Thank you, Anna Burgess Yang.
As a gay man who grew up feeling like an outcast Other, I appreciate your sentiment more than I can express.
I’m currently working on a story about how the Catholic Church routinely and institutionally Others LGBTQ people by labeling us as “depraved,” “disordered,” and “evil.”
They teach these things about us to hundreds of millions of school children every day all over the world.
And they do it in the name of religion.
If the Church were a business, they’d be shamed and shouted down for expressing such horrific sentiment about innocent, intrinsically harmless people.
We’re so sick and tired of being the reviled Other, of being the legitimate targets of religious institutions that find insulting and smearing us to be perfectly OK.
Pope Francis is even praised for being “progressive” while the Church he heads shamelessly Others us every day.
I wish more religious people were like your pastor and you.
The world would surely be a better place.