This post is part of a synchroblog sponsored by New Direction. Over 50 bloggers are simultaneously posting articles on June 24th on the topic of bridging the gap between the church and the gay community. Participants hail from a variety of persuasions. Check out the list of other bloggers at Bridging the Gap.
When I started blogging on June 30, 2005, I was not sure what to expect from readers. I was somewhat surprised to find that many of my readers and commenters were gay. Over time, it dawned on me that my views of gays were pretty narrow. I found that it was true what I taught in social psychology: people in a social group understand the diversity of their group but fail to appreciate the diversity of other groups. After almost 4 years of blogging on issues surrounding sexuality, I think I have a better understanding of the diversity in the gay community.
As such then, the blog has helped to bridge gaps I had in my knowledge and in my experience. Since then, as I have become more outspoken regarding what I perceive as shortcomings in my own social conservative community, I have welcomed the increasing dialogue that takes place here.
I have experienced discomfort and confusion directed my way as I have reoriented my focus. Some in my community now disregard my views because they seem too liberal and some in the gay community do not trust me. The “dislike mail” (not really hate mail) now comes from all sides. Such may be the consequence of bridge building.
And so, perhaps my brief contribution to the syncroblog (said with a robot-like accent) is to point out to would-be bridge builders that controversy goes with the territory. I have found that it is very important to have a network of church, friends and family that understand and support you. A supportive work environment which values academic freedom is a distinct plus as well.
So build on bridge builders. May the One who is the Bridge strengthen us and enlighten our path.