I’m coming out for the LGBT community: A love letter from me

Go celebrate!

Go celebrate! I wouldn’t mind joining you!

Preface: This was something that had been stirring in my heart for the past couple weeks. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I felt that I needed to write this post… or at least put it out there. 

I am not actually gay. But having grown up in the Bay Area, having gay friends and really observing as an outsider, I wanted to share my thoughts on it. I haven’t been vocal about it in the past and part of it came because I wasn’t sure what to say. Now after some thinking, praying and reflection, I feel that at some level, I think I get it.  

I probably will get some negative responses to this and that’s fine with me. I might get positive ones too. This message comes from the heart and I write this out of love. 

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When I first even got a glimpse or an idea of what being gay might be, I was a kid. I didn’t know what it meant really. I just thought it was some kind of term you used to say someone was different. I distinctly remember calling Michael Jackson gay because he was different. I don’t think it was necessarily the fact that he was very pale and sounded like a woman to me, but I just felt that being gay just meant you were different. I might have used it as an insult like this as a kid, but I never really believed it. I had no problem with it, really. It didn’t affect me, so it wasn’t my problem.

That mentality has stuck with me my entire life. I didn’t see it affecting my life, so I didn’t really deal with it. (When Prop 8 came around, I didn’t speak out for or against it. I don’t even remember if I voted.) Despite the fact that I grew up in the Bay Area, went to school with gays, it never really meant anything to me. Maybe because I was used to it. Maybe because I was never scolded or told how to feel about it. It wasn’t my life, so I just let it be.

It’s strange though because even though I am not gay, I enjoy things that are “associated” with being gay. Two of my favorite singers of all time were bisexual (Freddie Mercury and Leslie Cheung), I am obsessed with fashion (Project Runway is one of my favorite shows, seeing what the latest celebs are wearing), I enjoy hugging people, and I get along with gay people (and I love them exactly the way they are). Then again, labeling things as “gay” isn’t very good either.

It’s not a fair stereotype but that’s how we’ve been molded into this generation to think. Just because something may seem feminine or queer, it’s considered gay. Can’t a man enjoy women’s fashion without it being gay? Probably not in today’s society. I better balance it out with something manly like a bunch of men in tights jumping around and tackling each other to the ground every Sunday. Yeah!

But in all honesty, I think this generation of people have become used to the idea of people being gay that it’s accepted. Even though homosexuality isn’t a new thing, I think it’s finally gaining acceptance into our society. But why is that? I don’t know. We still tend to throw the word “gay” around whenever we want without really thinking about its meaning.

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As a kid, the above clip would have made me roll on the floor laughing because of what I used to think being gay was. Now as I am older, the joke’s still funny, but on a whole different level. Poor Moleman needs someone to love him. Anybody.

Homosexuality has taken the center stage in our lives. It’s front and center in entertainment, music and now friends are coming out. I’m surprised there’s so much shock and negative reactions to it. We treat gays like they’re the plague, like it’s a wrongdoing equal to murder or rape. But I have to remember that not everybody was blessed as I was growing up in an environment where it’s the norm.

Is being gay really a bad thing? That’s a tough question that has many answers depending on who you are and where you’re from.

I don’t see it as a bad thing. Is loving someone bad? Can you judge people on who they truly love? It’s not my place to do it.

The tough part about this question is my background. I grew up in a Christian background and I believe firmly in Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, homosexuality is looked down upon. You won’t get into heaven because of it. And because of that, the church gets their panties up in a bunch when they see gay people.

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

— 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New International Version)

If I followed exactly what the Bible told me, I’d scold the homosexuals. After all, I have every right to judge people for their wrongdoings because I don’t have sexual immoralities, or I’ve never stole, or I’ve never been greedy because I am perfect. (That’s sarcasm. I am a messed up sinner that lies, cheats, steals, lusts, envies and a whole lot more.)

But really, does the Bible really tell me to judge and tell people they are wrong? Did that verse really mean homosexual acts or just massive lusting from men? Is it in my place to cast the first stone? Well, it is my responsibility as a loving Christian to help people get back on the right track. 

But I think we’ve been doing it all wrong. It’s caused us to fear and hate all at the same time. And that’s not right at all. There’s no love.

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We have to tip toe around the topic of gay marriage. It shouldn’t be this way, but with so much backlash that has been associated with gay marriage, it’s the only way everyone knows how to react to it.

Here’s the thing, I don’t know if homosexuality is wrong. I don’t know if same-sex marriage is wrong. Even if the Bible says it is (from a translation that might mean something different), what has that led us as a society to do about it? It’s caused us to hate, which is the complete opposite of the only thing God wants from us: to love. Do we really know God if we don’t love one another?

I am not going to try to right a wrong and make a big scene out of it like these assclowns. I’m pretty sure these people have never actually sat down, had a conversation with a gay person. Gay people are not so different from you and me. Because we’re not different at all. We’re all humans. We’re all equal. We’re all awesome.

