Friday, March 8, 2013

The Importance of Allies

Yesterday reminded me of the vital importance of straight allies, especially when standing up against the homophobic culture of the church. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to those of you who responded to the article I linked to yesterday.

Today what bothers me most are the 100+ plus comments on her article affirming not just her story, but her assumptions and conclusions. Paul, a commenter, puts it this way: her conclusions “reinforce the wall around the sheep.” I fear that many will use her story as proof that homosexuality is a choice; parents can point to her as an example to shame their kids into “fighting” against their sexual identity. The ones who suffer the most are LGBT youth growing up in those types of churches and family dynamics.

This is why straight allies are so important. We need more people to push back against this mentality, especially in the church. Not to question someone’s story and experiences, but to challenge the notion that this experience can and should be the norm for others. To challenge those who are looking for even the smallest "proof" to validate their own ignorance about LGBTQ people.

Yesterday reminded me of something else, too. I want to be an ally to others who also suffer oppression at the hands of the world (and, so sadly, the church), but who aren’t necessarily in my demographic. This calling is how Christianity makes sense to me. Following Jesus means dying to self (i.e., my own privilege) and standing up for those who are seen as “less” in our society.

Once again, my deepest thanks for those of you who helped stand up against oppression yesterday. I pray I recognize the opportunities to do the same.

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