At times, there is silence for a reason as some things are best said by being left unsaid.
That there is no mention of Jesus’ sexual orientation in scripture is perhaps reflective of a profound, cosmic reality that one’s gender nor orientation are a prerequisite for determining that which is of the Divine. To the dismay of much of western Christianity, Jesus wasn’t purposed on being imaged into a caucasian, American, heterosexual, Republican, gun-owning, blue-eyed, conservative male with flowing locks of brown hair. Rather, He is the surest example of what it truly looks like to simply be fully human and fully rested in the Divine.
Was or is Jesus gay in terms of sexual orientation or behavior? I don’t believe so—but it certainly doesn’t matter. For being gay is about so much more than mere sexual orientation or gender identification. It’s about being a beautifully created soul adorned with eternal extravagance imaged in the splendor of the Creator. It’s about bearing the arduous task of navigating their unique, human experience through the minefields of a brutally inhumane world that would quickly ransack those who break religious molds while clawing to strip them of their divine value, identity, purpose and worth. Beyond the gravity of sexuality and orientation, this is the deeper, ultimate essence of the plight intrinsic to being gay. It’s the quest to be fully human and fully alive while sweating beads of blood in determination to find one’s way and hold onto one’s inherent dignity and God-delighting in a spiritually nefarious, different-condemning, and different-killing world.
In this way, Jesus was surely gay.
For under a single glimmering star in a stable shadowed by the dark of night, Jesus is the gay senior citizen, the gay adult, the gay teenager, the gay child—all of them born gay from the very beginning in the manger of God’s delight. Not by choice, but by the Hands of the One who creates beauty itself and all beautiful things. Affirmed by only a few wise to the ways of heaven. Born into a war of ignorance and the lifelong battle to be valued for your divine worth.
In the face of being ostracized and derided by His own Nazareth family of bigots determined to misunderstand Him, Jesus is the gay man and the lesbian woman who live in the constant, gruesome torment of coming out, being known, and fully living their God-designed personhood—a kind of hell on earth of daily accusation and rejection God never weaved into the tapestry of what anyone should endure.
Or 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 in solidarity for the defense, worth, dignity and affirmation of their LGBTQ child. God has surely blessed them, but the religious deem His gift a disgrace. Jesus, not just the parent, but also the LGBTQ 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, erasing them from existence.
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, and the only sure resolve to the pain that is before her.
In the outer courts, confronted by the religious through the evil venom of their creed—backed into a corner, a pointed finger pushing at His chest questioning His true identity, Jesus is the transgender person whose truth is too truthful for the ignorant to hear nor see.
Then, from the confines of Pilate’s Praetorium where flogged beyond recognition, to a savage, religiously-conspired cross where nailed, pierced and left to die of internal suffocation, Jesus is every LGBTQ person ever murdered in body, mind or spirit—crucified to death by religion, bigotry, and hate, and even good people who remain silent and unengaged.
In all these ways, Jesus is surely gay—not just gay, but One of us all for whom religion has demonized, illegitimized, and crucified in fear.
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 being deprived of that which has been given to them freely and irrevocably from the goodness of His Name.
In this way, if you can’t handle the notion of Jesus being gay then you aren’t fully understanding the essence of Jesus being you.
To be you or to be gay is essentially one in the same—it’s what it means for all of us to simply 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 LGBTQ soul, then through mine, or that of 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 born LGBTQ, 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…
Grace is brave. Be brave.
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