I confess that I am not much of a blogger. I’m not a terribly quick writer. I need time to ruminate, consider; live into thoughts and experiences. I am not a quick-reply, right on the spot kind of responder. I’m not terribly good in class discussions because I just need too much time. Blogs expect you to be immediately responsive to current events, immediately responsive in your thoughts, analysis, take on whatever is happening. I am not very good at that.
Much as I know this about myself, there are times when that is precisely what I want and need to be. Times when an immediate reaction and explosion of response is required. So it was last night in one of my classes. Just as we were preparing to go, five minutes left to our discussion, one of my classmates came out with the phrase, “I don’t believe in homosexuality.”
“I don’t believe in homosexuality” as if my sexuality, my very being, my life were a concept that she could choose to deny. As if homosexuality stood amongst the great swath of doctrinal, theological choices that one considers and can reject.
It struck me so deeply. The absolute absurdity of choosing to see homosexuality as a belief system – some sort of theoretical construct. As though I could do the same with her, “I don’t believe in heterosexuality.”
In my late-night fits going over and over what she had said and what I didn’t have the time to say, feeling that her comments were a personal attack on me, my family, my friends. Feeling so profoundly angry at her dismissal of my personhood, I conjured up all the things that I wished I had said. All the things that came to me after it truly sunk in. Enacting great comebacks, acerbic one-liners, and eloquent monologues…after the pain and rage sunk in.
But today I don’t have a speech to write or a sermon to tell about this event. I just needed the immediacy of this blog to say:
You don’t get to believe or not believe in my sexuality. You don’t get to choose. You don’t get to reject me based on some hair-brained conceptual framework. You don’t have the option of dismissing me. I am a concrete reality. So are the countless other queer folks I know. We are not a theory. We are not a theology. We are here, honey, in all our glory as flesh and bone, sitting right next to you in class, in church, on the bus, in the park etc. We’re here. We’re queer. There’s no belief involved.