This guest post is by an anonymous person. Even though he is not ashamed of who he is, he has chosen to remain anonymous to avoid embarrassing family members who are still evolving on these issues. This post was condensed from interviews with our anonymous poster. This is Part 1 of 4 Blog Posts from this person. Here also is Part 2: Don’t Hate Me for Being Queer, Part 3: Queer Christians, and Part 4: An Open Letter to Christians from a Queer.
Whether you agree or disagree with what he says, please be gracious in your comments below.
I am male and I am queer. Neither was a choice. I was born the way I am. I don’t feel a need to try to prove that to anyone. I know and always have known who I am.
I am Queer
I am Queer. What does that mean?
Some of the older generation may consider it derogatory, but most of my generation does not consider it derogatory. I think of it as a catch-all term. For me, it describes people who don’t exactly fit into the usual categories.
I am male, married to a female, and a Christian. For the purposes of this discussion, I don’t know any other labels that fit. I am not straight, gay, or bi.
I like women. I like men. I’m attracted to some women and to some men, but not to most women or most men. I married a woman because it’s easier to merge with the masses. I love my wife, and plan to stay married to her. I could just as easily be married to a man, though it would depend on the man.
The day the state I grew up in made it legal to marry someone of the same gender, I cried. If that had happened before I got married, I wonder if I might have married one of my boyfriends instead of one of my girlfriends.
Am I the Only One?
Are there other people like me? Lots of people aren’t attracted totally to the opposite sex or to the same sex. Think of it as a sliding scale, with all the totally heteros at one end and all the totally same-sex attracted on the other end. Lots of people aren’t at one end or the other of the scale. How do I know this? I know some of these people and most of them know more of us.
We are related to you, live next door to you, work next to you and may even be married to you. That doesn’t mean we are or are not attracted to you, whatever your gender.
I think a lot of people are suspicious that there are more LGBTs and others like me than the statistics say. When the stigma attached to being anything other than one hundred percent straight is gone, they may find out how many of us there really are. Are they afraid they might be outnumbered?
I Am A Christian
It might surprise you to know that I also consider myself to be a Christian. How is that possible? I agree, it is difficult, given all the unkind, nasty, unloving, ignorant, stupid, wrong things some Christians say about LGBT people. Those comments also hurt people like me. Why would anybody want to associate with angry, mean people who say things like that?
But I am not a Christian because of Christians. I am a Christian because of Jesus. The Jesus I know isn’t like most Christians I have met.
Jesus is kind, loving, and gentle. He created all of us, wherever we fall on the straight to gay scale. It makes me wonder: If Christians are supposed to be like Jesus, why are so many of them not like Jesus?
A few days ago I read about the sixteen year old boy in Oakland California who set an eighteen year old young man on fire on a city bus because the eighteen year old was wearing a skirt. Such hatred for something that had nothing to do with the sixteen year old! The sixteen year old attempted to murder someone else simply because they are different, revealing his hatred, bigotry, ignorance and more.
I do not know if that sixteen year old boy was a Christian or not, but I do know that many Christians want LGBT people to burn in hell. Is that really any different than setting a person on fire for wearing a skirt?
Don’t hate me for who I am. I don’t hate you for who you are. Love others because Jesus loves you as well as others. We are all created in his image. Let’s try to look like him, and that looks like love, not hate.
Do you have questions for me? Do you want to hear more of my story? There will be three more posts this week in which I will share more about me, and if there is enough interest, we can do a Q&A in a future post.
Brandon Chase says
Thank you for your vulnerability and boldness… And Grace. The Christian community has failed in the area of understanding, respecting and loving those with alternate sexual feelings and orientations. For that, friend, Brother, I am sorry.
I second that when i say thank you too!…for your boldness! It has definitely taught me a lesson i feel. I do agree Don’s comment quite so too. The bible is WRITTEN. We really can’t pick and choose what we want from it. It’s alive. Never ending.
I believe you though. I don’t think you can just take a pill and be perfectly straight! But yes your right, as Christians we definitely have a lack of understanding for differences. Choosing hatred to deal with them is not what the living word wants us to do either! I will admit i struggle with that and am growing, especially after reading this. Judging the gay community and lifestyle is sooooo easy to do! Forgive me though nameless sir, for i know not what i do.
