A Queer Holy Week
WARNING: ADULT CONTENT
Tonight, after church, I watched a video of a Quaker discussing how Jesus affirms her queerness.* As friends say, she speaks my mind.
Most of my adult life, I have thought of myself as bisexual, however inadequate that label may be. But I have never liked it because it seems too much like just another artificial box. And not a very accurate description of something so alive and fluid and mysterious as sexuality. Actually I like the term “queer” because it conveys a certain radical defiance—a refusal to be defined by any box, and a defiance of the attempts to wipe out the diversity of our God-given sexuality.
Tonight I am writing as a queer man. A queer Christian.
Earlier tonight I attended the candle-light Maundy Thursday worship service at Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa. We opened with a hymn:
Let us build a house where love can dwell…
All are welcome in this place.
Later, we shared communion as some softly sang:
This is the air I breathe…
Your holy presence, living in me…
Suddenly and powerfully I recognized how profoundly my friend/mentor had blessed me a few days ago (Day 32). He had driven for an hour to meet with me. And then he had given me six beautiful hours of his full presence. Life-affirming sacred presence.
That day I had talked with him about my fears of wanting too much, of asking too much. And of old wounds from sex disconnected from intimacy. Wounds from using and being used. From becoming an object instead of a person.
Our intimate time together was a chance for healing some of my wounds. He held me in his arms. He stayed with me through the ebb and flow of our energies. He waited for me patiently. Fully present as we followed our bodies without judgment or censorship or shame. At times I grieved, and still he waited with me. And we flowed in and out of countless periods of sweet ecstasy. Slow, simple. For hours.
Tonight I was filled with gratitude for this man who accompanied me on that journey. Who had stayed with me and held the sacred space for me. Who didn’t run from me or from my wounds.
And after communion we read from scripture:
They went to a place called Gethsemane,
and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…stay here and keep watch.”
But they did not. Instead they fell asleep.
And when he was arrested and taken away, everyone deserted him and fled.
Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray…
I cried because I know what it is to have someone keep watch and stay with me.
*Kody Hersh on How Jesus Affirms My Queerness: