Grateful for Progressive Pro-Gay Christianity

There are plenty of examples of stories of homophobic and hateful Christians, yet there remain some enlightened, progressive Christians who fight with us in the trenches for our civil rights. I consider myself a progressive gay Christian, and I’ve shared part of my Christian journey before with the readers of AMERICAblog Gay, so after being exposed to a demoralizing story like Gordon “In Jesus’ Name” Klingenschmitt, I consider it good medicine to enjoy an uplifting story like this one from the opposite end of the spectrum. UCC Pastor Fred Plumer, recounts the experience that led him to move from being a social activist to zealot for civil rights for gays.

Suddenly there was a body that stepped in between this threatening man and me. And then there was another, and another. I finally realized, in the midst of my confusion, that there was a group of gay men who were surrounding me within the circle of aggressors. Once I was completely protected, the inner circle started moving, with me in the center, until we were thirty yards away from the yelling crowd and we has a clear path to my car in the parking lot. Hardly a word was spoken but I was shaken. When they walked me out to the car, I thanked them and told them how amazingly well they had handled it. One fellow said, “Oh, we are used to it.” And then they quietly walked away.

As I sat in the car for half an hour, too shaken to drive, the words of the gentle, young escort kept going through my head and my heart; “Oh, we are used to it.” I suddenly realized that this is what it feels like to be gay. This is what they have had to get “used to” their whole lives. I remember crying out through my tears “my God, my God…this is not right.”

My life changed with that event. I went from being a social activist to a zealot. Never again was I willing to look the other way. I had a renewed sense of what it meant to be a follower of Jesus, to be willing to take a risk on behalf of another. This was not just about some abstract social justice issue. This was about real people, with real lives, loves and fears. This was about people with a constant fear that they might have to confront some kind of mistreatment on any given day simply because of who they were.

It is good to know that there are progressive Christians, like Pastor Fred Plumer, who are willing to risk their own safety, not to mention the conservative Christian social and career pressures they face, to do the right thing and stand as our allies in the battle for social and civil rights justice for our LGBT community.

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