LGBTQ2+ And the Christian Writer

Hullo, world!

Yesterday and today, my mum has been gathering ingredients to make yuzu-shu, and I’m excited! (I’m crossing my fingers she’ll let me have a taste since I’m of legal drinking age…) Because she forgot her wallet yesterday, I went on an adventure to get it to her all the way to the Kits area. I’ve always wanted to explore around there, and to my greatest joy, stumbled across several used bookstores (two Shakespeares and All the Light We Cannot See for  $3-something), found a Donna Tartt book at the library branch there, and chanced upon two excellent condition typewriters! 

Adventure, indeed. 

But without mincing words, I’ll get straight down to business today…

The topic is LGBTQ2+ and the Christian Writer. When I took a survey on IG to see which controversial topic to write about, I was honestly hoping people would pick swear words instead. (I guess swear words aren’t controversial enough.)

And TBH, I didn’t want to write about this topic–I kept pushing it off to the next month, and then the next. Obviously, it’s highly controversial. It’s sensitive. People will get offended. 

But. 

Who cares? I mean, really. Some people may find what  I’m going to write super helpful, others, not so much. Some will probably even hate me for saying this. Yet I believe that it’s one of those things that need attention, especially Christian writers. We can’t just sit and pretend the problem doesn’t exist. You can’t wish it away. 

So prepare to be offended, wounded, or else. I will do my best to speak with love, tact, and truth. Assuming I haven’t scared you away, let’s dive into the topic. 

Definition of Christian and LGBTQ2+

The very first thing any court would establish is the definition of terms. I’ve narrowed the terms down to two distinct groups: Christian and LGBTQ2+. 

Put  both of them quite broadly, here are the definitions:

Christian = Someone who holds the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed as truth; one who holds the entire Bible to be God-breathed and true

LGBTQ2+ = Someone who falls under the sexual orientations of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirited, & c

Now, I’m going to assume you know what the Creeds are (if you don’t, give them a quick read-through) and what all the terms in the abbreviated sexual orientation means (the full thing is LGBTQQIP2SAA, I believe). 

With these definitions in mind, hear me out. 

1. Explicit or Implicit? 

Chances are, you’re a Christian writer reading this. (If not, what I have to say will probably have no impact on you.)

But one thing to always consider as a Christian writer is the question: Is your faith explicit or implicit? 

Some time back, Story Embers did a series on How Should Christian Authors depict___? This was when I was just starting out writing seriously and was realising there were such things as Christian fiction. 

Yes, that’s right. Before, books were books were books. Obviously, I was obsessed with C. S. Lewis and classics. No, I never thought there was a distinction between Christian and non-Christian books. 

When I go into writing a book, I don’t start out thinking, Oh, I’ll be super explicit about my faith in this story! Or, I think I’ll be implicit about my faith in this one. There’s usually a story that’s on my heart, and I write it as it comes. There are obvious merits and demerits to each, but chances are, if you’re a Christian, your worldview leaks through your writing. It’s just a matter of saying it outright or not. 

For more information, I would recommend taking a moment to read this article on SE, How Explicit Should My Faith Be In My Stories

2. Audience 

Another factor to consider is the audience. I personally think it’s wrong to write LGBTQ2+ heavy story for children, seeing they don’t have a full grasp on sexuality yet. (Which, by the way, is the same reason I would not focus on ‘gender disparity’.) 

I grew up without knowing a cent about LBGTQ2+, the same way I didn’t know the internet didn’t exist until I was fourteen. Did that make me a narrow-minded, sheltered kid? By all means, no! 

I think there are age-appropriate topics. One wouldn’t show an R-rated movie with graphic and swearing scenes to a toddler. (One wouldn’t show movies to a toddler, in my case.) In the same way, Young Adult and over is a more appropriate audience for LGBTQ2+, since that’s the time you’d start thinking more about the discrepancies between the world you believed in as a child and the world around you. Even Paine had more common sense about these things.

3. Personal Conviction

Lastly, personal conviction is probably the most important factor to consider. 

I live in what’s said to be the Northern Hollywood, the Most Liberal City in North America ™. Drugs are legal here, our prime minister attends the pride parade, court cases cast in favour of teenage trans, all washrooms and changing rooms are trans-friendly, you could get sued if you use the wrong pronouns. (It’s always a good idea to ask first if you meet someone new!)

