A New Lens: An alternative LGBTIQ+ Acronym

"Loving, Gracious, Blessed, Transformed, Included, Questioning+"

For many LGBTIQ+ folk, the journey towards self-acceptance is a beautiful and complex one. It's definitely been true for most people I know. While I'm grateful for the shared experiences and struggles that connect our community, I also recognize how diverse and multifaceted our identities are.

The language we use for self-identification within the LGBTIQ+ community can be a complex issue. While reclaiming terms like "queer" can be empowering, others, like myself, who have faced discrimination based on sexual orientation, may find these terms associated with past prejudice. Recognizing the potential for labels to cause hurt, and having done some questioning in the community, I've chosen to move beyond the acronyms and labels of today altogether. This aligns with the importance of finding inclusive language that respects the experiences of everyone within the spectrum. Ultimately, it's about embracing the beautiful complexities that make up the diversity of God's creation.

The same goes for certain symbols and advocacy messages. Celebrating the vibrant tapestry of our community is important, but it can also feel alienating to those who don't conform to those specific expressions. And let's not forget, the LGBTIQ+ acronym doesn't resonate with everyone. Respecting this spectrum of identities and experiences is crucial.

The fight for inclusivity, while necessary, can unintentionally create distance between the LGBTIQ+ community and the wider world, hindering meaningful dialogue and bridge-building. This is why I believe a more nuanced approach to advocacy is needed. One centered on empathy, understanding, and humility. By acknowledging the diversity within our community, and beyond, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society for all.

Yes, the LGBTIQ+  community has made incredible strides towards equality. But amidst this progress, there's still room for thoughtful discussions about identity and how we advocate for ourselves.  Maybe it's time to move beyond rigid labels and embrace the beautiful complexities that make us who we are. The New Testament echoes this sentiment in Galatians 3:28, which speaks of unity in Christ despite differences.

I understand that this perspective may differ from what I've written about previously in my books on LGBT+ inclusion. My own experiences and understanding of the community have grown and evolved over time. Focusing on the complexities of identity and the potential impact of labels allows for a more inclusive approach that respects everyone's journey. My core belief in equality and respect for all LGBTIQ+ identities remains unchanged. I believe this nuanced approach can ultimately strengthen our advocacy efforts. 

My faith journey and my understanding of the LGBTIQ+ community have both grown and evolved over time. While the terms we use for self-identification are important, I've come to believe that focusing on the beautiful complexities of each person's journey is equally important. This realization led me to rethink a second LGBTIQ+ acronym: Loving, Gracious, Blessed, Transformed, Included and Questioning+. It reflects my belief that God's love extends to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

This post was revised following a discussion suggesting the inclusion of questioning. My colleague emphasized the importance of questioning in our Christian faith, highlighting it as a blessing to embrace such insights. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus Himself encouraged questioning through His interactions with His disciples and others. He often posed thought-provoking questions, inviting individuals to reflect and deepen their understanding of spiritual truths.

This new perspective doesn't erase the importance of the existing LGBTIQ+ acronym. It simply offers an alternative lens through which to view the diversity and richness of the community. Ultimately, fostering empathy, understanding, and respect remains paramount.

Let's continue this conversation – I'd love to hear your thoughts in the the comments below! What are your experiences within the LGBTIQ+ community? How can we create a more inclusive and compassionate space for all?

Editors Note - 11/05/24
After immersing myself in Rev Rachel Mann's insightful lecture on YouTube (Annual Lecture 2023: Canon Rachel Mann, The Inclusive Church network), I found myself wholeheartedly embracing her perspective on the significance of embracing vulnerability within the body of Christ. Mann's reflection on aging struck a chord with me, particularly her shift away from viewing inclusion and diversity solely as an expression of the Gospel's holiness through social action or as a concession to secular society. Instead, she emphasized the profound importance of embracing our limits and vulnerabilities within the community of believers. This resonates deeply with my own understanding, as it reinforces the idea that inclusivity isn't just about outward actions but also about embracing the full complexity of human experience within the context of faith. It underscores the need for authenticity and genuine connection within the body of Christ, as we navigate the intersections of faith, identity, and social justice.

A New Lens: An alternative LGBTIQ+ Acronym A New Lens: An alternative LGBTIQ+ Acronym Reviewed by Shane St Reynolds on May 03, 2024 Rating: 5

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