The Personal Becomes the Political: Queer Realities

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A theology of liberation, as shown in the work of Gustavo Gutierrez, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007BPDIDS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
was born in Latin America. It emphasizes social and political analysis of oppression.  It has been crucial in my life, as I have written before on this blog.

In my experience and the experience of others, I know, however, personal experiences of oppression also matter to give insight into the structures of oppression, especially for others.  This has been true in terms of women’s oppression, and it is true in regard to the oppression of LGBT people.

One of the best human beings that I met in this world has an immense and amazing soul for inclusiveness and solidarity to everybody. He amazed me in how he is naturally with all the people, always sharing the best from him to others without any expectations in return; details that make me say constantly that that kind of generous-human is almost “extinguished” from the world surface. He is a gay.

In the beginning of my adolescence, I started to meet others young people in my neighborhood, who showed prejudice, practicing bullying to disabled people, people of color and others considered outsiders. They used to hurt others with phrases as stab-wounds, particularly to queers, mocking of them about how they walk, they talking gestures, manners, and laughing with the most “funny” grotesque jokes about homosexual men and lesbians. In a short of a period of time, I decided to stop my personal enrolment with this homophobic group of neighbors, and I departed to find another type of friends.

Since my childhood, I have always tried to locate myself in an ethical and respectful environment and meeting people who respect people, avoiding any participation in bullying, neither against homosexuals. I knew it, in my inner-being that they are human like me, and worthy of the most kindly respect as any other being on this universe. Also, I do feel that they suffer so much under bullying and marginalization just because they are gay. This reality made me feel a sense of guilt for living in a place where the systematic bulling is practiced as if is “normal and natural” conduct.

When I met my wife, mother of my four children, I discovered her soul filled with compassion for everybody, no limits. After our wedding, we came to live in an apartment located in a building totally populated by homosexuals, citizens from different countries, races, and cultures. It was there that I learned how to be even more open-minded, as a couple and individually, for accepting all human being without prejudice, but inclusiveness.

Respect and gentleness were mutual in our sincere greetings, sharing food, and conversations with our entire queer neighborhood,.

During the years I was finishing my Bachelor’s Degree at the Biblical Latin American Seminary, I started to re-interpret my own theological and pastoral convictions about humanity and relationships.  I was shocked to realize that I could not find condemnations for punishing “queer” people.  Furthermore, I discovered that the word of God reaches and approaches everybody that is being oppressed.  God’s word provides faith to those who are being persecuted or bullied.

God’s word provides liberation to everyone from the injustice tyranny that, structurally, includes homosexual’s systematic bullying, victims of homophobia and marginalization.

The systemic analysis of oppression that is at the heart of liberation theology is crucial to change the political, cultural and religious oppression under which so many groups labor.

The personal connection, however, is also crucial as it provides the bridge to solidarity across difference to help us from a large, and diverse movement to make change for justice and equality.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Personal Becomes the Political: Queer Realities

  1. Thank you for these words of life! Your experience echoes my own. It’s remarkable to me, how all the classroom education in the world doesn’t compare to actually meeting LGBTQ folks, getting to know them, allowing yourself to be known, and breaking bread together. The actual experience, is worth all the books in the world, to me. Finding the words to share these experiences comes later. But the meeting and greeting – it’s everything! So happy for your journey!

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    1. Gracias, Kathy.
      The experience to provide spiritual care to people that we do not know is God mechanism He uses to make us instruments of love, justice and solidarity, and in the process we are also included in his transformational plan. I am very happy for being part of this learning group with people like you are open to learn how to serving better to queers brothers and sisters.
      Thanks for commentary!

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  2. Tito, I think your post hits on one of the most important aspects of all this – it’s so much harder to hate someone you know. This Pew Research poll looks at how people of one religion feel about people of another: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how-americans-feel-about-religious-groups/. The feelings change dramatically if the respondent has personal familiarity with people of the group in question. For example, on a “thermometer” scale from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating, people who didn’t know any Buddhists gave a mean rating of 48, but people who knew some Buddhists gave a mean rating of 70. This translates well to LGBTQ people. To know them is to love them. It’s much harder to stereotype when you know individuals and realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  3. In essence we have to listen to the yearning in hearts where God dwells. The love we carry for humanity has got to come forth, “I knew it, in my inner-being that they are human like me, and worthy of the most kindly respect as any other being on this universe”, Amen Tito, Amen.

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