Before we dive into why I like the Netflix show, Queer Eye, let me begin by saying this: I recognize this post will be a struggle for many reading.
You may interpret this post as an affirmation of sin, but I would like to discourage that assumption.
Theologically, I am as traditional as it gets. Scripture is my guide to every area of life.
My hero (and best friend) is John Calvin. I’ve read a lot of early church fathers and theologians throughout the ages. I try my hardest to hold to historic views of Scripture.
I want to assure you that I am not heading in some “liberal direction.”
Here’s the reality: LGBTQ+ people have sinned, but we also need to recognize that they have been sinned against.
A denomination within my tradition stated in the early 70’s that “the homosexual has been sinned against more than they have sinned.”
Scripture condemns sexual activity with the same sex. But Christians in recent generations have made judgments against people who have the temptation toward same-sex sexual activity without actually participating in that activity.
It does not help that our society has made categories for those who are attracted to the same sex. By labeling us “gay,” they have given us a label to show that we are different than the rest of society — thus making us an easy target.
I have been a faithful Christian. I’ve never had sex with a guy, never pursued a romantic relationship with a guy. I have always attended church and read my Bible and pray.
Nonetheless, because of my attractions, I have been labeled as different.
As a result, I have experienced a lot of prejudice. I have been ostracized from church communities. I have been forced to leave ministry jobs.
I have experienced shame, the idea that I am simply unlovable. I even believed for many years that God hated me, that God himself couldn’t even love me.
When prejudice and shame come together, loneliness becomes a crippling factor of life, and I spend so much time trying to cope with my loneliness (i.e. smoking a lot of cigarettes).
So, how does all this fit in with Queer Eye?
First of all, I know that each member of the Fab Five is fine with same-sex sex. I still think that is a sin. But the vast majority of the episode content is not even addressing sex; it is addressing prejudice, shame, and loneliness.
In the first episode of season two, we immediately hear about the various church experiences among the Fab Five — especially Bobby, the design expert.
Bobby has been so hurt by the church that he cannot even enter a church building. You see and hear his torment in the episode.
He loved church so much as a kid but was rejected by the community. This was before he was even “out” to everyone, before he had a boyfriend, before he pursued any same-sex relationships.
Bobby was sinned against, and I can so badly relate to that. Bobby hadn’t even committed the sin of sexual immorality, and still he wasn’t accepted and loved.
I cried so much through this episode, because this was my life. In this particular episode, the Fab Five helped out this lady named Tammye: a strong “mama figure” who is passionate about her church. And she did what mamas do best.
She treated these five gay men the same way she treats everyone else. She showed immense love to these men. Men who believed they were unlovable, that even God rejected them.
Tammye displayed God’s love to them.
At the end of the episode, she gave each guy a blessing, saying that each was preordained by God to help her and her church.
If you’ve seen the episode, you might note some theological issues. The episode gets too pluralistic in other religions for my liking (and other things like that).
But my point is that Tammye showed Christian love in ways we are continually yearning for.
The Fab Five experienced Christian love in ways they’d never experienced, too. And we want to experience that love in the same way.
The vast majority of our readers hold to a traditional interpretation of Scripture. We live by that, and it is an evil thing that we are still rejected by fellow Christians.
Let me repeat that: it is evil for other Christians to reject us even though we live our lives by submitting to Christ.
Here’s the truth: Jesus cares for us. We do not experience prejudice in Christ. Christ has shown us the greatest amount of love to us while we were still enemies, thus loving the unlovable. And Christ brings us into community with himself, thus combating our loneliness.
This gives us hope for our church communities. Christians are united with Christ. If Christ has shown us love, we can trust that at some point we will experience that love from our church communities.
That is the hope we have.
In what ways are shows like Queer Eye both a positive and a negative experience for you? Have you experienced prejudice, shame, and loneliness from church communities? How has Christ erased prejudice, shame, and loneliness in your life?
Photo courtesy Netflix.