The Queer God
Over on my (Shay’s) personal site, today is the day for the annual Queer Theology Synchroblog. It’s a day when a group of people all write on the same topic and share their posts. It’s a way to highlight the diversity and beauty of queer theology, to give the microphone to people who are often spoken about, and to show that beautiful things happen when we are given the chance to speak for ourselves. The theme for this year is “The Queer God” and this is my reflection on what that means to me. You can read all of the other posts here.
When I think about the ways I best understand God and what God cares about, it’s through the example of Jesus and so I want to talk about the Queer Christ. What do I mean by “the Queer Christ”? I am not talking about Jesus’ sexual orientation or who he chose to love with his body. I’m talking about queer in the sense of being subversive and of issuing a challenge to the status quo.
Jesus hung out with people on the margins. He cared about the poor, women, people who had been cast out from society, and people who were being brutalized by the violence of Rome and an unjust economic order. He could have blended in, not helped people, been quiet, but instead he stood up. He brought attention to the injustice and he made people uncomfortable. In the end, his stand got him killed. But it also birthed a movement.
I think of all of the fierce queer people who have fought not only for their rights, but also for the rights of others. I think of the times they refused to be silent even when that would have been easier. I think of those who have spoken out and those who have been killed for simply being who they are.
I see queerness in the way Jesus moved through the world, how he refused to fit in, how he stood up for justice. I see it in the scars on his resurrected body; the way they look like my chest surgery scars. The way that resurrection left him changed (just as transition left me changed) and yet it also made him more whole.
And I am inspired by Jesus to be a subversive queer. To refuse to blend in. To work hard for justice, not only for queer people but also for women, for people of color, for people who are suffering under an unjust economic order. We cannot be only for ourselves, we must realize that all of our liberations are bound up together.
I see in Jesus a God who care desperately for each of us and who wants us to be whole. I see a God who wants justice to be done, who wants people to have enough to eat and a safe place to live. I see a God who wants us to love each other, not with words, but with action. Love that changes things, that free people, that honors bodies and their needs.
The Queer God is not content for things to remain the same. Not content for some people to have a lot while others struggle to make ends meet. And God is embodied in each of us when we work for justice, when we speak out, when we love each other deeply.
So let us speak out. Let us be subversive and challenge the status quo. Let us be whole and holy. Let us act up. Let us love one another deeply. Let us be embodied and love our bodies. Let us be queer.