Day 29: believe – why do I stay?

By Aaron Pazan mosaiclogo4C-296x300

I was struggling to come up what I would blog about. But, then I realized my belief in why I say in The United Methodist Church was the perfect topic to blog about.

As someone who identifies as queer and is highly involved in the church, I often get questions as to why I stay in The UMC. I consider myself to be a walking paradox, because I’m a raging liberal, outrageously queer, and highly involved in the church. One, could even call me polity nerd. There is a part of me that I think will always wonder why I stay until the church changes its official stance against homosexuality.

I think for me the major reason I stay in The UMC is because church people both lay and clergy have been my biggest supporters all through my coming out process. The first two people I came out to “hold(ed) space” for me in a way that was so desperately needed. Being queer and in the church is difficult. I never really know who I can trust, or who really is accepting of queer people. I find myself having to read through the lines on people to try and distinguish who really is safe to tell.

I’m a firm believer in the impact of telling our personal story to other people. I believe that we have more in common with people then we realize. If we can just share part of our story to someone else we never know how much difference we could make to that person. I have recently found my mini-me, and I have noticed how similar we are to each other. I have realized that if I had gone through something or am currently dealing with something major, then the chances of them going through it as well is huge. I can use my history of dealing with issues to reach out to someone else who is dealing with those same issues as me.

I’ve started to learn that sharing my story is oh so important. If I have gone through something I know that there is a huge chance someone else has gone through the same struggle. If my own personal story reconciling my queerness with my faith can just help one person, then I know I have done the right thing. I have learned even now as I continue the process to figuring out who I am, that I can help people who are on a similar journey.

I stay because I know my story of mixing my queerness, raging liberalness, and Methodist involvement can change the impact of one person and how they view the church. I stay because my story needs to be told and I’m not afraid to admit about what I have struggled with, everyone deserves the right to feel worthy and like they belong.

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