-This is a physical manifestation of love.
This is glorious and beautiful, and any god which denies me for this
I don’t want to have a part of. -On the left-hand side can I have my LGBT folks,
on the right-hand side and I have my conservatives. -“There are times when I feel uncomfortable
expressing my views around sexuality.” -I am uncomfortable, primarily because the bromance
of like, “Well, there’s two girls. Who’s the boy?” And then it really just breaks the ice, ’cause there’s like…
there isn’t supposed to be a boy. That’s why we’re there. I do my best to break the ice with the comedic deflection, which I’ve learned is a… self-defense mechanism, right? -I come from a very conservative community.
And so, you know, it just wasn’t talked about. The people I’ve had the most conversations
with about are actually my family, which is really weird because I came out to my
parents because my dad was going to be leading the protests at the pride festival
that my boyfriend wanted me to go to. -Wow.
-So um… -I’m a pastor as well. I’m also a community leader in Boyle Heights and in that community, there’s a large LGBTQ presence, so there’s that fear of really
coming out and saying what I believe, because I do love everybody and I don’t want to be
pushed to the side just because I have a certain feeling about, you know, any topic, really. -I just wanted to say to you- and, you know, it’s not the beliefs that sometimes I have a problem with or I think people have a problem with in general. It’s just like the actions from the belief So like it’s okay to have beliefs but if we like can be loving in our beliefs and you know how our actions Come from those beliefs and like I love that we’re having this conversation You know like trying to breach those like build a bridge (Presenter): Some sins are worse than others In the eyes of, you know, of the God, our worship,
I believe that any sin separates us from Him because He’s holy and pure. But at the same time I think there are certain sins that will have greater consequences Yea I resonate with that. For me, it would be you know killing another human is the worst. That’s it. Also, it Venn diagrams into abortion.
Taking the life of another is huge, is huge. (Presenter): Can I ask you two this? -Do you all see homosexuality as a sin?
-and if so, where on that scale? I don’t think a homosexual tendency or an attraction to somebody of the same gender is a sin. I think that’s a natural feeling. I think when you start engaging in a lifestyle and you act upon that tendency,
then, because it goes against what I believe God designed, then I think that’s clearly a sin. I just don’t believe in sin because I feel that sometimes being punitive about things can like make you repress things and like Instinctually, I was like but not acting on them would be a sin like that’s how it feels for me like being dishonest to myself That feels wrong (Presenter): At some point in my life I was taught that sex is wrong I guess like within the context, you know sex that’s outside the context of marriage and so I guess that’s how identified with the question I had a very strong religious upbringing and I ended up doing a lot of self-harm and I end up doing a lot of things just to try and cope with these urges that when I finally gave in to them, I mean this is This is a physical manifestation of love. This is Glorious and beautiful and any God which denies me for this? I don’t want to have a part of Because whatever this is I know for a fact to be a truth because it is the nature of love Yeah, just responding to your story It makes me sad to hear that That you decided to hurt yourself me too Yeah, I still hold on to What I believe are my beliefs but at the same time I wish there was a better way for you to Talk to someone and to process and to think through Reconciling how you feel with like what you may have been taught or have read through Scripture yeah, I mean and that’s the thing is I think there’s a lot of There’s a lot of cultural baggage I think around Christianity that isn’t necessarily inherently part of any biblical Christianity Even though I grew up in a Christian family, I was– I don’t recall ever being told that sex was wrong or it was a bad thing I think I grew up with the understanding that sex is a beautiful thing it was given to us as a gift to enjoy.
There’s a place where it’s it’s been designed for, a place where we can enjoy it. And there’s a place where it’s detestable in the sight of the Creator. The one who gave it to us. I just don’t like the idea that anything is really detestable. You know what I mean? -So I just don’t like the…
-But wouldn’t you say that even sex for you within certain context is testable? Like, like… -No because I don’t…
-Like if it’s non-consensual? -Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. Agreed.
-Like that’s pretty detestable, right? -So even in that context…
-But the things that I consent to are I think not det… Like that I have sometimes no control over if it’s non-consensual (Presenter): People should honor the pronouns others wish to be called -oh, oh, oh
-Hesitation’s a no I am all for this.
Like, I identify as they. People don’t consider it and I think that, like, having these conversations about how people want to identify It’s like really important in a way that we can move things forward and stuff Yeah, if you’re like, ‘Hey, if you don’t use… whatever you’re gonna get fined’ or whatever like that’s… I’m not a big fan of that. No these are conversations between us though, right? -Like yeah.
-But otherwise it’s just being respectful. Oh, the pronoun police *laughter* So for me I never correct people because many times people do confuse me as “sir.” I don’t–it doesn’t faze me. However, I’m born in a female body. I’m a “she” There are times where my girlfriend’s have said
‘oh my boyfriend,’ this and that just because of their comfort zone they don’t want to have to deal with the whole like social stigma So you’re comfortable with them presenting you as a male -when…
-It doesn’t faze me -Really?
