Everybody Is People Too, Part Two.
Part two-The LGBTQ+ part.
In my last post, I mentioned that I believe everyone deserves respect and dignity. I also mentioned that these posts will be geared mostly toward those that claim the Christian faith, but I also said that they can be applied to everyone. That is especially the case for this one. There are a lot of people that disagree with the LGBTQ+ community who are not Christians or even profess of any kind of faith.
The main purpose of this post is pretty much an explanation on why I think that even if we disagree with the lifestyle and sexuality or sexual preferences of someone else, we should always show that person respect and dignity. After all, nobody wants to feel like they are worthless or less than another or even not accepted. I know I sure don’t. It has actually happened to me under the guise of “not wanting to offend people.” For more on that, just find the two-part post “The Hypocrisy of a Trading Village part one” and post “The Hypocrisy of a Trading Village part two” you can get the full story.
So, here is the deal, we Christians and non-Christians alike can be very hateful to those who have a different sexual preference or sexual identity than us. This is something I hate about our Christian community. The whole purpose of Christianity is to spread love and being hateful to someone because they practice something that we don’t agree with is straight-up COMPLETELY AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT I BELIEVE THE BIBLE TELLS US!
Being hateful to another person may not necessarily be depriving them of dignity, but it still doesn’t fit the true purpose of the Christian faith.
So…if you are a non-believer and have been hated on by a Christian, I apologize. It should never have happened to you for any reason. I believe you deserve to be treated with kindness, so I am apologizing for that person. You are a person with genuine feelings and are loved by God.
Before we move on, I want to point out that in this day and age, if someone says they disagree with homosexuality, or LGBTQ, or pre-marital sex, or being divorced, et cetera so often people take that as hate. This is far from the truth (at least for any Christian groups I chose to hang out with) for most Christians. Yes, we disagree with a lot that the non-Christians (and even some other Christians) do, but we don’t hate those people.
I must add that sometimes…well….more often than not…we Christians preach against one thing and often end up “stumbling” and commit that very act that we claim to be against. After all, we are only human!
To get back to the idea of disagreeing and it not being hate, here is an example that isn’t a “Christian” example. Let’s take a vegan and a meat-eater. Both disagree with the premise of the other. Very few meat-eaters would go up to a vegan and toss a drink on them or punch them. Meat eaters think it is just fine to eat meat. Plain and simple.
A vegan (with the exception of the violent few that the media always shows) wouldn’t go up to a meat eater and punch them in the face because they eat cheeseburgers. They simply don’t care that much. It is a personal conviction for them. Now in a conversation with a meat-eater, they might give their reasons why they think eating meat is wrong and how they don’t like the fact that it requires the death of a living animal to be able to make those burgers, but they probably won’t say the meat-eater is a terrible person because they eat meat, though I would be ignorant to believe that that doesn’t happen. They simply present their reasons, and the meat-eater might change their mind about eating meat or not.
Christians (well, I would say most Christians) are like the vegans. A vegan might think it is bad to kill an animal to eat when you can just eat an apple the same way a Christian who believes the Bible might say it is bad to (have pre-marital sex, lie, steal, cheat, etc.) and present why we say this, but we also would go have dinner with the same people and even be friends…if we think they are cool, lol.
I hope that explains the idea of being against something but not hating the person.
So, I asked last post if you have you ever really just looked at people without thinking of their religious background, sexual preference, political stance, socio-economic status, and just saw them for who they are?
In fact, I remember one specific time, not too long ago. I met a guy at the mall when I was selling my Christian fiction books and my writing/journaling products that I sell for my business. We talked for a few minutes, and he was excited to meet a local author. It didn’t seem to bother him that the books were Christian fiction. I did notice he had some qualities that made me suspect he might not be straight, but that’s not a big deal to me.
Anyway, fast forward to a couple months ago. I was scrolling through Instagram and saw several of his posts about his boyfriend. He had posted several pictures of them together at his birthday, I think it was. They both looked so happy. They were smiling, enjoying each other’s company. I don’t remember if they were holding hands or kissing in any of the pictures, but I do remember that he mentioned the other guy was his significant other. I found it a beautiful set of pictures from this young man’s life. Just the fact that these two individuals have found love and although (because of my traditional religious upbringing) I don’t agree with homosexuality, I found it such a beautiful thing that these two had such a beautiful relationship.
Thinking about this real-life person and how happy he was made me think of this movie I saw when I was younger too. I was watching a Tom Hanks and Antonio Banderas movie about a lawyer (Antonio) and a gay guy (Tom) who were in a big legal battle due to discrimination. I really don’t remember like 99.9 percent of the movie, but one scene always stuck out to me. In truth, I forgot about that movie until recently, but the scene was touching. One of the main plotlines of the movie was that Antonio’s character hated gays, but he had to defend “this one.” One night he was at his client’s home (Tom), and they were having a conversation. Tom’s character stood up holding his iv stand (the character had aids and was very sick) like it was a romantic interest and started dancing, romantic music playing in the background, and Antonio’s character’s face softened at the realizations that Tom’s character was so happy in that moment. I think that was the turning point for Antonio’s character arc. He started to view “the gay guy” as just “a guy” who loves, who feels, who cries, who laughs, who hurts, who feels compassion, who gets angry. It was a touching moment for me as a high school kid…maybe I was in Jr. High, but you get the picture.