From being an almost-Amish homeschooler from Japan, I had to process and come to terms with the Liberal culture in BC. 

Many people are angry at the church for being racists. And I agree, some Christians are racists. But then we have the other extreme of churches afraid to speak Biblical truths in a polite but resolute fashion. 

I personally struggled with coming to terms with a healthy sexual orientation and understanding. So, I would write about LGBTQ2+ in my stories. My first major novel features an intersex person. Other works feature SSA (same-sex-attracted) casts. I’m convicted to write from my Christian perspective that God designed us to be male and female, His plan for us is the best one, and our identity is ultimately in him, not in any sexuality.  I come from a place of great brokenness. I believe Christian writers can cast light and hope to that darkness. 

But maybe that’s not your conviction. Perhaps you aren’t comfortable writing about gender issues that you have a hard time understanding. Perhaps you feel you won’t be able to accurately portray this certain reality. 

That’s okay. 

Not everyone has to write about this topic. I for one write about gender and sexuality, mental health and violence, but won’t write about other controversial topics. (Swear words distract me from the story, so I won’t write them. No graphic scenes or steamy scenes either for the same reason.) 

What matters is to write the truth with beauty and care as God did in His Word. 

4. Things to Keep in Mind When Writing LGBTQ2+ in Your Story

  • Always remember the Biblical stance on LGBTQ2+

In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, we are introduced to all the sins of mankind that ever will be including various sexual behaviours. The Bible is against all sin including exchanging gender identity from what God ordained, not just in the OT but also in the NT. 

  • All the wages of sin is death

Sex outside the marriage of man and woman is a sin. So is lying, stealing, and killing (something YA tends to make light of). Don’t focus on one aspect but maintain the consistency that all human beings are broken and in need of salvation. 

  • Following Jesus is a narrow gate and path

Whether writing implicit or explicit Christian themes, remaining true to your personal faith is important. J. K. Rowling isn’t a Christian, but she still got cancelled when she stated her conviction on trans-sexual issues. If you’re a Christian writing about LGBTQ2+, it won’t be a wonder you might get cancelled or persecuted. Jesus himself did (by Jews and Gentiles alike). 

  • God is a loving and just God

No matter the sin, God sent His Son to die for all sinners. Like the old saying, ‘hate the sin, not the sinner’, hate speech and ideas will get us nowhere. God, in his inherent love and mercy, saved us from eternal damnation. He didn’t get rid of the damnation because if so, he wouldn’t be a just God. Let’s stay true to his character. 

Further Reading: 

Out of a Far Country (Christopher Yuan)

Holy Sexuality (Christopher Yuan)

Is God Anti-Gay? (Sam Allberry)

DEAR CHRISTIAN NOVELISTS: CLEANNESS IS NOT NEXT TO GODLINESS (Story Embers)

C. S. Lewis on Homosexuality (Will Vaus)

Christianity and Homosexuality: A Review of Books (Timothy Keller)

J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues

Thank you for reading!

23 thoughts on “LGBTQ2+ And the Christian Writer

  1. Thank you for being brave enough to post about this. I am honestly so scared to even come near this subject for fear of backlash from the LGBTQ2+ community. I firmly believe the Bible’s stance on sexuality and sin, but like you said, hate the sin, not the sinner. This subject is something I’m praying about concerning my own writing. I also agree on the age-appropriateness of the subject. What was cool is that “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” by Casting Crowns played on my music player when I started reading this. Very timely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally voted for a post on this subject and am so glad that you delivered! So far I haven’t personally been convicted to write about this in my own stories, but I suspect that will change. I haven’t read any books dealing with this topic on a deep enough level either. But it’s extremely relevant to modern society, and I think we Christians need to stop shying away from what’s been neglected too much throughout history and is now finally rising into a visible community. And I think what we say about hating the sin and not the sinner is especially pertinent in this case because of how people in the LGBTQ+ community hold their gender/sexuality/etc. as their identity, so the two become inseparable. To be honest, I do have a lot more to say on this subject, but I don’t have enough experience to speak more than the arbitrary stuff. Anyway, fabulous post! Thanks for sharing about such an important (but risky) topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So you were one of the people who set me up for this…JK!! I’m glad you liked it, anyhow. 🙂 And just like you said, not enough Christian people talk about this topic and/or aren’t transparent enough about their views and experiences. Identity is such a big topic right now, LGBTQ2+ is only a part of the larger picture.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, I haven’t told anyone about I feel almost like convicted (still praying about it) to write about LGBTQ2+ people. I feel strongly that I shouldn’t, as a Christian writer, ignore this community just because I don’t agree with their lifestyle or their beliefs. I want to write a post about this very topic one day on my blog but I’m not yet brave enough to do it. I know that if God wants truly wants me to write about these people then He will open the door. 🙂
    Also I 100% agree with children not having books about sexuality. They shouldn’t have to worry about sexuality at that age. Right now I’m thinking that if I want to write about a story that is strongly about sexuality then I’ll make it into adult fiction and only have little hints of LGBTQ2+ in my YA works if the characters and their stories calls for it. This might change, but that’s how I see it right now for myself.
    Thank you for being brave today. It was encouraging to see another Christian writer talking about this topic because I felt very alone in this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’re convicted to write about this community! I felt the same way for years and was finally convinced recently that this was something God would lead me to do with tact and wisdom.

