Monday, September 03, 2012
My Thoughts About Queerness and My New Experiences with the Eastern Orthodox Church
My child and I are both queer. My child also identifies as bigender. She considered joining the Roman Catholic church but then learned of the Eastern Orthodox and instantly felt hopelessly attracted to it. I few months ago I allowed her to start attending a local Russian Orthodox church. I went with her, because I didn't want her to choose some faith tradition that condemned or rejected her. It feels as if this was just what she and I needed.
Recently, we both became catechumens. All of this has occurred without a single question being asked about her/our sexual orientation. I know that no congregation of people should be assumed to be perfect. However, I have had a wonderful experience so far. The congregation is small (not even 50 regular attendees). It has many of those kinds of "little old ladies" who are often prejudged to be intolerant and suspicious. Even they welcomed us--two African Americans with afros and no clue about what goes on in an Orthodox church--with open arms. They treat my child like a cherished grandchild and, during coffee hour, they constantly seek to fatten up her barely 100 lb frame.
It has all had the effect of making me simply enthralled with the church. The love of God that I have felt since my introduction to the Orthodox church makes me sure that the holy Trinity does not see my queerness as grounds for rejection. I have the hope to experience even greater communion with God, now that I know--KNOW--that the only thing that can separate me from the love of God is if I refuse to accept it.
I had no idea what I'd find when I googled "Queer and Eastern Orthodox", but this was the first link that appeared. I'm so very glad that someone wrote this and I truly appreciate all of the references that I can now check out when I'm ready to delve into this subject more diligently. Glory to God!