So, my evolution of thought continued. I started thinking of trans people and how they feel about things like sexuality and the such. To be honest, some of the trans stuff, I think is very silly…trans unicorn stuff…, but that doesn’t mean it gives me a right to totally strip them of all dignity.
Anywhoo, In regards to the whole LGBTQ thing, I have been doing a tremendous amount of thinking about it. How would I react if I started hanging around in circles where LGBTQ hung out as well. How would I really treat them? Would I call them by a pronoun based not on biology? Would I show the love toward them that I think I should, that I think Christ would? That train of thought brought me to the decision to write this particular blog post about love and dignity.
Why love and dignity, you might ask? I think loving someone and showing them dignity is synonymous. One can’t show love and not show dignity to that person as well. Showing someone dignity in this context is simply showing respect.
My general practice for identifying if someone is female or male is-like most people-based on physical appearance. If someone looks like a male, then most people call that person him. If that person looks more like a female, then most people call that person her.
This has backfired on me before, though. When I was a teacher, I would call all of my students “sir” or “ma’am.” One such student I misgendered. She was a girl but looked remarkably boy like. Haircut, clothing, body language, etc. It all sent the signal to me that she was a boy. She corrected me, and I never made that mistake again.
I say that to say this, sometimes things like this happen, but if someone is transitioning and they still look more like their biological sex rather than their non-biological sex, then I will call them whatever they “look” closest too unless, of course, I just can’t tell. I have had that happen, but this was way before transitioning was a common thing.
This brings me to the whole pronoun thing. I have thought a lot about this, and it is very nuanced, but I have decided…I’m going to be brutally honest and probably offend some…though I think the idea of more than two genders is silly (but then again, I think a lot of what people say, do and believe silly) and I think that trying to force others to abide by the desires of a few so their feelings don’t get hurt and bring a complete upheaval to the majority norm is selfish on the lgbtq+ side, but if I ever meet one, I will at least call the person by their preferred traditional gender preference (male/female). The whole they/them, honestly, I don’t know, I’ll might just keep calling them by name instead of a pronoun, not to be disrespectful, but to show them dignity and at least not proverbially slap them in the face by calling them a pronoun they don’t want. I think that is acceptable. But who knows, I might call them they, but then that could get so confusing and silly.
Okay. Hopefully, that didn’t offend anyone too terribly much.
So that is the evolution of my thought process in showing dignity to the people that I might disagree with. It definitely doesn’t mean I hate them. It just means we have different ideas on what is right and what should be acceptable. I have had a few good homosexual or lesbian friends, but I don’t think I have ever gotten to know a non-binary or trans person, though I do listen to Blair White on YouTube and love her stuff. She is actually an average trans person. Most of the trans people I know about are the ones I watch from YouTube and the such freaking out like crazy and becoming violent and the such, so they are probably on the far fringes and do not represent the community well. I think Blair White represents the trans community very well, though I couldn’t really tell you because I am not part of that community. It may very well be the case that all of those freak out videos are “normal” reactions that trans men and women have, but, again, I don’t know. I don’t hang out in those circles, but I do have a tremendous amount of respect for Blair White. She isn’t too far left and not too far right. She will definitely help you to see trans people as “people” if you don’t know any. And if all you watch are the crazy YouTube clips of them freaking out…that doesn’t help with the whole dignity and love thing. Check some of her videos out and see how an average, normal trans woman acts.
Very last thing before I close this blog up - and this goes back up to the whole vegan/meat-eater example - and this might offend some greatly, but I implore you to read all of what comes next before you make any final judgments. And thanks.
I had a discussion just a week or two ago (from the day this post was written) about this exact topic. A co-worker of mine had commented that the Bible says that God hates homosexuals. I had to correct her on that. Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say God hates homosexuals.
I explained to her that sin doesn’t equate to hate. If that were the case, then God would never have come down as Jesus to be tortured and die for those who were killing him. Scripture even tells us that while we were His enemies that He died for us while we were sinners.
It is true that the majority of Christians view homosexuality as sin, but there are also many Christians who don’t view it as sin. It really just boils down to a person’s interpretation of certain passages of the Bible. I must also point out that the Bible also calls lying, stealing, not honoring parents, having pre-marital sex, etc. as sin. The Bible even says that even thinking about having sex with someone’s spouse is sin, not just the act.
Sin is simply the inability to live up to the moral standards of God. To be honest, nobody can live up to His standards. That is why He sent Jesus (himself in human form) as the sacrifice to cleanse us from sin. It will take too long to explain the concept of the three-in-one God of the Bible, but just know that Jesus and God are the same being. Jesus in physical form and God in spiritual form-sorta. Lol
Anywho. Sin in the original language has the idea of missing the mark. So, it’s like we are aiming for sinless (the bullseye on a dartboard), and we miss it. That is what “sin” means.
Basically, it is humanly impossible to hit the mark, so we need a savior to save us.
That is all. Two things I hope to get across in this post is that disagreeing with an ideology doesn’t necessarily mean “hate the person” and that even if we disagree with something another person believes in or the such, we should still show love and dignity to that person.
I hope you enjoyed this rather long post.