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by Lucy Gorman
On 5th March 2007, after dinner, I went into the lounge and asked my parents if we could talk. My Dad, ever the joker, said “You’re not pregnant are you?” At the time, I really wished I was, because anything seemed better than what I was about to tell them. I came out to my parents that night, and when given time to work it out in their own heads, they were and are completely supportive.
As a Christian, I know that this is not the case in so many families. I also know that there are so many Christians who haven’t even accepted their own sexuality, simply because they have been taught it’s wrong. This isn’t true, and in my opinion this teaching is a result of ignorance and a lack of understanding. I’m not going to get into the theological debate, because quite frankly I am sick of it. But I think, certainly within the Church, it is time to put the Bible down for a minute and listen to people’s stories.
The whole “Christianity vs sexuality” debate has lost its depth for some. It has become just an ‘issue’ to debate. I find myself reminding people over and over again that this is my life. This is how I love, what I believe, how I live my life and the equality I fight for. It’s not just another political, theological issue to debate; it has actual consequences in real people’s lives.
A perfect example of this is the recent letter published by the Church of England, stating that even though same-sex marriage will become legal very soon, the Church of England will not perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, or even bless gay marriages. I have been going to the same church for ten years: I know the vicar, I help out with one of the youth groups and I attend one of the church home groups. Yet I am denied the right to make a vow to the woman I love, in that church, in the presence of God. All because I happen to fall in love with the same sex.
I think what a lot of people, including many of the Bishops who signed that letter, don’t realise is that this hurts. I’m not trying to gain sympathy: I don’t need it, because we absolutely will win this fight. The Church have got so many things wrong in the past: slavery, divorce, and women in leadership are just a few examples, and eventually they will realise, they’re wrong, yet again.
I don’t know how long it will take, but until then, I will be doing everything in my power to repair the damage that has been, and is being done.
“Why on earth are you still a Christian?” I hear you scream. A valid question, I’d say, considering the amount of homophobia in the Church. It’s a tough question to answer, especially without getting too flowery, but essentially the reason is that my faith is centred on God. Not humans, not religion, not Church, just God. I never want to live without His overwhelming love and His hand on my everyday life, and it is my strong belief that God created us exactly how He wanted us, regardless of our sexuality, and God does not make mistakes.
Over the last year or so, while setting up an LGBT Christian Fellowship group in Yorkshire, I have come across some ‘interesting’ opinions, to say the least. One of my personal favourites was when someone referred to being gay and supporting LGBT Christians as “affirming genital expression of same-sex attraction”. Now I can take a wild guess at what they meant, but just to emphasise how ridiculous a phrase ‘genital expression’ is, even Google didn’t know what I was talking about!
This is the kind of rubbish that we as LGBT Christians are faced with on a regular basis. This is the type of rubbish that reinforces to much of the LGBT community that God doesn’t love them. And it is this rubbish that we aim to stamp out.
Lucy is part of the LGBT Christian Fellowship in Hull & East Yorkshire, open to all LGBT Christians whatever stage they’re at in their faith or coming out journey! For meetings and more info please visit www.lgbtchristianfellowship.co.uk
Photo by Hull Daily Mail.