Written by Jessica Reesor Rempel
God is queer.
Does that make you uncomfortable? I’m not sorry. I won’t take it back.
Embracing the full humanity in folks who identify as queer (LGBTQ) means recognizing that all of us are made in the image of God. And if all of us reflect who God is, that means that part of who God is is queer.
If that’s not reason enough to embrace the queerness of God, think about the fact that throughout history, those seen to most closely reflect the image of God have had the most power and privilege. In times and places where God has been portrayed as male and white, white men are consequently seen as closer to God. Embracing the feminine aspects of the divine has been crucial to me on my journey to see myself as a human being of equal worth to all others. I can see now that it is high time I embrace the queer side of God.
Besides, everything about the God I know transcends boundaries, defies expectations and refuses to stay within society’s norms.
God is queer.
A week after the targeted killing of people from the queer community in Orlando, I am feeling devastated and also complicit. Every time I fail to take a public stand against systems that marginalize queer folks, I increase my complicity in a culture of homophobia.
Many years ago (though not as many years as I care to admit) I stopped seeing sexual orientations and gender identities that fall outside of the mainstream as sinful, and began to see them as beautiful and God-filled expressions of humanity.
When it came time to choose a seminary, one of the main reasons I choseEmmanuel College (the United Church college at the Toronto School of Theology) was to glean what I could from a denomination that has been affirming for 30 years and to see what I might bring back to my own denomination.
In small ways, quiet ways, I have brought what I have learned back to the Mennonite community I call home. I don’t think I’ve gone far enough. The journey towards becoming an ally will be life long.
This isn’t about me (a cis-gendered heterosexual person with piles of privilege), and for a long time I have hesitated to write anything on this blog about queer identity because that is not my lived experience. But I do know that I am not living into the fullness of what God is calling me to if I don’t express clearly and without ambiguity my beliefs about this topic.