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I am Jamaican. I am a Christian. I am heterosexual.

And, I am deeply wounded by the way in which some Jamaicans, Christians, and heterosexuals are navigating the whole issue of homosexuality. Then again, maybe that’s it. Maybe, in the minds of those who so readily disregard gay people, they’re not even people–just an issue. Perhaps, in those minds, they’re the ones who are going to lead children astray, teach them that being gay is normal, force us to live in a world in which it is commonplace to see two men or women engaging in rather public displays of affection. Maybe they’re afraid, but enough is enough.

Who gave us the right to act as God’s mouthpiece, when we’re busy misrepresenting His intentions? Under whose authority do we decide that ‘the world’ that ‘God so loved’ did not include gay people? How do we live so comfortably with the idea that so many men and women are afraid of being true to themselves, because to do so would mean risking ostracism and even death?

It is indeed incredibly sad that so many people, Christians included, would rather focus on issues, all the while missing the very people involved. It is even more distressing that principles God laid down out of love for us, out of His commitment to our joy, have become fodder for cannons of condemnation. It is an injustice that God has so patiently given all of us time to come into the light, that He so relentlessly pursues us even after the light has found us, yet we want to cram truth down people’s throats in an effort to open their eyes.

I have had enough. Enough of young men being killed because a mob decided it wasn’t okay to be gay in their presence. Enough of ‘men’ forcing themselves on women in an effort to ‘straighten’ them. Enough of young people committing suicide because they were bullied for being gay. Enough of Scripture being flung at people, as if truth were meant to be wielded like a sword. Enough of this ‘them vs. us’ mentality. Enough of the notion that the fullness of the expression of grace reveals itself in heterosexuality–as if being straight offers any measure of protection from immorality.

We will never get anywhere until we move past the gay and start seeing the people. Maybe some of us will have to have gay sons, daughters, friends, uncles, nieces, etc., before we put a face to homosexuality. Maybe we already do, but they’re too afraid of our rejection. Maybe, like me, you will have to have someone you love and treasure be almost killed by law enforcement officers–and for what crime? Sitting on a park bench beside someone of the same sex.

Can we please stop pretending that being gay is the end of the world? Being gay does not make you more evil or less of a person than anyone else. It does not mean you decided to tell God and society to go self-fornicate, just so you could live your life. It does not mean you’re not special, beautiful, gifted, funny, insecure, angry, sad, hopeful, and anything else that fits on the spectrum of emotion. Being gay does not make you any less human.

We don’t all have to agree on how to approach life, but, if we can’t agree on the sanctity of life, where is this civilisation of which we speak?