Anthony: Hi I’m Anthony and I’m gay.
Church leader: Hi, I’m Joel. Why do you have to say you’re gay? I don’t feel the need to announce I’m heterosexual.
Anthony: Well I was thinking of coming to your church and I know that churches like yours have been anti-gay. It’s my way of checking if I’m welcome.
Church leader: Our church is open to everyone. Whether you’re a criminal, prostitute, alcoholic or homosexual all are welcome. We don’t discriminate.
Anthony: So my partner can come as well. We’ve been together for 12 years and he’s a recovering alcoholic. He’s been sober for 10 years. I’m very proud of him.
Church leader: Of course he can come as well, just don’t hold hands or tell people you’re gay because we don’t want people coming in here promoting the homosexual lifestyle.
Anthony: I’m not sure what you mean by the homosexual lifestyle, I think there isn’t much difference between our weekly lives and yours. Work, shop, eat, friends, family. We’re pretty normal really. Some would say boring.
Church leader: It’s what you do when you’re not working, shopping, eating or spending time with family and friends that’s the problem. We believe that God has only ordained for sex to be within the confines of marriage.
Anthony: Oh so you’ll marry us then.
Church leader: Sorry but Gods word says that only men and women can get married so they can have children. Remember, children deserve and mother and a father.
Anthony: But we don’t have or want children. We’re gay. We have pets.
Church leader: To be clear then, we believe the bible condemns homosexual acts.
Anthony: What’s a homosexual act? A drag show?
Church leader: You’re making me feel awkward now. I guess I’ll have to spell it out. Homosexuality is condemned in the bible it says man shall not lie with a man as a women. They shall be put to death.
Anthony: You can be put to death for having a snooze with another dude?
Church leader: No! It’s anal sex God condemns. Sodomy. That’s what God is against.
Anthony: You mean this all comes down to putting a willy in a bottom?
Church leader: Since you put it that way, yes.
Anthony: Thanks for clarifying that for me. It’s been a while since my partner and I did that. We’ve been together for 12 years remember. Mostly we just cuddle and sleep in bed, so I guess we are fine. This is also good news for my lesbian friends. I’ll let them know they are welcome too.
A puzzled look came over the Church leaders face, unsure what he’d just committed himself to.
© Anthony Venn-Brown
Author of A Life of Unlearning: A preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith.
NB: This was not a word for word conversation but it is disturbingly close to many I’ve had.
Good afternoon, Anthony,
I enjoyed that post of yours.
Also to note (and, no doubt you may have mentioned in other conversations with such blinkered and ‘phobic church ‘leaders’ [et al].), that as around 90% of the world’s population has been guessed to be heterosexual, and many men and women have ‘willy-in-a-bottom’ moments, then they must *also* be going to hell too. But then, God’s other creatures: animals that are *not* human, are allowed to get away with such ‘deviancy’ and ‘naughtiness’? Aren’t there around 400+ species on earth that’ve been discovered to have homosexuality in them? (but, I guess that they should be safe in not having to go to hell, as some people believe that other animal species do not have souls that would otherwise enable them to go to heaven — like us arrogant humans …lol).
Plus, the only *true* reason for sex is to have babies …thus, all the masturbators of the world will also, of course, be going to hell too. If it wasn’t for the ‘fact’ that non-humans apparently don’t have souls, then the ‘evil’ bee (and other similar ‘nasty’ critters) would also go to hell because, essentially, they masturbate flowering plants just so they can get pollen and nectar for the ‘ulterior-motive’ of nourishment (…why would any of us assume that they care that they’re helping to cross-pollinate? …lol). But maybe, as those critters are unknowingly helping plants to cross-pollinated, God may let them go to purgatory (aka: Earth?) instead of sending them to hell? (lol).
It’s all so pathetic what those blinkered self-righteous people think will ‘save’ them as opposed to the rest of us alleged ‘baddies’ …lol.
Now then, to add to your blog’s list of discriminatory experiences/comments/assumptions from/of others…
In the most, I feel that I’ve only had the ‘average’ discriminatory experience (eg: being ‘asked’ to not to give my late partner a wholesome peck on the cheek when he’d come to visit me for lunch in our courting days 26 years ago [while our boss was happy to have a hetero couple slather themselves in sloppy office-bound kisses — which actually embarrassed many in the office]; and being called a ‘chicken-shit poofter’ by a puerile travel agency franchise ‘manager’ whose slack staff-member my partner and I were going to report to the main company).
