Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Time for the Church to Take Responsibility

Yesterday, the Tyra Banks Show re-aired the segment on gay teen exorcisms. The timing for this re-run seems very appropriate given the recent media attention to the high rate of queer-related suicides and violence that affect our young people every day.

In the segment, I share my own personal experiences of wrestling through a spiritual deliverance ministry and overcoming the religious condemnation that misinformed me to believe that I was unworthy of God's full love and grace.

I find the show's reappearance appropriate in this time because with the media spotlight illuminating the violence against queer young people, it is time for the Christian church to take responsibility. Anti-gay religious rhetoric spills out of the pulpit regularly. Pastors tell young queer people that they are inherently disordered and sinful and that they need to change in order to please God. For many, they accept that change is never possible, yet they are dissatisfied with that reality, and cut their lives short. Churches have sat idly by, silent, in this present time as we lament the loss of many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—all of whom are loved by God, without reservations.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Four Years Later: National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day and exactly 4 years ago, I worked up the courage to, not just come out of the closet, but to come out very publicly as gay to the entire university community at Azusa Pacific University, one of the largest evangelical Christian universities in the United States.

Four years later, yes my life is better, but that is not the message I want to convey to queer individuals that are struggling to break their way out of the closet today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Talking about Gay-Related Suicides

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals have been shaken up and upset by the continuing reports of young people taking their lives because homophobic bullying and an inability to affirm themselves as queer individuals. The reported number of incidents over the past weeks is up to seven, although I am sure the actual number of gay-related suicides is much higher, just unreported. The LGBTQ community is saddened and seemingly shocked by the rising number of reported incidents.

However, this is the continuation of an old trend—just never reported before in this detail. LGBTQ youth have been committing suicide for years. The good aspect of these is that at least they are being reported now. Although, many wonder about what will be done to help queer youth survive adolescence.