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LGBT Church Presentation

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Zeth McNeal

on 10 October 2016

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Transcript of LGBT Church Presentation

{
Gender
Expression

L
G
B
T
Q
I
A

ntersex
Why am I starting here?
There is a
RIFT
between the LGBTQIA community and the Church.

One of Satan's greatest lies to keep this rift alive is as follows:

The GAY agenda is pushing a bunch of of mumbo-jumbo made-up "facts" in order to give people a license to conduct themselves according to whatever whimsical desires they may have.
This is a lie!!!
What is Intersex
First things first: Intersex is real!

Intersex is an umbrella term for people born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't seem to fit as strictly Male or Female. Often these organs are malformed or incomplete.

The most identifiable medical condition in relation to this term is
"True Hermaphroditism"
, being born with both testicular and ovarian tissue.
With a fuller understanding of the LGBTQIA Spectrum, you may find that you respond to the following claim more openly.
What does
Intersex
have to do with the Queer Community?
What is
ueer
What is Queer?
Queer is an umbrella term meaning in opposition to the norm.

Queer refers to all people of the LGBTQIA Community including those who are not yet explicitly represented by the acronym.

For now, the term "Gay Community" will be replaced by "Queer Community" which is better nomenclature for this people-group.
Intersex describes a medical condition.

However, that medical condition has cultural consequences.

Often, doctors and parents, believing that they were acting in the best interests of these children, would perform genital reconstructive surgery.

Most of the time, they chose to remove the genitalia that least fit the perceived Sex of the child.

In the end, Intersex refers to a people-group that society has pressured into physical alteration to fit normative genital expectations.
Gender Identity
Imagine for a Second
When you were a child, you were born with both genitalia.

Your parents were surprised. They didn't know what to do. They just kept imagining the horrible teasing/bullying that you would experience as you grew up.

A well-meaning doctor told them that he was sure that you were meant to be [insert your Sex here].

So a week later, they removed the extra genitalia, and now you are you.
This Has Happened!
Many people who identify as Intersex had well-meaning doctors and parents choose or "assign" their Sex through surgery.

All too often, these people grew up with a disconnect.

Something in their gut told them that their Sex was wrong, that their genitalia did not match who they were.

These people researched and discovered these surgeries that were performed without their say or consent.
Now Humor Me for a Second
Imagine that your parents love you very much.

But, you were born with both sexes.

In order to save you from a life-time of pain,
your parents made a difficult decision to remove
the obviously extra genitalia.

You are very confident about your Sex and have never questioned it all of your life.
What if, one day, a doctor told you that your DNA
doesn't match your genitalia.

We don't generally do DNA tests to check our Sex.

Men, I want you to close your eyes and imagine this
scenario: Your DNA is Female. Women close your eyes. Your DNA is Male.

If this were true, would you want to know? Would
you accept it? Would you let a DNA test change who you are?
I
KNOW
my Sex; You Don't!
That feeling - that you and you alone know what Sex you belong to.

That is your
Gender Identity
.
Your Brain has an idea of what Sex you belong to.

Your Body has physical genitalia and DNA defining your Sex.

Sometimes, these are in conflict.

Especially for mislabeled Intersex people.

But also for people who are Transgender.
ransgender
What is Transgender?
Sometimes, that feeling that your genitalia doesn't truly represent who you are does not mean you were "assigned" the wrong sex organs at birth.

Transgender refers to a people born with a Gender Identity that is in conflict with their Sex.

This means that people feel as if they belong to a Sex that does NOT match their physical genitalia.

This conflict has both cultural and biological consequences on their perception of Gender.
It is not
possible
to have been born in the
wrong body. It is not
possible
to feel like
you are Female and be born with Male parts.
It is not
possible
to feel like you are Male and
have Female parts.

