Growing up as a Southern Baptist and then being educated in a similar context, Rev. Fairbanks says she didn’t really think about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. Now, as the Pastor of Zeteo Houston, part of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ denomination, Rev. Fairbanks is speaking out in support of protecting LGBT people from discrimination in Texas and everywhere.
In her time in the ministry, Rev. Fairbanks has heard stories about people facing great hardship because they were LGBT, “Stories of friends, and friends of friends, really started to have an effect on me. Stories of getting kicked out of your home, your community, and your church. One story like that is too many, but I was hearing a lot more than one story, sadly,” she said.
So, Rev. Fairbanks looked for answers in her faith and in the scripture. Faced with new questions and the real experiences of people in her life, she set out to reconcile what she was hearing and her convictions and what she’d been taught.
Ultimately, it came down to one truth: “I focused in on love your neighbor as yourself, and everything in my faith gets filtered through that first,” Rev. Fairbanks said.
Now, Rev. Fairbanks is a strong supporter of protecting LGBT people from discrimination. Not only that, but she’s committed to using her voice to advocate for those changes.
“I know that I have an important role, as a straight, married woman, to move this conversation forward. I know that I can speak to people about what I’ve heard from my transgender and gay brothers and sisters, and that I can reach people who might not otherwise be thinking about this,” she said.
Rev. Fairbanks and her husband have two kids, aged two-and-a-half and seven, and she said that thinking about the values she wants to instill in her kids has strengthened her support for making sure that all people, including LGBT people, can live their lives free from discrimination.
“Whether you think about it as the golden rule, or loving thy neighbor as thy self, that idea of treating others as you’d want to be treated, that’s central to what I want to make sure my kids learn from me,” Rev. Fairbanks said.