Yesterday, the Presbyterian Church, (USA) passed in consent agenda by a unanimous voice vote 4 resolutions that will have a tremendous impact on supporting LGBTQ people. More Light, in partnership with The Covenant Network of Presbyterians as well as other partners, worked for the passage of these overtures. We are beyond delighted by the this affirmation by the denomination. Later in the evening, they also passed Overture 10-03, a resolution determining the need for an LGBTQIA+ Advocacy Committee in the PC(USA). As anyone who’s been watching the conversations within the 44 year history of active discussion around the place of LGBTQIA+ people in the denomination, it was a big day.
Yesterday was historic for More Light and for the denomination. At the end of the evening, during discussions on Overture 10-03, a Youth Delegate (YAAD) came out as bisexual. On the floor of the General Assembly. He chose to come out to his church before even coming out to his parents. The discussion going on was around the need for an advocacy committee on LGBTQIA+ people and this YAAD stepped into the situation and put a face to the conversation. I don’t know if this YAAD has any idea that 44 years ago, David Sindt stood up on the General Assembly floor, holding a sign asking, “Is anyone else out their gay?” (though we ensured that he now has one of our new t-shirts emblazoned with the quote), but it feels kind of right in a way that he wouldn’t.
As someone who stands in the gap between generations of LGBTQIA+ people, I strive to remain aware of both my LGBTQIA+ elders and the youth coming after me. The elders and saints who made it possible for me – in my embodied queer, non-binary self, talking about LGBTQIA+ folks – to be taken seriously as a candidate for ministry. The shoulders I stand on are strong. The youth who are now stepping into their roles in the Church, who see it as a place where they can come out and be embraced in a sea of hugs. Those two groups hold me accountable to step into uncomfortable spaces, aware of both the path that has been laid for me and also of the work still to do.
The last few days, though, I have been encouraged by the idea that this is the Church we can be and we have strived to be and so many of our LGBTQIA+ elders and saints knew it could be: a Church where a young person can speak their truth to their Church and be embraced by a sea of hugs and congratulations.
For folks who’ve been in the struggle for so long, and for those who never had the safety to come out or who had to leave to live into your call, please know that your work has not been in van and that this denomination is actively striving to do right by all of us LGBTQIA+ brothers, sisters, and siblings.
And for all those who were told for far too long that they are anything other than beloved children of God, we know this doesn’t undo the hurt that experienced caused. And not every Presbyterian Church door you walk through will necessarily know the ins-and-outs of what it means to be LGBTQIA+. Please know that with the actions of the denomination yesterday, there was an intentional move to say, “we see you.”