These are not
possible
because
"God made
them male and female"
and
GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES
!
If you are a Christian, DO NOT SAY THIS!
GOD DOES MAKE MISTAKES!
God makes
handicapped
people.
God makes
blind
people.
God makes
deaf
people.
In fact,
Intersex
proves that God even "screws up" getting the Sex right on people.
He doesn't call them mistakes though. He says they are
good
,
beautiful
,
precious
,
beloved
.
We
are the ones calling them mistakes.
Please do NOT call people who identify as Transgender ... mistakes.
This is where our society went wrong.
There wasn't a place for people who didn't fit Gender expectations.
In fact, society argued that these people were depraved or liars.
Of course, the Queer Community exists! It was the only place where people who felt differently than others were told that their feelings were NOT wrong. It was the only place where their feelings were NOT called mental illness.
I was "BORN THIS WAY"
"Love the sinner, not the sin."
In fact, for years, society killed, imprisoned, "fixed" with drugs any person who claimed to be "Queer".

Being open about one's Queer identity resulted in the
grave
, the
asylum
,
medical intervention
,
jail
, or (if you were lucky)
exile
from society.
Being Queer should NOT result in death, medical intervention, jail, or exile. That is what it means to find Queerness socially acceptable.
Our society's treatment of the Queer Community created an "us" and "them".
This concept - "
Identity
" = "
Lifestyle
" - explains why it is nearly impossible to find a Church conversation related to LGBTQIA that consists of anything except condemnation.
Identity
=
Lifestyle
isexual
ay
esbian
Identify
as Female
Identify
as Male
Gender
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
Identify
as Female
Identify
as Male
Gender
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
sexual
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
Identify
as Female
Identify
as Male
Biologically
Female
Biologically
Male
Sex
Gender
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
Culturally
Feminine
Culturally
Masculine
Expression
Identify
as Female
Identify
as Male
Biologically
Female
Biologically
Male
Sex
Gender
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
Culturally
Feminine
Culturally
Masculine
Expression
Spectrums
What is
Gender = Sex
Gender
is how YOU choose to view your
Sex
through the lens of the attitudes, behaviors, and expectations of our
Culture
.
Gender =
Sex
Culture
How people portray their male/female"ness" according to personal and cultural attitudes, behaviors, and expectations.
The media generally portrays Gay men as very effeminate and fashionable.
This is an inaccurate stereotype!
In reality, Masculinity and Femininity also exist on a Spectrum.
Culturally
Feminine
Culturally
Masculine
Expression
Traditional man
Love Sports
Can't Cry
In touch
with his
emotions
Where I
fall on
this graph
Culturally
considered
Gay
Sexual Orientation
Who a person is attracted to sexually.
As we dive into these identities, it is important to realize the distinction between these two facets. It is entirely reasonable for someone to identify as Gay under 'Sexual Attraction' and Bisexual under 'Romantic Attraction'.
Orientation is a description of how someone experiences sexual attraction and romantic love.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Asexual are labels for people who experience attraction/love in ways that differ from the norm.
A Woman who is sexually attracted to members of the Female Sex.
A Man who is sexually attracted to members of the Male Sex.
A person who is sexually attracted to members of both the Male and Female Sex.
The easiest way to understand this concept is to view everyone as at least slightly Bisexual.
Everyone Lives on Both the Male and Female Sexuality Spectrums
There are some people whose sexual attraction to certain sexes is minute or entirely non-existent.
To call these people Bisexual would be a misnomer.
However, these people simply live on the far end of the spectrum of sexual attraction.
Very Sexually
Attracted
NOT Sexually
Attracted
Orientation
You may be NOT sexually attracted
to a certain Sex.
You may be VERY sexually attracted
to a certain Sex.
A Bisexual person is VERY attracted to members of both Sexes.
An Asexual person is someone who is NOT attracted to either Sex.
The MOST Important Concept of Sexual Orientation
It is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that most Men and Women are closer to the middle of the Sexuality Spectrums than our Culture would have you believe.
Most Men
Most Women
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
Mostly attracted to women
Sometimes attracted to men
Mostly attracted to men
Sometimes attracted to women
Returning to the Definition of Bisexual ...
I wish I could spend more time here.

Two friends, members of the Queer Community, first introduced me to Asexuality. This really opened my eyes to the plight of the Queer Community and its disconnection with the Church.

