We’re here, we’re queer…and we’re believers

//We’re here, we’re queer…and we’re believers

We’re here, we’re queer…and we’re believers

Society has forever tried to tell homosexual people what they can and can’t be.

  • You can’t exist and we will take your life. Indeed the last hanging of a gay man in the British Empire happened in Australia in 1867. Some African and Middle Eastern counties still have the death penalty for homosexual men.
  • We will remove you from our society and lock you away for your ‘crime’ of being gay every Australian state once said. But state by state that law was abolished; the last being Tasmania in 1997.
  • You are sick mental health professionals told us and we will cure you with electric shocks, drugs, aversion therapy and lobotomies. But in 1957 Dr Evelyn Hooker’s research demonstrated that self-identified homosexuals were no different in social adjustment than the general population. Finally in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
  • You can’t be proud of being gay or lesbian you should feel ashamed they told us. We hid in closets. But then we defied that, came out and once a year march in Pride celebrations to remind society and ourselves that our orientation is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • You can’t maintain long term relationships we were told and even in our own community some chose to believe that lie. But our relationships have stood the test of time and last as long as heterosexuals. Some twelve months, some several years and some a lifetime.
  • You can’t be parents or raise well balanced children they told us. But our families are as loving, supportive and strong as any ‘normal’ family. Some better.
  • For decades we have been told that you can’t be a Christian, religious, spiritual and gay. But in 1968 Rev Troy Perry dared to reject that belief and, a year before Stonewall, met in a lounge room in Los Angeles with several other Christians and birthed the Metropolitan Community Church. The gay Christian movement, once non-existent, has grown exponentially  (google ‘gay christian’) and 86 separate denominations in 46 countries now welcome and affirm LGBT people.

Some within our community preach the same message conservative churches do. Take your pick they say. It’s one or the other. You can’t be both gay and a Christian. This is not helpful, especially to young gay people growing up in a faith community, and we should reject that message whoever is preaching it.

Because we live in a democratic country. And in a democratic country you can live, love and be proud as a gay person and you can choose to be an atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Moslem or Jew.

We’re here, We’re queer, And we believe. Churches are getting used to the new reality and increasingly so is our community.

You no longer have to choose between your faith and your sexuality. An integrated, congruous life is a healthy life.

 

© Anthony Venn-Brown 

 

 

By |2017-02-25T06:53:17+00:00February 20th, 2013|Categories: Gay Christian|Tags: , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is one of Australia’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. His best-selling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith', details his journey from being one of the first in the world to experience religious gay conversion therapy, becoming a married, high profile preacher in Australia's growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, to living as an openly gay man. Anthony was the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b. He is an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy myth. Anthony is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International. Anthony has been recognised on a number of occassions for his contribution and impact including being twice voted one of 'The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’.

2 Comments

  1. CJ May 25, 2013 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Thank you Anthony. Inspiring – I will repost.

Leave A Comment

%d bloggers like this: