Although Christians are followers of a perfect being, we are anything but without blemishes. The body of Christ is divided in many ways. An example of this division is the Bible thumpers vs. the Bible holders.
Today I was on my way to rehearse a scene with my crew. On the way up the slopes to my class I passed a crowd of students. The students were standing in front of a platform in which a few middle aged males held large signs that read, “Repent of your sins. Jesus saves you from hell” or “Adulators, homosexuals, and fornicators will all burn in hell” as I saw the scene I rolled my eyes and went to rehearsal. I have seen these men semester after semester stand on platforms and condemn people to a hell that they think they created. Every semester the reaction to this display worsens.
After my rehearsal I went to my Queer Identities class where we learned about transgender people and the obstacles that they face in the American society. One study in 2011 showed that the life expectancy of a trans woman was 23. This expectancy is low due to murders and suicide. After my favorite class I left my queer mates and proceeded to go to my next class, but I never made it. The crowd had worsened. I saw a familiar classmate and sister in Christ and I went to her to ask about what happened. She explained that things had gotten out of hand. I could see the terror on her face. She said that the men with the signs were yelling at people and that there were Christian students battling it with other Christians because they did not agree with the way the men were witnessing to non-believers. I explained to her that every semester the crowd reacts worse and worse to this “witnessing” and that I had never seen it this bad. There were students behind the men holding up their own signs that said things from “God loves all” to “Go Falcons!” My classmate left with her jaw pulling from the ground. I stayed.
I was at ease about the situation because I had seen it before but something was different. Then I saw it. A young lady from the crowd parted through the middle to the stage with a rainbow flag draped over her. She received applause from her family. At that point I knew I couldn’t leave. I went over to a table behind the crowd for support and I watched. My fellow classmate from my Queer Identities class was one of the individuals that gathered around the rainbow flag and a trans woman cheered and everyone applauded as they battled it out against the radical Christians. I leaned against the table with clenched jaws. It was painful to watch the people that I love: my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ and my queer family act this way towards one another. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.
The library is a few feet across from the platform. I went inside and logged in on a computer. It was time to make my own sign. Before I began to type I said a prayer asking that God’s will be done. My sign read,
“I love ALL QUEERS.
I once was a lesbian.
God had a different plan.
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I printed it and headed back out to the crowd. I walked directly onto the platform and held my sign high over my head with both hands. I moved it from side to side slowly so that people could read it. My font was small so the crowd had to deliberately look at it to read what it said. A young lady asked me,
“So you’re not a lesbian anymore?”
I said, “No, but I’m not straight either.”
“What do you think God’s plan for you is?”
“To submit my life to him because I was comfortable doing my own thing. I’m still attracted to women and I might always be but I had to submit to His Will. When I did that, He didn’t change me to be heterosexual; He changed me so that I could be holy. Everyone has to suffer something for Christ, whether it is adultery or fornication, we all have to give up something for Christ and my suffering just happens to be lesbianism.”
Seemingly satisfied with my responses she hid in the crowd and I continued to display my sign. My queer family had already moved from the stage to the crowd and they were grouped together holding a sign that promoted the upcoming drag show. When my classmate from my Queer Identities class read my sign his reaction was humorous. Or perhaps he found me humorous. But I just looked at him and smiled because I had nothing but love to share. On the platform with me one of the men were calling my family out, saying that,
“Your behavior is the exact reason why your city, Sodom and Gomorrah were burned down.”
I didn’t approve of his words. I tried to get his attention and a couple of the people on the platform with me tried to get him to look my way. Finally I got him to glance at my sign. At first he glanced and then rolled his eyes and turned away. Something on my sign caused him to go back and read again and then say,
“Well amen to that.”
I said, “It’s all about love.”
“It’s about repentance.”
“Love is first. Love is first.”
He began to yell at the crowd again and I raised my sign as high as I could. After a few minutes my arms felt tired and I realized I had accomplished all that I would. I brought my sign down and put it in my Queer Identities binder. I slowly put it into my bag as I watched two girls jump down the throat of the man I had interacted with. One of the students was saying that he is an embarrassment to her religion. She said that what he was doing was not helping anyone but hurting everyone. I could see the tears in her eyes that didn’t take form. The other student was saying that Jesus came to save us so why does this man judge them. I’m not sure why but she began to expose her breasts and the man on the platform put his hand up to block his view of her chest. After seeing that I really had to go. I grabbed my bag. An Asian student asked me,
“Are you about to leave?”
“Yes,” I said. “Do you want to get up here?”
She nodded. I saw the sign in her hand; the words said that God loves everyone.
“That was good of you. That was really brave what you did.”
“Thank you, I really appreciate that.”
I parted the crowd and didn’t stop until I reached the shuttle stop to take me to my apartment. I called my best friend to tell her what just happened. How Christians were against Christians and gays and non-believers and how it was all saddening. I told her how I took a stand for the first time in my life about what God has been doing in me. I told her that there were no friends of mine in the crowd but there were a handful of people who knew my face or knew of me. That didn’t matter. I felt I had to do something and I did it. I know that it wasn’t in vain. I know that at least people know that God does truly save, if you allow Him to.