However, understanding is simple. People feel different levels of attraction. Some feel none at all.

I might not be able to identify with someone who is Asexual.

I might not even truly comprehend what it feels like to be Asexual.

But, I CAN both acknowledge and validate their experiences.
Labels
These are only
The Queer Community has shed light on the fact that people are different ... And ... That ... Is ... Okay.
Sex - the physical features that make up your reproductive system.
Gender Identity - the mental determination of what Sex you "belong to".
Gender Expression - the relationship between how a person behaves and the cultural expectations of how Males and Females should eat, talk, dress, groom, etc.
Sexual Orientation - who a person is attracted to: Male, Female, both, neither, etc.
There has been so much focus on the "wrongness" of the Queer lifestyle. For once, I want to ensure we acknowledge what is NOT wrong.
Sex - There is NOTHING wrong with having both Male and Female genitalia.
Gender Identity - There is NOTHING wrong with believing that your Sex does not match the Sex you should be.
Gender Expression - There is NOTHING wrong with not behaving according to the traditional expectations of your Sex.
Sexual Orientation - There is NOTHING wrong with being attracted to members of the same Sex, both Sexes, or neither Sex.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual - these are just labels to help people understand.

But these are boxes of limited description.

And not everyone fits in a box.

Understand that people live on spectrums.

They might not meet societal expectations.

But, they are people, just the same.
Very Attracted
to Males
NOT Attracted
to Males
Orientation
Very Attracted
to Females
NOT Attracted
to Females
Orientation
Gender
represents the TENSION or lack thereof between how you view yourself in light of your
Sex
and how
Culture
expects you to view yourself in light of your
Sex
.
What is
Now, you may be thinking to yourself:
"So, he is saying that there's a difference between my actual Sex and what I think my Sex is?"
That is exactly what I'm saying!
You have absolutely NO CONTROL over your Sex.
Your Sex is much like skin-color. It is literally defined by your DNA and reproductive organs.
But, when you close your eyes and accept that you are Male
or accept that you are Female, what comes to mind?
Do you see your penis or vagina in your head?
Your testes?
Your last pregnancy?
You picture your strength, your love for women, your competitiveness.

Your picture your nurturing instincts, your love for conversation, relationship, and children.
But, this is not your Sex talking.

It is your mental idea of what your Sex is,
what it means.
Gender is the idea of what Sex is, what Sex means.
Gender has two components:
Identity - the mental representation of Sex.
Expression - the expected attitudes, actions, or behaviors of Sex.
This presentation hinges on your understanding that Gender Identity conflict is real. One CANNOT begin to address the person until he at least validates the realities that the person is facing.

I am not here to discuss what is right or wrong to do with one's body but to explain that the most important aspect of identifying as Transgender is the realities that come with it.

There have been well-meaning Christians including me - people who truly love God and others - who have been quoted saying this about people who identify as Transgender:
Our Culture has not only defined our perception of Gender,

But, our Culture has also assigned a very distinct set of often opposing characteristics to Males and Females.

Because of this, a people-group has arisen who do not fit the binary definition (the either-or "ness") of what it means to be culturally Male or Female.

These are the Gender Non-conformists, the most public of which are known as Transgender.
For some, the tension between
their Sex and their Gender is
all but non-existent.

For people who identify as Transgender, their Sex and their
Gender are in constant conflict.
"I feel like I am a girl in a boy's body."
As we unpack this statement, we find that there are two meanings:
The first is cultural. In their head, they have a picture of what it means to be a Woman, but they can't be. Society sees their sex and with it, puts expectations on how they should think and how they should behave.
The second is biological. In their head, their body has different genitalia. Their body literally feels wrong.
Even though these perceptions are vastly different, they are often mixed.
How can we be surprised?

If you lived in constant conflict that everyone around you treated you as a Man despite your constant remonstrations that you were a Woman, that you knew in your gut that you were a Woman,

how far would you go to be at peace with your body?
/
Black or White?
Our culture tends to categorize things, to put the lives of people into boxes.
Black
White
Some do not fit in either box.
Maybe, they look white, but, culturally, they identify as black.

