On being deaf, Christian and …. err, gay?
I know that by blogging this, I would create some stir among my Christian brothers and of course the Christian Deaf community.
Before I continue, let me get this straight. I am a Born Again Christian. I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior when I was eleven years old at Grace Bible Church in Nagtahan, Manila through the invitation of my high school best friend Louie Baclagon, who is currently the Marketing Director of World Vision Philippines. My whole family are faithful believers and baptized to a Bible Baptist Church in Quezon City where the father of now Manila congressman was our pastor for many many years. I was once the church pianist and choir member there. They eventually transferred to another Baptist church in Marikina City while I continue to interpret for the deaf congregation of Capitol City Baptist Church in West Avenue, Quezon City since 1996. Now that I have made that clear, let’s go on.
As I was scanning through my WordPress dashboard, I caught this seemingly innocent link entitled “Ray Boltz has come out of the closet“. I thought it was just somebody with similar name so I got curious. I know of a gospel singer by that name. I used to sing most of his songs during my younger years. My Christian friend introduced me to his music by giving me his cassette tape. I was very blessed every time I hear him sing. So when I clicked on the link, I got stunned. It really is him! Ray Boltz publicly confessed that he is gay! My initial reaction was, “How could he?”
Now, how do I relate this to the deaf community? I know for a fact that the deaf are not immune to this unnatural sexual preference. In our school, we have male students who act effeminately and female ones who appear brusque and rough. Although we don’t encounter grave problems with the feminine men, it’s the masculine women that we get too much headache. Their roughness tend to go overboard that they harass and even threaten other female students if they don’t get what or who they want.
This issue even becomes so timely because DeafRead recently posted a couple of articles tackling about homosexuality among the deaf and some harassment they get from churches where they belong. According to the blogger,
Deaf Christians are imposing their religious values and making righteous judgments on Deaf Gays and Lesbians.
Now, here is my take. In this world, being deaf already connotes discrimination. Being deaf and gay is even harder. But being deaf, Christian and gay is really a tough row to hoe. Sometimes I hear hearing people remarked snidely when they see gay deaf. They felt sorry for them because they were not “brought up well by their families”. They easily judge them even though they haven’t even met their families.
I did not put this post to malign, ridicule, lambast or even judge people. It’s easy to make comments or judgment about others even though we know nothing about their lives. It’s easy for us to throw theological arguments and Biblical verses pertaining to this. It’s easy to take sides. But it’s more difficult to love and understand.
One of the vital values I learned after being with deaf people for almost two decades is being patient. Isn’t that also a Biblical truth? So, I go for the love and understand side. Sure it’s harder to do. But it’s easier to bear. 🙂
Here is the music video of my most favorite hit gospel song of Ray Boltz entitled “Thank You”. I memorized its lyrics by heart and I always get “tears in my eyes” every time I hear this.