In an earlier piece, I wrote as follows:
Life moves on, positively, at least on balance. A few years ago, when I attended the wedding reception of my gay Conservative co-worker (yes, those anti-gay marriage Conservatives), I was struck by how refreshing it was to see people flaming without a care. This is who I am, and I deny nothing. The only one at the reception who reminded me of the whipped shower scene was someone from the House of Commons who wasn’t yet out. Have to be so very tight and neutral, dontcha know, since so many people think I am still looking for the right woman.
Other dimensions. The Conservative colleague came from an evangelical Christian tradition, and had attended Bible College. He ended up married in the United Church, because no other church would marry them, and religious marriage was very important to him. He was uncomfortable with the United Church, he told me, because “they are too liberal”. He wanted to be married in the tradition he knew. Somebody who cranked up the Christmas carols at home, at of early December. Somebody with tattoos–religious themes, on his back.
Where does the gay Catholic go? Where does the gay Muslim go? Know an “out” person who has a leadership role in his Anglican congregation…but what does one do if the only religious tradition that makes sense is the one that reviles what one does not choose, but who one is?
In the past year, attended a presentation of Muslims for Progressive Values. Impressed to encounter diversity of perspectives in what is often perceived to be a hardline and intransigent religion, at least in Western eyes. On the other hand, found them to be far too liberal. Imagine a number of gay Muslims would feel similarly.
Invited to an evangelical congregation. Want to hear a colleague preach. Can’t go. Nowhere in the zone, and no pew in the back. In Catholic context, nobody knows you, unless you want to be known. Can sit alone, and nobody wonders why. Don’t go to the Communion line, and nobody wonders why. Never alone in the sitdown; there’s always several, or more. Why you are there, in the midst of whatever disgrace, temporary or permanent, is yours and yours alone, unless you choose otherwise. No greeters, no checkyouout. Live a broken Catholic life, and nobody wonders. There in your own connection.
If other Houses of Worship could provide such choice of solitary connection…