Understand that your lack of intent here is deeply problematic. You’re implying (intentionally or not) that it’s possible for people to correctly conclude that same-sex orientation and expression can be immoral or contrary to religious faith.

Understand that your being a straight man and a Christian theologian already makes me and many other LGBTQ people deeply wary of you. Theologians are our traditional enemies.

So far, you aren’t doing much to alleviate quite justified suspicions.

Most devout Christians in my experience talk an excellent affirming game until pressed very hard on details. Then it turns out that affirming means something else entirely to them than it does to me or to kids like Luke.

When you say, “My intention in this letter was not to tell Luke ‘that his being gay is not a problem,’” then I say that you need to stop what you’re doing immediately. Stop and think long and hard on WHY that isn’t your intent, and how you can improve your intent.

If you think your opinion doesn’t matter to Luke and millions of kids like him, you’re fooling yourself, and in doing so, you’re allowing yourself to spread a toxic message.

It ought to be very simple for you to say that homophobia is wrong. It ought to be very simple for you to tell Luke that he is entirely moral and that his being gay presents ZERO problem.

Your own straight privilege and your lack of understanding of what it means to be LGBTQ in the face of relentless religious condemnation is blinding you to morality and simple human decency.

You need to do better. Much, much better.

cc: John A. Giurin Jon Carl Lewis Ken Wilson Emily Swan

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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