Our state legislature is again attempting to pass a resolution that will put a referendum on the ballot in November making same-sex marriage even more illegal than it is now. (There’s already a law against it.)
Once again this legislation puts my worth as a human being up for public debate— in the statehouse, in the media, and among the citizens of Indiana.
Sure, you’d think after being an out lesbian for more than thirty years none of this would even faze me. Same stuff, different day. You would think I might have gotten used to it by now. But you’d be wrong. Yeah, this has all happened before, but it still hurts just as much as it did the first time.
The people who get indignant when they are called homophobic or intolerant are answering questions about people like me every day, perhaps not as explicitly as they used to, but those of us paying attention can still hear the subtext even if the spoken and written words are not always as blatant as they once were. Here’s a simplified version of the ongoing debate.
I am a citizen who should be granted the same rights as any other citizen.
No, your rights should be curtailed because you are different than other citizens, in a shameful way.
I am a child of God, created in God’s image. God loves me as I am.
No, perhaps you were created in God’s image but you have since perverted that image by surrendering to the evil that manifests itself as your own sexual desire.
I love kids, and I’m good with them, too.
No, your very presence in children’s lives endangers them and makes them more likely to succumb to a similar perversion. We will continue to protect our children by teaching them to avoid you.
When I make love to my partner I am communicating the depth and breadth of my astonishing love for her.
No, you are basically perpetrating a sick act upon each other, a transgression equivalent to having sex with a child or an animal.
I am a Christian.
No, you cannot be gay and also Christian. You are a special kind of sinner who is not worthy of sharing fellowship in Christ and we do not welcome your presence. Just read the Bible, it’s all right there.
Do I believe these responses? No. I don’t think I’d still be alive if I did. But it doesn’t matter whether I believe them or not. These words and their related actions cause me to exist in a state of permanent, and often blinding woundedness. They cut like a hundred razor blades creating injury to my body and soul. Wounds upon wounds upon wounds.
Sometimes I can forget about it for a while. Most of the time I can act normal. Sometimes I can even convince myself that it doesn’t bother me. But not at times like this, when my state legislature presumptuously deems itself a sufficient authority to rule on my value. Not times like this.
Sometimes I’m just not okay and can’t act like I am. You need to know this about me.
Even though I feel called to walk confidently, compassionately, and humbly toward the certain future of love, in practice it means walking right into that which threatens to ruin what is best in me.
Pray that I can continue to surrender to Her grace. Pray that I can find the forgiveness necessary to honestly profess my love for all people, even those who injure me. Pray that I can know in my heart She loves us all with abandon.
And maybe we can also pray that the people wielding the razor blades will stop confusing them with shields, and finally come to know them as the weapons they are.