“I had the opportunity to talk to someone who hates my guts and I
wanted to know why. During our conversation, I asked him, ‘Why do you
hate me? What is it about me? Is it my skin color? My history? My
dreadlocks?’ ” he said.
Courtney repeatedly asked Furniss for an answer, only to be met with silence and a blank look.
Courtney asked Furniss for a hug. He was initially reluctant, but as
Courtney reached over the third time, Furniss reciprocated, wrapping his
arms around Courtney.
“And I heard God whisper in my year, ‘You changed his life,’ ” Courtney said.
“Why do you hate me?” Courtney asked Furniss one last time.
“I don’t know,” Furniss finally answered, Courtney said.
What should an LDS person do/say to be a good ally?
The first thing that comes to my mind is to speak up when homophobic/transphobic things are being said at church. Don’t just sit quietly, being uncomfortable, but say something, even if it’s just, “Hey, these are real people we’re talking about, and you’re being unkind.” The same goes for when church members post homophobic/transphobic memes and comments on Facebook. It’s a small thing, but it always means a lot to me to see someone sticking up for people like me.
It can also be helpful to educate yourself on LGBT terms and issues. Most people understand what “gay” or “lesbian” means, but most church members are probably not familiar with words like “asexual” or “non-binary” or “pansexual”, and it can be tiring to have to give a lesson on terminology every time you’re trying to come out to someone.
Other than that, I can think of plenty of things not to say that you often hear from well-meaning but misguided people. For example, don’t say that you disagree with LGBT people’s “lifestyles”, or anything along the lines of “love the sinner, hate the sin”. To me that just sounds like you’re okay with my existence as long as I pretend to be something I’m not, and that’s not really supportive. Don’t say that we’ll be straight in the resurrection. Don’t ask us if we’ve prayed about it (chances are, we have). Don’t give us a lecture on church doctrine or policy (we know it).
That’s all I can think of for now. Anything to add, @queerstake?