I Am Queer says
I hope my response to Mark also responds to your comment. Most LGBTQs will explain that there is no such thing as a gay lifestyle, as you would probably say there is no such thing as a straight lifestyle. Don’t assume that all LGBTQs are promiscuous, just as all straights are not promiscuous. If a man says he is gay, that does not mean he is having or has ever had sex with other men or with anyone.
Thank you for struggling to understand. It may help you when you discover someone close to you is LGBTQ.
I Am Queer says
I read what you wrote on your blog. How I wish the Christians I knew growing up felt that way. When you read the following posts this week you’ll read how frustrated I’ve been with many Christians. I know they’re not all that way. Thank you for what you wrote.
Brandon Chase says
I am looking forward to reading your words, and hearing your heart.
Your blog impresses me. Do you have an e-mail address where I can contact you?
Brandon Chase says
Thank you so much. Email is email@example.com.
Thanks Brandon. For everyone else reading this, check out Brandon’s great blog. The link is in the first comment above.
Here is a brief video interview with a Christian who experiences same-sex attraction who has a different story about his response from the Christian community. It seems to easy to take the experience or the reaction of some and broad brush the whole. To me that is also sad. See what I mean here. By the way this site is a great resource for Christians who experience same-sex attraction http://www.livingout.org/stories/vaughan
Thank you for the link. I may comment further after I’ve seen it. I believe that there
are Christians who treat LGBTQs lovingly, but in my personal experience and the experience of most LGBTQs I know, we don’t know many of those people. These posts are asking Christians who do not treat LGBTQs with love to change that.
Shawn Christopher Trumbo says
This may sound weird. I have given a lot of thought about this subject. I have a sexual attraction for females primarily. I believe it is mostly based on lust though. If not all lust based. I believe that in my flesh I am an adulterer and fornicator. Maybe even a bit queer. That one is hard for me to admit. But I am definitely a rabid fornicator in my flesh. I am a Christian. I pray that God keeps me from temptation. Believing that I could act on this sinful “sexual attraction” any time. I want Jesus to keep me faithful to my wife for many reasons. Love is primary. I believe my sexual attraction is probably 100 percent sinful. But the marriage bed is undefiled. If I think of my wife as an object I am sinning against her.I have very rarely experienced love making with my wife even for a moment outside of lust, I find it difficult to even focus on her much of the time. I think it is because I am mostly motivated by lust. Not to love her as Christ loves the Church. Ultimately I believe I chose to be attracted to females because it was my reality growing up. I started pursuing girlfriends long before being sexually attracted to anyone. I was a male and it made sense so that guided my decision. If my personal pleasure is out of the equation I believe the “attraction” issue becomes clearer. I don’t know if anybody will get this. in summary I believe my lust is directed mostly toward females. In Christ I believe what most people call attraction is really lust. That being said when I was loving my wife in that moment “sex” was something else entirely. I have only experienced these moments with my wife. The marriage bed is undefiled. I think it is entirely possible to have an attraction for males and be Christian. I think the attraction is unlikely to change. I have a brother who I pray with every morning who is attracted to men. He is the most committed Christian in my group of friends. It is an oxymoron to describe a Christian who hates others and justify it. To struggle with feelings of hate is common for a Christian. To give oneself to it is Christ denying. Hate is evil no matter who it is directed towards. I would like to be completely free from lust. I have moments of freedom. I often go to my wife to quell my lust. It is better to marry than to burn with desire. She helps me. Jesus helps me. And I want Him to. He is my strong deliverer. Often. No matter how “godly” a person becomes He can be tempted to sin. And should flee!
I Am Queer says
As a Christian I have a definition of lust that works for me. I see people who I think are physically attractive. For me, however, attractiveness is a lot more than what someone looks like. It has a lot to do with their spirit. Lust for me is a completely physical response, followed by saying to myself “I will if I have the opportunity”. But I won’t and don’t, even when I have the opportunity, through the Spirit of Christ who lives in me.
I can undrestand the struggle with temptation, we are all fighting against one thing or another. My encouragment to all of us is that scripture speaks to us about not being slaves to the flesh, and God giving us the power to say no to those temptations of lust, homosexualitiy, drug addictions, ect. ________ (you can fill in the blank). One of the most beautiful aspects of christianity that I have experienced has been the power to be like Christ, and not like myself. Even if I might feel that I was born in a particular way, Christ says that we must be born again. God gives us a fresh start, a new beginning, and His desire is that we be overcomers of the flesh, and that we be able to live by His Spirit.
