Dear Christians: It’s Time to Stop Pretending

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I can’t scroll facebook without crying. I can’t talk with friends or coworkers without crying. I can’t think about it without crying. The event in Orlando (and almost event in LA) leave me, and countless others within the LGBT community, an emotional wreck. It hits home. We know exactly why those people were in that club. We know exactly what they were feeling: Free. Accepted. Loved. Welcome. At Home. Maybe for the first time in their lives. If you’ve never felt that way, you can’t begin to imagine how horrifying this is for us. So I’m heartbroken.

But you know what else I am? I’m angry. Not at the gunman. And most certainly not at the ethnicity into which he was born. I’m mad at another community I hold dear: the Christian community. I’m one of you as well, and I love you dearly. I do. But this event needs to be a wake-up call for you. As the LGBT community mourns their loss, please, I beg of you, take this time to process and stop pretending.

Stop pretending this event didn’t happen.
You don’t get to “pray for Paris” and mourn other tragedies but ignore this one. You don’t get to pick and choose which lives are worth your attention and which are not. That’s not how love works. That’s not how compassion works. Your silence on the issue speaks volumes about where your heart is- not where God’s is.

Stop pretending it wasn’t a targeted attack on the LGBT community.
So you’re progressive enough acknowledge the tragedy, but refuse to admit it was an attack on the LGBT community. It wasn’t a religious attack. It wasn’t random. This was a deliberate attack on a sanctuary to LGBT people. Ignoring that is the same as ignoring the situation.

Stop pretending you care about the LGBT community while simultaneously reminding us you believe we’re living in sin.
I shouldn’t even have to be discussing this. Your condolences mean nothing. nothing. if they are tainted with your reminder that being gay is a sin; that God condemns it. And no, your amendment that all sin is the same and you’re not one to judge doesn’t change the matter. You’re specifically addressing something you personally believe to be sin in a time of loss for those people. How disrespectful can you be? We’re hurting. We’ve lost. Not just lives, but what little peace of mind we had, and you’re going to remind us that you still believe we’re living in sin. That you believe we’re going to hell. That you believe we’re not worthy of God’s love. Is your belief that important that you want to kick us while we’re down?

Stop pretending like you haven’t contributed to this event in any way.
Your rhetoric does damage. Not only to the LGBT community, but to those outside the community. Your rhetoric contributed to the shootings. Every time you reference an LGBT person as a sinner; every time you imply that they’re less human; that they deserve hell; that they aren’t worthy of God’s love. Every. Time. you said anything negative or disparaging against a vulnerable group of people, you helped pull that trigger.

you contributed to a workforce that allows people to be fired for being gay, making the gay bars/clubs the safest places in town;
you contributed to a church that tells gays they’re welcome but don’t belong, making the gay/bars clubs the most welcoming places in town;
you contributed to a family that tells their gay son they’re no longer part of the family, making the gay bars/clubs the homiest place in town;
you contributed to a society that tells flamboyant men to be more “manly”, making the gay bar/clubs the freest and most accepting places in town.

And, worst of all, you contributed to a mindset that believes people deserve to die simply because they are LGBT, making Pulse Nightclub the deadliest place in town.

And, honestly, I don’t know if the LGBT community can ever forgive you for that, as much as many of us want to.

If you want to oppose LGBT people, go right ahead. I may disagree with you, but it’s your right. But, for the love of God, stop fucking pretending.

(UPDATE: in response feedback, I’ve written a follow-up article to this one.dear Christians: I’m sorry… and moving forward)

grace and peace,