Maybe, they have a mixed heritage.

For whatever reason, they prove that the binary "either... or" system does not work.
The Spectrum
Black
White
What if we did not assume that all these people fit in boxes?
Ethnicity
This concept is known as a Spectrum.
The Male/Female Boxes
Gen 1:27b - "Male and female He created them."
If Male/Female
refers to one's combination of genitalia and DNA,

people of Intersex
must exist somewhere
in between.
Male
Female
In fact, all of our natural characterizations of what it means to be Female or Male fit best on a Spectrum.
What about Intersex?
Physical Sex
Gender Identity
Gender Expression
Sexual Orientation
Ethnicity
Age
Citizenship
Intelligence
Who you choose to marry.

Whether you choose to be religious.

Who you love.

Whether or not you are faithful to your spouse.

What kind of clothes you wear.
A man can be Gay and married to a woman.
Someone can be Lesbian and a virgin.
One can be Asexual and choose to marry.
One can be Transgender and reject any form of medical intervention.
A person can be both Bisexual and faithful to one person their whole life.
One can be part of both the Queer Community and the Church.
Identity does not equal Lifestyle.

You can UNEQUIVOCALLY say that God both loves and accepts (Social Acceptance) any member of the LGBTQIA Community,

God loves and wholly approves the existence of anyone who identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, or Asexual.

No label - No Identity - is inherently sinful or wrong.
The Church finds itself navigating a social culture it has never experienced before:

What should I say about Gay marriage?
How should I believe about Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Should I use someone's preferred pronouns?
But, I'm not going to debate where you should stand on hot-button issues. I'm here to tell you that too often words are spoken or typed out of ignorance. Words are used while picturing a label instead of a person. I'm here to convince you to change that, not just for yourself but for everyone around you.
For most, the answer is No. Their image of Sex is not biological but cultural.
What if we understood (as best as possible) people who didn't fit the norm,
even if our own experiences meant that we identified with only one side or the other,
by viewing their experiences as
a spot on a line between those
two sides?
What is
But realize that being culturally Feminine or Masculine has NOTHING to do with what Sex you are attracted to.
As a side note, the medical community is in agreement that any form of "Queer"ness is NOT a medical condition or mental illness.
Interestingly enough, our Culture has defined Gay as more than a type of sexual attraction.
References
http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/09/28/is-everyone-basically-bisexual/
Bisexuality
Gay/Lesbian
http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/ten-things-i-wish-i-knew-ten-years-ago-about-gay-people/
http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask352
http://www.hulu.com/watch/221518
https://www.ted.com/talks/alice_dreger_is_anatomy_destiny?language=en#t-390958
http://www.isna.org/
Intersex
What is LGBT?
The LGBT (now expanded to
LGBTQIA
) Community is a community of people whose experiences fall outside what is traditionally expected of Males and Females.
This people-group includes the following categories:
Lesbian
Gay
Bisexual
Transgender
Queer
Intersex
Asexual
LGBTQIA and Christianity
For decades, the LGBTQIA Community not only existed on the margins of society but also found itself at odds with the Church.
In fact, many believe that
There is no place for LGBTQIA in the Church
.
So, for many, even people close to my heart, being LGBTQIA means that they do not have a place in the Church where they can truly be themselves.
This misconception is caused by the following presumption:
That
Belonging to LGBTQIA is a question of morality.
This presentation is a Challenge of what it means for
you
to love this Community.
You cannot
Love
if you cannot
Empathize
.
You cannot
Empathize
if you do not
Understand
.
You cannot
Understand
if you
DO NOT KNOW
.
Too many do not know this simple fact.
Because
LGBTQIA is NOT a moral choice.
Too many believe that belonging to LGBTQIA is inherently sinful.
Too many write a core identity off as a mental condition that can be reversed.
Challenge
Christian Perspective Disclaimer
This presentation is not a discussion of morality but rather an explanation of the composition of the LGBTQIA Community.
That said, this presentation will NOT continue the polarizing discussion between the Church and the LGBTQIA Community on what is right or wrong.
This presentation is about information, about separating the truth from stereotypes and misinformation.
What you do with this information is something that I leave up to you.
What/Who is LGBTQIA?
Gender
http://www.psychologyofmen.org/male-gender-role/
Race, Class, and Gender in the United States,
Paula S. Rothenberg
These scenarios - these real-life scenarios - have one main theme.

