Angeline Jackson of Jamaica, an LGBTQ rights activist/author and now Unitarian Universalist intern minister, tells how she learned that a part of her ministry is to reach out to anti-LGBTQ Christians.
Reprinted with permission from AngelineJackson.com.
By Angeline Jackson
I pursued ordained ministry for many reasons. By my presence, I want to say “yes, I am a person of faith, I am a lesbian, and I am a minister.” I want LGBTQ people to see that so much was possible – because it is so easy to feel limited by what we see in our world. And, honestly, I want to join a protest wearing my collar and holding one of my cheeky signs.
At some point, I realized that I would also need to engage the friends and family members of LGBTQ folks who could be anywhere from openly hostile to queer folks to fully supportive and all positions in between.
These were all plans for the future — after seminary, after the internship, after my ordination. However, if my life has taught me anything, it is that things hardly unfold the way I plan. So I need to be ready to go when opportunities arise. Such was the case on Friday night [Aug. 19].
Friday night after the screening of the documentary, “With Wonder”, I was invited to be on a panel with The Right Reverend Garth Minott, Suffragan Bishop of Kingston. [Veteran LGBTQ rights activist Maurice Tomlinson also attended — and provided moral support.]
While the film “With Wonder” addressed the question of being Christian and Queer, I particularly appreciated that the film was not asking IF it was possible. Rather it showed the lives of those who are living the answer, ‘yes, one can be Christian and Queer’.
As I listened to Bishop Minott’s opening remarks, I sat frantically wondering what the heck I going to say. Bishop has years of experience, and the advantage of age (gender and heterosexuality for the Christian brethren in the room). And here was me, a 3rd-year seminarian and woman. Oh right – a lesbian. Also, I am a Unitarian Universalist, not exactly Christian by my fellow country folk’s standard.