Are you LGBTQ Affirming? Great! This article is probably not for you specifically. Let it instead be a resource you can share with friends and family.
Are you non-affirming and never gonna change your mind? Then this article is also not for you, so you can just close your browser and move on.
Are you non-affirming but open to changing your mind? Then let me share a few quick thoughts with you.
First off, let me ask you this: Why are you non-affirming? What is it about non-heteronormative that you must reject or, at best, tolerate? Is it the Bible? If it’s the Bible, please hear me out.
The Bible does not, and frankly cannot, speak out against LGBTQ. Seriously, it can’t. These classifications weren’t around back when the Bible was written. To read them back into the Scriptures is what’s called an anachronism. Essentially, you’re taking modern notions of sexual identity and reading them (eisegesis) into the text. That’s a no-no.
What the Bible does condemn in a few places are certain same-sex acts. Typically, they are directly associated with temple prostitution. Often, they involve rich, well-to-do men having sex with young (teen) boys. But any intellectually honest person knows that is not what the LGBTQ community is all about. We are all about being able to participate in loving relationships with whom we choose. The Bible doesn’t condemn that. The Bible condemns coercive, exploitative relationships. They could be gay. They could be straight. That doesn’t matter. What matters is the type of relationship they are. Loving = good. Coercive and manipulative = bad.
Still not sure, well that’s okay. A discussion about the Bible isn’t going to change anyone’s mind anyway. What will change people’s mind is relationship.
If you are still on the fence, have you tried having a friendship with a queer person? I mean, a real relationship without any agenda? I mean, not just tolerating them but actually befriending them in the same way you would a heterosexual person? If not, try it. It’s fabulous.
If you decide to befriend one of us, you will quickly realize a few things. First, we are just like you. We don’t have some “queer agenda.” We shop. We clean. We raise children. We binge watch our favorite Netflix shows. We take care of the yard. We work. Pretty normal stuff, really. What about that can you not affirm? Because maybe our sex looks differently than yours? Seems like a very specific and strange reason not to accept another human being, doesn’t it?
Well, yes, actually . . . it’s very strange. And very toxic. Not being affirmed because of who you’re attracted to, or what working parts y’all have, or whether you don’t fit as either male or female, has been statistically shown to be tragically harmful. Suicide rates among LGBTQ folks are higher than straight folks. Same goes for mental health issues in general. Same goes for poverty rates and incidences of homelessness. This should cause you to reevaluate your stance if you aren’t fully affirming. That is, if you are a decent and caring person.
Still not convinced? Try putting yourself in our shoes. Imagine for a moment that you were born gay. Imagine that no matter how hard you tried to “pray the gay away,” you just couldn’t. How would you want to be treated? To put it like my daughter does, “Would you want to be treated poorly if you were gay? No? Then why do it to others?” I couldn’t put it better myself.
Of course, none of what I have said will change some of your minds. But that’s because some of y’all are in the second group I mentioned above. And if you recall, I asked you to close your browser and move on. So, if you are still reading this, maybe you’re not as open-minded as you’d like to think. Or, maybe it’ll take time to process. But just be aware that the longer you hold out, the more damage you do to an already hurting community.
Your beliefs have consequences, and while you’re free to have them, you’re not free from the harm they may cause.
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