However, a few months ago, I experienced a totally unexpected nasty trolling situation in a Facebook post that I wrote on my page, by someone I used to go to school with, who used to be a friend, and used to have an open mind, but who I now think is getting the results of her days of teenage heavy ‘pot-headery’ and alcoholism.
In my post, I was close to suicide, as I wasn’t coping with a few things (my partner’s passing a year before, my cancer, and few other many things). I was blessed to have a lot of support from the post (one of the few really good things about social-media: the better ability to reach-out for help). However, that particular person said that she had nothing against me personally, but my bad luck was my own bad fault for the ‘lifestyle’ I pursued. I went to the ‘Messenger’ section to try to clarify if I’d understood her otherwise out-of-character post.
I discovered there that she’s found a group of new ‘friends’ on FB, who scarily believe that everyone in the Rainbow Community “now wants to include the P” into the ‘LGBTIQA+’ acronym (‘P’ meaning pedophile). This group also have a conspiracy theory that the government wants children to be vaccinated so the “proven” DNA that can apparently be found in all vaccinations, will turn boys into girls and girls into boys (that’s what she believes is the reason as to why her teenage son wants to change his physicality into a woman’s).
Needless to say, I blocked her.
I emailed ‘The Star Observer’ and ‘The Sydney Gay & Lesbain Mardi Gras’ about this scary group of ‘phobes, as I didn’t know how best to report that group (apart from the useless reporting to FB), but I don’t know if anything’s been done about that group.
I did once have an *indirect* discrimination that I wish to mention in my scribing here, as it shows how inconsistent and useless discriminating laws can be. I was blessed to be able to donate a kidney to my late partner nine years ago. His Renal Specialist and Team were wonderful (as is my Renal Specialist, who checks me annually to see how I’m going with only one kidney). Once I offered my kidney, there was no question, and all went well (indeed; I sometimes thought that he was able to wee better than me on some days …lol).
Nevertheless, the contrary situation is that while I was able to donate my kidney with no question whatsoever, I *still* cannot donate blood. Our relationship was monogamous (by happy preference); but of course, that means nothing to the Australian Red Cross, when it comes to gay men who want to help society by donating blood. Yet, my kidney, that obviously had blood in it, was legally allowed to be donated to my partner. ‘Tis a puzzlement. Yet, due to modern science and technology, other countries have allowed gay men to donate quality blood successfully for years (at least 10 or 11 years in Italy – which I discovered for a university assignment that I did in 2008).
Australia: ‘The Lucky Country’? Ha! More like: The ‘One-Step-Forward-Two-Steps-Back’ Country (…which has sadly been the case since [at least] 1996).
Cheers for now, and kind regards…
Hi Tony….sorry for the delay in responding. I hope you are looking after yourself and surrounding yourself with good people who believe in and affirm you
When will this guy ever wake up and be aware that Jesus never condemned homosexual people. For most of these black and white fundy’s.Christ doesn’t enter into their brand of Christianity. This is why I call them Kitchens. A label they like to hide behind. If you know what I mean?
No offense, but trying to get these churches to respect LGBTQ people feels like begging for crumbs. I know that change can happen gradually, but if they’re that clueless, I’d reject any church that doesn’t state upfront that they’re LGBTQ-positive.
Ah, very clever. but not very loving. Nor bridge building. To be an ambassador and bridge builder one must consider the other person’s perspective. Something like, “I know you consider homosexuality to be against God’s design and that the gay person is endangering their soul. So, of course the most loving thing to do is to warn that person. And also to protect impressionable children. Is that about how you see it?”
“Why yes, that sums it up, thank you for understanding.”
“You’re welcome. I know it’s important to you to uphold your morals and live by scripture.”
“I’ve dedicated my life to that.”
“I have too, dedicated my life to upholding scripture. So we have that in common. What do you think of … ”
You get the idea. Being flippant and intentionally shocking is demeaning. Showing respect and caring for another’s heart is Godly. I aim to be Godly. Inclusive. To extend an open hand.
a sense of humour is also Godly
The LGBTQIA+ people need to give up the lifestyle they have adopted and realis that God lovs the sinner but hates the sin. when one is truly answering the call of God to follow Him and accept His Son the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, thus becoming Christian, then and only then will God give you the power you need to overcome sin in your life. Continue in homosexulaity and lesbianism and the only distination is hell. Does that make sense to you people? I do it does or will some time soon. God loves you and so do I but I do not take it up the back passage.
Oh Raymond…..you have a lot to learn.
These might help you