Peterson Toscano is a good guy. He went through a lot of bad things, and he’s come back out on the other side with good humor and information for all of us.
Traveling Around the World
Peterson travels around the world. He’s a performer and an educator. He tells people about his experiences in the ‘ex-gay’ world.
Advocating for Gay Christians
Peterson Toscano is an advocate for lgbt Christians. Look at this exchange:
ME: Cool stuff you offer here. I know of some young people who would be interested in your ministry. They are sincere Christians, who would both give a lot to and receive a lot from the programming that you offer. They happen to be transgender, bisexual, lesbian or gay. How well would they fare in your organization?
RESOURCE: We welcome all people.
ME: Yes, I understand that, but if they came to you with say questions about their faith or maybe an eating disorder or simply becuase they want to be stronger believers, would they get the help they need without their sexuality becoming THE issue that you insist needs to be addressed.
RESOURCE: We don’t really deal with sexuality. It doesn’t come up.
ME: Wait, you run an organization for youth and you don’t ever talk about sex?!? Seems like a pretty important issue. Okay, so they will not be told they have to change their sexuality in order to be part of the group?
RESOURCE: Well, we do believe in the Bible…
ME: Yeah, so do I and so do these young people. The Bible doesn’t condemn a loving relationship between two men or two women. The Bible doesn’t condemn a gay, lesbian or bisexual orientation. The Bible actually affirms the lives and contributions of gender-variant people.
RESOURCE: We don’t see it that way, but they would still be welcome.
ME: Welcome to recive your services, to give contributions, to fill the seats?
RESOURCE: Yeah, they will be very welcome.
ME: Okay, I want to make sure we are clear here. A young person comes to your ministry. They have peace and clarity about their sexuality. They attend your training courses, meet many new friends, grow in their faith, contribute more and more time and resources to the work you do. After they devote two years of their lives to your ministry, they decide they want to give even more, to take on a leadership role, to lead a course. As an openly transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer person, you are telling me that they will be able to serve in a leadership position in your ministry?
RESOURCE: Well, no, but then an adulterer or rapist wouldn’t be able to either.
ME: I find it offensive that you equate the lives of these transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer people to adultery and rape. These are young people committed to God, living thoughtful responsible lives with peace in their hearts. They are not cheating on their partners and they are not rapists. Some are single and waiting for a partner. They choose to be honest with themselves and others about their sexuality. Would they be able to serve in your ministry?
RESOURCE: Um, no.
ME: So I should tell them that yours is not a safe place for them.
Perhaps you should let people know up front that you accept them under certain often unspoken conditions and that the same conditions do not apply to transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay and queer folks as to straight, gender-normative fellow believers.
Spend An Hour With Peterson Toscano
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