I tell you I feel invisible in the church.
Invisible in the ‘traditional evangelical’ churches and conferences. Never spoken about, unless tucked away in a seminar as an ‘issue’. Too dangerous. Too divisive. No call to be prayed for, have my struggles acknowledged, someone to stand alongside me in the journey. Invisible.
Invisible in the ‘progressive liberal’ church. As a teenager you told me celibacy was the only way. That is the path I took. Now in a 67 page report about people like me I am not mentioned once. Invisible.
You nod sympathetically. You ‘understand’. Then you explain to me why I have to remain invisible, and return to your nice acceptable heterosexual life, where every milestone is publicly celebrated.
You are my friend. My church leader. My family. You love me. You support me in my journey even when you don’t understand or agree. But you keep me invisible.
There is One who I am not invisible to. The One who made no mistakes when He knit me together in my mother’s womb. The One who loves me because of who I am, not in spite of it. But because of your conspiracy of silence I went through hell to find Him. My body will bear the scars forever. And it breaks my heart that my brothers and sisters growing up in the church today are faced with the same wall of silence that I was.
Whatever your theology, surely it is possible to stand up and say to your gay brother and sisters in Christ ‘We love you. God loves you. We will walk alongside you in this journey.’ Most of you do this in private. Please do it in public. In your churches, in your reports, from the biggest stages. Remove the cloak of invisibility and shame, and show the world that we and they are beloved children of God.