What Do You Say When There’s Nothing to Say? Four Things to Read After Orlando

The four writers of Saying Grace got together for dinner and a meeting tonight. We planned this gathering weeks ago, to scheme up some fresh new content for you… but then Orlando happened.

We spent our night brainstorming on how to respond. We practically wrote a whole post, and then trashed it. We have plenty of theology for times like this: we thought about grace, about our own innate biases, about how to live in the midst of fear.

It was all woefully inadequate.

The truth is, we’re four ladies in straight relationships living in Minnesota. Sure, there’s theologizing to be done in response to this terrible tragedy; we just realize that we’re not the ones to do it.

So we’re coming to you tonight in solidarity with our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. We’re coming to you with our shared grief; with our fierce, protective love; and most importantly, perhaps, with our ears.

We want to hand the mic over to a few LGBTQ Christian folks who you should know. In sharing their words, we want to say that queer voices matter, that queer lives have dignity, and that queer stories are sacred. Please join us in listening to these voices, and in sharing them far and wide.

Matthew Vines wrote this piece for Time, with loving advice for straight, Christian allies on “how to love their LGBT neighbors as themselves at this horrible time.” “Churches will be marked in the LGBT community for years to come by how they respond to us in this moment. Please do all you can to let that mark be one of unconditional love.”

What Christians Must Do in the Wake of Orlando

Amy Kumm-Hanson wrote this painful and revealing post about her growing up queer and afraid for her life–and reliving that fear this week. The only image I had of what it meant to be gay was death. Brutal murder at the hands of homophobic monsters. Death by disease. Death by suicide. Death by being ostracized out of families, churches, communities. I knew that if I was going to survive, I needed to not be gay.”

On Being Queer and Being Safe

Brian Murphy made this powerful video about the gutsy, revolutionary bravery that it still takes to live ‘out’ as an LGBTQ person. He reads a pamphlet from 1990 called “Queers, Read This.”  “Two and a half decades later, we’re still being murdered in our own sanctuaries.”

One final resource to leave you with is Queer Grace, which describes itself as an encyclopedia for LGBTQ and Christian life, with entries like “what does it mean to be transgender?” and “How do I find a welcoming community?”  If you have questions about LGBTQ life, here’s a good place to start.

Thank you to these incredibly gutsy, brave, and revolutionary writers and speakers. Thank you for your words. Thank you for your presence among us.

We stand and weep with you.


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