This weekend I’ve been in contemplation over some words that I must share. To understand the context, I present you with a short video clip. If you have 3 minutes feel free to watch or skip to the 2-minute mark and hit play. CLICK HERE
From 1999-2006 as part of the youth ministry I ran, we would host events for young people all over the city. Concerts with thousands of people and worship services just for high school and junior high students. One of the more popular guests at our 15,000 square foot, 7 Million dollar youth facility was a guy named Scott Wood. He was funny! Whenever we would fly Scott in to perform the place was electric and students wanted to be in church.
What is not shown in this particular clip is his next nursery rhyme he says “Rub a dub dub, 3 men in a tub, ew that’s gross, I blew them up”. This was his grand finale, people were literally choking with laughter. I always laughed so hard! Yet his joke and the crowd’s response to it drove my secret deeper and my shame stronger. The laughter confirmed that I could never tell.
What’s not so funny is that I can think of 4 specific times in my 15 years as a youth pastor where young men came to me with a confession that they had a sexual attraction to guys. This put me in an uncomfortable situation as I wanted to say I have the same feelings. Honestly, those conversations made me feel so uncomfortable, I did not do my best for those kids. For that, I apologize. It was not funny!
Today, I was a bit melancholy. At first, I did not know why. But, I think this is it. I’m still dealing with the micro-aggressions from people about homosexuality. I feel it. It’s not always overt, but a certain illegitimacy gets communicated. I’m tired of it. I get angry about it. It’s changing for the better but not fast enough.
I want to thank Trey Pearson and the way he is bolder than me to call it what it is. He has inspired me to take a stronger stand to advocate for LGBT folks and to speak about toxic belief systems that marginalize people. The last couple years I have partnered with Trey to help him run his secret facebook group called Trey’s Safe Space. Here hundreds of people share their struggles to come out and feel accepted by family and friends and church.