Being a Gay Christian

Here are my struggles to reconcile my religion & sexual orientation. I used to think that being a Christian and being gay were mutually exclusive. God revealed to me that I am his child, created Just As I Am. God’s awesome gift comes with challenges, yet opportunities to share the good news to many who have rejected religion. Or who have suppressed their sexuality to keep their religion. I welcome this ministry and the unbelievable strength he gives me to do it.


I'm gay and while that does tell you which gender I want to fall in love with, it tells you nothing about my lifestyle. As you read you'll learn about that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I do not understand why so many conservative people are outright mean when it comes to gays. There is a special cruelty when they talk to us (talk down to us, lecture us, chastise us). They don't just quote scripture, they don't just explain why they morally object, they are often intentionally hurtful.

Cursing someone to hell is not a casual thing to do. What adulterers or greedy financiers have they condemned to hell? Yet they freely proffer that destiny to gay people. Why? Why the vehemence?

We are just trying to pursue our lives. We are just trying to support each other. We are just trying to provide a safer environment for gay youth than we all had. We are just trying to find love in a hate filled world.

I have had professed Christians wave signs in my face and yell at me with a bullhorn telling me I am going to hell. Yet I would challenge anyone to prove to me that any LGBT protester would proclaim that to Evangelicals. Even the protests against the Mormons that are going on, I have not seen one sign condemning them to hell.

And cruelest of all, is their denial of the rights of people to marry the person they love. Think about it. To have to have your betrothal be voted on by people who don't even now you... Abjectly onerous! Can they even conceive of that? Can they even begin to understand the pain they cause? To think that if I wanted to marry Eugene, I would first have to ask the blessings of half the state. An injust and cruel hurdle forcing us to grovel begging for simple decency and be denied again and again.

That concept is unthinkable t0 conservatives regarding their own marriages. Yet that is the burden they gladly heap upon us. Cruel.

Perhaps it is about saving the children. For it is better that they condemn their gay children to unhappy lives alone or in sham marriages hurting not only themselves but their deceived spouses and their own children(been there) than wish them truly happy love-filled lives. It is better to deny children the parents who love them than have those parents be a loving gay couple. It is so important to inflict this cruelty that they will lie and decieve.

Perhaps I can speak on some authority there. See I was a gay child. I knew at 6, yes 6 years old that I was different. The other boys knew it too. None of us knew exactly why back then. But there it was. And I also knew I was wrong. I was flawed at 6 years old. There was something wrong with me and I also knew never to talk to anyone about it. I longed to be loved. Yet thhe only love I received was that of an actor playing a part particularly well.

And now I look back and think of how cruel a world I was born into that I could not be loved as a child because I was different.

I grew older and lived that life, denying who I was to live a life the church and society taught me at a very early age was the only acceptable way to live. I lived it for 42 years. I have known no other way than being gay. I have conformed, pretended, deceived myself and those around me. I hurt many people by being what they told me was good and right.

Yet this charade is the perverted vision of righteousness they offer. Seems a sad way to be Christian, lying and all. Yet our society has been insideous about denying basic happiness to gays. To think of the basic friendships I was denied. To feel totally alone is a high school class of 800. Forbidden the ability to court the person I liked in high school. Forced to dance with and pretend I enjoyed the company of my female companion more than I did. To be denied the ability to talk about my life at work. To be denied the ability to putmy beloved'spicture on my desk. To be forbidden from holding the hand of the person I love in the mall. All this and more is actively denied to us.

Why? Pure cruelty in the name of the Lord. Something Christ never spoke of is a rift in Christianity. Churches torn in two because of the audacity of some to reach out to gays in love instead of cruel spite. Ah the love for the sinner is so powerful. It rips denominations assunder. I guess there are just limits to how much some people can love their neighbor.

Hot ashes of scorn heaped upon our heads for simply asking for some respect. All we want is for them to quit hurting us. Why can't they do this?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I often wonder what is at the root of the animosity conservatives have toward LGBT people. The energy and emotion given in fighting us seems unwarranted when justified by a handful of scriptures. There are many more scriptures on other themes that get short shrift by churches - lying and greed being a couple.

Plus I look at Christ's life and he never spoke one word of condemnation of gay people. Why not, if it were as important an issue as some churches make it out to be. And while I believe he might have spoken in support of gays, I acknowlege it could be a stretch.

All that we really can be sure of is that Christ was neutral on the issue as far as scripture was concerned. Yet from this neutrality comes vehement objection today. And I do not understand why.

Why are people so angry? That growing up with the desire for intimacy and love for a man instead of for a woman should generate such ire and judgement seems disproportionate.

