The Closet is Safer than Church

I’m what is called an advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people. What does that mean, exactly?

I’m as concerned for the LGBT group’s rights and respect as I am my own rights. I don’t think it’s gross that men kiss men. I don’t care if men or women marry someone of the opposite sex–in fact, I want them to be married. Preventing them from marrying denies them a lot of things that other couples have, and I disagree with putting a stop to it.

As a Christian minister, I don’t remember having a lot of friends who were LGBT. Maybe there were some people who were gay, but I didn’t know it at the time. I never had a particular prejudice against anyone in that group. I didn’t really think about it. I grew up in a very small town, and went right into church work. I was pretty sheltered.

Coming out of ministry in 2005, I started going to a state university. I met so many people and became friends with quite an interesting array of people. Everyone of my friends was different, and I loved them all. Amongst my friends were hippies, people whose parents grew up in Mexico, African Americans, sorority girls, frat guys, Honors Program nerds, tutors, etc.

Ooooh and I forgot to mention….GAYS!

I auditioned for a friend of mine’s play and as it turned out he was gay. Of course, not all men in theater are gay, but some of them were. And the gays were the most fun for me! We would call each other “girl” and give each other the bitchiest attitudes over minimal things.

There was a serious side to my gays, though, and a major reason we were so close. We were both excluded from church and looked down upon from Christians. I was excluded because of my new beliefs and because I couldn’t look at a pastor anymore without cringing with disrespect. They were excluded for a simple reason: they were gay.

I won’t get into too much detail over my friends’ pasts and the abuse they faced, but I can tell you this: if anyone with any heart had the friends I had, they would look at them as people, not as someone to despise or disrespect. If anyone with any heart saw the amount of anger, violence and “faggot” calling that was projected onto them, you’d stand by them and never let them go.

But, onto the real meat of this post…

Since leaving Master’s Commission/the ministry/Our Savior’s Church (yeah, I get around), I’ve had some people contact me who are gay. Some people are still closeted. Some aren’t.

Those who’ve stepped out of the closet and told their friends and families often have similar stories. If their families are Christian or religious, they’re often shunned, cussed out or called FAGGOT or worse. One of my friends was called a cock-sucking bitch by his mother. Another friend of mine was called a faggot by his dad. Many of their religious friends have shunned them. Some of them have religious friends who are only moderately religious or not religious at all and they’ve embraced them.

Sad.

It’s sad to me that “Christians” don’t embrace gays.

Maybe they don’t understand their sexuality, but there’s a lot more to a person besides their sexuality. In fact, just because a person is gay doesn’t mean their not a human.

Wow. What a concept.

I know, sometimes I’m sooo obvious.

I really don’t like that my friends have to stay in the closet because a lot of really rude people don’t understand their own Bible and instead weigh in on a subject that every Christian aligned politician or speaker or preacher has touched on with limited historical knowledge.

If you want a reference point on the subject, watch For the Bible Tells Me So. It’s a documentary. It’s such a powerful documentary that I challenge any of my readers to watch it and still be anti-gay. Seriously. I’ll give you a dollar if you watched it and can quote to me the entire scholarly context that they give about Leviticus 18:22 and STILL are anti-gay.

That’s dumb. I know. Just because you can quote something doesn’t mean you understand it–like the Bible. :p

I’m taking it upon myself to see to it within my lifetime that discipleship programs and churches stop doing “anti-gay” programs. I’ll explain.

I met “Sam” awhile ago, and found out that he attended Master’s Commission. He was accountable to his discipleship mentors about his feelings for his ex-boyfriend and they made him attend an anti-gay program. The program was made up of classes that taught him that his thoughts and feelings for his boyfriend were from the devil and he was demon possessed. He’d walked with Satan, so to speak, and didn’t give his life fully to God, which is why he had submitted to these temptations.

I want to punch those m*ther f*ckers in the nose!

Demon possessed??

I know THESE PEOPLE who are teaching him he’s demon possessed. I feel so disgusted that I was in leadership in such a group that allowed this type of oppression and emotionally violent teaching to go on.

For those of you who don’t support gays, lesbians or transgendered people (the latter is a group I think many people have a hard time understanding, especially those in the Christian community), think about this: If you’re a Christian, shouldn’t you fully support the downtrodden? Shouldn’t you stand up for those who are socially in a weaker situation? (by weaker, I mean those who are more prone to violent things happening to them if they’re public about their lifestyle–not weaker in any other manner)

Mary Daly is one of my favorite feminist (lesbian) philosophers. She says that the “classifications of heterosexuality and homosexuality are patriarchal.” I agree. Let me explain her quote.

