Have you ever heard a Christian person mention,
“I don’t hate the sinner, I hate the sin”
Can I tell you how annoying that comment is?
And I grew up Christian.
I recently had the opportunity to film one of my poems, I Don’t Hate the Sinner, I Hate the Sin, in a Vancouver church. I’ve wanted to film one of my pieces about being gay and Christian in a church for several years, and I finally had the opportunity during my Vancouver Biennale artist residency over the summer.
It was an interesting experience to film in a place that has become foreign and scary to me. I had many thoughts and feelings of belonging (or lack thereof) while I was there.
It brought me back to the place in which I had written this poem. It brought me back to harmful comments that many Christians say to people who are LGBTQ without thinking twice.
It was a place of hurt, pain and shame.
One of the most common phrases is, “I don’t hate the sinner, I hate the sin.” Christians often say they don’t hate LGBTQ people, but their “lifestyle.” It’s a shame that same-sex love is somehow reduced to a lifestyle and not simply love.
But this poem reminds me that change can happen.
Since writing this piece, I’ve grown in loving myself and accepting my story. Others have also grown in listening and understanding my experiences. We may have different perspectives, but I know how much they love me and our hearts are softening.
It would mean a lot if you checked out this personal poem when you have a chance. Thank you to Michael Vidler for producing this video, and Canadian Memorial United Church for allowing us to film in their sanctuary.
Let’s keep chatting, breaking down walls, hearing each other’s stories and living in the grey.