I Am Queer says
LGBTQ for me is a state of being, what or who one is, not an action or response. Lust and addictions, are responses, actions, choices. Being born again like Jesus talked about does not change my gender, my height, the color of my hair or whether or not I am, L or G or B or T or Q. That is who we are, not who we chose to be.
A person might be born with an angry temperament, so should he say, “This is who I am?” An angry temperament is a state of being, but then there is anger, which is a action or response. Yes, when we are physically born, we all have our sin nature, who before we are born of the Spirit, are a slave to that nature. God says this nature possesses a carnal mind, which is sensual and devilish, and so all of us are, and do things according to that nature, which is a state of being, that is sinful in it’s substance, and whose actions are sinful too. All of us are “born that way” in one way or another, and we need redemption. When we receive Jesus, and have the Holy Spirit resident in us, we begin to see how sinful our sin is, and as we grow in Him, we want to let go of the sin nature we were born with, and let His Spirit have dominion in us. We let Him wash us, and we let Him crucify our flesh, all for His glory. He wants us to be conformed to His image, and we will be if we submit ourselves to Him and to His transforming power. He gets into the inside of the cup, and makes us a vessel of honor. Only He can do that, if we will lay ourselves down. (our former selves) But as long as we keep on stating we were born this way, makes us impervious to that change that He can do and that He wants to do in us. His desire is to “make all things new” restoring us to His original plan and purpose. To do that, we have to be willing to lay our “queer” or otherwise selves down, and let Him do His work on the inside of us. There will always be that battle in us, but ,as we grow in His likeness, inside and out, His Spirit will begin to dominate in and through us, so that Jesus can be seen in His purity, light and love.
Jesus lives in me, but “receiving Jesus” does not make me or anyone I know straight. I know maybe a dozen at most gay Christians. Most of the LGBTQs I know don’t want to have anything to do with Christians or churches based on past interactions. Although the experiences of others may be different, I was born as a member of a specific race, the color of my eyes and hair was already set and so was my sexual identity.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
New International Version (NIV)
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
This is all I have for you. In verse 11, it says “that is what some of you WERE” -so you see, we are not who we were anymore, due to what Jesus has done for all of us. And it mentions “men who have sex with men” in verse 9. If you do not believe the Word of truth, than there is nothing else that can set you free from who you think you are. Please consider this wonderful, freeing reality only gained through what Jesus died for.
You’re confusing sexual identity with what you suppose to be the behavior of gay men. Sexual identity and behavior are not the same. Nowhere did I say I have sex with men, and the same is true for many Christian men who identify as queer, gay, or bi. I know many straight Christians who have sex with people of the opposite gender, people who are not their husbands or wives. I’m not assuming that you engage in that behavior, so don’t assume what sexual behaviors you suppose I or other LGBTQs, especially Christians, engage in.
Bob MacDonald says
This is a very difficult topic to address in print. This morning I am reading Psalm 18. This is a confident psalm of the servant. The psalm contains a considerable meditation on the word ‘complete’. E.g. verse 26: with one who prevails complete, you show yourself complete. And going on, with the pure you show yourself pure. Purity (first noted in Psalm 2 – kiss with purity) is our goal as those who have been called as servants. Now how do we deal with our desires in the face of this call and in the traditions which we were raised in? It is evident that the unreserved exercise of such desire is harmful to others. We have in the traditions a faithfulness to one partner. And a faithfulness to God. Does God know our desires? See Psalm 31: you know the inside of the troubles of my being. Or Psalm 69: O God you, you know my foolishness, and my offenses from you are not concealed. Or Psalm 139: יהוה you have examined me and you know.
So if we do such things as are harmful to others, we embarrass them and we are ashamed ourselves. How will we escape from these internal ‘enemies’ that are stronger or more assured than we are (Psalm 18:18, 142:7)? How will we strive for holiness without which we cannot gaze on God? How will we purify ourselves as 1 John indicates we do if we belong to him who gave his life for the life of the world, for our life, for our spouse’s life? How will we be complete and ‘walk in our completeness’? This phrase occurs several times in the Psalms.
