I went to see a screening today of the upcoming movie For the Bible Tells Me So, which, for those of you who haven’t been counting down the days until it’s arrival like I have, is a movie that explores how the church has gone wrong in its treatment of gays and lesbians. I could go on and on about the movie itself, but what has really stayed with me, even more than the incredibly important film, was the audience. The screening was held at a local church that is known for being open and affirming to the gay and lesbian community, and the basement room in which the screening was held was packed with people of all sorts. Now, I have heard plenty about the gay and lesbian community, and I have even written a little about it here and there, but to be honest, I think this may have been my introduction. It was beautiful, in this breathtaking, striking sort of way. I was in the back row, which gave me a bit of a further view of the movie, but also a wonderful view of the audience. And all I could think, throughout the entire film, was how we moved as one body. Laughing, sighing, leaning forward, crossing our arms in defensive, tears streaming down our faces… our body language was as if it was coming from one body. And it was, really… the body of Christ. I had never really before given much thought to the passage on how the body of Christ is all one body with many parts.. or at least not much thought to the fact that I might still have a place in this body… not until I sat there in that room and felt myself moved, to laughter and to tears, in unison with an entire room of people who had all, to some degree just as I have, learned to find the humor in the most painful of moments, but also not to discount the suffering in which we share… we, this room, these people of God…. this Body. We moved as one, tonight, in our shared frustrations and in our hope… in this collective instability. And it was beautiful.

Which is why it made it all the move difficult when I was driving back to my apartment complex with A (neighbor A, not gay friend A), and we got into a sort of intellectual argument which began rather mellowly, but quickly escalated when he said something about the LGBT “agenda.” Now to be fair, he had no idea what he was getting into with me, or where I was coming from, and his argument had more to do with the logistics of including transsexuals under the same category of gays and lesbians, but from the moment I heard the word “agenda,” I was charged and ready to fight. I mean, I’ve been thinking a lot about the language we use to discuss sexuality in general, and we’ve all been writing about the subject on this site, but I hadn’t even realized how strongly I would react to the word “agenda” until I heard it. And all I could think of was that room full of people… full of one small, ostracized-but-still-capable-of-laughter part of the body of Christ, and I just didn’t see how you could tag onto us the word agenda. It feels less like an agenda, and more like we are searching in the corners of rooms and under rugs…. looking for our misplaced joy, a little trace of hope, a hint of respect, the first signs of healing… the space within ourselves to breathe. To breathe and to be. To love and to believe. To laugh and to cry. To find redemption in our brokenness. To fall and to pick ourselves back up. To see the humanity in ourselves, and in each other. If that’s an agenda, I pray that we… not the we of this collective instability, but the we of this world…would all go out in search of one.

Now to be honest, I really wasn’t playing fair with A. I mean, it is more than a little bit underhanded to have an entire debate about a subject without mentioning that you are not just defending the group in question, you also happen to be a part of it. And so I told him. Because it was the ethical thing to do, and I am taking so many damn ethics classes these days. Because I came here not to lie, and I am so tired of days like yesterday, where I spent the entire day with my best friend and could only think again and again how wrong it was that over 1,000 people had read my blog about my innermost thoughts on sexuality, and I had not said a single word to her. Because I had hope… have hope… that telling him would be painful in the way of things that eventually bring about healing. And it was. B says that this process of coming out does not get much easier. I suppose that’s probably true… but I think it might get just a little bit more beautiful, just around the edges. At least, this time it was.

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