Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, and it's producing mixed emotions for me. The graphic above looks so joyous; offering the wonderful premise of celebrating love for others and ourselves. But the reality of queerphobia in various forms is too prevalent to permit me to feel terribly celebratory.
Over the past decade my spouse and I have realized many things about our sexual and gender identities which had been clamped down or mislabeled due to societal pressures and misunderstandings. We were perceived as two women, which led us to have deep compassion and empathy with gay and lesbian people. Out of this exploration of faith and love came Where True Love Is. But we always knew we were something different, and bisexual seemed as good a label as any. This gave us insight into the biases against bi folks. Eventually I realized that the term asexual best described my sexual identity, which I'd simply assumed was standard for women. Sex With God explores some of these issues. And most recently, my beloved has been able to more fully embrace the reality that despite having been assigned female at birth, he's a guy. Christian complaints related to transgender experience is addressed in Transfigured. We've been moving through the early phases of transition as a team, and discussing the complex realities trans people face, including the transphobia which makes fundamental human necessities like using a bathroom a cause for fear. A book is currently being developed as a result of this phase of our ongoing understanding, and you'll hear more about that as time passes.
I'm supremely blessed to have a wonderfully insightful, loving, compassionate partner with whom to move through a world which is often difficult for queer people. Many aren't as fortunate, and I can only imagine the ongoing difficulties of being publicly authentic. So my heart is both happy and sad at this day, when increasing numbers of people--particularly young people--recognize that love is love, that diversity is beautiful, and that discrimination and fear are decaying cultural artifacts.
The Where True Love Is books and movement are our attempts to make a difference. I'm looking forward to an eventual future in which this kind of day is no longer necessary. In the meantime, if you're queer and able to be public with your sexual and gender identity, show the world there is nothing to fear. If you're an ally, stand up against queer phobia whether it's demonstrated as cruel humor, outright hate speech, or anything in between. Let's all do what we can to reduce biases against the millions of people worldwide who simply want to live as themselves.
Happy #IDAHOBIT2021 everyone!