How can I be a Christian Ally?
||Happy Pride Month TYTANZ Whanau!
This comes towards the end of Pride Month but it is never too late to show up and be an ally! Allyship is year round, constant, and persistent. Christian Allyship differs slightly from being a non-religious ally – the recognition of hurt by the church and the acceptance of all people in the eyes of god is essential.
As Christians many of us are taught that the word ‘pride’ is problematic because it ‘comes before the fall’, or is boastful and entitled. The Pride of Pride month is entirely different. It is healthy, whole, and holy. Or a holy protest as Wendy May Jacobs fittingly describes it. Pride is a of celebration of life and courageous self-respect.
We cannot celebrate Pride without the recognition that the church has caused great sorrow for many people of diverse sexual and gender identities. This sits heavy on my heart. How do we move forward as allies with the knowledge of the hurt and damage that has been done?
There are many affirming churches who seek to celebrate the marginalised and oppressed, calling them forth and accepting them for who they are and were created to be. If you are looking for an affirming church diversechurch.co.nz has a directory of churches over New Zealand.
So here are seven ways to be a Christian Ally:
1. Show up for the LGBQTIA+ people in your life.
Let them know that you are there for them and support them. Ask what is needed of you and how you can help. Remember some LGBTQIA+ people may have a complicated relationship with religion and the church. Show your love and support without making it about religion.
One of the most important things you can do for any person in your life is to listen to them. Really listen. Listen to their story, their hopes, dreams, and struggles.
3. Use your voice!
Support legislation and petitions to make Aotearoa a fairer more inclusive nation under the law. Show up and show your support. Talk with friends and family about issues that affect the LGBTQIA+ community and what you can do in support.
4. Learn about LGBTQIA+ History.
How much can you say you know about the history of people with diverse gender and sexual orientations? How did Pride Month come to be?
Pride Month honours the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 in Manhattan. Stonewall was the tipping point for the Gay Liberation movement in the United States. Educating yourself about history and the different experiences of LGBTQIA+ people is essential. Expecting our LGBTQIA+ loved ones and friends, or even strangers to explain to us about the vast community places an unnecessary burden on them. As Allies it is important we seek out information ourselves. Don’t know where to start? Watch this YouTube Video https://youtu.be/Q1D65SxzojI
5. Know your privilege.
However you identify it is important to check in with your privilege. Are you afforded more rights, respect, or recognition simply because of who you are? Do you get treated different because of who you love or how you look?
6. Know the Bible.
Too often passages are cherry picked and used to defend exclusion and condemnation of people who are perceived as different. Knowing and understanding these passages is a useful tool when being a Christian Ally.
7. Let your wallet speak.
Support organisations and charities working towards a fairer and more inclusive world. Financial support is always welcome. But if this isn’t something you can offer there are plenty of other ways to support these charities!
How are you being an Ally?
Peace be with you and Happy Pride,
A note on this TYTANZ Blog:
The Methodist Church of New Zealand Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa, possesses a unique and distinctive story in relation to Human Sexuality, LGBQTIA+ community and ordained ministry. We acknowledge, with grace and understanding, the diversity of views, perspectives and voices that make up the many different understandings in the church, and the journey it continues to be on to this very day.
Today's blog is reflective of one of those views, but is no ways an attempt to change minds - rather, it is an attempt to promote safe, transparent and open talanoa in life of the church. Young people are owed, and should be afforded this opportunity, with a spirit of Grace and Peace.
If you're looking for more church based resources about the story of the Church in relation to the above, click on the link below.