(Content Warning: The following article contains mention of suicide.)
While I still held the so-called “traditional view” on marriage and sexuality when I married my wife, my own deeply painful experiences as a bisexual man working in full-time Christian ministry tempered how I engaged the topic. Where others were focusing on the need to stand by “Biblical absolutes” with respect to this (and any) subject, my awareness of the harm being done to LGBTQ2S+ people by the church shifted my attention in another direction.
Instead of being a champion for orthodoxy, guarding against the ever-present risk of the notorious “slippery slope”, I was motivated to focus on caring for Christians like myself: young Christian men and women who knew they weren’t like everyone else with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity. In contrast to the aggressive and over-protective rhetoric of most Christian leaders I knew, who characterized us as dangerous agenda-driven deviants, I knew these people were wounded, alienated, and afraid.
So while I continued to serve in my regular ministry capacities, I found that two things became more common secondary focuses: first, that very care and understanding extended to LGBTQ2S+ Christians; and second, calling Christians to more informed and compassionate responses to this topic and people like me. Again, still not affirming in my view, I was resolutely convinced that the church should and could do better.
Out of the Quiet: Coming Out as an Affirming Queer Christian
“Sometimes, when you don’t see yourself in the world, you start to think that you don’t exist.” -DeRay Mckesson
This latter commitment found expression largely through writing. Through my blog (which rose to surprising heights of popularity at the height of the blogging-heyday), through emerging social media, and through the occasional publication, I found myself using whatever platform available to me to name the mistreatment of queer folks and point towards better ways forward.
Inevitably a few people responded with fiercely condemning language, naming me an apostate, a heretic, a false Christian- all of this, despite…