sins and made LGBT folks feel uncomfortable in church. I am sorry that I just went with the flow and did not research and seek God’s face on this topic earlier in my life.

I am sorry that I once hated myself for being gay and that I tortured myself by keeping it a secret for so long. I am sorry that I have had a hard time forgiving Christians in my life who didn’t understand my sexuality and walked away from our friendship.  I am sorry that at times I am still very bitter towards people who judged me and didn’t stand up for me.

I am sorry that hate crimes are still committed in the name of Christ. I am sorry that LGBT youth are still being kicked out of their homes by Christian parents. I am sorry that Christian parents are made to feel like their child’s sexuality is somehow their fault. I am sorry that in many cases pastors and congregations fail to support LGBT individuals, friends, and families in their churches.

And I am committed to changing this.  Are you?

If you are interested in joining The Marin Foundation for the ‘I’m Sorry Campaign‘ at the Chicago Pride Parade on June 30th, please email Kevin@themarinfoundation.org.

I’ll see you there. =)

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • http://adammclane.com/ Adam McLane

    Thanks for this post, Laura. I wish we, as a group of people in love with Jesus, were better at saying “I’m sorry” to one another. Wish I could make it this year. Hope God continues to bless others through the simple act of saying sorry.


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