I'm an LGBT Christian and I'm skeptical of your prayers: A guest post by Casey Brown

This is a guest post from my friend Casey Brown, a trasngender parent of a 7-year-old, who blogs at Life with Roozle.

Love is patient. Love is kind.

When I was 14, I got saved at Jesus Camp. Even though I had gotten saved a few times every summer at Vacation Bible School as a kid, this time wasn't "just in case." This time was real. This time lead me to Bible College and two years of missionary training school and a theology major at a Baptist College. I went all in, as I tend to do.

Love is patient. Love is kind.

I'm not one of the queers who knew I was queer or trans as a little kid. I just knew I was different, but didn't know why. I wondered if something was wrong with me, as many of us do. Before I came out, I went to gay clubs and danced and found my people. I learned what it meant to be family. Because as a queer person, family is chosen, not just born into.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking.

I was living a double life. Gay clubs at night, leading worship and teaching Sunday School on Sundays. It was a separate life because if the right hand knew what the left hand was doing, I'd lose it all. I was right. I came out to my church and it all fell apart.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

They kicked me out. They revoked my membership and told me they wouldn't share a meal with me until I was willing to repent. Repent of what? This is my truth. This is me. This is who I am. And what that the church is doing? This is not love.

Love always protects. Love always trusts.

When I got married to a woman, friend after friend called to say they couldn't come. They didn't bother even trying to make some excuse, they told me they had good reason to not be there. My marriage was sinful and my lifestyle was wrong. But they still loved me, they said, of course. They would always love me, they said, of course. And they would pray for me, they said, of course.

When I got divorced, many of the same friends sent along Facebook messages. They would pray for me, again, they said. They were so quick to jump in on it, I wondered if their prayers this time would be for me as a single parent and my new struggle to pay the mortgage and for childcare, or if it was to thank God for answering those prayers they've been praying for me all these years. For repentance. For salvation, from myself.

Because when a Christian says they'll pray for me? I don't trust their prayers. I don't even want their prayers. I know what love is. This isn't love.

Love always protects.

Where were the Christians when trans people needed a safe bathroom or yet another trans woman of color is murdered? Where were the Christians when the trans suicide rate started going up and is now the highest rate of any other group? I know where they were. They're all right up front. The Christians are the ones writing and supporting the legislation against us. And you think we want your prayers?

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

Praying for us when we are broken, but not fighting to protect us is not love.
Calling yourself an ally, but continuing to go to a church that financially supports anti-LGBTQ legislation or sends its queer kids to camps to "cure" them is not love.
Welcoming us in your spaces to worship, but not allowing us to lead or teach is not love.
Changing your mind about LGBTQ rights, but being too afraid to say anything about it in public is not love.

Love is patient. Love is kind.

It's not supposed to be like this. It was never supposed to be like this. I don't know how the Christian church became a leader in the war against the LGBTQ community, but it did. The public conversation about the LGBTQ community, this fight to not make us wedding cakes, this fight to deny us access to public accommodations such as bathrooms and job security because of our identities, all of this brought us straight to Orlando. And now? Our people are gone.

Love is patient. Love is kind.

Don't say you'll pray for Orlando until you're willing to show up for queer people of color. We know what love is. And what we've seen so far isn't it. Are you different? Are you #notallChristians? Prove it. Amplify the voices of queer people of color. Defend the LGBTQ community in online spaces and in your church and with your family. Love harder. Prove to us that we can trust you. Because right now? We can't. 

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