US: op-ed How To Love LGBT People: A Letter To The Church

“But how should we respond?”

Someone asked this in my church’s home group, the week after the Pulse shooting in Orlando.

“My friends in that community are grieving right now, so how do I show support for them, even if I don’t agree with their choices?”

The room was full of young families. They had known me for almost a year as the nerdy, awkward girl who moved back here from Colorado.

They didn’t know that I was hanging on their every word, because I have dated girls.

In fact, I was currently on several dating apps asking out… girls.

I chose this church and this town, moving back to my childhood home, even though I knew they weren’t affirming, because I loved this place and these people and they didn’t seem like the sort to make a big deal about these things.

But now I looked down at my Bible, barely breathing.

This was the test.

“Well, the Bible says to mourn with those who mourn and weep with those who weep,” another person answered.

My pastor who led the home group interrupted the conversation.

“Okay, so I know someone who is gay,” he said.

“But when I see him or talk to him, I don’t treat him any differently than anyone else.”

And that was the moment I knew I could trust him.

This is a story about how the divide between “church people” and LGBT people fell apart, how one community blew apart my expectations.

This is about how a church loved me and showed me acceptance and grace. Read more via HuffPost