They will say they want to save my soul. But they don't care if I'm violent or an adulterer or a theif or opportunist preying on the innocent. They show no desire to save my soul from those things. It's just so important to them to get me to change from being gay. Then their work is done. How odd. How myopic.

And these same people who profess such concern for my soul, seem to show great apathy for other heathens. They seem perfectly fine consigning billions of non-Christians to eternal damnation. I guess I should feel grateful that they have so much concern for me over the Hindu's. Or the Unitarians.

Some will cite the decadent behavior they see at gay bars and Pride festivals. And yes there are exuberant gays who perhaps push things a bit far in venues where they are among kindred spirits. But tell me one time anyone saw gogo boys at the mall. Tell me when anyone saw the gays at work prancing around with boas. Plus the vast majority of gays wouldn't be caught dead in their skivvies marching down North Halsted.

For some it's the fear that some gay person will hit on them. First they should consider it a compliment because if a gay guy finds them attractive, a straight woman definitely will. All they have to do is say "thanks, but no thanks." The idea that it is a cause for violence is horrid. Image the reaction to a woman who killed a man in his apartment simply because he came on to her at a bar. Imagine worrying that that might happen to you.

Perhaps it's because gays must all be succumbing to temptation. How wonderfully righteous that straight people resist that powerful temptation to have sex with someone of their own sex. Now I do know of many 'straight' guys that just want to have a gay guy perform oral sex on them since their wives won't. But that's a whole different temptation.

And when it comes to temptation, no one does it as well as the straights. TV is crammed full of temptation. Magazines and even children's school and social lives are full of it. In my city there are no gay strip clubs, but 4 straight ones. There's one gay dance club yet countless straight ones where things go on that make even me blush. There's far more temptation to be straight than to be gay.

Perhaps it's because I interpret scripture differently. Yet so do the Mormons, the Jews and even the Presbyterians. I don't see as much chastisement rained upon them as I have received.

Oh, yes, I forgot, it's all about protecting the children. The little girl in the commercial who learned she could marry a princess - the rest of the story is that she wouldn't dream that past puberty unless she were lesbian. Staright people don't need to be indoctrinated into hetero marriage - though society spends a lot of time subliminally coaching children on their roles as a boy or girl. The reality is they don't have to be taught it to dream it. As a child in the 60's, I definitely wanted to live happily ever after with the prince (or Batman). But I also knew before I was ten that people wouldn't approve.

Kids are what they are. Some are gay and most are straight. They definitely learn what they are and about gays regardless of schools and parents. Some just go through a lot more pain and suffering while learning to accept themselves. And sadly way too many destroy themselves in the process.

Of course the conservatives reject the idea that gay people are born that way. That would violate their assumptions about God's judgement. That might mean they are - (gasp) wrong. (Note: I have no problem accepting that I might be wrong as it happens so often.) So in their minds, children must be "recruited." I recall an activist I knew saying that if someone gave him $10,000 to recruit straight children to being gay, he wouldn't have a clue what to do. Perhaps giving every boy a Barbie and an Easy-bake Oven would do it (this is a joke).

Yet, conservatives mistake our concern for the children who are growing up like we did, thinking they were flawed and second-class members of society. We all wished for role models, to know we were not alone. I can only envy teens today who can actually date the people they want to date rather than the ones they're "supposed" to. I imagine the joy the straight guys had dating girls. And I feel severely deprived that I could not have that experience for myself until I was 44 years old.

I don't want another gay boy to have to experience the isolation, the supressed emotions, the undermining of his self-esteem that I lived through, that have scarred me for life. I don't want another young couple hurt because one of them really doesn't belong in that relationship. I don't want anyone thinking they have to chose between God and their sexuality.

I, like most LGBT people, just want who I date, love and marry to be a non-issue in society.

So why is it a big deal?


I'm glad that people are protesting the passage of Prop 8 not only in California, but across the nation. I think this issue has helped galvanize the LGBT and allies community. Nothing gives a group backbone and resolve more than an affront or an attack.

That said, I'm not really in agreement for continued protests in front of Mormon churches. Sure the Mormon church is culpable. But they are not alone. The Mormons, probably had less involvement in Florida and Arkansas.

There are plenty of people out there who need enlightening. Another Epicopal diocese realigned itself with conservatives primary over gay issues. We gays need to focus efforts more on changing hearts. Much has happened in my lifetime especially when AIDS forced us collectively out of the closet (and ironically to realize it was a great thing to be in the open). Many people have quit fearing us. And almost half of California voters supported us for full inclusion in society.
That is a plus we can continue to build upon. Peaceful protests are a good way to remind people that we are here, that there are a lots of us, that our issues matter. All the same, we should focus on the public spaces.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Keith Olbermann on Gay Marriage

Keith Olbermann's powerful commentary on Prop 8. Thank you very much, Keith.


