The Scoop: Since 1968, Metropolitan Community Churches has been a beacon of hope and faith for progressive Christians around the world. The church group is an ally to LGBTQ+ people and staunchly defends civil rights through the lens of an inclusive ministry. MCC’s community leaders speak with compassion to underprivileged, disenfranchised, oppressed, and ostracized individuals, and they unite under a diverse banner of Christianity.
I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a queer teen love story. I enjoy the drama, the fashion, and the rainbow of emotions. I’ve fangirled over many coming-of-age and coming-out stories in fictional universes, but one stands out. Last year, a Hulu series went beyond the usual clichés in the gay experience and highlighted the painful reality faced by gay teenagers growing up in Christian families.
“Love, Victor” isn’t just about gay crushes and road trips — though those things do come into play — it’s about identity. Ultimately, the show strikes a chord by showing Victor’s struggle to find his voice as a Hispanic Christian gay basketball player.
For so many LGBTQ+ Christians around the world, Victor’s story is their story, and they relate to his struggle to balance seemingly conflicting identities. They wrestle with the question: Can you be queer and Christian at the same time?
The leaders at Metropolitan Community Churches give an affirmative and empowering answer: Yes, you can. Christians of all gender identities and sexual orientations have a valued place in this church.
“At MCC, we know that it is not at all incompatible to be queer and to be people of faith,” said a spokesperson for the ministry. “We’re a progressive Christian movement that was founded over 50 years ago by and for LGBTQ people of faith.”
This group of progressive Christians has been challenging harmful stereotypes for generations.
From the beginning, MCC leaders have advocated for LGBTQ+ rights and celebrated LGBTQ+ relationships. In fact, this ministry had the honor of being the first church to solemnify same-sex unions and marriages in the U.S.
MCC started in California in 1968, and now it supports a diverse faith-driven community around the world. It currently has 222 member congregations in 37 countries.
Transforming the World Through Compassion & Faith
Metropolitan Community Churches stands behind four core values: inclusion, community, spiritual transformation, and justice.
Its congregations have made room for formerly marginalized and oppressed people, and the ministries have become particularly popular within the LGBTQ+ community. The church’s progressive leaders have demonstrated more than tolerance — they welcome and support church members of all backgrounds. Over the decades, MCC has built good relationships with LGBTQ+ individuals.
According to the mission statement, “Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economics, climate change, aging, and global human rights.”
The history of MCC is one of tireless outreach and love. These Christians are serious about practicing what they preach and building a friendly, faith-driven community where all of Christ’s followers can find belonging.
MCC brings a new, loving perspective to scripture, and its leaders choose to uplift LGBTQ+ couples who are in loving relationships and want to strengthen their relationship with God. This unique church group seeks to transform the way people see Christians and invite LGBTQ+ singles, couples, and families into productive conversations about faith.
“We are people on a journey, learning to live into our spirituality, while affirming our bodies, our genders, our sexualities,” the founders wrote in a statement of faith. “We don’t all believe exactly the same things. And yet in the midst of our diversity, we build community, grounded in God’s radically inclusive love for all people.”
A Welcoming Congregation for Modern Christians
The MCC organization offers social activities and faith-based groups that can offer comfort, community, and inspiration to individuals of all backgrounds. It can even be a matchmaker for Christian singles who join local ministries for young people, transgender people, or LGBTQ+ people.
These ministries create a safe space where Christians can find solidarity and express their individuality.
“In fact, we know that many LGBTQ people have found the loves of their lives at Metropolitan Community Churches,” a spokesperson for the church group said. “We celebrate the holy integration of sexuality and spirituality. Why not go to church as a great first date? When people share a spiritual commitment and practice, it goes a long way toward supporting and enhancing their relationships.”
In addition to working closely with gay and lesbian individuals, MCC leaders have made a concerted effort to extend a warm welcome to transgender people and nonbinary people. The Transgender Ministries have connected and empowered Christians who may have been ostracized or marginalized in other communities.
The website says it best: “MCC Transgender Ministries seek to cultivate and nourish relationships with local communities and congregations, offering education and community-building skills to better enhance their ministry to/with transgender people. We also build relationships with transgender individuals to better connect them to MCC ministry families worldwide.”
Through its good works, MCC has created strong bonds in a progressive Christian network. Its members come from all walks of life, but they share a desire to open their hearts to God and bring faith into their lives. Many close friendships and relationships have formed as a result of MCC’s loving ministries.
“I still can’t believe we met again — and I mean that in a good way,” wrote a Christian woman to an MCC faith leader named Angel after a conference. “God works in ways that certainly are wonderful and life-changing…I’m hoping to dialog and network within our cluster to widen our reach.”
MCC Church Maintains a Community of Loving Hearts
Many traditional Christian stances on gayness have done more harm than good. Some misguided church leaders tell families to “hate the sin but love the sinner” or “pray the gay away,” and that can alienate loved ones and damage relationships. It can also be terribly confusing and heart-wrenching for LGBTQ+ Christians who have a strong sense of faith yet find themselves rejected by the church.
One poignant scene in “Love, Victor” shows the struggle Christian families can go through in this area. [Spoiler ahead] In the second season, Victor’s younger brother finds out he’s gay and asks his parents if Victor is going to hell for being who he is. The parents are devout Christians, but they say no — because they love their son. They believe in Victor, and they believe in God’s love.
As an ally to LGBTQ+ people and families, Metropolitan Community Churches provides a space where Christianity isn’t in conflict with anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. If you are curious about this church, then you are welcome to sit with the faith leaders, meet fellow believers, and talk about the ideals that have shaped your life experiences and relationships.
Whether you come to this ministry alone, with a date, or in the company of family and friends, you can join a loving dialogue about the teachings of scripture and transform your view of Christian values.
“We welcome you to learn more about us as you are opening yourselves for more love in your lives,” the MCC team said.