Yesterday I had the privilege of sharing my story as an openly gay christian for an untitled documentary due out at the end of the year. The film will tell the stories of over a dozen Black LGBT people from all over the country and their experiences in the Black church.
I know for some LGBT people the church is totally off limits and I can't say I blame them given how cruel most pastors and congregations have been towards SGL people. I was raised in a christian home and attended catholic school until my junior year, so my relationship with God became an important part of my development, and once I decided to embrace my sexuality I couldn't fathom that my being gay would separate me from the love of God. Although I was told differently I knew in my heart I was created in God's image and my life was not a mistake.
I know there are so many of us who are tied to churches because of family or tradition and we've come to expect and accept the rampant homophobia that's so prevalent today. I found out years ago that this was a hinderance to my spiritual growth and I had to make a decision to say enough is enough. I would no longer attend a church that had no problem taking my tithes and offering but would not accept me fully as a SGL christian.
People can debate all day long whether or not they think honosexuality is a sin, and to be honest it's not my life's mission to prove that it isn't to those who believe that it is wrong. But as long as LGBT youth are depressed, suicidal, and homeless due to religious bigotry and intolerance, I will continue to speak out against the dogma being preached from pulpits all over the country. After all the church should be a house of joy and not a house of pain.