A study of completeness in the Psalms (7:9, 9:7, 15:2, 18:24, 26, 31, 33, 19:8, 14, 25:21, 26:1, 11, 37:18, 37, 38:4, 8, 41:13, 64:5, 7, 73:19, 78:72, 84:12, 2, 101:2, 6, 102:28, 104:35, 119:1, 80) will reveal much to us, e,g, in the second penitential psalm, 38, for my stupidity is a thorough disgrace, and there is no completeness in my flesh. But we are to walk in completeness (26, 101) and be maintained in it by God (41). We can note also the promise of Psalm 84: For battlement and shield is יהוה God, יהוה will give grace and glory. No good will he withhold from those who walk in completeness.
Now what is this word? I have rendered the word תמם (tmm) always as a form of complete. It is variously translated as blameless, upright, end, accomplish, finish, consume. The tone of the word is for me contained in the sense of finding one’s complement. Complete may include the moral, but that is not its primary sense. Blameless, for example, is a word defined by the negative, to be without blame. It denies a positive aspect for the word it might render and it limits its application to the moral world. It seems to me more appropriately associated with innocence than with completeness. Complete may require destruction or an end, but it is not ultimately destructive or terminal. The ending of self-destructive behaviour, for example, will result in healing and completeness that could not possibly be known within the tortured bounds of a self-destructive life. And how will one who is so tortured desist from the self-destroying behaviour? Perhaps it will be by following this servant’s testimony and example.
Now – spelling this out is tricky. Is one’s complement the person whom one has chosen as one’s life’s partner? It would appear to me that the unscrupulous exercise of sexual desire is harmful, so how do we deal with it? The exercise of our desire – any desire – sex, money, or personal domination, at the expense of another has to be an indication of a failure in completeness. I suggest that we can, as the psalms do, pray the problem into our conversation with the Most High. We as Christians also have the power in the death of Jesus that we can explicitly exercise by the Spirit – destroying the inner thought of our inner enemy by his death so that we might discover his complete love for us and learn to ‘hold our vessel’ as Paul writes ‘in sanctification and honour’. The psalmist surely understood this.
I Am Queer says
Just as many straights unreservedly exercise their fleshly desires, so it is with the LGBTQ population. But it is a mistake to think that is the case for most LGBTQs. It is not for many of us, whether it be sexual desire, lust for money, lust for power or whatever you can think of. There are even those of us who desire to live and look like Jesus as best we can.
Bob MacDonald says
to live like Jesus – I am not quite sure why you are replying to me. Perhaps my words did not work for you. You indicate that you are married. If so, you have made promises to another person. It seems to me that you and your spouse need to be open with each other on this issue. Do you have any sense that you need to grow and mature? Do you have responsibilities that you must exercise? Any children? Love creates such responsibilities. I did not say anything in my comment about sexual orientation. I wrote about completeness for one who is a servant of God. If you are such a servant, will you not be taught by this same God? Will he be satisfied with ‘as best you can’? Will he not require perfection? Will he not require holiness?
Don Gniffke says
I have a question regarding this issue. I hear you say that you were born this way. I have heard alcoholics express the same thought. Yet the Bible condemns the abuse of alcohol. So thinking or even knowing that one was born a certain way, or that some are disposed to have a harder time with certain “sins” than others does not seem to justify a behavior. My question is, according to what you know from your own reading of the Bible, is same-sex relations wrong or right?
My personal opinion: People justify many different types of behaviors based upon what they want. Straight people, make that Christian straight people, have relations outside of marriage and justify what they do in one manner or another. Jesus loved such people, but I don’t think his gracious attitude should be construed as acceptance of their actions. He told the woman about to be stoned for adultery, “Go and sin no more.” I believe he used his acceptance and love to draw them out of whatever was coming between them and God into a place where they could see the truth.
Hatred is never right, acts of hatred are not acceptable. Wanting anyone to burn in hell is putting yourself in the judgment seat thereby taking God out. It should be our desire to see as many saved as possible.
I appreciate your sharing.
I Am Queer says
As I replied to Mark, LGBTQ for me and everyone I know who is LGBTQ is a state of being, not an action, response or choice. Alcoholism is common on one side of my family, but none of my relatives claim they were born that way. Some of them are no longer alcoholics. LGBTQ is not a behavior, it is who one is. There are some behaviors, actions that straight and LGBTQ people can engage in that Jesus called sin, but he didn’t call who someone is sin.
