God's Eye On the Queer Guy
Over 20 Years ago I wrote an article with a similar title but a very different spin. It's time to correct that...
This post is dedicated to Derek Warburton (Derek Fabulous). I started following him on Instagram after being on Better Together with Anne & Heather. I thoroughly enjoy his posts and am often enthralled by his artistry. Plus, he has a great heart. No, I am not trying to imply I am besties with a Hollywood Stylist… I love his work and encourage you to follow Derek and the beauty he brings on Instagram.
One night in 1995, I had just taped my first TV interview with a popular and still-running Christian tv talk show. After they taped my episode, I stuck around for three more tapings that one of their executive producers and I had worked on for a long time. Unfortunately, once those were recorded, I had a migraine and a desperate (triggered) need for a Whataburger.
A worship leader friend at the time was the subject of one of the other four tapings in the series. He sat across the table from me and said, “Homosexuality has stolen God’s modern-day Levites….” The tribe of Levi was responsible for everything in the temple except being priests (priests were all descendants of Aaron):
The priests of Aaron clearly acquired the sole right to the Jewish priesthood. Those who performed subordinate services associated with public worship were known as Levites. In this capacity, the Levites were musicians, gatekeepers, guardians, Temple officials, judges, and craftsmen.
From what I understand, back in the original temple days, it was the tribe of Levi (Levites) who was in charge of all that very detailed and beautiful artwork, temple construction, fashion (priest’s garments, the Veil, etc.), quality control and living by the Book examples of staying true to the dietary requirements written in the Torah. Of course, personal grooming was also a big deal in Temple life.
Art, Fashion, Food, Grooming, Interior Design, and being at the center of a nation’s cultural life… sounds like an excellent premise for a Bravo reality tv show! Then Queer Eye for the Straight Guy came on the scene in 2003.
I had been working at Exodus then. So I started writing a biased religious piece trying to force the narrative that homosexuality had “misled” gay people away from their true calling.
Bullsh*t. Yeah, I was way off on that… self-loathing is a nightmare.
I don’t think every LGBTQ+ person is into Art, Fashion, Food, Grooming, Interior Design, and being at the center of a nation’s cultural life. However, the cast of Queer Eye is a team that encompasses all that for the individuals they were helping. Each cast member has an area of expertise that I believe is a magnificent combination of their education, experience, and spiritual gifts.
God gifted many of Their children to be creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, empathize with people’s needs, and yearn to bring beauty into the world; they desire to create beauty because, without beauty in the world, we would not survive. We were created to recognize, desire, and celebrate beauty. God appears to have chosen many LGBTQ+ people to be the ones that manifest that beauty for everyone to enjoy.
As a spiritual person, I believe many of God’s children are not recognized by the church as being God’s children because they don’t fit in with the institutionalized gender bigotry.
And that is why so many protestant churches in the West are just plain and or ugly. Of course, that’s not entirely true, but I couldn’t resist saying it.
The conservative, politically driven church has thrown out God’s modern-day Levites (straight or LGBTQ+), our beauty bringers, in the name of their particular brand of Christianity’s orthodoxy. In my experience, these creatives and social leaders cannot fully express their creativity and heart in an oppressive environment. Yet, many modern-day Levites thrive when they leave the church closet and enter a world that increasingly sees, appreciates, and loves them for who the Divine created them to be.
I believe where there is beauty; there is the Divine.
If we embrace the beauty we can bring into the world and look for and see the beauty others give, life will have more joy. But, unfortunately, some will never see the beauty that routinely manifests in LGBTQ+ people and the gifts they naturally operate in.
That’s their loss, and we cannot let toxic ideology erase, redefine, or stigmatize the gifts the Divine has given us.
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