-It doesn’t faze me at all because my identity and my expressions are masculine and I’ve come to the terms and the realization that I don’t need to chop up my body into different pieces to fit in the social little box that is “man” If you want to address me you can address me as “he” or “she” or “them” or “girl,” ‘Becky with the good hair,’ or “Beck”
*laughter* As long as the term is respectful, I will take it I mean I step back just because it’s a complicated topic. Because with language–language is powerful And so when somebody who I would consider a female wants to be called a male I would want to probably respect that but I still firmly believe that, you know, they’re– God created there to be man and a woman and umm– I would like to sit down and talk to that person in depth before leaning one way or the other. Yeah. But I think like focusing more on like building a relationship instead of just like grilling someone ‘Why do you feel–‘ you know what I mean? -Like just trying to connect–
-‘What’s wrong with you? Like why don’t you–?’
*laughter* -Just kidding.
-Like yeah. Let me sit down and– *laughter* -Dissect you like a–
-So you are like a pronoun police *laughter* (Presenter): America is heading in the right direction when it comes to inclusion and diversity For me its more like the youth are headed in like inclusion and diversity and I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the institutions of power I think the youth are really moving our culture forward and like it’s encouraging to see Now I can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to be who I am and having to hide so I think it’s good in that sense that people finally are living in a world where I can be who I am and I don’t have to be ostracized and I can be included and the reason why I didn’t step in is because you know, I have certain values that I think are from God And so that’s why I hesitated a little bit on do I come forward or not? Well, I have a question because I, you know I’m curious where the sanctity if your marriage comes in Like if you can only get married to one because you and God and that woman have a relationship that is perfect for you, I’m curious how that affects uhh… who we can marry?
-Yeah I don’t think the job of a Christian for example is to get people to behave in a certain moral way that’s in line with what the Bible says. I wouldn’t be one to say ‘You can’t marry. You can’t marry another guy,’ or ‘you can’t marry another girl’ I would say first of all God loves you, you know, God loves you. Yeah, so specifically talking about like prop 8 When prop 8 came out I was completely against it I thought it was foolish and and quite ignorant and by many churches supporting prop 8 We basically tell you–told the gay community that we don’t care about you. We don’t care about how you feel, what you think love is We’re just gonna mandate that you can’t marry who you say you want to marry We’re adversaries Yeah, we became adversaries and the church I think lost a great position and saying and coming to people saying like we love you (Presenter): People should have the right to have sex with anyone they want Anyone? Okay, yeah, alright.
-Consensually, right? Consensually? *laughter* With anyone? Okay. Yes in the term anyone except children -Yeah
-As humans we–and as creatures of a divine spirit We have the right to follow our instincts and our sexual urges without punishing ourselves for you know wanting a woman or wanting a man and So yeah. Anyone has a right to consensual love making So the reason why I step back and I–you guys would agree with me–but When I was 9 years old, I was touched by a family member And so You know that’s–I can’t step forward when and that question is asked And I know you guys wouldn’t agree with that And that’s you preferenced at the very beginning that you know, if at long it’s consensual and not kids but that was my experience and Yep Sorry about that. I resonate with as well. I mean I was as well, you know, and there wasn’t a family member. Thank God, however still Enough of a tumultuous problem that even when I came out as a lesbian I wondered if it had to do with that instant and definitely brought up and that’s why it was the first thing that I said, you know because You know one is innocent and doesn’t know Absolutely. (Presenter): I believe in a higher power I’d love to hear from your perspective of why you believe in a higher power? I mean the household I was raised in. Why not? the analogy of like you can’t–one cannot see love one cannot see air and it’s still there and you know I started going to more clergymen and Wanting to understand exactly, you know my ways of being in the image of a greater creator understanding I wasn’t a mistake You know, you know there is a higher source There’s definitely something that has given me these blessings that have nothing to do with me It has everything to do with a bigger picture of things I think for me, you know I was also raised in a very strong religious background and just as I cannot deny this part of me that this is the way I express love I’d be dishonest if I said that when I sat down and I prayed and I listened I didn’t hear Oh no! it’s time for the heathen *laughter* No, no. You have to stop. You are no mistake. I resonate with some of the things you said too.
Like, I do believe in a higher power I just don’t believe in like a typical higher power and I also like Highly believe in science. So I’m like, I believe in gravity as a higher power I believe in like entropy as a–you know like things that we that are out of our control and stuff and I want to always keep searching and always keep questioning and like Always trying to find like as much love as possible, I guess And I believe in other people’s gods, too Like I believe in that for y’all, you know what I mean? like if that’s what makes you a better person and makes you feel more yourself and feel more loved like
I believe in that, you know But I can’t say that I believe it for myself
because I don’t know I don’t want to cast all my eggs in one basket (Presenter): Guys, thank you friends. Thank you. I appreciate it. *laughter* Thank you! *laughter* (inaudible) Hey guys, this is Jason from Jubilee here. We hope you enjoyed another episode of Middle Ground We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Let us know what you thought about the episode Let us know what you thought about the issue and whether there was someone who changed your opinion or if there’s something that you agreed with or disagreed with We’d love to have a great discussion with you in the comments. As always make sure you click here to subscribe click here for more videos.
We will see you guys next time.