A Letter to the Church from the Margins of Faith, Gender, & Sexuality

Jamie Arpin-Ricci
8 min readJun 1

To all followers of Jesus,

Greetings from our small corner of the world. I am writing this letter with a degree of uncertainty and anxiety. Most attempts I have made around these topics in the past have not been well received, often met with excuses, hostility, and worst of all, indifference. So, for me, writing this is an act of belligerent hope. May it be received with open hearts and open minds.

One of the great risks of history is that we can look back on monumental turning points with a degree of clarity, as though such moments are unmistakable in their import. Yet all too often we fail to see when we are presently at just such moments. I believe that we are, as the Church, at such a historic moment right now, facing a crisis of faith much like the prophets and apostles before us.

I am speaking about the continued existence of the fear, ignorance, and hate that exists toward those whose sexuality and gender differ from the dominant expressions we assume to be “normal”. As a bisexual man, I am one of those people. Sadly, rather than engaging in the sacred task of confronting the injustice being done against these children of God, we are all too often complicit- either through active participation or passive apathy- compromising both the integrity of the love we claim and the witness we hope to have before a watching world.

Few of you will deny that those of us who are 2SLGBTQIA+ have faced great suffering, both throughout history and still today. That suffering has not been a result of something inherent to those expressions of who we are but has been the result of the persistent and unrelenting lies, discrimination, exclusion, and oppression that has, at times, gone so far as even seeking to eradicate us from existence. Such mistreatment and abuse stand in stark contrast to the love and embrace at the heart of the Christian faith.

From the very beginnings of our story as followers of Jesus, we have recognized and honoured the fundamental truth that every person is made in the image of God. Yet, while we are quick to celebrate those aspects of the divine image with which we personally relate, we all too quickly reject and denounce those that are different than ourselves as suspect or…

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Jamie Arpin-Ricci is a bisexual author & activist with more than 25 years experience living at the intersection of faith, sexuality, and justice.