A guide for Christians being friends with the LGBT community.
When someone tells you that they are gay for the first time:
1. Do not immediately tell them you think it's wrong. No matter how nice you're saying it. It's not nice, and that isn't what they were asking you.
2. Be their friend. They aren't going to drag you into their "agenda" or "lifestyle" or whatever else word you're using for it these days.
3. They aren't telling you because they have a crush on you. Seriously. Get over yourself. You're not that cute.
4. Don't act shocked. The attraction to members of the same sex is not new, it's fairly common, and most people will experience it at one time or another. If you react like they just told you are actually from a different planet, you will immediately make them feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Don't do that.
5. If you actually are shocked, get out of your christian bubble for a few months. Learn to interact with people who don't believe the exact same things as you. Get to know a person.
6. Don't abandon their friendship be you are afraid, disgusted or whatever else. If that's the case, you need to get your shit together.
7. If you do need some space because you are afraid, let them know gently. But do NOT make it their fault. This is now your responsibility to deal with. Not theirs.
8. Don't assume they are telling you because they are 100% out and ok about it. Coming out is terrifying, confusing, and not all LGBT folks KNOW if what they are doing is right or wrong. At the most, they just know what it is. Let them be where they are at. Don't push them one way or another.
9. Do NOT also assume they are telling you because they are struggling and they want to stop "their heathen lifestyle" unless they specifically ask to hold you accountable.
10. Please meet their significant others. Please.
11. NEVER out another person even if they came out to you. That is not your job. No matter how much you think it helps. It doesn't. It's violating.
12. Love them, still. I know it's confusing. You may not understand. But when have you ever really understood everything about people? Never. Being gay is no different. Don't treat it like it is.
13. It's ok to ask questions if you don't understand. But be genuine in your non understanding. Don't use passive aggressive questions to prove a point.
14. Love, Love, Love.
The reason I know these things, is because I am officially sharing with the world that yes, I find myself attracted to members of my own sex. No, I don't know if it's right or wrong. Yes, I'm terrified. And yes, I have prayed every night since I was in 8th grade for it to go away. And it didn't. And it hurts more to hold it in than to bravely face possible judgement, harshness, or otherwise rude behavior.
To those who I have told and who have still loved me, thank you. And thank you for letting me be where I'm at.