3 Words LGBTQ+ People Want to Hear

If you’re among the growing number of Christians rethinking how to love your LGBTQ+ neighbor (thank you!), may I propose 3 words to lead with.

Do you have a guess?

Perhaps “I love you”? While foundational, that’s not it.

How about “We welcome you” or even “We affirm you”? Though so meaningful, we’re still not there.

Before these or any genuine expressions can be believed and received, consider rewinding, then leading with these 3 words:

“I am sorry.”

LGBTQ+ people have a long history of mischaracterization and rejection, much of which remains unresolved and unaccounted for. We’ve all played some part in that wounding – whether directly or indirectly, whether knowingly or unaware. I know I have. And all of us can be a part of the healing.

I see new and hopeful signs, with examples of Christians intentionally including the LGBTQ+ community in ways that are shifting the landscape. Pope Francis’ recent declaration of blessings for same-sex couples was a historic top-down move whose ripple effect has only begun. There will be more examples to come.

Yet, when inclusive advancements lack repentance and a clear acknowledgement of harm caused, it will ultimately be met with skepticism by those wounded. Just ask my Catholic LGBTQ+ friends.

To you who are rethinking the Christian responsibility to LGBTQ+ people, I am so grateful. As you stand ready to better love and include those in my community, know that leading with a knowing apology is the surest path to earning our trust, and participating in our healing.

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