A Yuletide Message To The LGBT Community and Those Who Love Them

A Yuletide Message To The LGBT Community and Those Who Love Them

Originally published on johnpavlovitz.com

As much as what we believe matters, sometimes saying what we believe often matters even more.

I believe that a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation have no bearing on their character or worth.

I believe that people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender are fully deserving of love and respect and of every civil right afforded to any heterosexual or cisgender human being, without exception.

I believe that members of the LGBT community are not morally inferior, or that they need to be changed or converted or fixed.

I believe that regardless of where someone lines up along the diverse and complex continuum of human sexuality, they are all of equal value.

As a pastor and a man of faith with a public platform, I say these things clearly and continually.

To some this makes me an ally.

To some it makes me an advocate.

To some it makes me a former friend.

To others it makes me a heretic or a false teacher or a damned soul surely bound for hell.

To a few others it makes me a target of insults or jokes.

To me it simply makes me authentic.

To be silent would be betraying the truest parts of myself and I have long outgrown that cumbersome flaw. Life is too fragile and fleeting to squander it out of fear of someone else’s opinion of me. I refuse to shield from my truth, those who are not prepared to deal with it, as that is their road to walk not mine.

Much of my time as a pastor is spent listening to the stories of the LGBT community and of family and friends who love and support them; hearing of the discrimination they experience, the damage they sustain, and the pain they endure as a bi-product of living openly. And all too often this happens within the Church and their families of faith, the very places people should find refuge from such things.

And because so many of them pay such a high price for their truth, the very least I can do is speak mine without fear or editing.

I think this desire to be fully known is the common ground of Humanity. Regardless of our theological stance or religious upbringing or any other qualifier, we all understand the freedom that comes with being the most authentic version of ourselves; how life-giving it is when we are received just as we are. Likewise, we all know how destructive it is to be in hiding, to feel that we can be only selectively honest, and the emotional toll such personal censoring takes on us.

It is for this reason that we who love the LGBT community need to speak; because all people deserve to live in the lightness of complete truth, when they are ready to do so.

This is an important distinction. The decision to come out is one that no person gets to make for another, and as a straight man it would be incredibly insensitive for me to ever suggest to someone that they should put themselves in harm’s way unless and until they decide they are prepared.

But to my friends in the LGBT community who are moving ever closer to the closet’s threshold and feeling you may be nearing that day of stepping fully into the light of complete revelation, I want to encourage you that you have people waiting to walk alongside you; people who believe in you, people who love you, people who will not vanish or fall away or cast judgment or be silent. Know that as you walk this difficult journey.

Right now, I wish for you a Christmas season where you feel ever more at home in your own skin, a growing peace with the both the mirror and with your inner reflections. I pray that you spend the end of this year dwelling on your own inherent beauty and goodness, and on the God who knows you intimately and loves you completely. I pray that you will be shielded from the voices of condemnation whether they come from outside or from within, and that you will receive the unfettered joy this season promises for all who would claim it.

Let this joy be the well deserved gift you allow yourself to unwrap.

To families, friends, advocates and allies, let this be an encouragement to loudly and continually speak your truth too, because it matters. As you give voice to what you believe you give others permission to as well, and as these voices multiply—change begins to happen. We are seeing it in political polls and cultural movements and in the Church itself. It is the exponential power of authenticity; the viral nature of goodness and compassion.

As I look back on this year, it’s been one where we as a global society have moved boldly toward not just tolerating or even affirming the LGBT community, but celebrating them. This is the place we are bound for, or at least the one we should strive for.

Because in the end we all want to live in a place where we are celebrated, not merely tolerated.

We all want to be the most authentic version of ourselves and to be told that this is enough.

We all deserve to be fully see, known, and loved without condition.

To my friends in the LGBT community and to those who care for them: May these things more and more, be your reality too.

Happy Holidays.

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21 Comments

  1. raj
    December 22, 04:51 Reply

    More of people with this reasoning can put homophobia behind bars

  2. Colossus
    December 22, 06:47 Reply

    Oh John, John John John, I’ll have to disagree with you. Yes, the LGBT community needs all our love but surely, not all of them. What of that transgender that’s got a TV show, boatload of money and wears fine dresses? Surely she doesn’t deserve our love, she is a fraud. Yeah, yeah, it’s really odd and almost impossible to believe that someone can have a sex change just for the publicity but we don’t care, we just hate her because she is a fraud.
    We’ll rather show our love to the struggling, butch, Jean overall wearing transgender, now that’s a lady worth our love.
    So you see John, even though it makes absolutely no sense to judge people when we don’t really know their full story, we’ll go ahead and do that anyway. We won’t love them all this Christmas.

    • Pink Panther
      December 22, 07:27 Reply

      Hahahahahahahahaa! Colossus, thanks for correcting Mr. Pavlovitz’s misconception. He has to understand that this love business is simply not for everyone. 🙂

      • Colossus
        December 22, 11:04 Reply

        Sadly, you’re right. We’ll do better next time, we aim to make it as fresh as your virginity.

  3. Mr. Fingers
    December 22, 08:00 Reply

    Good speech. Am happy for the LGBTI community in the western world that they can find people like this that can encourage them and stand with them.

    But let’s not deceive ourself that this message is for the average Nigerian gay person. We haven’t got there yet.

    Merry Christmas.

  4. Khaleesi
    December 22, 08:23 Reply

    Pastor Pavlovitz!! This man just knows how to touch me innermost places!! Such a great man, sometimes seeming to be far ahead of his times …

    • Eros
      December 22, 09:25 Reply

      Touch you in your innermost places?

      *cof cof*

  5. Delle
    December 22, 09:05 Reply

    *dabbing teary eyes*
    Isn’t this just great? This is what I need in my life right now. The positivity, the goodness, the authenticity, the optimism all flowing from this message to me is so intoxicating. A straight man, a pastor for that matter, wrote this to us? This is going to be a good xmas after all. Thank you PP for sharing, much love.
    *dabs eye one more time*

  6. Teflondon
    December 22, 12:17 Reply

    Brillaint! Absolutely brillaint! I’m so motivated right now. This piece is so impacting. It touched me greatly.
    Wow! John.. This speech will definitely stop the hate! it will definitely touch the homophobes out there. The world would be a better place with this speech. I’m sure with this written piece now, the world will become a gigantic Kumbaya Clan. And we all deserve to love eachother no matter eachothers motive and actions towards eachother.. ISIS and all. Because no matter what.. We should love eachother and live happily ever after… Wow! ??

    • Kenny
      December 22, 13:46 Reply

      An attempt at sarcasm? Try again bro

      • Mandy
        December 22, 15:18 Reply

        LMAO!!!! He totally flopped that one.

    • Terra
      December 23, 13:37 Reply

      It’s more effective than this ridiculous comment at the very least

  7. Valunois
    December 23, 07:18 Reply

    Awesome message it is but… Was that for the Nigerian breed?

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