Don Gniffke says
I have a difficulty with your response. You keep saying that LGBTQ is a state of being, and not a choice. But what makes it a state of being? You say that it has been something you knew from an early age. I knew from an early age that if I lied, it would get me out of trouble. Sometimes the desire to lie is strong. You could answer that my lying is a choice, because I could choose not to act on those feelings. But I could say that no, being a liar is not a choice, it is who I am. I have known this all my life.
You say that “some of them are no longer alcoholics.” So I assume that some still are. Is it not true that some folks who once claimed to be LBGTQ now claim to no longer be LBGTQ? I am not trying to be argumentative, I am trying to see the difference. If one is caught in a sin, simply saying “it is my state of being” fails to answer the bigger question, to which I have not seen a response.
I have a close friend who is alcoholic. He does believe that he was born with alcoholism. From the moment of his first drink, he knew he wanted more. He believes that he will always be an alcoholic, but is in recovery through a 12-step program. Currently, he does not feel the compulsion to drink. But he also knows from experience that he is always one drink away from returning to a life of alcohol addiction. Could it be that such compulsions, whether we are born with them or they are acquired, are still our responsibility to struggle through and submit to God?
Ephesians 2:1-11 (ESV)
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Don I use the terms state of being and sexual identity more or less interchangeably. In my opinion whichever term you use, it is not a choice, nor does the term describe behavior or the choices an individual makes. Identity is not a compulsion.
My relatives who I say are no longer alcoholics might say they are, since many alcoholics say they are, even if they haven’t had a drink in years. Some of my relatives might say they were born with alcoholism, but I haven’t heard any say that. Having been part of the family, I would doubt such a claim.
I and many others think LGBTQ is an identity and therefore doesn’t change. The ex-gay movement has more or less closed down, especially with the demise of Exodus. Sexual behavior may change, but I do not think sexual identity does.
Don Gniffke says
Okay, so say your sexual identity or state of being is that instead of preferring one sex over another, or even either sex, your identity leads you to prefer children. Is that a fair parallel? And if, as you say, their identity does not change, how can we hold them accountable for their actions? Or do you believe that they should not be held accountable?
My point is not that just those who are LGBTQ is the issue here. The misuse of God’s gift of sexuality is the issue, for this applies just as much to those who gratify their desires outside of marriage (which for some reason many do not have an issue with) as it does to LGBTQ, child predators, etc.
And one question slightly off topic, but I am curious, why would you doubt the claim that an alcoholic is not that way by birth? Thanks for the discussion.
Pedophilia is not a sexual identity. How any sexual identity, including straight, chooses to act is another issue. The actions of people of any and all sexual identities can be all over the map. It is a mistake to think that sexual identity predicts behaviors such as molesting children. I won’t argue that point.
My comments on alcoholics and alcoholism are based on my family. I am not an expert on the topic, so I would suggest you consult some experts on that topic. I did read a book a long time ago that made what I thought was a compelling case that there is a strong connection between some alcoholics and allergies. According to that book, some of those who
discover what that connection is for them can overcome their alcoholism.
Thanks Jeremy for posting this story. Found your blog thru Brandon’s thru somewhere else. I think the writer’s confidence is pretty amazing, having found a place in Christianity. Maybe it would have been harder to find that place if he was openly gay. Have found that doing so is not good for keeping relationships. The first times it happened didn’t expect friends to go cold and the unspoken invitation to leave. Rejection happens from friends who were Christian as well as those who didn’t go to church, but it was my Christian friends who had reasons for it. Probably the worst is the politeness without warmth as they turn away. After awhile you realize you have no place and the smiles just disguise the hope that you will leave. Not sure why but can’t bring myself to be angry on the church, it’s a great place to be if you fit in. They are mostly good people whose hearts just aren’t large enough.
I envy the writer’s “I know and always have known who I am” for its confidence. Was he always confident or is it something he arrived at after some struggles? As a guy who’s sorting out the ‘always have known’, how do you know the Christians aren’t right?
I Am Queer says
A kindred spirit!
Probably thousands of people know I am Queer. Most don’t care about it any more than they care about the color of my hair. Some people can’t handle it, so to them I am happily married to a woman and that’s all they want to know.
When you read the next three posts, you may decide that I’m angry at the church. Not really. More like frustrated and even disgusted at times. In my opinion, lots of people in churches don’t look anything like Jesus.
I have always known who I am. That’s complicated. When I was a small child I couldn’t explain or understand it like I do now, but as far back as I can remember I knew I was not what most people call straight. If the Christians and right reference is about the idea that LGBTQ is a choice, I don’t believe that. Sure, someone can pull a rabbit out of the hat and find a few people who claim for them it was a choice. I know hundreds, no thousands of LGBTQs and do not know even one who thinks it was a choice.