Only YOU can know your Gender.
Put simply,
So, you have an idea of what Sex you belong to.

This is your
Gender Identity
.
But, with this picture in your head of what Sex you belong to, there are also many stereotypical expectations that accompany that picture of Sex.

These ideas of "what it means to be Male" are determined and reinforced by our Culture.
Many people find that these stereotypical expectations of Culture do not match their actual personality.

Instead, people have a plethora of personality traits and behaviors, some of which Culture claims belong only to Males and some of which Culture claims belong only to Females.

While
Gender Identity
described the Sex you feel you belong to,
Gender Expression
describes the Sex you behave as.
You might notice that you vehemently disagree with some of these characterizations of Males.

Or, if you are Male, that some of these characterizations do not fit you at all.
That's okay! Your perception of what it means to behave as a 'Male' will be different than that of anyone else.
This is what is meant by the statement:
"Everyone's Gender is different."
Male
Always thinking about sex
NOT supposed to cry
Ambitious to a fault
Not fashionable
Never wears make-up
Not emotional but logical
Loves sports
Physically strong
Like fixing things
Hairy
Confident self-reliance
Competitive
can't cook
objectifies women
inferior parenting skills
Gender
Your
Sex
(Your picture of what Sex means)
You have a picture of what Sex you belong to and you have a picture of what it looks like to behave as that Sex.

Culture has also painted a picture of what it looks like to belong to and behave as that Sex, but your personal idea of what your Sex looks like is a much more accurate description of who you are.
Gender is akin to seeing your Sex in the mirror.
You see what Sex you feel you belong to (
Gender Identity
), and what it means to behave as that Sex (
Gender Expression
).

Culture has a picture of masculinity and femininity - of what it means to be Male or Female.

But, regardless of Culture's influence, you have formed your own picture, and how you have interpreted your identity into behavior belongs to you and you alone.
Now, let's step back to Intersex for a moment.

James, here, was born with a confusing set of genitalia.

His parents and doctors determined that he was Male.
But as he got older, he began to feel more and more that something was wrong.

He felt a sense of belonging to the Female Sex.
Culture reinforced this.

He found that he identified the most with traits that were described as feminine.
One day, he finally accepted that what he knew in his head was right. He belonged with the Female Sex.

He declared that he was a Woman.
Intersex
Scenario
Male
Female
hates sports
Emotional
Relationship-oriented
fashionable
good at cooking
terrible with directions
loves looking pretty
doesn't care for sex
helpless with cars
loves children
wants children
wants a life-long partner
poor money management
physically weak
Woman
The concept of Transgender follows this same trajectory. The only difference is that there was no biological confusion at the beginning:

James was born with an explicitly Male set of genitalia.

His parents and doctors determined that he was Male.
But as he got older, he began to feel more and more that something was wrong.

He felt a sense of belonging to the Female Sex.
Culture reinforced this.

He found that he identified the most with traits that were described as feminine.
One day, he finally accepted that what he knew in his head was right. He belonged with the Female Sex.

He declared that he was a Woman.
Transgender
Scenario
Male
Female
hates sports
Emotional
Relationship-oriented
fashionable
good at cooking
terrible with directions
loves looking pretty
doesn't care for sex
helpless with cars
loves children
wants children
wants a life-long partner
poor money management
physically weak
Woman
But, what if James had a different story?

James was born with a confusing set of genitalia.

His parents and doctors determined that he was Male.
He never had a problem with his assigned Sex.

He felt a sense of belonging to the Male Sex.
Culture reinforced this.

