It's time I come out of the closet.
I don't mean tell everyone I am gay - I did that last Spring. This Spring, I'm here to say (deep breath)... I am a Christian.
It seems like these days, with the right to religious freedom scandals all over America, marriage equality battles in Ireland and other anti-gay laws springing up everywhere from Russia to Africa, its popular for bigots to twist God's word. I think its time we, as LGBT people, take it back.
People are up in arms about these so called 'Christian' bakeries that won’t serve gay weddings, or the florists who refuse to make bouquets for lesbian unions. This seems a little confusing to me - I would honestly love to know which are the anti-gay establishments when I'm one day planning my wedding. I don't care how much sugar you put in your cake, it would still taste bitter if I knew it was made with hate. You can keep your dumb flowers, too - but I won't let you have full bragging rights to my Savior.
I prayed to meet a man like my partner. We both know that God has given our relationship his blessing. We thank him in prayer every night before we go to bed. His love is all the proof I need that God loves the gays. No matter what anyone else can tell you, I promise you that is true.
It seems that when we come out of the closet, many LGBT people who grew up in the church seem forced to make an unspoken choice to 'Go gay or go with God'. That is perhaps a choice a closed-minded part of our society might want you to make. We are all sinners, so why are these loudmouthed fundamental Christians the first to condemn us? We are supposed to love thy neighbour - as the bible says, 'Do not judge, or you too will be judged' (Matthew 7:1). If these people really want to quote the bible, that's where they should start and finish. With 52 mentions of Adultery in the bible and under five that can be related to homosexuality (none of which talk about the way LGBT people live in today’s day and age), the stone throwers should really hold a mirror up to themselves.
But I don't want to waste any more time talking about them - I want to talk to you. If you've felt shunned or ostracised by religion, I want you to know that God loves you. While the followers of your God many tell you different, God is still with you. Right now, we as LGBT people are facing a big battle for equality. We're showing the world what we can do as parents, philanthropists and as upstanding members of our communities and yes, our churches. God is who we should be calling on to help us achieve these milestones as we lay down the building blocks if the foundation of queer history.
We are the latest and loudest of God’s children to be fighting in the name of love. And what is God, if not love? Even those conservative bigots can’t deny that. If they try to, I really pity their personal judgment days. I pray for them. Yes, I pray for the haters.
What I'm saying here may cause some surprise - even some backlash. So be it: if you look up the definition of my name, DANIEL, it means 'God is my Judge'. My parents named me Daniel with no middle name to represent that, so I really don’t care what anyone really has to say. For years, I always felt that when one day I had the courage to speak my mind and hopefully people would be listening that if I could say anything to LGBT youth, any one single thing, it would be this: God loves you.
They can stop you from eating their awful cake but nobody can take that away from you.
WORDS BY DANIEL FRANZESE
- Daniel Franzese is an actor of stage and screen best known for his performances in films like Mean Girls and for ordering pizza at 11pm. Online, his viral videos Please Go Home and Sh*t Italian Moms Say have reached millions of viewers worldwide. Follow him @Whatsupdanny on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr and on YouTube.com/MyMyMyTube. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California where he starred as #EDDIEBEAR on HBO’s LOOKING.