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Creating a Queer Community Group

from Rev. Gregory Stevens, Associate Pastor of Faith Formation & Family Life, First Baptist Church Palo Alto

Rev. Gregory Stevens and First Baptist Church Palo Alto started a queer community group on Stanford's campus in partnership with Stanford's United Christian Campus Ministry. Pastor Gregory writes, "This work began with networking and has progressed to online web development, fund development for a campus presence, and a video project with our current high school students."

Why Queer?

Pastor Gregory: "One of the hardest parts about coming out gay was knowing other people would always judge me: especially Christians. When I gently kiss my boyfriend in public I get harassed. When I wear an outfit that is 'too feminine' I get made fun of. When I walk, talk, or sing in a way that is 'too feminine' I get called out. When I post 'gay' things on Facebook I’m quick to hear about it from my Christian friends. And I must admit to having it very easy: I’m a tall, blonde, white guy, with a good education and a great job. I cannot imagine being a poor trans* person of color trying to navigate this harsh world while also trying to express their true self.

What I can imagine is Jesus comforting and exalting oppressed queer people to their rightful place of equality among all beings. I can imagine Jesus standing in solidarity with the queer people today because Jesus stood in solidarity with 1st century queers: women and Samaritans. In seeking to create a queer community here in Palo Alto and on Stanford’s campus I hope to create sanctuary for anyone and everyone who identifies Queer: Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Straight but not Narrow, Asexual, Two-Spirited, Pan-sexual, Intersex, and all other variations of sexuality that the church has historically said NO to. It is time to reclaim our sexualities, for in doing so we reclaim our bodies, the Body, Christ’s Body. In reclaiming our sexuality we reclaim the Church as the Body of Christ ready to transform the world with Love."

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