He found that he identified the most with traits that were described as masculine.
One day, after he had married and suffered through years of medical issues, a CT scan showed that he had a malformed uterus and ovaries. In fact, he was biologically Female.
Intersex
Scenario
Male
Male
Man
Always thinking about sex
NOT supposed to cry
Ambitious to a fault
Not fashionable
Never wears make-up
Not emotional but logical
Loves sports
Physically strong
Like fixing things
Hairy
Confident self-reliance
Competitive
can't cook
objectifies women
inferior parenting skills
Female
He struggled with this prognosis for months.
Until, one day, he finally accepted that what he knew in his head was right. He belonged with the Male Sex. He was a Man.
Mirror
Analogy
=
Identity
=
Expression
See the person, not the label.
So far, we have discussed
Intersex
,
Transgender
, and
Queer
.

But what about the rest of the
LGBTQIA
Spectrum?

This is where the concept of
Sexual Orientation
comes in.
Later, medical examination proved that he had XX chromosomes and a malformed uterus. He was, in fact, biologically Female.
Female
"You can't be both
Gay
and
Christian
."
Sexual Orientation
Transgender
Queer
http://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gender-dysphoria/what-is-gender-dysphoria
http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/49276838693/four-ways-christians-are-getting-the-gay-debate
http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/116302382484/why-is-a-transgender-person-not-considered-to
http://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/sexual_problems_pyschologist/psychologist_sexual_orientation.htm
https://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/life/definitions
https://thethinkingasexual.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/sexual-and-romantic-orientations-chart/
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
by Justin Lee
Transgender References - Digging Deeper
Earlier I said that the medical community was in agreement that no part of the LGBTQIA spectrum is a mental illness. While that is true, the mental disorder Gender Dysphoria is very closely related to the Transgender Identity.
The DSM describes Gender Dysphoria as a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify that causes significant distress.
However it is important to note the following concession:
"Gender dysphoria is not the same as gender nonconformity"
http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2011/11/breaking-through-the-binary-gender-explained-using-continuums/
The focus here is the distress felt by the individual identifying as belonging to a Gender not associated with his or her Sex. If that distress impedes one's abilities to perform normal day-to-day tasks, then that person is said to have the mental disorder 'Gender Dysphoria'.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/gender-dysphoria-dsm-5_n_3385287.html
In short, the act of identifying as Transgender does not identify a person as suffering from 'Gender Dysphoria', but suffering significant internal distress in relation to that identity does qualify one for this mental disorder.
http://www.isna.org/faq/transgender
Because of the existence of Intersex, scientists are currently
debating how to define one's Sex.

