WASHINGTON, August 25, 2016 — There is no mention of Jesus’ sexual orientation in scripture. That may reflect a profound, cosmic reality: Neither gender nor sexual orientation determine whether we are of the Divine.
Sometimes silence exists for a reason. Some things are best said by being left unsaid.
Jesus wasn’t here to be imaged into a Caucasian, American, heterosexual, Republican, gun-owning, blue-eyed, conservative male with flowing locks of brown hair. Rather, He came as the surest example of what it truly looks like to simply be fully human and fully rested in the Divine.
Was Jesus gay in terms of sexual orientation or behavior? Probably not, but it doesn’t matter. Being gay is about much more than sexual orientation or gender identification. It’s about being a beautifully formed soul adorned with eternal glory and in the image of the Creator. Each one, nevertheless bearing the burden of navigating the human experience through the minefields of a brutally inhumane world that would quickly destroy those who break religious molds, attempting to strip away their divine identity, purpose and worth.
Beyond the gravity of sexuality and orientation, this is the deeper meaning to being gay: to be fully human and fully alive while sweating drops of blood; finding one finds one’s way and holding on to one’s inherent dignity and God delighting in a spiritually callous, different-condemning and different-killing world.
In this way, Jesus was surely gay.
Jesus was ostracized and derided by His own community of bigots, people determined to misunderstand Him. In this, Jesus is the gay man and the lesbian woman, the one who lives in the constant, grinding torment of coming out, being known, and fully living their God-designed personhood—a hell on earth of accusation and rejection that God never wove into the tapestry of what anyone should endure.
Crying over Jerusalem, begging for His heart to be understood and His people to receive Him, Jesus is the parent who lies awake deep into the night, tirelessly fighting to defend the worth and dignity of the LGBT child God has blessed him with, but whom the religious deem a disgrace. Jesus is not just the parent, but also the LGBT child born innocent by the Spirit’s authoring, pursued by the cunning Herods of our world whose sure desire is to seek out and kill them.
There, praying in the garden of Gethsemane, begging for divine reprieve, Jesus is the lesbian teenager, trembling in terror as she cuts her arms and threads the noose, convinced that giving up is the only way out, the only sure resolution to the pain that is before her.
In the outer courts, backed into a corner, confronted by the religious with pointed finger pushing at His chest and questioning His true identity, Jesus is the transgender person whose truth is too truthful for the world to hear nor see.
Then, flogged beyond recognition in Pilate’s Praetorium and nailed to a religiously-conspired cross, pierced and left to die of suffocation, Jesus is the victims of the Orlando night club slaughter, and every LGBT person ever murdered for religion, ignorance and hate. He is the victim too of good people who remain silent and unengaged.
In all these ways, Jesus is surely gay—not just gay, but one of us all whom religion has demonized, delegitimized and crucified in hate.
For Jesus didn’t die just for humanity, He died as humanity—all of it: transgender, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, conservative, progressive, the haters, the lovers, the lifted high, the beaten low, the Christians, the Muslims—every type, color, creed, and flavor.
Everywhere there is religious oppression, everywhere there is bigotry, discrimination, or injustice, where there is the branding with labels or the withholding of Grace—Jesus is there in Person and as the person deprived of that which has been given to all, freely and irrevocably, from the goodness of His Name.
If you cannot handle the notion of Jesus being gay, then you do not fully understand the idea of Jesus being you.
To be you or to be gay is essentially one in the same. That’s what it means for all of us to be human, created in the likeness, image and favor of our Maker, living in a religious world that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy all that His hands have made, with special sights on that which the religious deem inferior or against the grain.
Run your fingers through the strands of an LGBT soul, then through mine or any other, and soon you will declare the only declaration that can be truthfully rendered—that none are better, only different. For the sooner we see Jesus in and as the people around us, the sooner the lenses of God’s affirming view become the windows through which we see ourselves and all humanity.
If Jesus isn’t gay, then Jesus isn’t you, and if Jesus isn’t you, then the incarnation is a fake, and your resurrection a certain uncertainty.
No one chooses to be LGBT, but in Christ Jesus, God has chosen to be, not just One of them, but He even does the unthinkable and dares to be One of you.
Yes, that’s right.
Jesus is gay, Jesus is me, and Jesus is even … You.