Patriarchy is the main thing about Christianity that I despise. It’s ran by men, and women are secondary citizens. God is a man, therefore man is a god. In my experience as a reverend, women were respected only secondarily to men. Our voices weren’t heard if a man’s rose above ours.

For more reasons than that, I can’t consider myself Christian. The entire idea of modern day Christianity serves no purpose socially except to oppress women.

So, this patriarchy has set up and mastered it’s structure to oppress women and recently gays. Why? The Patriarchal Standard Male Christian is this: strong, ambitious, straight, a leader, etc.

Gays, lesbians, transgendered…straight women who are vocal and opinionated (ahem….ME!), straight men who are softer spoken, gentle, and not aggressive, etc are all the outsiders in that equation. We don’t follow the Christian normative behavior pattern.

I for one, don’t follow the normative behavior pattern for a Christian, which is why I’m largely an “outsider” even to Christian friends from the past. I’m outspoken. I’m bold. I’m bossy. I’m not afraid. I have some masculine qualities of leadership and ambition. I’m like Tina Fey in Baby Mama, when they’re eating the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and Tina says she’s kind of bossy and Greg Kinnear says, “If you were a man, they’d just call you a prick.” (or something along those lines).

Anyway, I’m beside myself with this post. It’s nothing but rambling and opinion. I better log off before the Patriarchy Police come shut down my IP address.

For those of you who DO think being gay is not a sin, and anti-gay counseling is unacceptable, pay attention to this recent article in Huffington Post on gay counseling in Malaysia.

If you’re LGBT and in a discipleship group, or church, and need help out, please email me at mycultlife AT gmail DOT com. I would be more than happy to provide a ride and a SAFE place to stay to you. There are wonderful people outside cults who think being gay is a wonderful thing. :) I hope you find some of those people here or where you are. Anyone who thinks it’s disgusting, an abomination, sinful, etc. is someone you should avoid.

Disclaimer for Haters: If you don’t like my opinion about this or anything else, take a hike. I won’t post comments about how much you hate gays. It’s unacceptable here. I like gays. I like lesbians. You know the drill. I think sex is a healthy thing–whether it’s before or after you’re married.

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Lisa Kerr

Lisa is a writer, editor and humorist who has been featured on the Huffington Post, Philly.com, New York magazine, and BreakThru Radio. Find more of her at: thelisakerr.com.

One Comment

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I’m trans and christian. But like you did some years ago, I’m evaluating my relationship with the “church”.
    It’s been a tough, tough road so far. You know the drill when you’re different.
    I’ve experienced healing services, anointing with oil, prayers, retreats, celebrate recovery, “christian”-based therapy and so on. and this was before I started the visible transition.
    My wife, my children and my entire social support structure is gone (at that time).
    You can imagine what trans people who dare to call themselves christian go through.
    And then when you do transition and if you don’t “pass”, you are an instant pariah.
    Try to use the bathroom in a evangelical church. My latest blog post is regarding the debacle that was my last church.
    I attended this “welcoming” church that I thought was awesome. Until 9 months in when a friend used the bathroom. OMG, you’d think that we ushered in the devil himself.
    I’ve collected the “wisdom” of the two pastors in a lengthy email thread that I’ve posted on my website.
    If you want to take a look at it it is here: http://www.ThisSuperGirlRocks@blogspot.com (you can edit this if you want).

    I have since found a wonderful church that doesn’t care where I go to the bathroom. The church is so wonderful that I sometimes ask myself if it’s real. I have some friends that go here as well and no of us get bothered and are really accepted as equals. I think.
    The problem with this great and wonderful church is that it is an ARC church plant. I’ve talked to the pastor about the problems I’ve have with ARC and the Rizzo affair, having just left HPC right before the affair surfaced. I even used to go to Dino’s gift to Mark Stermer – HPC at St. Amant (now called “The Church at St. Amant).
    Mark Stermer decided that I wasn’t worthy of anointing with oil to “heal” my trans-ness. He said that anointing with oil would imply that I was ill. I was not ill according to him, but demon possessed. He said he would pray for me, but not anoint with oil. (it’s in my blog)
    The pastor seems to explain everything, but I still have reservations………………
    Thanks for your blog, you’ve helped me tremendously over the past year, I see a lot of similarities in your story and the people I know. Stay strong and keep telling the truth.
    Thanks again,
    Caroline

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