Dear God, Thank you for the care and love that you have bestowed upon my family and
me. Thank you for allowing me to live a healthy life and to see your light once more. I appreciate
all that you do for my family, my friends, myself, and the world. I apologize for my sins; the
wrong things I do, see, hear, and say. I know I am a sinner. Please continue to take care of me
and guide me as I write about your love and your holy scripture in my testimony. Amen.
As a child, I would always hear, “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do
not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’” (New International
Version, Matt. 19:14). I would be seen as an instrument of God. A gift presented to my family.
However, many of my brothers and sisters have described me as different, unique, and
special. But they did not know why I was so different. As a 6-year-old, I knew why I was
different and God loved me enough to welcome me into His home.
Unfortunately, the Christian faith is not accepting of homosexuality, my church included.
I had to hide God’s gift, my true personality, because of fear. The fear that I would get kicked out
of my home and not be loved. The Holy Bible has always been used to dehumanize the LGBTQ
community, to hinder people like me, children, from God. In my Pentecostal Spanish-speaking
church, we are raised with the ideologies to hate and discriminate against LGBTQ individuals.
We are told not to show any human decency towards them. Growing up, we were instructed to
defy our teachers whenever the topics of homosexuality came up. I never understood why this
was practiced in the house of God until a guest evangelist raised his Holy Bible and used it to
attack. At that moment, I felt beaten. I felt guilty because I did not understand what I was. I
would cry and pray to God to not be queer. I would ask Him to tell the other boys in my
elementary to stop calling me a girl. And God never answered that prayer, which I now know
was for this very reason: God loves me.
As I grew older, I also understood that this topic is sensitive to Christians. Not everyone
feels comfortable with the idea that it is OK to be queer and be loved by God. That is totally
acceptable but the Holy Bible is not a basic book. It is an anthology of religious wisdom through
the voices of different points of view. The Holy Bible does not have one specific way of
describing God but has various ways. In fact, according to Biblical scholars, the Holy Bible is an
incomplete book. Hence, we have the Gnostic Gospels, books that were proven to have been
written throughout the same time as the New Testament but pulled away because they did not fit Catholic norms. I am not asking everyone to agree with me but to understand that I deserve to be
loved by God no matter how I identify.
There are many things in the scriptures of God that have not been taken literally; often they are taken literally only when the opportunity to judge, shame, or even punish an outlier comes up. If the Bible was taken literally and not just to spread hate, all our possessions would have been sold and given to the poor as God commanded in Matt. 19:16-30, Mrk. 10:17-30, and Luk. 18:18-30.
These verses share the same commands God gave the rich to give to the poor. Yet God is much
more than hatred and ignorance; he is love and forgiveness. The truth is that homosexuality is not
a priority in the Bible but love is. Being able to understand this is important because people
die and get killed due to negative, hard-headed interpretations of the Holy Bible. In Galatians, it
says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for
you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). This verse erases boundaries and shows that in the
end, none of the hate matters. God does not see me any differently than He sees the world.
There have been instances where the Bible has been used against the LGBTQ community. For example, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. This is a story that became famous for the resulting anti-sodomy laws. The real sin in Sodom and Gomorrah was not homosexuality. In the book of Ezekiel, the sin is revealed specifically, it states, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (Ezek. 16:49). God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of its violence due to the city being overfed, overbearing, and unconcerned. God destroyed the city on account of people thinking they could show disorder but the character Lot, in this story, stood against their violence. What this story truly tells us is that we need to be the opposite of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible tells us through this story to not be arrogant and show concern to those in need, not to destroy the LGBTQ community.
I am a proud Christian but also a queer person of color. I pray to God for His guidance in
everything that I do. I am standing here today because it is His will. The Church of Christ was
meant to be open to everyone. In the book of Acts, it values the inclusion and acceptance of
someone who is different, an outsider. This is where the baptism of the eunuch takes place. The
eunuch was baptized in the name of God without judgment of who he was. I ask you now God,
touch the hearts of those who have read these words. Open their minds to see the love that you
give people like me. You are more than hatred and dehumanization because I am your son and a
testament of your word. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.