Last December, I wrote a response to gay rights activist Dan Savage’s challenge for LGBTQ-affirming Christians to stop telling him “We’re Not All Like That” and start telling other Christians. Since then, progressive Christian blogger and author John Shore has partnered with Savage to launch The NALT Christians project.
I feel like Savage has addressed the parts of his original challenge that I found most problematic. He specifically acknowledged the existence of LGBTQ Christians in his introductory video (embedded above), and the project partners with Truth Wins Out, a gay-led Christian organization. I’m fully in favor of this project. I’d love to see it become as big as It Gets Better.
But, going back to my original reservations, I’d like to add a challenge of my own.
To Christian LGBTQ allies: Don’t play into the LGBTQ/Christian false dichotomy. When you “reach out” to the LGBTQ community, please recognize that you don’t have to reach as far as you think.
We’re not The Other. We’re not broken. We’re not washed and waiting. We’re not lost souls out there in The World that you need to bring to Christ. We’re not The Unsaved or The Unchurched. You want to reach out to us? Look in the pew you’re sitting in. There we are. There I am.
I am the little girl in Sunday School who’s always the first to raise her hand. I am the girl who gets the lead solo in the Christmas pageant every year. I am the teenager who plays piano for the worship service every fourth Sunday. I am the lady who hosts a small group in her home. I am the teacher in your kids’ Children’s Church. I am the Facebook friend who posts Rachel Held Evans‘ articles on your news feed all the time. I am the friend who prays for you and with you every time you ask. I am Mary Lambert. I am Jason Collins. I am a Christian, and I am not an LGBTQ ally. I AM queer, and I am here.
And a lot of us are like that.