My mom dragged me up to talk to the pastor's wife one Sunday after church. I was 13 or so and getting harrassed(sp?) at school... mostly because they all knew I was gay though I hadn't accepted my sexuality or acknowledged it at the time.
My pastor's wife told me to work out and put some muscle on... then I'd look more manly.
I get the biggest kick out of that now.
The thought of "me" being manly...
I'm not a total girl, mind you, not that there's anything wrong with that.
I'm cracking myself up.
Back then, I was pretty ticked off.
All that said, I think we have been taught to be great victims. We've been taught that when someone says or does something hurtful that it should wound us deep in our souls... and that we're justified being hurt, angry, pissed off... because what they said or did was "so wrong." And I don't mean "we" as glbt people, but "we" as western civilization.
I want to be less attached to what others think, say & do. So she said something I thought was ignorant & unkind. It doesn't make it true. It doesn't mean anything about me. And it also really doesn't mean anything about her, except that she did
say something that I heard as ignorant & unkind. If that were to happen now, I hope I would be able to say something like:
"Pastor Sharon, I think that statement is both unkind and uniformed. You justified the other people's actions by suggesting it's my fault I'm being harrassed. I would have rather you said something to the effect of, "Nathan, I know you're having a rough time at school and that must be hard for you. You know that we love you, right? And you know that God loves you too, right? Just as you are! Usually people say & do unkind things because they see something in someone that reminds them of something they don't like in themselves. Let's see if we can come up with some solutions to deal with situations like this..." That would have been an appropriate pastoral response."
I know we've all encountered various abuse at the hands of our churches and pastors... and it's all wrong. I think that if we can learn to realize that it doesn't really mean anything, it's just what they did... then maybe we'll be able to see Christ in them and we'll begin to have compassion for them. And from that point, when we speak to them about the things they say & do, it won't be from a place of condemnation... it will simply be sharing. "Hey, I just wanted you to know that what you said about homosexuality really hurt & offended me as a gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender person. I realize you think homosexuality is wrong and while I disagree with you, I also don't think you're fully aware of the impact of your words. I'd like to talk to you about that sometime."
I'm also saying this as a future pastor.
Pastors are human. I know I'm going to make mistakes. I pray that people will lovingly hold me accountable to be the man of God I profess to be... because when I "get" that I've done something unkind or unloving, I want to correct the situation/behavior immediately.