Maybe because I am used to it being a Bay Area native, it never was an issue to me. Didn’t Martin Luther King, Jr. ask us to judge people by the content of their character? If we follow that, then we’re making a fuss over the wrong reasons. I have friends who are gay and I love them. I enjoy their company, their friendships and the experience we’ve had with each other. They aren’t assholes to me, which is all that matters to me. Does them being gay make them a good or bad person? It doesn’t matter.

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Homosexuality is gaining major acceptance in our society, which is whole lot better than it was years ago. But there is still a battle in the Christian community on it. And I guess this is the main point of this blog entry. (Sorry for taking so long to get to this point.)

The reason why I probably was never vocal for or against homosexuality is because I am Christian. I was afraid to voice an opinion on it because I didn’t know what was the right view. Go with the Bible and scold those who are gay? Or do what Jesus did and love people unconditionally no matter what? Either way, I was afraid to be wrong. My Mr. Bean mentality wasn’t a good approach.

The confusion and struggle to figure out what should and shouldn’t be done about this has been tough on me; especially growing up in a church where any kind of controversial topic was swept under the rug. I felt that if I didn’t say anything, I would cause any ripples in our safe pond of life. I know for a fact that if anyone from my old church ever came out, it would have been a nightmare.

But I think that now that I’ve gotten older, become wiser (I hope) and have grown closer to God, my perspective of this has changed. Plus it helps out that God’s given me the passion to love people. With that and the fact that I know gay people and have been friends with them for years, my take on this is starting to take shape and I now can confidently come out and proclaim this.

To anyone and everyone in the LGBT community: I’m on your side.

I should have publicly said this earlier but I didn’t know. Now I know where I stand.

Love.

It’s tough for me too because I still am not sure what’s the best way to go about it in terms of being a Christian. But if what Jesus taught us was to love our neighbors as ourselves, then that’s what I am going to do. It may not mean that I am going to join every single Pride Parade that comes through town, but it means that I love you for you who you are and I want you all to know you are loved. OK… maybe I will go check out the parade one of these days.

Even though there have been Christians that have shoved you away and made you outcasts, I want to reaffirm that this is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s fear and confusion that has led to these acts of hate. We just don’t know what to do. After all, didn’t Jesus hang out with society’s outcasts? (The answer is yes. And He did it often.)

I do know this: God loves all no matter what. My God is a God of love, care, understanding and power. He welcomes everyone with a big hug. And this love is the only love I know. If a gay person asks about my church, I want to be able to say that my church is a reflection of God’s love and welcome. That’s what it should be. That’s what it needs to be.

“God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.”
— Rick Warren

It’s an ongoing journey for me still to really find out where my stance is on all the other things that are associated with this. I know I believe in love — and maybe that should be my stance.

It’s been a constant struggle for people in the LGBT community to find acceptance and the proper equal rights in their everyday lives. I see that every day and I hope and pray that it does find a resolution soon. It’d be nice to see a world where everyone is treated equally. I want to be part of making that happen as an ally.

I’m sorry for what the Christians have supposedly done wrongly in the name of Jesus. Hating you with all this negative judgment is not what Christianity is about. I’m sorry for whatever wrongs I’ve done too.

I used to not care about the LGBT community because I never thought it mattered to me. Now I’ve realized that it does matter. The way I love people won’t change — it just carries a whole bigger meaning to me now. And I hope that through the expressions in this post (and future actions in life), I can show everyone that God loves the LGBT community too.

Am I right for seeing things this way? I don’t know if there is a wrong way to genuinely love people. I am open to your comments below. For me, all I’ve ever known is that God is all about love and I’ve always been about it too. And sometimes loving is to stand up for the people who aren’t shown love. I hope to be able do that. God loves everyone, and I want to do the same.

I’m on your side.

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2 Comments

Filed under Childhood, Discovery, Faith, Family, Friends, Observation, Television

2 responses to “I’m coming out for the LGBT community: A love letter from me

  1. breakboundaries

    Thank you a million times for writing this, Sam! Let’s hope more Christians will speak up in support, stop tiptoe-ing around this issue and stand in solidarity with our LGBT brothers/sisters/family. Hope this call to LOVE spreads like a wild fire. 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Love God, Love People, Change the World and commented:
    This is part two of a five part reblog series taken from Samuel Lam’s “Write a Blog on a Log” dealing with questions of faith and fear, inclusion and exclusion. Sam has an unusually nuanced and fair approach to issues like homosexuality, bullies, salvation, and fundamentalism. This second post was written as an open letter to the LGBT community. In it Sam expresses the tension he experiences as a follower of Jesus’s example of love on the one hand and his membership in the evangelical church on the other. He comments, “The reason why I probably was never vocal for or against homosexuality is because I am Christian. I was afraid to voice an opinion on it because I didn’t know what was the right view. Go with the Bible and scold those who are gay? Or do what Jesus did and love people unconditionally no matter what? Either way, I was afraid to be wrong.”

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