Words have power. The “are the gays ok?’ debate rages on (hey, I’m starting to have some rage, really are we STILL talking about this?!?). People have been using this term and I wanted to throw it out there for you to weigh in.
The word: Pro-gay
Like in this letter from the Executive Director of the GCN (Gay Christian Network) about their upcoming gathering. The letter starts out:
Since we announced that bestselling Christian author Philip Yancey would be addressing the GCN conference in 2011, questions have been flying, online and offline. “Is Philip Yancey pro-gay?” some have asked. “What are his views on homosexuality?” “Why would he agree to speak to this conference?” “Why would GCN invite him in the first place?”
And in a comment thread recently discussing Cathleen Falsani’s article in the HuffPost about Evangelical Christianity having a great “Gay Awakening” someone commented:
…I think that as evangelical leaders come out as pro-gay, they will be pushed out of the primary circles of evangelical influence…
Look, I don’t mean to be a negative nelly, I am all about your love and support of “the gays” but here is my position (which apparently I am in the minority here): Language matters. Words have power. When I hear someone be described as “pro-gay” I hear the same connotation as someone being pro-life, like there is some sort of stake in the ground and (GD) their position is firm and immoveable. So there. (stick tounge out)
The term seems ripe with hostility, division and sided-ness. What is the opposite of pro-gay—anti-gay? I asked someone that question, asked if that was really possible, and a number of people answered with a resounding YES (and several “likes”). Really?
Heres the deal: I am really struggling with the idea of someone being pro-gay. I think someone could come out in support of LGBTQ people, or in support of any of the variety of issues or laws that discriminate against them. But here’s the thing—being “gay” or “queer” is more than one issue, and the language of “pro” feels like it rolls it all up into one neat package and puts some sort of seal of heterosexual approval on it, and I find that to be short-sighted and even offensive.
So friends of all backgrounds and persuasions, will you please weigh in?