The Witness of LGBTQ+ People

The Witness of LGBTQ+ People

BY SHANNON EVANS | July 3, 2023
Sunday’s Readings

In my life, LGBTQ+ people have taught me about the sacredness of being true to oneself despite the cost. This matters because when we accept the parts of ourselves that others have tried to change or silence, we are really accepting a particular revelation of God. For this reason, in my work as an editor at the National Catholic Reporter, I have found great value in amplifying queer voices. And I can’t help but think of these and other friends when reading today’s Scriptures.

Here, Jesus utters some of his hardest words: whoever loves family more than Christ is not worthy of Christ at all. For many queer people, to be worthy of Christ—to embrace the parts of God they uniquely embody—has asked painful things of some familial relationships. While plenty of families warmly celebrate LGBTQ+ identities, many of my gay and transgender friends have had to cling to the Gospel in the face of harm or rejection. For what is the Gospel if not the good news that the most intimate, vulnerable parts of us are perfectly loved by God?

The Witness of LGBTQ+ People

In Romans, Paul writes that if we die with Christ, we will be raised to new life. Straight, cisgender folks like me might read that and shrug it off as a metaphor. But for many queer Catholics, the picture of dying to an old self and being raised to new life feels precise and familiar.

Today’s Scripture readings are hard, but they’re honest. Human relationships are complicated. What the straight/cis community can learn from our LGBTQ+ siblings is that in God’s economy, loss somehow equals gain. Family often arises from unlikely places. Dying to who you thought you should be raises you to live as who you were created to be.

For Reflection:

  • How might loss equal gain in God’s economy?
  • Have you or someone you know died to who you thought you should be and been raised to live as you were created to be?
6 replies
  1. em
    em says:

    Ms. Evans, it is disappointing to read what you write in this “article.” From having gotten to know of you from BIS I find what you say here to not be of good Catholic substance/teaching. Or, are you Catholic? Speaking from truth we are made in the image and likeness of God-all of us, everyone. Why not speak to God of any concerns/doubts and when help is needed then why not speak to someone who teaches and clarifies what Catholicism/Christianity teaches? Because you happen to now speak from having a job as “editor” of a forum that has “Catholic” in its name does not qualify you to advise on LGBTQ+.
    Using your job as editor of any Catholic forum does not qualify you for “misteaching” or advising. Period.
    Be careful in trying to be a witness/advisor on LGBTQ+ stuff. Be very careful.
    One can’t twist Scripture or anything to fit our lifestyle or how we want to fit in with what is “trending.”
    Our inner conscience is worth spending some time with.

  2. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Life is a brief pilgrimage. May each pilgrim be blessed with strength and stamina to complete the beautiful journey.

  3. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    I think about this a lot. Each kind of human made in the image of God reflects something particular about Him. Understands a different aspect of Him and His redemption and the grace of His kingdom. I have learned tender lessons from LGBT Christians. I grew up being told they were abominations. Now I listen as they tell me what it feels like to be called an abomination by your family. Ouch.

  4. sonja
    sonja says:

    Yes we are all loved by God and are called to love each other in the form of agape, not eros as promoted in the media.


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