Will all LGBT people be judged by my actions? - Brian Gerald Murphy

Will all LGBT people be judged by my actions?

I lost track of the number of people for whom I was the first openly gay person they knew and talked with.

I put myself on the line with the hope and knowledge that bold action (with a little creative agitation) is what changes the world. Stories transform and liberate. They are powerful, earthshaking and life-changing.

When I come out, I inherently step into activism. That is the trade-off: I exchange privacy in return for a better world. During this transaction, I also inherit a responsibility: LGBT people as a whole will be judged, by some, based on my actions alone. If I am snarky or academic, flamboyant or masculine, if I use masculine pronouns for God or profess a universal or atheist faith, if I am appreciative or dismissive… However I happen to act, that is how all queer people might be judged.

In light of this awareness, I find myself tempted to censor or modify my words and actions. I can explain the “clobber passages”from a Christian perspective, I can extol the virtues of marriage and monogamy, I can talk about ethics and community participation. I can find the “safe” things to talk about. How much far can I push the “moveable middle” without losing them?

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I’m not looking for an answer, but rather for contentment in sitting with reality. Yes, sometimes all LGBT people will be judged by my actions. Yes, sometimes I will present an incomplete picture of myself in order to more fully represent the broad spectrum of LGBT people. Yes, sometimes in presenting parts of my identity, I will alienate potential supporters.

My prayer: Discernment and kindness, to self and to others. Courage, to go forth.

Photo by Soulforce of Equality Riders engaged in conversation with students at Southwest Baptist University