Gay People Exist
June 28, 2011
In an essay on the blog Religion Dispatches, author Jay Michaelson writes that “when it comes to LGBT people, our very existence is still, somehow, subject to debate.” He identifies it as the only civil rights struggle where many opponents doubt the existence of those seeking full equality. He writes, “I’m being forced to defend my subjective self-understanding to people who not only don’t share it, but who don’t even read objective books about it! I stand on the opposite sides of picket lines with people who deny that I am right about my own mind. They insist that millions of people are so deeply deluded about themselves that their own testimony must be disregarded.”
Michaelson concludes, “What I feel like we are still fighting for, in the places where our freedom is still contested, is neither rights nor freedoms nor any particular bundle of privileges, but some more fundamental, and fundamentally religious, human right that has only begun to be articulated: the right to self-definition, to say that I exist—and to be believed.”
Part of the “the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons” which we have proclaimed in the Heartland Proclamation is that “that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts.”
We affirm that LGBT persons do exist. That they should be treated as fully and equally human. That their subjective sense of self should be listened to and respected.
Written by Scott Jones
Welcome to the Heartland Clergy for Inclusion’s presentation of The Heartland Proclamation. Join us in an ongoing conversation about God’s unconditional love for all people and about advocation of justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.