An Open Letter to the Closeted Gay Men Who Helped Draft the Nashville Statement

Dear Closeted Gay Men,

You think that, by lobbing the grenades of judgment and hate at other people, at vulnerable people daring to own the truth of our bodies, you protect your own vulnerable selves. In truth, you are terrified. I don’t know you, but I know your name. Your name is Shame. Your name is Self-Hatred. You think that your homophobia protects you. But we know. We can see right through you. The bigger the front, the bigger the back!

How do I know that at least one closeted gay man helped to draft this new statement? Honey, I’ve been around the block. I’ve seen homophobic preacher after homophobic politician busted by a prostitute or male escort, or by someone who recognized them at a sleazy dark gay bar. I’ve seen luggage lifters and men with a ‘wide stance’ in the mens’ room bleating out lies which no longer cover their duplicity, which no longer bury the lie that is the epicenter of all they say and do. You’ve cried to me on occasion, too, wearied by the energy of fighting off who you are but too scared to stop the fight. You are not invisible. And the misery that you foist onto the lives of others is very very real.

I don’t care if you like to lie about your sexuality. To each their own. But when you project your shame and self-hatred on the children who are trying to live into their authentic selves, when you spew out your terror and shame and judgment and try to pin it on God, when you throw it all over people who already have enough hate to deal with in the world, I call you on it.

You Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Your Neighbor.
 That’s in the Top Ten from God, unlike the obscure passages you love to cite. And it is precisely this which you are doing.

Love your neighbor as yourself.
 That’s the one big one from the man you claim as your Lord. You are violating both parts of this injunction, loving neither your neighbor nor yourself.

And I want you to know you’re not fooling anyone. We know that your homophobia is rooted in your own desires for men, which you hate. Science backs me up. When electrodes are wired to men’s genitals and they watch male-centered erotic materials, the virulently homophobic men have strong arousal. The gay and bisexual men are also aroused. The non-homophobic heterosexual men, not so much. This physical truth must terrify you. Perhaps you have spent a life distancing yourself from your body, sternly telling yourself that if you don’t act on your innate desires, you will stay in God’s favor.

What a waste of time, honey. What a waste of your life. Why don’t you stop hating yourself and see how much less hate you have to spew on other people? Why don’t you enjoy the gift of sexuality that God gave you and celebrate the diversity of genders and sexualities God put into the world?

I am one of the hundreds of thousands of people of all faiths who welcome and celebrate diversity of sexuality and gender, as well as every other kind of diversity given as a gift to us on this earth. I wish you could climb out of your prison of hate and join us.

In the meantime, I’ll keep reminding you that I see you. You will be judged by the actions you take, and the effects that they have on the lives of others. You’re not fooling me. And you’re certainly not fooling God.

Originally published at Quest for Meaning.