IAQ when you realized what you were was different than what you saw around you, did you just accept it? Wasn’t there a disconnect between what you were and what you hoped you’d be? For me there was always the hope that I would be different than I was and that I would fit in with the people who meant a lot to me. I wish it was a choice. . . a choice would be easy, dealing with what is is harder. When the people who meant a lot turned away, at least it made some choices clearer if not easier. The road ahead is more inviting when you stop waiting for others who never planned on joining you.
Looking forward to your next posts. Understand the frustration if not the disgust. . .find it hard to hold it against others for their weaknesses and faults. And along the way have met people who were like Jesus and added to the road. . . maybe Jesus isn’t only found in churches 🙂
Part of me envies you and your confidence and the life you’ve found, but I don’t want your life. I couldn’t do your life very well anyway. … it’s that what is, is thing.
I was not outspoken as a kid and didn’t tell anyone what I thought about much of anything. I accepted who I am, but didn’t mention these things to anyone else. Because I don’t identify as gay or bi or any of the other labels, I can fit into any group. For me, this is an issue of identity, not behavior.
Neil Braithwaite says
I’m a married man and sometimes lust after other women. I was born that way. Sometimes I lose my temper and curse. I was born that way. I sometimes over eat and am over weight as a result. I was born that way. I really don’t care for work, and would rather just do what I want. I was born that way. I sometimes envy that others have it better than me. I was born that way. I could go on and on but I believe I’ve made my point. Everything I have confesses is true, but I know that these actions are sin. There is no excuse for my sin other than my humanity. But scripture tells me to try and eliminate all sin from my life. And with that, I will try my best at all times, through prayer and help from the Holy Spirit, to continue to put to death the deeds of my flesh. For I know that if I just embrace the adage that I was born this way or that, then there no longer remains a sacrifice for my sins – and Christ died for nothing. You’re not a homosexual, you’re a born sinner just like me. And if you profess to be a Christian, you must confess all your sins, not embrace the ones you feel social pressure to embrace. That’s a lie Satan wants you to believe. You must pray for strength in the Holy Spirit daily to overcome those thoughts and temptations and rest in the words of the Lord to the Apostle Paul regarding his thorn in the flesh: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I Am Queer says
You were born over weight and overeating? The things you mention are what you choose to do, not who you are. LGBTQ is not a choice, even if you can find examples of a few people who pretend to be LGBTQ or decided to try it for awhile. I don’t know and have never met any of those people. Who we are is not sinning. Sinning is based on the choices we make. That’s why so many Christians have tried so hard for so long to claim LGBTQ is a choice.
Neil Braithwaite says
To be more specific, all my life I have had lustful desires toward women. I have been married for over 30 years, yet the lustful desires continue no matter how hard I have tried to stop them through prayers and petitions to God. I assume that makes me a born adulterer. But I don’t see it that way. I’m sorry that you have been convinced otherwise. What do you make of the Apostle Paul’s words on homosexuality? When Paul says some “exchanged” and/or “abandoned” the natural for the unnatural, he implies that it’s a choice.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6
“Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. Romans 1
Lust has never been an issue for me, so I don’t know how to respond to your comment. No one convinced me of anything. I make my own decisions. I’ve read some of the long discussions on the internet about Bible verses that some understand to refer to homosexuality. At the end of the discussions, all sides are still convinced of their opinions.
Tony DiRienzo says
I appreciate the openness of this blog post, and I’m looking forward to the remaining three parts. This is a much needed conversation, and while I have differences with some of the things said, the conclusion of this post was spot on. I do have a couple of questions for the author:
I don’t disagree on whether you were born this way or not. I am curious to know whether you consider “I was born this way” and “God made me this way” to be equivalent statements? What would you say the general feeling of the Christian LGBTQ community on this is?
Also, it wasn’t 100% clear to me from your post… Do you consider same-gender marriages to be appropriate for Christians, or do you think Christians with same-gender attractions should choose voluntary singleness? I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on this topic.
For me “I was born this way” and “God made me this way” are equivalent statements. I’m not trying to speak for the LGBTQ community, since it is a very diverse community. I only know what the LGBTQs I know think, and the ones I’ve discussed this with say something similar.
