The Adelaide Gay Pride March 2012
Saturday, I went in the Adelaide Gay Pride March. Some might be surprised by this. I marched in my purple tights, black rara skirt, bright pink “I’m too sexy for my wheelchair” t-shirt and a yellow sequined balaclava. The reading group, that I am in, marched all dressed up with coloured balaclavas in support for the Pussy Riot band. Even with my head covered I knew there was no way I could hide my identity due to my unmistakable wheelchair. For me, I was also there to side with the LGBTIQ community. This is not suppose to be a “coming out” blog entry, yet for those who are wondering, I connect towards the end of the acronym—I’ll leave you to ponder that.
What I really want to write on is the treatment the LBGTIQ community receive from many Christians. For some time I have struggled with the way many people in the LBGTIQ community are treated by many Christians. Growing up as a Christian I was taught to believe that God loves everyone no matter what and being a straight family man was the “right” way to be. Yet, reading the Bible my understanding is, when Jesus was walking the Earth he did some radical stuff and also had a radical message of acceptance for all. He hung around with people who were on the Fringes and joined Feasts of the poor. Yes, poor in riches but also poor in many other ways too.
True, he calmed the sea yet he didn’t shy away from rocking the boat and going against traditions when it came to injustices. In all that He did He showed love for all and He calls His followers to do the same. So, it has never sit right with me how people can say “God hates...” certain people and call themselves Christians. To me its not loving your neighbour. Yes, God wants loving relationships with everyone. When we do things to stop this from happening, this is what we call sin, what goes against God’s wishes for us. We all mess up but this is where God’s grace comes into play. I have diverged a bit here.
For a long time I wrestled with how the church has treated many people from the LBGTIQ community, people who are on the fringes of society, and could not reconcile with this with the Jesus I know. When I hear and see one group trying to preach the Gospel to another group in a non-loving manner my heart breaks for both groups, which I saw at the march. When a gay person tells me that they left the church because they felt unwelcomed due to them being gay, my heart breaks too and I'm saddened. It is not the way of my Jesus!
I think God has been guiding me over some years to gain a deeper understanding of His love and longing for this community. I am seeing that the prejudices and discrimination faced by people with disabilities are very similar to the ones faced by people in the LBGTIQ community. Through forming friendships with various people within the LBGTIQ community, watching documentaries such as Scarlet Road and the series My Transsexual Summer, and recently joining a cross universities reading group delving into literature relating to Queer Theory, I have come to a point where I want to explore this more from a Christian perspective. Two website which I am finding useful in this understanding is Canyon Walker Connections and Uniting Christians GBTIQ Australian Youth. I am looking forward to researching this topic in greater depth and, no doubt, I will blog on it more in the future.
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