IT'S REALLY HARD to have a good conversation about our sexuality.
We tend to be on our guard, warily anticipating how something shared may challenge our own perspectives. At times, it can seem like a constant comparing of what we're hearing with what we have experienced. We fear what is different and shun those who threaten our beliefs.
And then there are trigger words — specific terms that make us feel uneasy, whether they be masturbation, homosexuality, or vagina. We fidget. Squirm. Itch.
Sometimes, it seems like it's easier for Christians to just remain silent. We're afraid of ruffling feathers. We're unsure of what to say. And yet, we're all looking for answers.
So why bother having this conversation? Because we have to. Because we must.
As Asian Americans who believe that God loves us and accepts us in our entirety — that our genders and our ethnicities are not by chance or by mistake — we must also look at our sexuality. That as fully embodied beings, made in the image of God, our sexuality somehow matters in how we understand the rest of the larger Body.
As Asian Americans who believe that God loves us and accepts us in our entirety — that our genders and our ethnicities are not by chance or by mistake — we must also look at our sexuality.
Our sexuality is both intimately personal, and yet it is inevitably interpersonal. How we see ourselves affects how we see others. How we expect those around us to be changes how we interact with them.
We must face this issue head-on, not because there is a loss if we don't, but because there is so much to gain if we do. And that begins with hearing people's stories, asking questions, and being open to relearn things we once thought were so certain.
For myself, I've had to come to terms with my own prejudices toward the queer community — namely, thinking that the homosexual lifestyle was too sexually deviant to ever be considered "Christian". And while this may be true for some individuals, I have also seen deeply committed homosexual relationships — some more deeply committed to each other than my heterosexual Christian friends.
I'm still wrestling and coming to terms with things I've been told, versus what I've experienced.
Truth be told, there may be more than one story in this issue where you won't agree with a certain perspective. We certainly had a hard time finding people who were willing to share their stories and experiences.
Truth be told, there may be more than one story in this issue where you won't agree with a certain perspective.
And that's OK. The Christian community's strength is not that we all agree with one another all the time; it is an acknowledgement that though we appreciate and emphasize different aspects of God, we know that it is God's faithfulness to us that is more important, not just our understanding of God.
So read these stories with an open heart — not to know, but to understand. It's a beginning to a conversation, not a definitive guide. But hopefully, we can deconstruct some assumptions and arrive at a place where our sexuality is more of a gift than a burden.
Daniel Chou serves as the editor-in-chief of Inheritance and is also co-founder of Winnow+Glean. He holds a master of divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. He posts sporadically on Instagram @dchou and even more sporadically on Twitter @danielchou.
JOHN "ENGER" CHENG serves as creative director of Inheritance. He is a Los Angeles-based artist, designer and illustrator. He graduated from the University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Arts and is co-founder of Winnow+Glean. You can see his illustrative work and store at madebyenger.com.