The following is an adaptation of a letter I wrote to a Queer Christian earlier this year that was later published on a friends blog. I’m sharing it here so that others may find it if needed..
Dear Beloved Child of God:
You may not know me, and I do not necessarily know you, but I see you and your pain. I know that you are first and foremost a Beloved Child of God. Grace and peace be with you in these times of pain and struggle. I’m sorry that your pastor betrayed you by spreading lies about God and yourself. I know that when toxic theology is thrown in your direction by someone that you trust, it’s effortless to allow that to shake us to our core. It’s also easy to gaslight ourselves and enter into a series of thoughts starting with the question, “what if they are right.” I wanted to share two pieces of scripture and a process that I find really helpful in moments like this.
Take a moment to breathe. Scan your body from head to toe to see where you are currently holding your stress. Is it your neck? Your shoulders? Your clenched jaw? Your tightened fist? Do what you need to become comfortable again in your own body. Your body is made in God’s image. It is a gift from God, it is Good, and you can trust it. This includes your gender identity and sexual orientation.
As you read the following passages, pay attention to how the Spirit moves within you.
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you dressed like sheep, but inside they are vicious wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Do people get bunches of grapes from thorny weeds, or do they get figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, and every rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit. And a rotten tree can’t produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, you will know them by their fruit.Matthew 7:15-20, Common English Bible, emphasis added
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.Galatians 5:22-23, CEB
Think about the words of your pastor or spiritual leader and how they manifested in you. Did they bear the fruit of the Spirit?
Now think about a time when you embodied your gender identity or sexual orientation fully. Think about a space where your gender identity or sexual orientation was known fully by others.
Does your gender identity and sexual orientation bear the fruit of the Spirit?
You are not alone. The Spirit of Christ is with you just like they are with all of the other countless Queer Christians around the world. May you be empowered by the Spirit of God here and now.
You are beloved by God and by us. We are here for you and with you in your journey.