For straight Christian clergy the gate-swinging can well lead to eventual departure, especially if they decide that the grass really is greener on the other side of the denominational fence. For those who are gay/lesbian/transgender the picture is more complex. In other denominations, including the oft vaunted UCC, there are still enourmous barriers to being OUT in many parishes.
This last piece came through loud and clear from a UCC minister I dated briefly. The other alternative is to live hand-to-mouth in tiny, remote churches that can’t afford to be picky. (Wait, I’ve done that already.) I have more reasons for staying in our funny little fellowship and these easily outweighed the dubious benefits of a professional life in the United Church of Christ.
But all this gets around to why I started my Internet outreach nearly ten years ago. Thinking back to the 1980s that there were a number of celebrated gay and lesbian United Methodist ministerial “refugees” who came over to the UUA. I recall the coffee hour chit-chat that called them (in so many words) opportunists, and if I recall correctly, few if any remained.
I never wanted to be called an opportunist. As in, “He’s here because he can’t be a minister anywhere else.” I started all this online stuff to demonstrate that I was Universalist Christian (and formerly a Unitarian one) and “belonged” for that reason alone.
Funny: if I were a closet Christian, my professional options would be far better, but my soul would be dead, dead, dead.