Dear Christian Allies (esp leaders),
Stop sending youth and young adults away to the LGBT faith community out of fear that you’ll screw up. Those of us outside of church often don’t feel close to Jesus, have no idea what we believe about God’s love, are bitter towards the church, hesitant or unable to pray outloud, and have no real answers to their deep questions aside from “you need to decide what YOU believe”.
The BEST thing you can do is let these young folks know that you love them. That YOU believe there is nothing wrong with them. That YOU are there to pray with them. That YOU are there to hold them when they cry and jump up and down when they rejoice.
Put in the WORK and find the many, many, MANY resources on inclusive LGBTQ+ theology and LEARN it like you learned the tenants of evangelism. Dig into the Bible and decide what YOU believe.
Sending them away from you speaks so much louder than “I love you, talk to this stranger you don’t know because they are also LGBT and therefore can magically relate to you.”
They will NOT feel welcome without being welcome. They will NOT feel whole without being celebrated.
They will NOT thrive without being championed.
For the love of all that is holy stop being afraid to make a mistake and publically love the LGBTQ kids you’re sending my way. I don’t have the answers for them because I am still not welcome in most places of worship, if I am, I am not allowed to lead, or not able to be married, or teach Sunday school–how is that welcoming? Where is the hope for the LGBTQ youth when being gay is OKAY but you can’t participate in anything in case “people get the wrong idea”? About what?
As my grandma would’ve said, take a sh*t or get off the pot, you’re stinking up the place.