Call to action.I have experienced, prejudice because of my gender, height, style, faith. Ignored, left out, belittled, condemned because of who I am, or how I look, or what I believe. Faced with walls in all directions rejected and/or put on trial by those I considered friends, by those who know themselves to be ‘right’!
And then I met someone who didn’t look at me that way, someone who encouraged me, mentored me, saw not only ‘potential’ but what I had to offer right now. I was given freedom to explore and test myself, space to reflect and inspiration to step up and train, and learn and grow and work and step into my calling. They spoke up in defence of me and, more importantly, made space for me to speak in defence of myself too. I don’t know what it cost this person to do that for me but on a scale of controversy I probably don’t rate that high, but they did it and I believe they would’ve done it had I the obstacles to the road I wished to take been bigger and costlier.
I want to be this person for others.
So I have endeavoured to do so, to speak and out for those I believe shut out, left out and downtrodden. But there comes a point when I started to feel like there should be more voices alongside those already shouting for justice. I have had conversation with individuals whom I know think as I do yet are unwilling to speak out, the cost seemingly too high.
I stood with Luke and Emma at the LGCM heritage exhibition reception on Wednesday and felt the weight of the privilege that it was to be invited there, welcomed and included.
When I sit with others who have paid the price of coming out planning the Christian’s at Pride march thinking how to show solidarity with each other and love for the church that has often rejected them, hurt them and judged them.
We are hosting Two:23, which is a national LGBT evangelical network, here at Bloomsbury on Saturday for their first gathering of 2016; where we will sing songs of redemption with a room full of people who truly know they are loved by God and redeemed by Christ exactly how they are, is beyond moving.
But I’ve been told not to stick my head above the parapet.
I look at my cost for speaking out for LGBT equality in the church, for Gay marriage, for the privilege of being asked to preside over the first gay marriage our church will perform. I am not sure how many other positions, churches or manse’s I will be asked to fill. It doesn’t seem much of a cost to me, even on the brink of trying for children, because the cost others pay for my inaction, or fear, or apathy will be much greater. I don’t seek professional martyrdom but I will if it is needed to help one gifted, trained and God called LGBT person to step into the space God intended for them.
Yet, what if all put up our heads together? What if we shared this blog and found the many out there for who the cost is too high and we all stood together as one. Showed those who think we are few that actually there are more of us than they think.