Former USWNT soccer star Abby Wambach has raised a lot of eyebrows this year. Her memoir, Forward, shared the details of a battle with addiction that spanned her adult life and ultimately resulted in her arrest for DUI. The release of her book coincided with the announcement that she and her wife, Sarah Huffman, would be divorcing. She also stepped way out of line by questioning the patriotism of USMNT players who were not born in the United States. “Foreign guys,” she called them. And today, a whole new thing. A whaaaat in an entirely different direction. It turns out Abby Wambach has infiltrated blonde Christian America. Yesterday, Christian blogger and memoirist Glennon Doyle Melton announced via Twitter and Facebook that she and Wambach are in love.
— Glennon Doyle Melton (@Momastery) November 14, 2016
It’s a really remarkable and shocking announcement. The white evangelical Christian community has been grappling with their position on gay people for a long time, and this recent election cycle saw the divide grow even wider. Famous writers and speakers like Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker, and Katelyn Beaty broke with the official positions of their mega churches and spoke out against Trump, with Hatmaker pushing it far enough to offer unconditional support to LGBTQ people. LifeWay Bookstores (the Barnes & Noble of white evangelical Christianity) pulled all of her products from their shelves in response. And while there’s a growing push among younger evangelicals and a growing number of evangelical women to shift the focus of their community to social justice issues, the bigotry and hatred of the Jerry Falwells and James Dobsons of the world still reigns supreme.
Christian musician Jennifer Knapp came out in 2010, but that was seven years after she left the industry to grapple with her sexuality. Glennon Doyle Melton is the first woman in that circle of writers and speakers to go public with a same-sex relationship while remaining an active and beloved part of the community.
I don’t know as much about Glennon Doyle Melton as I do about the Beth Moores of the world because I’d already bolted from church by the time she rose to prominence, but I read a few posts on her blog, Momastery, yesterday and she seems like a warm and open human being who’s just trying to figure out how to love hard and whole in this hard, dark world. In fact, one of her books is called Love Warrior, and it was a New York Times bestseller and also an Oprah’s Book Club selection this year. The world needs more love warriors, that’s a thing I know for sure. Also, apparently, she has a gay pastor and has been outspoken about gay issues for a while now.
This is from her coming out Facebook post:
Now we are entering a new time which calls for a different type of leadership. And now it is my job as a leader not to concern myself too deeply about what you think and feel about me- about the way I live my life. That is what I want to model now, because that is what I want for YOU: I want you to grow so comfortable in your own being, your own skin, your own knowing – that you become more interested in your own joy and freedom and integrity than in what others think about you. That you remember that you only live once, that this is not a dress rehearsal and so you must BE who you are. I want you to refuse to betray yourself. Not just for you. For ALL OF US. Because what the world needs — in order to grow, in order to relax, in order to find peace, in order to become brave — is to watch one woman at a time live her truth without asking for permission or offering explanation.
The most revolutionary thing a woman can do is not explain herself.
The real lesson here, of course, is that it’s time for us to all go out and infiltrate the communities that have historically oppressed us and make the people inside them gay. Those are your new marching orders. Fingers crossed Glennon Doyle Melton’s next book is GAY Love Warrior.
This post has been updated with more information about Glennon Doyle Melton. The title is really, truly just a joke. The idea that gay people could go into a community that has historically oppressed us and make them love us by making them love us.