It is the day after Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and it has me thinking about gender issues. They’re not all black and white, handy that they use a rainbow as their icon.
Rainbows are also found early on in the Bible. God put one in the sky after Noah’s 40 day flood as a symbol that he would never flood the entire earth again. It is a symbol of hope and promise.
From an LGBTIQ+ perspective, it represents the many colours and shades of gender / sexuality that we come in. It reflects the reality that there is no such thing as a gender binary, there is a spectrum – or a rainbow – and we all find ourselves somewhere along it. We all fit. That’s a thought to smile about. Especially when I feel like I have never ‘fit in’ in my life – not female enough, not male enough, lost in the ether. Non-binary perhaps? Mardi gras is a most flamboyant expression of the relief and joy we feel when we fit in.
How sad it is that we live in a society that continually tells us what we are not. I see that more than ever working with children who have disabilities / medical conditions. Kids and families are routinely told you don’t fit in here because you are different. You have special needs. You’re different. Go somewhere else, or live on the fringes where you won’t remind us of our own prejudices.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that gays, intersex people, lesbians, transsexual and queer people are not loved and accepted by God. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah from Genesis 19, used by evangelicals to damn these people, needs to be read in context, at which point it refers more to gang rape than homosexuality.
On the contrary, scripture after scripture affirms all of us as unique, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139) and unconditionally loved (John 3:16, John 13:34, John 15:9, John 15:12) by God. He doesn’t say I only love straight square people who don’t sin. All have sinned (Romans 3:23). Eunuchs, those unable to reproduce for whatever reason, have a special place in God’s heart (Isaiah 56:3-4).
So why do Churches feel the need to define and restrict us with no good reason? It is with a deep conviction in my heart that I say God made us all in his image and yet, somehow, our own unique version. There are feminine and masculine aspects to God, just as there are in all of us.
He loves us unconditionally, regardless of how we feel about ‘sin’ or who is defining ‘sin’ on our behalf. You are uniquely and unconditionally loved. That is reason enough to dance in the street underneath all the colours of the rainbow.
I’m an amateur, but if you want some solid theological teaching on this subject, I recommend all the videos in Austen Lionheart’s video series “Transgender and Christian”. Here’s a link to his channel. Here’s a link to his Transgender and Christian playlist. Go. Learn. Be free to live your truth.