Statement: On Charice & Coming Out
We, the members of the Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City, join the rest of our brothers and sisters in welcoming Charice and countless others to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Our own lived experiences of “coming out” as LGBT to self and to others allow us to understand not only the difficulty of this process but also the inner peace that comes with finally aligning yourself to what is real and true about your own nature.
We firmly believe as a church that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Our uniqueness as individuals is a manifestation of the awesome complexity of God reflected in our different lives. We wake up not only to realizing who we are but also to that understanding that God lives with us, loves us and accepts us as we are.
We believe that “coming out” is a central theme of LGBT people’s lives. Part of the process that we all go through in knowing one’s self is a period of personal crisis where we struggle and negotiate our self-concept and our day-to-day realities with expectations from society. We come out of this sometimes heart-breaking process with a firm resolve to stand by what we believe to be right and true. Courage is born and courage is a requirement for living an authentic life. This deserves to be honored and respected.
In MCC, we view “coming out” as a sacrament. Rev. Elder Mona West, Ph.D of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) has this to say:
“A sacrament is an act that mediates the grace and mystery of God. Coming out is a sacrament for LGBT people of faith because it sets us on a lifelong path of manifesting God’s grace in our lives. Coming out is crucial to our spiritual development because it starts us on a journey of integrating our LGBT identity into our whole life. Or to say it another way: embracing our LGBT identity is an invitation to go deeper in our spiritual journey.”
We call on family and friends of LGBTs to be champions of our loved ones who are ready to talk about their sexual orientation and gender identity. Let us also be cautious and not force people out of the closet and cause them additional stress. Let us respect their space and privacy. If they invite us to join in the conversation about their coming out process let’s listen and guide them in such a way that we allow them to think for themselves; to allow them to define who they are on their own terms and; to provide the love and support that they will need to confront the harsh realities of being true to one’s self in this society.
As for MCC Quezon City, our commitment as a church is to continue to provide a safe space for LGBTs to celebrate our unique experience as children of God. We welcome you to celebrate with us.
Image source: http://www.washington.edu