Let me first introduce myself by saying this: I’m not your mama’s inspirational blogger. And I’m certainly not your standard queer radical inspirational blogger. I am masculine-identified Queer Women of Color who is also a ridiculously radical Lover of Christ. Now try saying that 5 times twice.
I like to think of myself as the most dangerous Christian in America because I sincerely and still believe everything I was taught as a child about how much God loves me and how He made me in his image. I believe that He knew me before I was born and knew exactly what he was doing. I can honestly say that not one hour of Youth Bible study, Grown Folks Bible Study, Vacation Bible School, Saturday Service, or Sunday Service was wasted on me.
I believe firmly in how much God loves me.
I was raised in California Baptists church which means that I was raised praying long hard prayers like a Southern Baptist and dancing in the aisles to gospel music like a Pentecostal. And I am still this way. I still love good church service. I still bump gospel music like its Top 40 hip hop. And I still enjoy my relationship with God. I study my word as often as I can and try to be an inspiration to so many of my friends that sometimes think God has forgotten about them.
I believe the operative word here is POWER. So many of us that have come into the knowledge of ourselves have allowed those same preachers and teachers who taught us empower ourselves through the word of God to strip us of that very POWER. We have allowed them to tell us that everything we learned was right EXCEPT in the case of being a queer person. And there are so many of us that are hurting behind this relinquishing of POWER. Especially those of us in the QPOC community.
I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had would queer brothers and sisters where, at the mention of God and church, a noticeable sadness comes over them. Where the light literally leaves there eyes. And it’s not because they do not love God. It’s the exact opposite. It’s because they LOVE God but they feel divorced from Him because they don’t feel comfortable in church. Or they automatically feel that every church will reject him. They have been stripped of the POWER that told them to Come to him ALL that labor and He would give rest.
Our QPOC community is affected greatly because so many of our African-American brothers and sisters were raised to believe — much like I was — that church was the center of our lives. For me, my family was at church, 80% of my extra-curricular activities were at church, and even my friends from school went to neighboring churches. It shaped my beliefs as well as being my hope and inspiration.
My experience was but a microcosm of what the black church has meant to our communities over the years. So the fact that so many of our families have been driven apart by the words and deeds of those seeking to strip us of the very POWER that they armed us with has been unsettling; it has left so many of us feeling that the very foundation that they have stood on has been pulled from under them.
It seems that religion has been used as just another tool to victimized queer people much as that same biblical word was used to victimize blacks generations away.
By trying to take away the very thing that was giving them hope it was believed that they would not have the fore they needed to move mountains and facilitate change. It was only by grabbing hold of that power and saying this is mine and you will NOT take this from me, that they saw attitudes change for them
In his book “In Search of Authentic Faith,” author Steve Rabey stated “America has always had its social, economic, and ethnic distinctions and enclaves, but until recently, many people still subscribed to the myth of a monoculture, believing that America was-or at least could be ‘One Nation Under God.’ Now, most people see culture not as one but as many.”
Over the last years we have seen many churches that were found on the Gospel of Christ that expressly state in their missions that they are inclusive and welcoming to all regardless of race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
Churches such as Agape Spiritual Church, Refiners Fire, Glory Tabernacle Church and Unity Fellowship Church are examples of churches here in Los Angeles that have taken the word into the LGBT community and been ports for those feeling lost and divorced from the God they love so much Day by day they are helping reclaim the Power that has been taken away.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of marching with Unity Fellowship Church of Long Beach in the Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade and it was amazing to see how many people ran up the float asking for the address for the church wanting to know where they could come for worship. Our people know that God Himself has not forgotten us even if others want us to believe he has.
So because of that I will keep being the church boi I was raised to be. I’ll keep shouting praying crying and believing. Most importantly, I will keep praying for more and more of my brothers and sisters in the QPOC community to reclaim their power and joy.
God does not.