One of the greatest weapons we have in this fight for equality is education. And the world needs to know that while being gay is a part of who we are, it is not what defines us. We don’t define heterosexuals by their orientation. They are individuals… diverse, unique, and special. So it is with the homosexual population. Here we will discuss many of the truths and misconceptions about LGBT’s. (Please keep in mind that I am neither promoting, defending, or criticizing any particular point of view. The whole point here is unity. We can learn to love and respect each other as God’s children.)
Fact #1: Not All Gay People Have Sex
For some unknown reason, many people believe that if a person identifies as gay, then they are out all the time, having lots of gay sex with as many people as possible. There are some gay people who see their sexuality as a call to remain celibate. Being gay simply means that one is attracted to someone of the same gender. Many of these gay people who choose celibacy still believe that God created them as a gay person. But they simply choose not to act on their sexual desires.
Fact #2: Monogamy: Important to Gay People, Too
On the flip side of the coin, there are many Christians who believe that God blesses same-sex relationships, as long as they are involved in a respectful, loving, monogamous relationship. They people believe that the Scriptures have been misinterpreted over the centuries, falsely justifying the discrimination of gays and lesbians.
Fact #3: There Is No “Alternate Lifestyle”
The term “gay lifestyle” always makes me giggle. What does it even mean? Gay folks do pretty much the same stuff as regular ‘ol heterosexuals. We pay bills, we go to work, we go grocery shopping, and yes… sometimes we fall in love and have families. The notion that gay people are out to destroy traditional family values is absolutely absurd. This hurtful and harmful myth has been perpetuated by the religious right for decades. The point is, gays don’t want to destroy the lives of heterosexuals. We simply want the same rights as everyone else.
The term “alternate lifestyle” is harmful because it leads everyone to believe that the value of a gay life is less than ideal. This belief needs to be negated. In most states, a gay person has zero protection from discrimination in the workplace. No matter what someone believes about the topic of homosexuality, discrimination should never be encouraged. But as it stands now, millions of people could be fired simply because of who they choose to love. We have to fight against this.
Fact #4: Being Gay Is Not a Choice
Here is where many progressive and conservative Christians wholeheartedly disagree. Conservatives insist that homosexuals had an absent father or an overbearing mother. They may go as far to suggest that every gay person is being afflicted by demonic powers. They constantly put money into ex-gay ministries such as Exodus International and Love Won Out, preaching that homosexuality can be reversed. There’s one major problem with all of this: the people who claim this are straight! This issue is the one that distresses me the most. People are born gay! Unless bigoted Christians become educated on this fact, then all else is lost.
My first question is always this: Why would I choose to be gay in a world where gays are so condemned, belittled, and denounced??? Believe me, they easy way out would have been to change my sexual orientation. Then I could settle down in Small Town, USA with a husband, 2.5 children, a dog, a cat, a house, and a white picket fence. But you know what? God had other plans for me. The journey of realization wasn’t the easy road, but it was worth it!
The bottom line? The psychological world stopped seeing homosexuality as an illness decades ago. It’s time for the Church to follow suit.
Fact #5: Gay People Just Want to Be Loved and Accepted As Human Beings
People disagree on many issues, including hot-button topics. But love is one thing at which we Christians sometimes fail miserably. Isn’t it ironic that an entire faith could be built on love of God and love of others, yet… the followers of that faith miss the whole point. No matter where you stand or what you believe about homosexuality, know this: It’s ok to love someone you don’t agree with. Be willing to look past your differences, and even (*gasp*) celebrate them.