Repentance is always required.
In leading up to this writing I have had a heavy heart and felt regret, sadness, and shame. For many years, I sat on the fence and even condemned those who identified as LGBTQIA+. I was wrong to be damning, and I was wrong to be silent in the face of injustice and inequality.
It was not like that before…
While in the evangelical Christian church, I was taught that anyone not heterosexual was doomed to hell if they did not turn away from their homosexual sin and receive deliverance. Yet, before that, I organically believed that God loved and accepted queer people as they were. In my high school freshmen and sophomore years, through a friendship I began to question my own sexuality. They were queer and at that time of my life, the most sincere, confident person I knew. Maybe it was all a facade to endure the bullies, which I could relate to. Regardless, their openness and liberation freed me to not only continue being a vocal black feminist, but to allow myself to reflect on sexual orientation. That was a gift and so were they.
Regretfully, after receiving Christ as my savior in my latter college years, I found myself wanting to be “good” and blindly towed the script that LGBT was sin. Then, I walked away from church after graduating from college and returned to loving and befriending and volunteering within the LGBT community. I remember feeling a peace during that time, a this-is-right feeling.
Sadly, when I did return to the church, I found myself on an awkward fence of indecision. Too timid to question it with Christians and too insecure to maintain genuine connections with my LGBT friends. I spent years in that position—not knowing what to believe and not knowing what to say. As a black woman, I know how hurtful indecision and silence can feel. I am sorry to those who observed my silence in the midst of your screaming; you did not deserve that.
Some years answer questions.
And 2020 was a year for that. There are many books about Christianity and the LGBT community, but I did not want to start there. One: It was overwhelming, but more importantly, I needed to search the scriptures — just me and the Spirit of God. Christ said that if I listened and learned from him that I would have such a strong foundation that hurricane winds could not blow me down. After the back and forth and teeter-tottering, I needed to be firm in the truth. I looked into the Bible and studied and researched and came to a sound place of understanding. I am affirming of LGBTQIA+ community.
Repentance is always continual.
This is a journey; I have not arrived. Honestly, I mess up often. In my heartfelt desire to be an ally, I am continuing to listen and listen and listen and speak up with you.
In real love,