Alrighhht, well, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything that’s not a picture of a tattoo or a bunch of gifs. So here’s an actual post. And it’s quite the coincidence that I actually have something I want to write about! CRAZY RIGHT
Ok, so as most of you don’t know, I spent all of last weekend in Wilmington, NC with one of my best friends from High School. I was there to visit and hang out for the weekend, and I also had two (solo) shows. I told a lot of people this, but I didn’t tell a lot of people that the shows were in support of a gay pride week that was going on in Wilmington.
My friend from High School has been openly gay for a few years, and she’s in a relationship with the president of Wilmington Pride. Every June they do a weeks’ worth of Pride events and I was invited to participate because both my friend and her partner really like my music. I toiled for a long time whether or not I should do it, for many reasons - the biggest, and most obvious, is that I’m not gay. hah. The second being that I like to stay politically unaffiliated. I really really dislike politics and everything that comes with them. I think it’s a huge mess full of crooks and manipulators, and I chose not to be involved. One day this may change, but for now I don’t want to pick a side. By committing to play in the festival, however, I would be picking a side by association.
This aspect of it scared me more than anything. Would this mean I was an advocate for gay rights? Would my face be plastered all over facebook as a musical guest to fight the fight for equality? What would my Christian/Conservative friends and relatives think? Would I have to have a speech prepared to give them if/when they asked about it?
It goes on. Anyway, I prayed a lot and talked to a lot of people, all of whom encouraged me to go. So I did. The musical events themselves went great (I was well-received, as I had hoped). It also opened my eyes to the gay community and their lives. Their beliefs. Their way of living as a minority. I knew this would happen to an extent, and I’m still trying to sort it all out.
As a Christian, I am faced with A LOT of things that I don’t know the answers to - that no one other than God knows the answer to. A huge one is homosexuality. Is it biblically wrong? Did God make them that way? How could a God who loves us and can control literally everything in existence make someone gay and then condemn them for it?
Obviously these are questions that can’t really be answered, and as a Christian in this day in age I struggle a lot with what I think about them. I have many friends who are gay, and I really truly think they have been treated horribly by the church. There’s a woman I met this past weekend who is a member of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). The topic of church came up briefly and she said “I used to go until I ended up having two gay children. Turns out the church doesn’t like that very much.”
Hearing that broke my heart. In fact, everyone I encountered last weekend had a similar story. Being in a situation that was out of their control (being gay), being terrified by the truth of it, and then being ostracized from their loved ones and/or community. Everyone I met had a story - everyone. It was humbling to hear because so many people dismiss homosexuality as a choice; that someone could easily change their mind and be straight again. I found this to be untrue, if not for anything but the hardships so many of these people faced as a result of their orientation. Why would anyone chose that?
Anyway - my friend and her partner hang out pretty much exclusively with the gay community in Wilmington, a lot of whom I met. We went to gay bars, gay events, and listened to gay music. I will be honest, I WAS SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE. THE ENTIRE TIME. Not only was I in a place where I was an outsider, but I felt like if they knew the truth - that I was straight and a Christian - that they would bombard me with hostility and questions. Luckily, thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Turns out a few people in the community are Christians and attend MCC (Metropolitan Community Church; a gay-sympathizing chain of churches). I also realized that their community is very, very similar to mine. I hang out with Christians, almost exclusively. I feel most comfortable and have the most in common with those who share my faith. I often feel like an outsider in the real world because so many people bash on Christians and want to pick a fight. I know it’s an ironic comparison, a christian community vs a gay community, but my eyes were opened. These people are being true to who they are, and surrounding themselves with those who most accept them without judgement. That’s as much as anyone would want.
They aren’t a group of perverts who sit around and talk about all of their gay escapades and try to find ways to corrupt our society, as they are so often made out to be. They are normal people who are trying to deal with the dealt they were given. Coming to this realization meant a lot for me as an open-minded individual, and confused me even more as a Christian. Why would God do this? What does it mean that some of them follow God but still lead a homosexual lifestyle?
This is all stuff I’ve been thinking about and trying to absorb since I got back. I walked with a parade (though not really be choice, hah) through the center of their downtown that shouted and chanted for equality - gay marriage to be legalized. They want to marry those that they love.
There were so many kinds of people there, and for a brief moment, even though I was in (more or less) support of what they were fighting for, I caught a glimpse of what God saw. I saw them and was filled with such sadness that I never knew - that no matter how much fulfillment and happiness they were fighting for, God could never love it. His love for THEM is there, unquestionably - but seeing them live their lives in such a way just fills God with so much sorrow, because it’s something they will never find real happiness in. Unless they find him, they will never even know real happiness.
There’s a great quote that I read recently by C.S. Lewis: “Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
No matter our orientation, we are all sinners in equal parts. We’re stumbling around this life, trying to make a sense of what and who are in our lives. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I know that I want to live my life for God. I want to the person that He wants me to be. I want to go where he wants me to go. It’s hard to do, but I know that I will never be full by living any other way. I pray for my fellow humans who experience same-sex attraction - not that they will realize that they’re living in TOTAL COMPLETE SIN AND MUST REPENT BECAUSE AHHHHH, but that they will instead seek out their identity and happiness in our creator, not their own self-satisfaction. He will lead them in life where they are meant to go. God doesn’t make mistakes.