Unbundling My Bias

“Let me first say that I am biased now and always will be,” Rob said, after I finally found the guts to call him.  It seemed safe to confide in him since he lived so far away.

I called hoping Rob would know how I felt – since he had also spent time in a close-knit Christian community that didn’t – on paper – approve of his daughter’s sexual orientation.  I was still in the early stages then, not yet talking locally about it but needing to know I wasn’t alone.

He did know how I felt, and talked me through it.  Continue reading “Unbundling My Bias”

What I learned from my first PRIDE Parade

When I was a young parent, the beach we frequented hosted a Pride Festival once a year. On that day we would go to a different beach. I can’t remember all that we were afraid of, but the answer is probably somewhere close to everything. We didn’t know what our young child might be exposed to, so it was avoided. (To be fair, it also wrecked the parking)

As that very child came of age, the ineffectiveness of protectiveness was revealed. She is attracted to other women, and covering her young eyes would not change that. And so, twenty years later, I found myself volunteering alongside her at that very same Pride Festival. How did I get over myself?

Continue reading “What I learned from my first PRIDE Parade”

Paying Attention

I’ve been on a journey into a new world of people and thinking, a group that I previously thought of as “others”.  It’s the LGBTQ community, of which my daughter has become a part of since she came out. The good news is that I’ve found plenty of Love in God’s storehouse that overflows for all.  The bad news is that I’ve had to confront a lot of things in myself to get there.

Well, actually both of those news stories are good.

There’s a special kind of challenge for a kid who grows up suppressing something they discover inside themselves, with few role models.  I’ve had to ask myself how I’ve been a part of Continue reading “Paying Attention”

The Haircut

When my daughter came home from college this year in boyish clothes, she asked me to cut her hair.  Short.

Stomach knots.

I’ve been cutting hair since a high school friend taught me to shape his boxy flat top fade.  Taking the clippers to college, short-haired friends flourished and I started charging $4 a trim.  And I’ve been my sons’ garage barber since they had hair.

But this felt different.  She was beginning to look more like a boy, Continue reading “The Haircut”

Wedding Legos

“It may be working, just not for everyone.”

What a strong narrative of marriage and family life is woven into the local church.  It’s surprising given that both Jesus and the apostle Paul were single.

A community wedding under the shade of century old oaks yielded a new “Mr. & Mrs.” this week, in a hillside amphitheater above the town.  Blessed by the pastor, who was already talking about them having kids, the future looks bright for these two who are joining the narrative right on time.

Can I celebrate this marriage while also critiquing how much we celebrate marriage? Continue reading “Wedding Legos”

Act Justly

Should we shout for change or quietly be the change?

I could intentionally build friendships across race lines in a culture with overt and residual racism.

I could live out empathy in a church that is not as empathetic as I’d hoped.

I could listen and learn what it’s like to be queer in a straight society.

And none of this requires yelling or fighting the people and systems in power.

But don’t some things require trying to change others too? Continue reading “Act Justly”

Studies or Stories

I had some assumptions about being gay. One simple google could have filled a day with studies to back them up – but I didn’t, probably because no one was questioning them in my (mostly) church community. The information sat well because it surrounded and protected a core belief that “homosexuality” was just another behavior – not an identity – that the Bible spoke against. These assumptions filled the castle moat I described in a prior post, protecting core beliefs.

Our loved-one broke those assumptions: her very being went against every one of them, breaking my mental map of how things work. It sent my GPS into a “recalculating” loop, as if my car took a wrong turn and was trying to find a new route to the original destination. True enough, but if the destination was, “protecting my assumptions and beliefs at all costs” then I actually have a bigger problem and need a new destination altogether. Continue reading “Studies or Stories”