"We're not all like that."
That's the premise behind the Not All Like That campaign that's been getting a lot of traction this week. NALT Christians opens a space for people to claim identities as LGBT-affirming and Christian, and to share their stories in first-person YouTube videos. In so doing, it helps rupture the "God vs. Gays" narrative that has dominated mass media.
I think it's safe to say that NALT Christians is making an impact with that strategy. I first heard about the project not through social media, but from my mom (an awesome ally in Missouri -- thanks mom!). She learned about it from other allies in her United Methodist church. If the pattern continues, this will be one of the conversation topics swirling around in the fellowship hall during coffee hour on Sunday morning. And conversation is a great thing in my book.
Now, the conversation is also bubbling along online. Searching twitter for #NALT yields some thoughtful critiques, including one from Alison Amyx of Believe Out Loud. She writes that, "Being an ally is about much more than telling people who we are not—it means showing the world who we are."
True story, Alison! And she takes it one step further:
So where should allies start? The first step I always take is listening to the communities with whom we are in alliance.
For straight #NALT folks, that means listening to LGBTQ folks who are affected by religious messages about their sexuality, their morality, and their worth. It means understanding the complexity of their experience, and the variety of experiences across the LGBTQ community.
That is where Queerituality comes in.
Here at Queerituality, we too are trying to get beyond this "God vs. Gays" narrative. We lift up the voices of LGBTQ people from all backgrounds and all spiritual journeys. We hear from people who are claiming space as LGBTQ Christians, and also from those who are Muslim, Pagan, Jewish, Buddhist, as well as those whose relationship with spirituality can't be defined in one word.
We create a space for listening to the multiplicity of ways that individuals understand the relationship between being queer and being spiritual.
NALT Christians, are you listening? You can start at Queerituality.com.