Damaging Our Witness.
Very recently, a very sweet elderly gentleman came up to me in a church after hearing about Xpose Hope. He was apologetic for asking, but he explained that he had been raised that to go to places like bars, strip clubs, lingerie modeling businesses or to see drag queens perform would be detrimental to our “witness” as Christians. “What if someone from the church saw you go into those places? What would they think?”
I could tell he was truly curious, and didn’t mean to demean the work that I do. So I chatted with him, and this is what I said:
“Do you remember in the Bible, in the book of John, there is a story of Jesus and the woman at the well?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Well, I liken what we do to that situation. You see, Jesus was sitting at that well, a place men did not belong. In that culture, the women would draw water and supply it to the men. The well was a place for women to not only get water, it was a local meeting place where ladies met, chatted, and kept up with what was happening in the community.
Not only that, the woman who approached was a Samaritan woman. No Jewish male in good standing would ever speak to a Samaritan woman. She was unclean, she was of little value. This would damage his reputation. It could affect his standing in the church.
Yet, there he was, sitting at the well, and then conversing with a woman who had some issues. She told Jesus some of them, and he told her that he knew the others.
About the time they were finishing up, his friends showed up. They asked him “Why in the world are you talking to THAT woman?”
I’m sure they were thinking to themselves “You’ll damage your authority and your witness to the people!”
Jesus didn’t care. Jesus loved that woman. He loved her no matter her nationality, no matter her social status, no matter her occupation. He just loved her. He wanted her to know that. He wanted her to know that he would give her living water, and after that, she’d never thirst again. And you know what? She believed him. She recognized him for what he was. And she told her friends.
My new friend nodded at me, he understood.
It’s about love. What we do is all about love. It is not about filling churches, or changing occupations. It’s not about an agenda, or changing minds. It’s about loving someone because when I was in the industry, I would have liked to have someone come and just care–care about how my week was, and to like who I was because I’m a human. Not because I could do a lap dance, not because I’d listen to their issues, but because I mattered. To visit for even a moment with someone who just cared, should I need them to, would have meant something to me.
Not every dancer wants to see us. Not every drag queen has time to chat. And that’s okay. Because we don’t have an agenda other than caring.
Can we help? Yes. Do we come to the hospital, and have we helped with food? Yes. Have we gone to court in support of our friends? Yes, and we’ve dropped into jail. But we do that because we care, not because we want something. We want to support every member of the adult entertainment industry in their choices in their lives when they need support. When they don’t, we are happy to smile and hug–if they want a hug.
And if others decide look down on what we do…who think we are “damaging our witness”… that’s okay. Because we don’t do this for adoration from the religious community or for applause. We do it quietly, one night a month, because we care. That’s it. And because, we like hanging out at the well. We’ve met a lot of friends this way. We treasure them.
So every second Saturday, you’ll see us out there…destroying our witness perhaps. Making friends for sure!