Because some of you have asked…
Here are a few things a straight, conservative Christian could do to show their support for the LGBT people in their lives in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
- If you have gay coworkers or friends that you see regularly, the next time you see them ask them if you can give them a hug.
- If you have gay friends or family members, contact them and tell them that you love them and that you are sorry that people like them were targeted in such a horrific manner. Ask them how they are doing and be prepared to receive whatever they share, even if it’s just dazed grief (personally, that’s where I am still).
- If your conscience permits you, attend a gay pride event this month. Not many straight conservative folks know that gay pride events commemorate the Stonewall riots that took place on June 28, 1969, and are an occasion for LGBT people to remember the violence against their humanity that that event represents. In my opinion, a conservative Christian can attend a gay pride event in solidarity with the shared humanity we all have as image-bearers of God.
- Resist the narrative that Orlando was predominantly a terrorist attack. It was that, yes, but it was also a hate crime against a minority population that has been brutally targeted and marginalized throughout most of recorded history. Let’s show some love, people.
- Likewise, resist efforts to normalize this event as yet one more tragedy in a long line of tragedies against various people groups across the world. Yes, this is true, but it minimizes the grief and suffering that LGBT people specifically are experiencing right now. We can be the hands and feet of Christ to a community in pain during this moment before making sure they know all our theological beliefs about evil and suffering.
- If your church did not call for compassion for the LGBT community because of the hate crime during its morning worship service, call your pastor and ask him to model this posture towards this tragedy for your congregation. Keep in mind that it’s possible that your pastor might not have known about the events since news reports were barely out before many church services had started.
- Give to a charitable organization that either helps LGBT people in crisis, offers Christ-focused support services, or promotes awareness, dialogue, and peace as genuine Christian values. LoveBoldly, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and the Gay Christian Network are all good options, as well as the GoFundMe site for the victims and their families.
(Original post edited to include reference to the GoFundMe site.)