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Character Blinded by Politics

Recently I posted this to my Facebook and it sparked a major debate between my friends. There were people who genuinely inspire me and who have shown me authentic love and respect, who have let me into their homes, made me a seat at their tables for family holidays and have given me some of my most treasured memories, but also support our president. I respect everyone’s political stance and opinions. I’m not super political myself, but I have invested a good amount of time these past few years trying to educate myself and make sure my vote is an educated one. 

I believe voting is more than red and blue. I look at the way people are being led and what they’re being told by our president and I’m filled with anger and fear. America is supposed to be a great country of freedom and opportunity. People come here in pursuit of the “American Dream” and we have leadership that claims to be for the people but has shown they are only here for the white, heterosexual, cis gender people. We need to do better as voters to truly educate ourselves on our candidates rather than choosing red or blue because of what we “believe”. Religion doesn’t belong to any one party, just like masculinity doesn’t belong to a gender. Somewhere along the way we’ve constructed this narrative that one party is more “christian” than the other.

WE CAN DISAGREE AND LOVE EACH OTHER, UNLESS YOUR DISAGREEMENT IS ROOTED IN MY OPPRESSION AND DENIAL OF MY HUMANITY AND RIGHT TO EXSIST.

JAMES BALDWIN

Racism and intolerance is in the fabric of our country’s DNA and although we’ve come a long way, the battle for true equality is no where near where it needs to be. I’m a queer, Black Hispanic and every part of who I am has been attacked by the hate from the Trump administration. My political stance isn’t about being a republican or democrat, it’s about knowing the difference from right and wrong. We need to start looking at our current political climate and understand that this issue is not based on a matter of opinion or political party, but of character. Our president is racist, sexist, homophobic and intolerant, those terms may seem harsh but it’s the truth and there are interviews and quotes from our president proving this to be true.

Some people’s defense in supporting our president is solely based on his position, but where is the line? Adolf Hilter was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and became president (Der Führer)  in 1934. If someones defense in supporting our president is solely based on his position then this argument means, they would support Hitler during Nazi Germany if they were German. If we continue to “respect the position” what kind of future are we going to have in America? I think about my future and often times get scared because of what I see in our country now.

If you haven’t stopped to think what it’s like to walk in my shoes, then how can you ever expect to understand where I’m coming from? What it’s like to be subjected to racism and homophobia. Having to deal with the emotional and mental toll it takes to step away from that, then see people you love, support leadership that reinforces those behaviors.

I never thought a witty and bratty Facebook post would spark such an intense dialogue, but I’m glad it did because it gave me a chance to share my point of view.

Thanks Darrell

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Church & Kissing boys

I have been stuck on how to write this blog for over a year. The title was the easy part “Church & Kissing Boys” it was the obvious choice, but what was I going to say? Do I talk about faith and LGBT+ issues or read the church for filth (which to be honest wouldn’t be hard), but that’s not what I want this to be about. After sitting on this for a while I realized the best thing I can do is talk about my personal journey with my faith and queer identity.

Photo by Molly Hoffman

I’ve been a regular church goer since I was in middle school believing in a calling that didn’t exist beyond the four walls I called “church”. I spent eight years on my knees in tears praying for God to change me. battling with my identity because I was made to believe my attraction to guys was wrong. Because of that I committed entirely to the “church” spending hours after school helping with anything and everything I could, from building sets for holiday productions to cleaning toilets, but there wasn’t anything I could do to feel close enough to God that my “gayness” would disappear.

When I was 22 I decided to move away from home (Tampa, FL) to the midwest for a job helping a small church get their youth group off the ground. I was already working in full-time ministry at the time and the song Oceans, by Hillsong UNITED had just come out so taking bold steps for my faith was the obvious choice.

Photo by Molly Hoffman

A couple years later I was leading worship at a church now called Hillsong KC. There was one Sunday morning I was set to lead worship for all of the services at their main campus. I was torn because I didn’t feel worthy enough to lead people knowing I was gay. Before I took the stage I prayed – pleaded with God to change me because my heart couldn’t stand not being authentic and true to myself. After I prayed I took the stage and had one of the most powerful moments leading worship, so much so I was stopped by multiple people telling me they had never seen me lead with such authority and passion. The difference between this moment and the moments before was, while I was on stage I realized I was exactly who and where I was meant to be. I realized my being gay wasn’t going against anything but what others believed. If I was truly in the wrong I don’t believe God would have used me at the capacity he did and still does.

Photo by Molly Hoffman

For so long my faith was dependent on the people around me. It wasn’t until I came out and took a step back from the church that I realized my faith is mine alone and who God is to me is different than who God is to you and anyone else. Something I’ve learned is, you can’t the the humanity out of the church, and humanity isn’t perfect. I can’t say I figured everything out because I’m still learning and growing but the one thing I know is I’m happier than I have ever been and met someone that makes me one happy mister.