Okay, so I had an article written about me in the paper. So? What good will it do?
Believe it or not, this is an excellent question. I’m keenly aware of the reality that very few people will ever change their mind regarding the GLBT community. But there’s something new going on.
Of all of the controversial topics in the American pantheon of conversation, there is one topic that has taken a strong root on the tips of our tongues. The topic in question is, of course, homosexuality. Of course, it’s rare that people have time to discuss the many facets of the GLBT community at the water cooler, but then that’s why the Internet was invented, right?
In nearly every online community that I’ve seen, whenever the “G-word” pops up, its members instantly flock to it to post their views. A great example is the forum at Revolution Church out of New York City. The pastor of that church, Jay Bakker (Jim & Tammy Fae’s son), recently took a stand in support of the GLBT community. “I don’t think homosexuality is a sin,” he said.
Bakker’s ministry has long been for the misfit and outcast of society. When he took the pro-gay stance, his funding was cut, and support was withdrawn. The church drew a lot of attention through a six-part TV series on Sundance.
I looked through their message board, and saw a wide variety of topics. Most of the threads centered on “grace,” which is at the core of their message. There was only one thread that discussed the gay issue. There were already dozens of responses. A few fundamentalist activists had gotten wind of the forum, chose to sow their message of how God hates the “homosexual lifestyle.”
Since then, another thread has gathered more than a thousand replies. Has anyone changed their mind? No. But yet, the thread continues. Bakker recently commented on one of his sermons, “They just don’t get it. It’s NOT that important of a topic.” Well, Jay, I have to politely disagree with you on that point. It IS that important of a topic.
When Stacy Smith Segovia interviewed me for the recent article in The Leaf-Chronicle, she commented, “You know, I can relate to your being gay a lot easier than I can relate to you being such a passionate Christian.” She also said she was surprised that so many people are still so hostile to the GLBT community.
This, in my opinion, is why it’s on the tips of tongues… er… fingers everywhere. The article, “Facing truth of being a gay Christian” got national attention when it hit the wire. It then hit the threads at www.topix.net where it went to the top of the “most talked-about” section. In just under a week, it attracted over five hundred comments. All that from a single article.
So, yes, it’s that important of a topic. Whenever a GLBT issue hits a forum (that isn’t for the GLBT community), it goes to the top of the most-read list. We saw it on Revolution. We see it on topix.net. We see it on newspaper “storychats.” In short, it’s everywhere. And that’s a good thing.
It’s all about the conversation. I really think that most of us are somewhere on the fence on this issue. Very few are rigid in their opinions to the point that they feel like they have to shout to from the rooftops and type it into online forums.
In the end, though, it’s a conversation that’s necessary. GLBT equality will never be a reality if people don’t talk about it. Now that we are talking about it… a lot… we’ll start to see a little more progress.
So keep talking!