For the purpose of this presentation, Sex will be defined as consisting of two characteristics:
Physical DNA
Physical Genitalia
Male vs Female
Female
Genitalia:
DNA:
XX chromosome
Vagina
Ovaries
Uterus
Male
Genitalia:
DNA:
XY chromosome
Penis
Testes
Intersex
Some other mixture of
Genitalia:
DNA:
XX chromosome
XY chromosome
Ovaries
Testes
Uterus
Penis
Vagina
Sex
This may be a difficult concession. But, if you want to truly love the Queer Community, the least you can do is learn to speak the same language.
So, you might be taking issue with the concept of claiming to be a Woman without first proving that you are biologically Female.
Please realize that the words Male and Female already handle masculine and feminine differences in biology. However, there are no words for handling masculine and feminine differences in Gender Identity.
For the sake of this presentation, a Man will be defined as anyone who has a masculine Gender Identity. A Woman will be defined as anyone who has a feminine Gender Identity.
These boxes are stereotypes which by definition describe the average person.
But we have to make space for the people who don't match the stereotype.
to be more accurate ...
A less rigid understanding of Sexual Orientation is the first step to fathoming the positions of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Asexual persons on the Sexuality Spectrums .
Try to imagine:
You are Gay; every time you feel romantic feelings toward your Sex and not the opposite, you feel incredible shame.
You are a Lesbian, but you choose to have a boyfriend. You watch movies and friends and pretend to be in love. You keep telling yourself that you'll fake it till you make it.
You are Transgender, and every day you feel as if you are living a lie, but you cannot tell anyone. The moment you do, you will lose your family, your friends, and everyone you've ever loved.
You are Bisexual, and you are terrified to tell your husband of your romantic feelings for your close girlfriends. You're terrified that he will leave you for being a Lesbian. You're terrified that he will never trust that you're still sexually attracted to him.
You are Queer. You have felt different all your life. But, you have no one to talk to, no one to sort out these meaningful questions with you.
You are Intersex, and you know that no one would ever trust your claim as a Man or Woman if they knew.
You are Asexual, and, as your friends fall in love and get married, you feel nothing. Everyone keeps telling you that you are waiting for that special someone; so, you keep trying to tell your body and mind to wake up, to help you find that person.
People experiencing this are dying.
Many are becoming overwhelmed with internal conflict, shame, the feeling that something is wrong or broken about them, and they are taking their own lives.
Many who aren't taking their own lives are barely living, wishing or waiting for their lives to end on their own.
Every single time, we conflate LGBTQIA with an attack of Satan upon the moral fabric of our society,
WE are the problem.
And, WE are the reason that they are dying.
So, don't you dare leave this discussion patting yourself on the back for being open-minded enough to listen.
Don't you dare tell yourself that you are so lucky that you don't belong to the Queer Community.
Don't you dare pretend that there aren't people in your life whose viewpoints and attitudes you need to confront.
If by some chance, I have given you language for feelings that you've had all your life but haven't been able to put into words, please check out the Support Groups section at the end of this presentation.
Please, don't take your life.
Please, don't continue a life of going through the motions.
Please, don't try to do this alone.
Don't you dare not face your own biases.
Don't you dare choose to sit on the sidelines. People are dying.
People are literally dying.
You may feel that the Biological Spectrum is conspicuously missing here. That is by design. Both Lesbian and Gay refer to the relationship between Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.
"Accept me for who I am"
is not the phrase representing a license for all sort of evil.
This refers to one's application of
Moral Acceptance
. Moral Acceptance is never about a person but rather the choices and decisions made by that person.
People hear the word '
accept
' and think, "You cannot convince me to approve of actions or behavior that I believe are wrong."
Social Acceptance has nothing to do with a moral code.
Social Acceptance - the acceptance of a person's existence - is something all Christians are called to perform.
God does not teach "Love the sinner, not the sin" because He loves the
person
, not the sin.
Social Acceptance is NOT Moral Acceptance.
And many churches have perpetuated this.
The practice of seeing the sinner before the person has practically defined the relationship between Christian Community and the Queer Community.
Furthermore, this ideology has been constantly used to excuse both ignorant prejudices and sometimes rampant bigotry against the Queer Community.
Many Christians stood by and watched (some applauded) as society mistreated this people-group. Society is still mistreating this people-group, and many are still standing on the sidelines.

It is not a moral code that prevents people from standing up to our Culture; it is a prejudice against those practicing a certain lifestyle.
The people and the lifestyle are not the same. Loving and accepting the person has nothing to do with approving of their lifestyle.
This did not occur due to a moral objection to a person's actions but rather a social objection to a person's existence.

