One of the things I’ve been trying to understand since the Orlando shootings back in June is the level of hate on both sides of LGBT issues whenever Christians get involved. In following different conversations on various LGBT related Facebook pages, I’ve seen this kind of thing go both ways, and the intensity and depth of the hate and rage expressed there can be soul-numbing. At the end of the day, as I see it, we’re all people, with the same right to choose how we want to live our lives, and if one group doesn’t agree with another group, there’s no reason right off the bat why this much hate should be the result. Call it naive and idealistic if you want, but it’s the way I see it.
Having said that, the events of the last week have helped me understand to a far greater depth why those on the LGBT side of the fence see us Christians the way they do. (Again, please understand I’m not trying to set up an us/them sort of thing here. I’m just not sure how else to describe it.) As I said in the last post, it had to do with my hair, but there was a lot more to it than that.
I live in the South, and I’ve had long hair and an earing for a while now. The South being what it is, accusations that I’m gay haven’t been what you would call uncommon. I’m not, but it’s actually something I don’t mind. The divide between the two groups is so vast right now, and if looking like I do means people think I’m gay and that helps to open doors that would otherwise be closed, then I don’t mind one bit.
This being the South, however, my wife’s family does mind, and as we’re staying with them as we develop a piece of property, that’s turned this into kind of a big deal. All of this came to a head last Friday night when I was told to either get my hair cut into a “man’s haircut” (whatever that’s supposed to be) or I wasn’t welcome back. There was no negotiating, no arguing (although I definitely did try). It was just final. Change a part of who I was or don’t come back. Did I want to? No. For reasons I’ve talked about elsewhere on here, my hair is a very personal part of myself that I did NOT want to change. But we’ve got nowhere else to go, and I love my wife too much just to up and move back to Canada, so I got it cut after spending Friday night in a hotel room.
I’m still angry about it. Making me conform to someone’s cultural stereotype just for the sake of appearances is one of the easiest ways to push my buttons (and this goes for making others conform as well). That being said, the point of this place was never to attack people, or even single people out in discussions. The point to all this is simply to say that I get it now, and I’m sorry. I understand, albeit just a little, why those in the LGBT community hate us so much. That pain and frustration I went through Friday night and through Saturday last weekend is something I never want to experience again. Rejection hurts. It really does. I can only imagine how you feel when we as Christians tell you that God has rejected you for being gay, lesbian, trans, and what not.
I want to make you this promise. Whether we meet here on this site, or on Facebook, or maybe even in person, I will never reject you like that. I never want to put anyone through the nightmare I went through last weekend. I won’t treat you like that here (and I don’t believe Jesus does, either). We may disagree, but I will always be respectful, and I will never reject you just because of who you are. I would also like to apologize to you on behalf of all those of us who call ourselves Christians who have treated you that way. No one deserves to be treated like that, or to feel that God treats them that way, either.