#54: The LGBTQ Activist who’s Changing Evangelical Churches
Do you leave? Or do you stay?
If you’re Brandan Robertson, you stay. You start talking to people. You find out you’re not the only one who wants the church to change.
And then you announce you’re not only fighting for change, you’re part of the reason why change is needed.
Brandan Robertson started blogging about LGBTQ equality last year while a student at Moody Bible Institute, an evangelical Christian college. He quickly became a very vocal advocate for same-sex marriage, and people began to take notice. Last fall, after graduating from Moody, he was asked to be spokesperson for the new organization, Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Coverage in TIME, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other major media soon followed.
But with all the positive attention came harsh pushback from well-known evangelicals. And just last month, Robertson lost a valuable book deal, after he refused to reject what the Christian publisher called “the homosexual lifestyle.”
Soon after, Robertson revealed that his work was not only important to him for religious reasons, it was also personal.
“I identify as queer … For me, this means my sexuality is fluid. I could be attracted to a man or a woman; my sexuality ultimately defies traditional labels of gay or bisexual.”
But he is also an adamant believer in evangelical Christianity. “I believe all of the defining points of evangelicalism,” he said. “It is because of Jesus and the gospel that I have come out and embraced my queer identity. It is because of Jesus and the gospel that I work for LGBTQ equality … And I am not alone.”
There’s a “powerful wave of movement towards inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ people in evangelical churches.”
“Over 43 percent of millenial evangelicals support same-sex marriage … Each and every day, more and more LGBTQ people and our allies are coming out of a different closet — as evangelical Christians.”
Robertson didn’t always think this way, though. “I once was strongly opposed to marriage equality, even to the point of preaching in the streets of Baltimore with my church youth group about the dangers of legalizing same-sex marriage.”
“Many have said it before, but it bears repeating here. There is a major problem within evangelical Christianity … Every day, LGBTQ individuals are told that they are no longer welcome in churches, are kicked out of homes, are fired from jobs, and are forced into reparative therapy by those who claim to represent Jesus.”
Robertson and other evangelicals like him are determined to change that.
Do you have an Act of Male Goodness to share? Or know someone who should be profiled in this series? Send details to Kristi Dale at [email protected] with “100 Acts of Male Goodness” in the subject line.
Photo credit: Flickr/John Nakamura Remy