I am none of these things: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, heteroflexible, bicurious, or whatever sexual orientation label in use. I repeat. I am none of these things.
Usually nowadays, when someone talks about being anything other than straight, folks think simply that the person is coming out. And that makes a lot of sense given how many conversations about sexuality tend to go.
I invite you to read on and see how I unpack that first statement. Please allow me to reveal to you what has been revealed to me because for me, this is way more than another person “coming out the closet.”
Disclaimer: I understand that everyone is not going to understand or agree with this; that’s okay with me. This loaded topic of sexuality is a large part of an even larger story I’m telling, so I encourage you to read some of the posts I’ve already written and trust that I will say more after this post. Remember, I’m trying to tell a story here.
Okay, back to the first line: I am none of these things.
I think sexuality has come to define so much of how people understand who they are. I think we have made it common and popular to use the created labels of sexuality as a major basis upon which we identify, think about, and relate with each other.
Sexuality, of course, is very relevant, complex, and significant, so I comprehend why this would happen. Generally speaking, people organize concepts in their minds, assign meanings and values to those concepts, and then make sense of the world around them.
We do this with just about everything, so again, I get why this happens. I agree that it has been particularly useful for us to do with this sexuality. I also think it has also become increasingly problematic for us and has taken us to extremely dangerous places.
In my experience, when many people have conversations about sexuality, I have seen two oversimplified, overused narratives that have taken us to those dangerous places. I’m sure that you have heard versions of each, but I will attempt to articulate each one to be clear.
The first: There’s only one right way for sexuality, and that’s between a man and a woman. Anything else should not even be discussed, and if it is, it will be detested because it’s just not right. Those that disagree with this are immoral heathens who are wrong and deserving of condemnation.
The second: People should be happy just the way they are. However people are born, they were born that way and they don’t have to change. Others should just accept this and accept people for who they are rather than try to change them. Those that disagree with this are close-minded bigots who are wrong and are deserving of condemnation.
I think that each version of both narratives can lead us to extremely dangerous places, feeling justified in passing judgment on those with whom we disagree. This falls very short of loving God and loving people, two commandments that are pivotal for the Christ I have told you I follow.
Now, let me bring this back to how I am none of these things.
First and foremost, I am a child of God the Father, the One who sees and knows all, and I follow the example of love given to us by Jesus Christ. That is what I believe. That is my source. That is the center. That is the core thing that shapes and directs my entire life, and by the power of the Holy Spirit living in me, I am seeking diligently to keep this first.
So many things, including sexuality, are magnified and glorified as if they should be the first, and I refuse to make anything bigger or greater than the God that I believe to be first.
Consequently, when I say I am none of these things, it is a deliberate rejection of the trend that encourages me to use my sexual attraction to and sexual interest in women, men, or any other gendered human being to define who I am. It’s just not that significant.
I reiterate that I think sex is very significant for all kinds of reasons. I have never said nor will I ever seek to say that sexuality is insignificant or irrelevant; that’s just silly.
Fundamentally, I am trying to communicate that I’m not using it as the foundation and basis to understand myself. I primarily identify as someone who follows Christ, who is seeking first and foremost the kingdom of God and His righteousness, who is trying to love God, love others, and love myself.
That’s what “Love Love Love” is all about.
I can honestly admit being attracted to, interested in, and drawn towards people beyond one gender or sexuality label. I say this not for shock value but for the value of truth because the more I have taken this truth to God, the more I have been freed and changed and renewed by God. The more I deal with this authentically, the more I have learned that God sees, knows, and loves us in a paradigm also beyond these labels.
Again, I invite you to re-read what I’ve written and encourage you to continue reading. I cannot understate that I’m trying to tell you my story here. I am trying to be courageous and tell my story in hopes that it will change how we have these hard conversations about sexuality and that it will initiate some greater good for others beyond the usual servings of gossip, fear, and shame. Such is life.
I am choosing to love God with all I have and to love others as I love myself.
Love Love Love,