This piece has been twenty five years in the writing. It is possibly the hardest and most complicated piece that I will ever write, and yet it should be one of the simplest. In fact I should never have had to write it.
The reality for many, struggling to come to terms with their identity, is that before they even manage to dream of what they will become they are told that they are valueless. Children, not even fully grown to adults, find themselves faced with condemnation, rejection, mental and physical abuse, and death because those who created them decide the child doesn’t fit within their value system.
Within the LGBTQ community we are left to bury and mourn those who don’t make it and try to make sense of yet another life destroyed. We become angry at the waste, we rail against the communities that leave human beings broken and destroyed, and we fight so that one day perhaps there will be equality for all teenagers. We fight because all children deserve the right to discover who they are without censure or rejection. This rejection isn’t even valid. No faith, no matter how strong or how vehement, has the right to destroy another’s life. No God is worth the destruction of a child for the vanity of calling yourself “a person of good faith”. No afterlife can be bought at the price of the destruction of a life which you created but which is not yours to sacrifice. If you believe this to be true then you speak from your own vanity not from any place that is worthy of being called human. Either all life is sacred or none is.
Even the idea that became popular of “loving the sinner but not the sin” is a specious argument. Sin is a construct designed to shackle others. I don’t believe that any God, be it, Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, is worthy of even acknowledging if he demands that some are thrown away because of who they are and according to rules written down in a book that have been molested and degraded by man over the years. Either God created everyone equal or nobody is. If God is love then that love cannot come with conditions. If God is more than a social construct designed to control populations, then each of us walks with him alone, and no man has the right to deny access or judge that path. Love is an absolute and not dependant on genitalia when it is found.
As I write we are in the coldest part of the year. The reality is that there are thousands of young lives on the streets or in the mortuary because their parent decided their son or daughter didn’t fit a belief. A belief is not fact and so that life has been reduced or destroyed for nothing. There can be no valid argument for treating your child, as they discover who they are, as anything less than precious. If God is your creator then you, to your child, are God because you created them, and in rejecting them what a vain, twisted deity you become. How little you teach them of the good and the beautiful in the world. How easily and without feeling do you condemn them to hell while they are alive for the fairytale of your own righteousness.
You cannot love the sinner but not the sin because you have already reduced and restricted another living being in following that model. You have still passed sentence and judgement, still consigned them to a half life that you created. Unless you can say “this is my son/daughter and they are loved as they are” you have proven yourself not worthy of the name parent. If this sounds harsh I would invite you to remember who put what into whom and created that life. No child asks to be born, that is the decision of two adults whether intended or not, and until that child is an adult it is your duty to nurture that life you created.
There is good news though, both for children and their parents. We have moved beyond a point where homosexuality can be said to be anything but a natural condition. This is scientific fact. Science has proved that it can’t be ascribed to imaginary demons, to social constructions like original sin, mental illness, bad parenting. Science proves time and again it is a natural condition that is a benefit to society by proving members that can work for the good of the group without adding to the population burden of the next generation. We heal you, feed you, teach you, protect you, pay taxes for your benefit, and yet we don’t produce children who have to be fed, schooled, cared for. We are the workers who ask little in return except that we be allowed to live in peace and as equals valued for what we do. No demon, no sin, can be proved. We are a blessing you choose to curse.
In the end we are cast as sinners not for something which affects anyone else. We aren’t even truly condemned for who we choose to love. Parents around the world reject their children as unnatural and ungodly for something which occupies about one percent, if that, of our entire lives. You focus only on what we will do in bed. This is the elephant in the room. This is the judgement without reason and it’s one which you have no right to make. You presume to know what we will do sexually in our twenties and older before we are even sexually mature. To make it worse you judge us using arguments which you have no proof are even valid.
Let me tell you a little secret. Not every homosexual will want to engage in anal sex, but there are plenty of righteous believers who use it as a method of birth control or way to have sex before marriage so the girl remains virginal. Just as many heterosexual couples enjoy oral sex. What you condemn as unnatural in one is seen as natural for the other. That is just hypocrisy. The trouble is you do all this condemning before that person, your child, is even in a position to decide what is right for them. You walk into a bedroom of your making that may never even come to be and throw away a child because you have decided that’s what they will become. You toss away a life that could productive and beautiful because you decide that it doesn’t meet with your fictional ideal. All this for something that will take up one percent of their life. The other ninety nine percent is trashed.
Not every homosexual is feminine. That is the propaganda established by your church and your media. Those of us that survive fill every niche in society. We are law makers, soldiers, scientists, doctors, builders, and every other trade you can name. By telling us what we must be. By telling us we must wear makeup, be dissolute, be focused on pleasure not on being whole people when we are young you teach us what we should be. We rise to meet your expectation unless we have the courage to rise above it and become our own person.
You teach us what we are, you drive us to suicide, mental health problems, homelessness, or isolation. You see us as sinners to be loved and yet still rejected for who we are. What you forget is that you made us, you created us, you chose that not us, and you can’t return us. Yours is the sin of judgement and rejection against the truth that we are natural and valid. Our blood is on your hands. You are no better than Herod seeking to kill the infant Christ. But most importantly we are your children.
By choosing to reject us, you condemn us to lives less beautiful. You put us in harm’s way from drug dealers, from rape, from starvation, from disease, from abuse, and then say it was our fault. You make it our fault for not being what you need to be comfortable with your friends in church. For those of us who survive, we are the ones who love the parent but not their sins.