Yet, the Queer Community fought back and struggled for decades to make their existence (regardless of their lifestyle) socially accepted.
There is no flaw in rejecting or accepting actions or behavior on moral grounds.
Our society engendered a culture of eradicating the Queer Community from existence.
It goes without saying that people can be born with Genders and Sexual Orientations that differ from the norm.
This doesn't represent a fault with God's creation but rather another one of the beautiful ways that God has brought diversity to the human species.
People ARE born this way.
And being born this way is NOT wrong.
Many Christians experience tension with this statement.
Sexual activity between members of the same Sex is wrong.
Marriage between members of the same Sex is wrong.
Sex assignment surgery to match the body with the Gender Identity is wrong.
It is NOT wrong to have this moral code.
"ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM"
; therefore,
The controversy with this statement is not related to its factual claim, and has nothing to do with any given moral code.
Rather the tension is caused by the implied concept of acceptance.
This tension exists because their interpretation of Scripture has led to a moral code that usually includes the following tenets:
And, the vast majority of the Queer Community would agree that it is NOT untoward of people to believe in these tenets.
"Love the sinner, not the sin."
"Accept me for who I am."
The final road block between these two communities exists in the warring ideology of these two statements:
There is one last mis-characterization of the Queer Community that I feel must be addressed.
It is time to shine a spotlight on the assumptions that bring so much discord between the Queer and Christian Communities.
No one is debating this concept.
The problem is that many Christians have greatly misunderstood both of these statements.
"Love the sinner, not the sin."
is not the noble phrase for separating the person from his actions.
The person, now the "sinner", is defined by his actions, the "sinning".
Person-hood is lost and the person is labeled by his actions.
In our case,
"Love the LGBTQIA person, just not how that person lives his life."
The person is not seen for his character but rather preconceptions about his lifestyle.
The person's "
Identity
" is set equal to his "
Lifestyle
"
This is why the term "
Gay
" and "participation in same-sex sexual activity" are often made synonymous in Christian circles.
However,
"Accept me for who I am"
is not talking about
Moral Acceptance
but rather
Social Acceptance
.
When you put the concept that "
Identity
" = "
Lifestyle
" together with the concept of
Moral Acceptance
, it makes perfect sense why so many Christians act as if:
Accepting "
who I am
" means accepting "
what I do
".
This concept - this tendency for people to look past a person's character and see instead their preconceptions about his lifestyle - created a shame that was associated with anything LGBTQIA.
Every single time we allow someone else to attribute shame or wrongness to someone's identity,
Every single time we don't speak up and confront those who spread lies about the LGBTQIA Community out of ignorance or hatred,
Every single time we participate in exiling someone from our life because of their identity,
Support for LGBTQIA
special Thanks
So many people have poured time and effort, asked hard questions, and given amazing feedback during the making of this presentation. It feels only right to list and thank them for their support.

If you are one of those people, who is looking for more people to harass because you disagree with the content here, please note that many of these people provided criticism from places of beliefs and ideologies that differ from mine.
Stacey Turner
Isaac Henry
Brenton Graefe
Cynthia Anderson
Alan Hoffhines
Trevor Cox
Jerry Lamb
Corey Giles
Zekariah McNeal
Rebekah Valencia
and my darling wife and son who provided the emotional and critical support only family can.
Who a person is attracted to romantically.
Sexual Attraction
Romantic Attraction
Sexual Orientation actually consists of two facets:
The traditional meaning of the terms Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Asexual do not include this differentiation.
This presentation will focus on the 'Sexual Attraction' aspect of Orientation, but, if you wish to have a multidimensional understanding of Sexual Orientation, view each identity through both the lens of 'Sexual Attraction' and that of 'Romantic Attraction'.
* also known as Romantic Orientation
* the original definition of Sexual Orientation
The Struggle is NOT real.
It has become increasingly common in Christian circles to describe certain people belonging to the Queer Community as "struggling with same-sex attraction."
There is one pattern inherent in all of these differing ways of experiencing attraction. Orientation is not a struggle; it is a state of being.
This needs to stop. Same-sex attraction is just as real, valid, and morally neutral as opposite-sex attraction and no-sex attraction. It is impossible struggle with an intrinsic personal trait.
More importantly, to claim that someone's intrinsic experience is a struggle assigns guilt and brokenness to a trait that they cannot control. You can struggle with social constructs, abstract rules that interact with your personal traits, but not the trait itself. So, stop telling people in the Queer Community that they are struggling with who they are.
Lauren Grotts
Author's Note
I have come to believe that it is entirely possible to personally believe that sexual relations between members of the same sex and that physical alteration to match your Sex and Gender are immoral - to believe that and to still be strong advocates for the LGBT Community.

We live in America where people believe that sex before marriage is immoral, eating the flesh of a pig is immoral, marrying outside of your religion is immoral.

Personal beliefs do not have to get in the way of our treating others with the dignity of human beings. For far too long, we have allowed exactly that to happen. My main goal is to convince you that the onus is on you to change that.
(Or, God would never allow such brokenness to even be born.)
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