I think about Harvey's impassioned plea quite often. It whispers in my brain with both inspiration and reservation -- inspiration because, as an out woman, I have experienced what only coming out will teach you, and reservation because, as a Christian, I also know that coming out and purging all secrets can be a dangerous, painful prospect.
Religion aside, I firmly believe that those who argue that homosexuality is a choice do so in order to justify senseless beatings of gays and lesbians, and continued discrimination and mistreatment against them. I also believe without a doubt that it is a choice to be a nasty human being.
I won't love them despite their sexuality, and I won't love them because of it. I will love them; simply because they're sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful... and mine.
We are a refugee-taking country, not a refugee-making one. The unflinching truth that we must come to terms with is that these are Americans. These are our people. These innocent ones were born under the shadow of our flag. They were born into the promise of our Constitution.
Maybe puberty only happens once physiologically, and maybe no matter how hard I try I can't make lyrics from Dashboard Confessional or The Spill Canvas resonate the way they did in 2006, but I do know that I am starting to see what it means to be a person of faith who takes ownership of what they believe.
Anyone that tells you that our founding fathers intended this country to be a Christian nation, frankly, has no idea what they are talking about.
If more people have the courage and mental toughness of Daniel Pearce to stand up for who they really are, more rights, freedoms and opportunities will continue to come to those who identify as LGBT.
Religious radicals are marketers of mistreatment, and it's time to call them on it. It is amazing what indecent things some people say and do in the name of decency.
It's back-to-school season for most and stepping back into the scene isn't easy for a lot of students -- especially LGBTQ students.
In 2010 Tyler Clementi took his own life after being publicly outed on the Internet by his college roommate. His oldest brother James, who is also gay, is now an activist hoping to shape a world that's more accepting and inclusive of LGBTQ people.
As a gay Christian, I have only faced true discrimination for one of these identities. Here's a hint: It's not Christianity. When I tell someone I'm Christian, they don't come up with a series of offensive questions and remarks. I have never felt threatened or in danger when praying or practicing my Christian beliefs. Christianity is not an oppressed identity.
We may find it frustrating, but the relationship status between the Bible and sexual wisdom reads, "It's complicated."
Now, with more and more ex-gay ministries losing not only potential clients and political leverage but the monies that reparative therapies generate, there is a gradual shift from "curing" homosexual orientations to promoting abstinence from sex altogether.
Poet John Donne famously recognized the similarity of sexual and religious ecstasy. Born Catholic, he became an Anglican priest and the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, as well as a poet both bawdy and religious.
I sit at my desk again now to answer the question, "Why would I pursue ordination after all the pain my Church has put me and my family through?"