By Jan Shannon
I’d like to rant for a minute. I am not a community, I am a person. I do not have an agenda, I barely have a clue. I’m also not an issue for the church or society to solve. I’m getting really tired of the many comments I read every day that refer to the LGBTQI community and/or the gay agenda. If there is a community, I wasn’t invited, and if they have an agenda, I didn’t get a copy. Trust me, there’s just no such thing (or at least “they” haven’t told me).
I have never heard anyone ever say, “This white guy told me that” or “straight guys are like that” not ever. Why in the world would anyone think that all gay people know each other, vote alike, think alike, or act alike? That’s nuts! Some 9 million Americans identify as somewhere in the LGBTQI soup, and no group that large could EVER agree on anything!
On the subject of “community” there isn’t one. OK, yes, within the Spokane area, there are many LGBTQI folks who know each other and some of them hang out together, but within the gay community, well, there’s not always good community interaction. I was shocked to discover the amount of prejudice and bias between LGBTQI persons, and even the lack of compassion and understanding. I thought that all gay people would like all other gay people pretty much just ‘cause no one else likes us much, but NO! No, with this rainbow community there’s an awful lot of disagreement on how we should behave/dress/talk/walk, etc. Lesbians telling other lesbians not to wear makeup, gay men telling other gay men not to talk or walk so effeminate (whatever that means). Had I only remembered one very central truth, I would not have been shocked at all. And that central truth is…we’re human!! Humans have a tendency to push others down in order to make ourselves look better. Sad but true. And all us gay types, we are no different.
As a matter of fact, while I ‘m ranting I might as well include my “tribe” in my tirade. Other gay people, stop telling me how to be gay! Seriously. If I wanna’ wear makeup and high heels, that’s MY deal and you don’t get to comment on it (unless you wanna’ compliment the 4” snake-skin lovelies I own). Or how I wear my hair, or how tight my jeans are, or ANY OTHER WAY I FEEL LIKE EXPRESSING MYSELF! If you wanna’ wear cargo shorts and shirts four sizes too big for you, GO FOR IT! I have no opinion on YOUR clothes, why you gotta be dissing on mine?? Live and let live, or in this case, dress and let dress. I’ll do my thing and since my wife seems to like it, I’ll just keep on doing it!
And about this “gay agenda” that’s just silly. Even if you could find a boardroom large enough to get all us gay people in, it’s not like there’s some undisputed ruler of this group, (but if there IS, I have some strong words about how they are running it) so who’s writing the agenda? Besides, all gay people are into green living so if there WAS an agenda, we wouldn’t kill trees by printing it out.
I hope all you readers fully appreciate that I’m being sarcastic, at least a little sarcastic. There really is no gay agenda, and the gay community is well, HUGE, so not really a community in the traditional sense. And as Nadia Bolz-Weber has shown in her recent video, “We Are Not An Issue, We are the Body of Christ” gay people are not a problem for the church to solve. Gay Christians are like any other Christians; flawed human beings in desperate need of the grace of God, fully endowed by God with the gifts and talents that God gives to all people, and willing and ready to serve God in every way imaginable including as prophets, pastors, and priests.
Ok, I’m winding down. I think my blood pressure has returned to normal, at least until the next comment thread that includes these ridiculous references to the gay community, the gay agenda, and the issue of gays in church. Really? REALLY?? (uh oh, here I go again!)
Jan Shannon is a full-time seminary student at Iliff School of Theology, a wife, mom, granny, and gay Christian.