Come Come Ye Queer Saints: Pride ,Prejudice ,Persecution.
As a Queer,Disabled, Person of Color, I have suffered much in this life at the hands of those claiming to act in God’s name. The message is loud and clear : You are not worthy and you are not wanted here. I am mentally exhausted by the narrative given and the harshness of its supporters. In other words, get straight,get white ,don’t fight and then you’ll be alright. With recent events surrounding BYU and the CES system, I stand in solidarity with my rainbow family.
Don’t get me wrong this message is not new. The issue of Pride,Prejudice and Persecution is an on-going ,never ending battle for freedom in a land where pain,suicide and broken families reside. My rainbow family is being slaughtered emotionally and physically each and every day. We are tired of begging to cut the shackles that the church continues to demand we carry to demonstrate worthiness .We are disgusted by the fact that so many just stand idly by and silently help the platform be pulled from under us. We are sick and tired of watching others bask in the privilege of a cis gender ,hedronormative ,white male centric land with blinders on.
This is not an issue of policy or procedure,guideline or honor code,this is an issue of humanity. It doesn’t matter how many changes occur or how the manuals are edited unless church leadership begins to change perspective. Church Leadership needs to claim responsibility for the blood on their hands and the hate in their heart towards the LGBTQ+ community. Until then no amount of changes that come from church headquarters will provoke any difference in attitude. It will simply be lip service from people who are cowering down to societal pressures rather than following the Saviors command to love one another unconditionally.
My rainbow family and I are not trying to flaunt our homosexuality,gender indenity and expressions that come with it. We are simply showing pride in who we are and who God made us to be. We want to give hope to those who are silently suffering so that they will have the strength to live another day. We are trying to save lives and for some of us we are looking to have a spiritual life. We fight to be visible in this community while most world religions have deemed the LGBTQ+ community to be unworthy, satanic and with having little chance at eternity.
We will not be erased. We will not be cast aside. We are not your measure of humanity. We are human beings just like you who believe in family ,community service and kindness to all. It is the callous thinking of society and church leaders that leads many to believe that somehow our lives are devoid of this and that is not of merit for our rainbow community. In actuality,we want it more because we have to work harder to achieve it.
We are grateful for allies who do not stand idly by. We are grateful for allies who not only protest with us in public media forums,but speak out in Sunday School and other spaces where our voices are not heard. We are grateful for allies who provide safe spaces and resources that not only keep us alive but give us hope. We need allies who not will only stand with us but will carry us when we are too tired to walk any longer. We need allies who will not speak for us but use their privilege to allow our voices to be heard louder.
Yesterday, I was stuck on a train as I watched my rainbow family march . As I tried to exit the train, a person called me the “N” word several times and I watched as people stood by and said nothing. It was not the words I was called but the echo of silence that pierced my soul.
It is this silence that allows hatred to grow and become acceptable in society. In contrast, many are being silent about the very issues that are tearing down humanity and building walls instead of more seats at the table.I am imploring church leadership, it’s members and the world at large to stand -up and recognize the suffering they have caused and work actively to do something about it.
We are tired of being second-class citizens. We are tired of being cast out of our families . We are tired of laws that allow for housing and employment discrimination. We are tired of not being able to even use the restroom without fear of retaliation.We are tired of policy and procedures that spread hate in the name of serving a just and loving God. We are tired of burying our friends who have died by suicide. We are tired of wiping aside our tears where joy should abound. We are tired but we will continue our fight so long as injustice and prosecution exists. Will you take a step out of your privilege and into the shadow of the suffering? Let us all press on……… until victory is won.