Election Day was a day of mixed feelings for me and many of my friends. It brought news that Barack Obama would replace G W Bush. And while George the II's rule is over, Obama brings with him the hope for a government that respects people.

But also came news of the passage of Prop 8 in California along with other anti-gay legislation in other states. The proponents claim the people have spoken. But typically recognizing people's rights is not something the majority has done very well.

No majority voted on the Emancipation Proclamation. No majority voted to end segregation. No majority ended interracial marriage laws. The majority does a poor job of recognizing the rights of minorities. No majority decides what a religion is. No majority decided Britany Spears could marry.

And yet people think it's perfectly ok to vote on gay rights.

They couch it in terms of defining marriage, protecting traditional marriage. But most see it for what it really is, denial of recognition of the families gay people create. A denial of gay rights.

Now I'm confident that people will eventually do what is right, though it will probably take the passing of this generation.

But it is painful to hear what the anti-gay people say. They belittle marriage saying it is purely for procreation. They bring children out as shields to their words. They blantantly lie, use deceitful words and twist facts. They manipulate people through fear.

I will probably hear about Biblical marriage (by people who might want to really do their research first) and how God created Adam and Eve. To those that think that way, I hope they overcome their fear some day. In the meantime we gays will live within the whim of the majority.

But this I do know. No law or amendment is stopping gays from marrying in the eyes of God, their friends and their families. Much as people want to make this about religion, it's about law.

All because it is more important for some people to be right than to do right.

Thou Shalt Not Interpret

I am often accused of eisegesis, of putting my personal spin on scripture. I'm sure it seems that way to those who disagree with me just as it seems to me that they are as well. Most people struggle with scriptures that challenge their comfort zone. In fact many well respected people have been accused of it. Jews accuse Christians of eisegesis. Catholics accuse Protestants. Liberal and conservative protestants blame each other.

For myself, I try to let God be my guide through my interaction with Him. I constantly question my interpretation of all scriptures to try to ensure that neither my nor anyone else's personal interpretations color my reading. But we are all only human. To not interpret means the words are just dead ink on a page.

Most have had the experience where a well known scripture takes on new meaning depending on the situation of our lives. To me this is the proof that God interacts personally.

We all have the opportunity to interpet based on improved knowledge, science and sociology. When Ezekial saw the wheel, no doubt modern science would have helped him describe it more accurately.

I have read the Bible from an early age and am quite familiar with the gay "clobber" passages. They were part of the influence that kept me in denial for 40 years. That and my mother's number one rule - don't embarrass your father.

But God told me loud and clear that he loves me and is proud of who I am and that he created me this way for a purpose. He has freed me from the shadow that was destroying me and hurting those I loved. He put a stop to the lies I spoke constantly. And while He blessed me when I was in the closet, He has blessed me more in this new life. He has kept me clear of many temptations, saved me from many dangers and brought supportive friends into my life. He has even brought the man I love to me.

I would have to be a stubborn fool to ignore His words. He spoke clearly and His truth has set me free of oppression. Some who disagree will tell me I'm delusional and every time I go and meditate on it.

So now when it comes to scripture, I can only interpret them based on the love God has shown me. I can chose to throw them out or deny His involvement in my life (never) or try to listen to what God's meaning really is. I'm sure I get things wrong at times. In fact I assume that I often do and am open to additional inspiration.

And it's a lot of work, a lot of listening for inspiration, a lot of turmoil and struggle, a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity. But I believe that's what we are called to do. That's what ministers do with every sermon, what elders do with every counsel, what teachers do with every lesson - let God take words and give them meaning and relevance for today.

What I think is happening when we disagree on meaning, though, is indeed holy. I once was told by a fellow elder in the church that if I prayed hard enough, God would make me see things his (the elder's, not God's) way. Didn't happen. But what I did see was that God was truly inspiring him to take his point of view as He was inspiring me to take a counter view. By discussing we came up with a truly loving compromise that I saw was God's real desire.

But what I refuse to accept is that these are dead words on a page that can only interpret themselves. For that I don't need God's guidance, just a good dictionary.

PS: for the person who claimed the term eunuch doesn't include homosexuals -

Christian Lies Must be OK

Why do people who profess to be Christian feel so comfortable lying to get their way? I read many accounts of the conduct of "Yes on 8" supporters and groups and found it apalling. The ends justify the means, it appears. It's so nice to know now that not only is greed no longer sinful, so are lies. And yes I'm being sarcastic.