      And thank you for reading this. Every comment matters a lot, especially for this post. I pray that you will find a way to give voice to the voiceless and let the light of Christ shine through in your writing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for writing this post. You did a wonderful job. Personally I probably won’t be writing LGBTQ2+ people into my stories just because I don’t think I could portray it in a manner that would be both gracious towards people who struggle with it, and condemn the sin itself.
    I actually had never really thought about Christians writing characters that identified as LGBTQ2+. I’mcurious what it would look like and how a Christian writer could do it gracefully with a “love the sinner, hate the sin” mindset.

    Also, I definitely agree with you about killing being taken too lightly in YA fiction. There is a lot of death in my books, but I try to have none of those deaths come across lightly, and it’s always portrayed as wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you found the post helpful!! Yes, I think a lot of times it’s hard to write about something if you don’t have much to go by…for my case, I think living in Vancouver really changed my perspectives. I also had a chance to talk to Christian people who’s struggled with SSA, so I think that’s another reason I feel more called to write about this.

      And about killing in YA. That’s actually one of my pet peeves, so I’m glad you’re also careful about its portrayal!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have so much respect for you for having the courage to write this post. This is a topic I’m honestly too scared to even mention on my blog (and I know I’m not the only one), so it’s really encouraging to have someone come right out and say their thoughts like this.
    My sister and I had a conversation once about how we thought there should be books with characters who struggle with SSA, but written from a Christian perspective instead of a perspective that glorifies that lifestyle. So it’s really cool to hear that you include such topics in your writing.
    (Side note: I’ve also been bothered by how a lot of YA tends to take killing lightly. I found it interesting that in both the manga series I’ve been reading recently [The Promised Neverland and Fullmetal Alchemist] the main characters are really against killing, reluctant to take someone’s life even in self-defense.)
    Thanks for having the boldness to write this post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really happy you found this post encouraging!

      SSA is a hard topic, but once you think about it, it’s no different from mental illness and other topics like the said killing.

      And yay to The Promised Neverland + Fullmetal Alchemist! I love TPN, and one of the reasons is their aversion towards killing, just like you said. (And now I feel like I should really check out FmA since so many people are into it!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such an interesting post; I enjoyed getting your take on this. I hadn’t ever even considered a Christian trying to write about SSA-type issues in a hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner sort of way.

    (Also, I’m now curious about the abbreviation norms from country to country…because in the US, people usually call it “LGBTQIA+”, rather than “LGBTQ2+”…maybe it’s time for me to do a research project. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading! And yes, the abbreviations differ in countries and places. The Canadian version includes Two-Spirited at the end, which is actually derived from an Indigenous ideology which is why you probably won’t find it elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kudos to you for voicing your stance on this issue. The words you put here strengthen me and my resolve to hold firm in my faith and my own stance on homosexuality. While I don’t think I have enough experience, or courage, frankly, to address heavy topics like this on my site yet, hopefully eventually I will. Writers like you are forging a path through one of the most thickest topical wildernesses out there. Great job. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for speaking up about this topic! It can be so hard for me as a Christian writer, but it is so inspiring (and makes it a bit easier for me to speak up) to hear others stand up for Biblical truth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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