It was recently brought to my attention that June was LGBT History Month. A little late, but not wanting to be “out of the know”, I went to a Wikipedia article to get some history about this community and try to increase my awareness of the issues they face.
Without any firsthand experience, (I do have some friends and relatives who might identify with this group, but they don’t live close by), I really wanted to learn more about their challenges, and if there’s anything I can do to make them feel more at ease with their sexual identity.
After reading some about it online, I was getting very confused about these identities myself. Other initials have sought to be added to the list. There have been Q (queer) and I (intersex) initials, making the designation LGBTQI. There is seemingly no consensus about who should be included in the group’s designated name. Several others have been proposed. So, who knows how many other initials will be added in the future?
I know this will sound like an oversimplification, but I couldn’t help but wonder about this gender confusion. In the beginning of our human race, God had a very simple plan for our sexual identities. He made male and female. Genesis even tells us we were made this way in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27) His intention was for one man and one woman sharing their life together till death parted them. The Bible even calls marriage a reflection of our relationship with God. (Ephesians 5:31, 32)
I am not callous enough to insist that those who have differing sexual identities are merely confused about who they are. There are obviously hormonal and other genetic factors that play a part in many, if not most, of these cases. But regardless, let’s be willing to admit that we, as humans, have come far from God’s original plan for the sexes.
This is not to say we heterosexuals haven’t strayed from God’s sexual will in many other ways as well. We have and continue to adopt ways and lifestyles that leave God out of the picture. But God has always been willing to step in, when we invite Him. No matter what side of the gender spectrum we find ourselves, God never forsakes us. He’s always trying to find ways to reach us with His love and care.
And so, this is perhaps how I can best serve others who have often been misjudged and alienated because of their sexual identity. I can let them know that they can feel comfortable in my presence. If Jesus Himself wasn’t sent here to condemn us, then who are we to judge and condemn? (John 3:17 and Matthew 7:1) Yes, Jesus was a friend to all—thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors. He even put up with those opinionated, proud legalists.
We are ALL sinners. (Romans 3:23) We are all in the same “refugee boat”, if you will—LGBTIQ…and how about “C”?. That’s “C” for Christians. We’re in this world of sin together, hopefully striving to reach that heavenly shore, where true love and peace reign supreme. Let’s not let a little thing like gender come between us and keep us from our destination.
Acknowledgment: I’d like to thank to my daughter, Kayla Stanley, who challenged me to write about this subject and even gave me an outline of what I should include. I merely polished her valuable thoughts and ideas about the topic and hope they bless and inspire others, as they did me.