“I love you whether you’re gay or straight. Or bi. Or pansexual. Or asexual. I love you whether you’re a boy or girl, or both, or neither. Not only will I love you, I will protect you and your friends fiercely. You know, I love you no matter what.”

This weekend, for the umpteenth time, I needed to make sure that my kids know that whoever they are, whoever they love, I will actively, fiercely love them.

Also this weekend, the United Methodist General Conference is meeting to discuss whether they will split over fully embracing their LGBTQ members. In 2019, many people are still confused about how to love each other in a way that makes people feel loved, which shows me they are still confused about God’s Love.

Anyone who has spent any quality time with someone who is LGBTQ, especially as children, knows they were created that way. It’s not a choice anymore than my blue eyes are a choice. Sure, I could hide them behind colored contacts or sunglasses, but they would still be blue. It wouldn’t make any sense for people to not love me because of the color of my eyes.

Some will argue, “It’s not BEING gay that’s a sin, it’s acting on it.”

Once upon a time people thought it was a sin to be left-handed. At the very least, they considered it a sin to ACT on it. People would tie the left hand behind the back of left-handed children to keep them from using it, and would force them to use their right hand. Society shamed left-handed children into trying to hide the way they were created. It could be dangerous for people to know they were left-handed.

We now understand how barbaric and wrong that is. We understand that it does psychological damage to children to repeatedly tell them there is something wrong with them.

My hope is that we soon collectively understand that same damage done to LGBTQ folks in the name of religion. I hope more people learn to actively, visibly love their LGBTQ family, friends, coworkers, neighbors. I envision future generations looking back on this time and not understanding how our society repeatedly told people there was something wrong with them when it was simply how and who they were created to be.

Let’s get to that future. We can do this, but many potential allies are going to need to give up their fear of speaking up. We’re going to need more people demonstrating how to actively, fiercely love LGBTQ people NOW. We need parents telling their children they love them, no matter who they are. We need visible allies in churches, businesses, organizations, and schools demonstrating how to treat people in ways that leave them feeling loved. We know what we need to do, so let’s love LGBTQ people in a way that leaves them feeling loved.

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