Saturday, June 4, 2011

We are not Alone

I have just come back from a wonderful weekend in Berlin, spent with LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual Christians from all over Europe feeling renewed and full of God’s love. This weekend was a conference, held every year around Ascension tide in a different country and organized by the European Forum for LGBT Christian Groups. I am one of the Co-Presidents of the Forum.

The European Forum has over 40 member Groups. Drachma, Malta is one of the member Groups.

Unfortunately, when I returned home, the first thing I saw/ read when I looked at my Facebook page was the article found in The Times of Malta (Sunday 8th May 2011) with the following Title: Pastor has no regrets over gay ‘conversions’.

My first reactions were of disappointment, anger, disbelief and sadness. I had just experienced so much peace and love with my friends and I was very far away from this train of thought. So far that I had forgotten what it is like to read an article like this.

I can understand that people have their own beliefs; everybody has a right to that. However, what I also believe and think is that when the Bible is used to support one’s convictions (in this case against us), it is being used as a weapon.

I can also use and quote the Bible to substantiate my beliefs, however, I would not like to get into that kind of theological argument because, in doing so, I too would be using the Bible incorrectly. I believe in another kind of reading of Scriptures, a theology that liberates the human person and does not oppress her/him, a theology that is life giving.

I believe and understand that there may be some LGBT persons who might be questioning their sexuality in relation to their faith and may have even left the Church and God because of all the questions and uncertainties. There may be some of you (LGBT) who are struggling and are afraid to show themselves for fear of being rejected. (I am sure that that is a very lonely place to be.) I too had several questions, I too was lonely, for many years I struggled with my sexuality. I tried to change, I tried to change myself into a person that I am not and that I clearly cannot and never will be. Why? I wanted to be loved by God!!!

After many therapy sessions (to try and change myself) and after many years of struggling, I now find myself in a wonderful place of certainty. I know that I am not alone, God is with me and moreover God loves me. I do not feel like a liar and I certainly do not feel like a sinner. I feel that I can be myself knowing that God loves me not in spite of my sexual orientation but also through it. I sincerely believe that my sexual orientation is a gift of God, an aspect of my creation that is normal and good.

One of the last songs that we sang during the conference was “We are not Alone”. The lyrics were very simple but very powerful giving us a wonderful feeling of God’s presence amongst us and a belief that I cannot possibly describe with words.

Diane Xuereb
Co-president of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups