To be a Christian or a follower of Christ, is to show love and love one another. This is the second greatest commandment after loving God with all of your being. However, I am so appealed at how many members of the Christian Community have shown so much hate toward the LGBTQ Community members. I know not all Christians are this way, including myself, but I know that we are categorized as judgmental and hypocritical. I am taking a stand to say that it is time to make a breakthrough and bridge the gap between the two communities.
I am a Christian and I don't hate people in the LGBTQ community. Actually, I love them and I want to get to know the people in the community more. They are all humans just like you and I and they also deserve to be known. Even though they may look at life through different lenses, we should not treat them as if they are any less human.
I may not fully understand their ways and choices, but I love them. I used to be just like the stereotypical Christian who said "Love the people, but hate the sin" and then still turned my nose up at the way they were living. Yes, through high school I thought these people were the problem, but the real truth is, I was the problem.
In my Freshman year of high school, I almost was beaten up in the hallway because I said something offensive in class. A girl in my class has a family member who is bisexual and she was offended that I was running my mouth with such hate toward her and her family. Looking back, I realized my words and thoughts were terribly wrong.
Then, sophomore year of high school, I even wore shorts under my pants so that I would not have to change in front of a girl who everyone assumed was Lesbian. So many girls in my gym class did this and we even started changing in a separate part of the locker room. Now I realize, our assumptions about that girl amplified the stereotypes surrounding the LBGTQ community.
My junior year of high school, there was a guy in my math class who was dating another guy at the time. I used to judge and think this was wrong that he would ever make this decision. I could not even believe that anyone could ever be attracted to someone of the same gender. Now, I regret missing an opportunity to be his friend just because I didn’t understand his point of view. I could have avoided the stereotypical “judging Christian”.
I was a huge part of the problem. I was full of so much hatred toward a community of people without even necessarily understanding the hurt I was causing. I take full responsibility for my actions. I would choose to stop watching T.V. shows if there was anything about gay people in them. I finally realized that something was not wrong with someone who may not share the same views I did, but actually something was wrong within myself.
I thought about how I would feel if I was going through something such as wanting to change my gender. I would want people to show me they love me. I thought about how I would not want to be told who I can and cannot love. Some might say I have it easy because I am happy being a girl and I am attracted to boys. Others might say I am “normal” because I dream about marrying my prince charming and that is what is deemed socially acceptable by the society we live in. I might not know what it is like to be in their shoes, however, it is okay not to fully understand as long as love takes priority. I honestly admire individuals who are confident enough to be themselves, when being yourself is the hardest thing to do.
This thought really hit me when I got to know some people who are a part of the LGBTQ community. I like to see that they like to have, fun, laugh, and smile. Through socializing and getting to know different members of the LGBTQ community I have found that we share many common interests. For example, I know a couple girls who are bisexual, but they are some of the coolest people I have ever met. They both love Patagonia and are extremely adventurous. I would be lucky to be able to join them on an adventure.
I recently got offended when I heard someone talk about how they cannot stand people who identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ. This person was saying that these people should stop what they are doing and that they are going to hell. The Bible may say that homosexuality is a sin, but it also says many other things that Christians do are sins. No one makes a big deal about that. I sin over and over, therefore I am no better than anyone else. I do not believe that people who are a part of the LGBTQ community cannot love God or that they are going to hell. I know they can discover and love God because he loves all people. He wants to have a personal relationship with each person.
This was the first time someone made me really angry by talking down on a group of people. I usually just ignore it or maybe turn the other cheek, but this time my blood started boiling inside. My eyes became fully opened when a friend of mine told me about his sibling who is going through this first hand. My perspective was completely changed in one moment when I imagined living a life with the difficulties and trials he may face. He is so much happier now that he has made this decision to finally be his true self. This article was inspired by him because he is so strong and brave, his story changed my whole perspective. When I was sixteen I did not fit in with my classmates. I chose to fit their mold that had been created. The bravery this man has developed is an inspiration to all. The idea that a sixteen-year-old found refuge, and could overcome evil thoughts through making a personal decision to change his life is enough for me to believe we have a responsibility as Christians to love and support them, regardless if we understand it. We should all be there to love people who have beautiful souls through this time of change.
I may not always agree with the choices people make, but the truth is I don't always agree with the choices of others, no matter what community they are from. I recognize that not all those around me agree with my own personal decisions. The choices people make should not affect the way I treat them. If I call myself a Christian, I am called to love people the way Jesus did. I fully believe that Jesus would hang out with people who are a part of the LGBTQ community. I also believe Jesus does not squirm when someone who identifies as a part of the LGBTQ community comes to church, instead he is glad they are there and welcomes them with open arms.
I want to love all people the way Jesus does. I am a safe zone for all people. After all what would Jesus do?