Same gender marriages. That’s a minefield. Some of my LGBTQ friends are married to people of the same gender. Some aren’t interested, for a variety of reasons. For some it is a civil rights issue – tax benefits, spousal benefits and that kind of thing. I do not feel qualified to say what Christians with same-gender attractions should choose. That is a very personal decision.
Elizabeth Chapin says
Have you read “The End of Sexual Identity” by Janel Williams Paris? It’s an interesting read on the idea of sexual identity categories and how they can be problematic for Christians. Also, I’m not buying the sliding scale. Where do the asexuals fit on that scale? I wonder if our gender performance and attractions are a bit more complex than can be represented on a linear scale in a binary system. Some queer theorists use the term fluidity to talk about how gender, attraction and desire are variable, malleable and can change over time. Also, I understand your sense of being born the way you are, but even within that sense of being born a certain way, we have choices and the ability to change many things about ourselves as well as have things changed by virtue of our attachments. I think that’s part of what it means to be human – we have free will and are shaped and influenced by both internal and external forces. As followers of Jesus, we hope to be shaped and formed primarily by God, but it is a cooperative effort in the power of the Holy Spirit for the sake of others. I appreciate hearing your story and how you are choosing to engage this difficult conversation in the context of Christian community. I’m confident many will resonate with your message and as you said, once the stigma of being queer is removed, more people will be honest about these things. Perhaps we will discover we are all queer in some way 😉
I haven’t read that book. You sound like an expert on the topic. I’m only an expert on
me. I’ve heard others mention the sliding scale and it makes sense to me and seems to explain many people I know. Obviously asexuals don’t fit. I know only a couple. At one time they identified as something else, but after bad relationships said they are asexual.
I’ve heard a little about the fluidity theory, but it doesn’t fit my experience. I have tried applying various labels, but decided none of them fit. Does the fluidity theory say one can be straight at one point in life, then bi, then gay, then straight again or decide they’re asexual? If someone is really gay, and I can’t imagine someone pretending to be, I don’t think the ex-gay stuff works. Most of the ex-gay people have also decided this and have found employment elsewhere.
Elizabeth Chapin says
I think the fluidity theory is based on research showing how people identify themselves differently over time. I’m not an expert, but am studying gender and religion, so it’s a field of interest to me. But, it’s also personal. One of the big questions in gender studies is the idea of essentialism vs. constructivism – which basically is related to the idea of whether someone is, as you say, really gay. We still have so much to learn about ourselves and others! I appreciate your post and appreciate what you are doing here.
I plan to order the book tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion. Based on your comment, I’m assuming the theory is something different than the idea that ex-gay therapy really works, which I doubt, based on everyone I know who went through it. I tried to limit what I wrote to discussing the idea that those of us who follow Jesus ought to love people, regardless of how they identify sexually.
Elizabeth Chapin says
The theory is informed by other research unrelated to the ex-gay movement, but Tanya Erzan in her book, Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement, does a good job of unpacking the complexities of understanding sexual identity categories using queer theory.
You might find her book helpful in giving language to talk about what you have felt and experienced. That’s one thing I have found most useful in my research is finding language for things that are hard to talk about. It doesn’t always make it easier to talk about with most people, but at least it gives me language to talk about these ideas with myself 😉
Here’s a link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0520245822/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0520245822&linkCode=as2&tag=elizachapi-20
If you are interested and would like to connect outside of this forum, you can contact me via email elizabeth -at- chapin (dot) com.
Thank you Elizabeth for the book recommendation. I’ll let you know what I think after I’ve read the book.
Elizabeth Chapin says
Also, I agree that those of us who follow Jesus ought to love people regardless. Well put.
It seems like a simple concept, direct from the lips of Jesus, but apparently is difficult to grasp.
This is a difficult topic for some. My wife and I have many LGBTQ friends. Most of them have a history of some sort with church and Christians and for most it was not good. We’ve heard lots of their stories and we’re suspicious you have some stories that you haven’t told here. As Christians most of us could do a better job of loving and accepting people we don’t understand, make assumptions about and disagree with. That includes LGBTQs. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story.
Thank you for understanding.
You asked, “When the stigma attached to being anything other than one hundred
percent straight is gone, they may find out how many of us there really
are. Are they afraid they might be outnumbered?” Then, ” I know maybe a dozen at most gay Christians.” in one of your responses.
