I'm very much still processing this, so bear with me. Today I was contacted by a reporter with the Kansas City Star, our main newspaper. She's the reporter for "minority concerns," which I think is an interesting title (who determines when it's a "minority concern"? - someone from the majority apparently). She's writing an article on Joe Nadeau, the music director of the Heartland Men's Chorus who was recently fired from his church job at a local Catholic church. I don't know the specifics of the story other than the mass of rumors and talk that are going on around the Kansas City LGBT community, but essentially he was fired for refusing to give up his position in the gay (and gay-friendly) chorus and to not renouncing his gay lifestlye. The reporter had heard that I was with a new organization here in KC that works on issues of the LGBT community in churches and wanted to get my perspective on it.
Whoa! Who am I? Why does anyone want to know what I think about anything? How did she get my name and email address in the first place?! I still don't know and I debated on getting in touch with her, but I decided that I needed to do it. I don't really trust the media - I've seen first hand how messed up they can get a story and how they can twist people's words by taking them out of context. The last thing I want to do is say something - or be considered as having said something - that gets the KC Coalition or the larger LGBT religious communities in more controversy than they already are everyday. But what if this is it? What if this the reason I'm in seminary in the first place - my call? I don't know if I even like using that word, but this could be the beginning of a prophetic ministry that moves beyond my local congregation and seminary campus. I'm afraid to say that "God wants me to" do this - or anything else for that matter. Too many people use that line as reason to do things that are anything BUT Christian. All I can do is my best, and that's what I tried to do when I talked with the reporter on the phone this afternoon.
She asked me a lot of general questions about what the issues are and how I feel about them. I tried to make it clear that I could only speak for myself and not all members of the Kansas City Coalition for Welcoming Ministries, but I said exactly what I think and how I see the issue. I'll be very curious to read the article and see which statements of mine get printed and how they connect with Joe's story. The truth is that what happened to him sucks - but it happens to LGBT people everyday and they don't all get articles in the newspaper about it. The Heartland Men's Chorus is pretty popular in Kansas City, so this is getting some attention and if nothing else, at least I got the name of our group in the newspaper so more people will know about us and the kind of work we're trying to do. Best of luck to Joe, whatever the future holds, and he gets my respect for the way he's handled things thus far.