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Thursday
Nov282013

The Chutzpah of Homophobia (and the blessing of *good* anger)

Every now and again I fall for it. I look at my Queer life against the background of a homophobic, conforming world, and I think, "Oh shit, what if I'm wrong?"

 

It happens. After so much time of being marginalized, I slip into thinking I'm marginal. I have been patronized or demonized with such assurance by "people of faith," I start to wobble or to despair.

 

It happens.

 

Then I remember the beauty of my connection to God, the way my spiritual and religious life supports me, the beauty of the faith of all my Queer connections in this world, and I just get angry again. Good angry, though. By that I mean, anger at people who have the chutzpah (the audacity) to dismiss the religious life and faith of millions of Queer people.

 

Do they really think that our relationship with God is somehow compromised by our being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning? This is what comes from their just telling us about our connection to the Divine as opposed to asking us. We have knowledge of God. The world just hasn't come round to inquiring about it. Their loss.

 

Religious, anti-Queer bigots are seldom shy about sharing their beliefs. Let's be as audacious and as brazen as they, but let's do it right. We don't need to judge someone else's status with God in order to feel right about our own. We can celebrate our faith and share its validity without debating people about the meaning of scripture or the traditions of oppression that have become commonplace in our culture.

 

If you recognize the spark of God in your life, but haven't yet fanned it into flame because you were called "wrong" or "sinful" or "queer" by people who didn't know that Queerness is something sacred, take courage from your own inherent link to God. Have faith in your faith. Trust in your truth.

 

Whatever you believe, whatever name or names you have for God or Divinity, the imprint of your faith in your life, even the questions and doubts you feel, proclaim it loud. The one thing the anti-Queer forces of the world aren't prepared for is our faith. This Thanksgiving be grateful for your bond with God and be grateful you don't need to dismiss someone else's faith to celebrate your own.

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Reader Comments (2)

David, I think your call for people to foster a relationship with God and to love others is a beautiful thing. The fact that you are calling a group of people who have been so marginalized not to judge their oppressors is so full of love and forgiveness. I have no idea what it must be like to be a part of your community, but I'm sure this sort of thinking is very difficult to come to without a faith in something bigger than you.
Thanks for this, and blessings with all of your work.

November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Cermak

A response to Jessica:

Thank you for your comment. It has given me a lot to consider.

I feel that we have no choice but not to judge. If we start judging, we just grind ourselves and everyone else deeper into the mud. Acts of judgement only recoil upon us. I can't remember a single moment in my life when my judgement of someone else didn't come back to smack me in the face very shortly thereafter.

I'm still angry, and that means some measure of forgiveness is still a ways away. In this moment I am urging us first to turn away from the oppressive voices and to stop letting them have power over us. I am certainly saying let's not engage them in an argument on their terms. Rather, let us speak directly from our inner truth so that we, they, and anyone else can hear us.

Some measure of empowerment has to precede forgiveness. One can't forgive from a state of total victimhood. Forgiveness means saying "I am enough. I have enough. I can let this debt or grudge go." We as a community need to claim our spiritual capital so that we can then forgive the debts of spiritual oppression.

Does that make sense to you?

December 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterQueer Spiritual Counseling

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