A sample of a texting conversation that I had today with a friend.
Me: My conclusion in life: wow! Some people are definitely worth looking at.
Leah (friend): Lol! What do you meaaaaan?
Me: Just thought that I would let you know that the most beautiful person in the world was just in my general vicinity.
Leah: Lol! Thats weird, I just called Heather (her fiance) and she didn't say you were in her general vicinity! :P Who was he?
Me: I have no idea. But that did not prevent me from admiring how he fit into his pants all the ways from produce to the check out.
Leah: Ahahahah you are just wonderful!
And an unfortunate realization. The world is not interested in acting in love to everybody, and as a result, the world is not interested in transforming itself into a better place.
In an unfortunate twist, many "straight allies" have taken the tragic losses of life in the past weeks as a means of becoming ardent war-hawks, intent on ensuring that people can no longer have honest discussions about homosexuality.
I witnessed this on facebook recently, where somebody I went to church with commented on a mutual friend's status update about bullying gay teens. The person I went to church with commented that he loves gay people, but does not approve of their lifestyle.
This is something that we've all heard before. Many times, for those of us who straddle the social groups of church and gay.
And many people instantly attacked him. Many straight people, whose experience as a victim of gay bullying is arguably more vicarious than real, attacked him vehemently. And my heart broke instantly.
You see, this person that attends my church is actually a young teenager, trying to view the world as he has been raised, but just intelligent enough to be willing to step into an open debate about the topic. He is asked questions of his position, and he provides honest answers. And he gets asked more questions. And they become more and more pointed. And more numerous.
And more inappropriate.
Its a form of bullying. Intellectual in format, and it forces people to become more and more isolated and less and less willing to communicate.
You see, these suicides have arroused a massive alarm. Finally.
And yet, it has also caused an incredible amount of anger that, rather than looking to console and change the world, wants to point fingers and blame individuals. This instead of welcoming them, discussing, and allowing both to be changed as a result. And somehow I have noticed that to be the attitude shared by our "straight allies".
For some reason, those people who went through the scalding and terrorizing reality of gay bullying for their entire life (and who continue to go through it) appear to be more interested in having a heart to heart; a life-changing discussion. Changing perspectives demands, absolutely demands, love.
To my friend from church: thank you for your honesty, and your willingness to be vulnerable. Thank for sharing your verses, for saying that you do not wish to condemn and do not condemn anybody, and do not claim to know God's heart completely; thank for saying you love gay people despite their actions.
To those random people who claim to be allies: I appreciate your support for the cause of putting an end to gay bullying, but if you can't love everybody then I am not entirely certain that I want your love. Everything we do must be done in grace, must be done in the interest of change, and must put us in an equally vulnerable position. Otherwise we reinforce perspectives of being cold, arrogant, and lacking in love. None of these things are good.
To my gay allies: May we never forget that we have an opportunity to transform the world whenever people are prepared to honestly discuss with us. It is our responsbility to love, accept, and offer ourselves as a response.
(and next time, why science is bad...)