(Originally posted 4th Jan 2009)
Here’s why I like ‘Queer’:
Over the years, we’ve moved beyond gay, through gay & lesbian, LGB, LGBT, to LGBTQI ( “Q =Queer” adds more sexual minorities, including the heterosexual flavour, such as S&M and cross-dressers; “I” goes beyond transgendered to “Intersex”). I’m sure we could further extend the acronym if we put our minds to it.
We can extend the concept of ‘minority’ still further. In the context of the church, we are ALL minorities: ‘heterosexuals’ who are divorced, practicing birth control, adulterers, sexually active teens and pre-marital adults: all of these are living outside approved sexual norms. Celibate clergywho truly live their vows, are a rather odd sexual minority of a different sort. And what of those clergy who do not comply? (Over at Nihil Obstat, “Censor Librorum” makes the fascniting point atthis season, that the original Holy Family itself fell outside standard norms. See “How Natural is God?” , posted Dec 28.)
Strip out all the above, and those who remain must be a tiny minority indeed. Ultimately we are all minorities – the only variable is identifying the precise flavour applicable to each of us. But thereby, we are also all part of a supermajority – a majority of minorities, the universal human race, in which the great ‘universal, apostolic’ Catholic Church is reaching out to all.
So ‘Queering the church’ to me involves moving to a point of such acceptance of minorities, that sexual identity in the church becomes simply irrelevant.