A Letter to the LGBT Community

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a letter to the lgbt communityI recently had a job interview for a part-time position at a local, faith-based, non-profit organization that is pushing for the acceptance of the LGBT community within the churches in West Michigan. As part of the process, I had to provide a writing sample that introduced myself and discussed y desire to work with and support the LGBT community in West Michigan. I wanted to take a moment to share that with you today.

“I know what you’re going through.” All too often those words are uttered with little truth behind them. It’s not that the speaker intentionally lied to you. They wanted you to know that they were there for you, and their intentions were for the best. Unfortunately, as is said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” All the intended meaning behind the phrase cannot change the fact that it’s simply untrue- you have no idea what I’m going through, or how I’m feeling; that’s perfectly okay. With that in mind, it is with hesitation, but true sincerity, that I say the phrase to you today. I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there; I’m still there; I will be there.

While I’m not old by any means, heck I’m not even 23 yet, I wholeheartedly wish someone had said those words to me when I was younger. It would have saved me years of pain, struggles, and emptiness. It may be true that everyone deals with feelings of being alone and unloved, but some of us have it more difficult than others. Many of us are told, often unintentionally, that the most intimate and personal desire of our life is wrong. How does one not feel alone and empty after countless messages like that? How does one not feel alone when they are unable to express their feelings for fear of being shunned? How does one not feel unloved when everyone they love (including their deity) is constantly hating on their identity?

It takes a ton of relentless love and acceptance to break down the barriers many of us put up after a life of such messages. It’s scary, though. What if I let someone through my walls and they hurt me again? The walls grow thicker and thicker each time. As someone who is still taking down his walls, bit by bit, person by person, I know in my heart that I’m called to help others do the same. And that’s all I want to do- show others the grace, love, and acceptance they haven’t received elsewhere. To remind you, me, us, that no matter what anyone else says, you are loved; you are accepted, and you have been shown grace. That’s all any of us can do. We can’t fix our lives, nor can we fix other’s lives. As much as we wish, we can’t fix the world, at least not as quickly as we would prefer. But along the way, we can constantly show love, grace, and acceptance to everyone we meet, for we never know what pain someone else is hiding behind their mask. Let’s live lives of love together.
grace and peace,