So, no, I’m hardly afraid of being outnumbered and run out of a God-fearing, bible-believing church by a huge crowd insisting they impose their concepts of Godliness and (lack of, or edited versions) of obedience to His commands.
Then again, maybe it was just the 10 Suggestions handed to Moses?
Few of my LGBTQ friends are interested in church, based on previous experiences with churches and Christians. No one is suggesting that anyone is going to run you out of your church. Praise God that you are free from addictions and alcoholism.
Then you presume to know the heart of a maniac? “A few days ago I read about the sixteen year old boy in Oakland
California who set an eighteen year old young man on fire on a city bus
because the eighteen year old was wearing a skirt.”
What might you attribute to the daily slaughter of youth in the streets of say, Chicago? Maybe the skirt-wearing youth looked at him wrong? Could it have been that simple?
What I said was based on he news stories I read, which said the incident would be prosecuted as a hate crime. The police supposedly had evidence that the eighteen year old set the boy on fire because he thought the sixteen year old was transgender. I
haven’t read how the crime is being prosecuted at this point. None of this has anything to do with youth being killed in Chicago.
Watched that video.. That is a good video. I agree with most of what he said. I understand his experience. I have that same experience. Most all Christians and gay people have respected my decision to be a Christian even though I have same sex attraction. A lot of people know in my church and they don’t treat me bad. They actually treat me very, very good. I don’t agree that most LGBTQ’s are treated bad by Christians. However, if you are living in sin, no mater what it may be, i would hope other Christians are calling you into account.
Don you are using the wrong analogy when you used lying. (Now Im assuming your hetero.) What you and all hetero men really need to ask yourselves is when did you chose to be attracted to women, and when you all answer- “I didn’t, I just was”. Then maybe you will understand what IAQ is saying. Lying is a choice.
Don Gniffke says
Is lying a choice? When did you choose to start lying? Did you understand lying to be something wrong the very first time that you did it, or was it something that you did prior to being told it was wrong? When very small children lie, I doubt they comprehend the meaning of lying, they just do it because they believe that it will get them out of trouble. Maybe that is why they are so bad at it at first. Then we have to instruct them that lying is wrong. Lying may be a choice for someone who has the ability to understand right and wrong, but I don’t think the analogy is that far off.
I work with children, many of whose first line of defense if caught doing something wrong is to lie. They will often hold to that lie even in the face of great evidence that what they are saying is not possible. I could (and often do) tell them that I witnessed what they did, and they still will not let go of the lie. They have a great desire to lie, one that goes beyond right and wrong, or even common sense at times. So while lying might be a choice, so is our response to any desire. While the desire might not be a choice, the response is.
Yes, I am hetero. And I have desires. But I act on those desires within the boundaries that I understand are acceptable. I don’t get to act on them just because I have to go out of town for a week without my wife. My having desires does not justify any behavior, no matter how strong those desires might be.
That’s an interesting video Seth, with an interesting perspective. I don’t doubt that some Christians do treat SSAs well. Unfortunately, many of us have not had that experience. Maybe it has something to do with where we live and who we know.
Last year the news reports of the Pride Parade where I live showed a float with Christians who say they support LGBTQs, However, it also showed a church in the area where the floats and marchers line up that blocked off its parking lot and access to its property and posted people on the property who said the church objects to parade participants using the public street in front of the church.
Nelson Banuchi says
“I like women. I like men. I’m attracted to some women and to some men, but not to most women or most men. I married a woman because it’s easier to merge with the masses.”
It seems he is either confused or being hypocritical and a person-pleaser or a masses-pleaser. Either way, the person doesn’t seem to be genuine.
“It might surprise you to know that I also consider myself to be a Christian. How is that possible?”
If a man claims to be simply attracted to the same-sex but is neither fantasizing such relationships or involved in the homosexual lifestyle (resisting the temptation to do so in either case), and is being faithful to the woman he married, he is not committing any sin (at least, as far as sexual sins are concerned) that would exclude him from being identified as a Christian.
However, if he is involved in pornography, adultery, homosexuality, or any other sexual deviations, then to call himself a Christian would simply be lying to himself.
“I do know that many Christians want LGBT people to burn in hell.”
Why he would add the example of a violent act from someone whom he has know knowledge whether they profess to be a Christian or not, is beyond me, except to perhaps imply that Christians act just as violent. If there is a person who claims to be a Christian while setting people on fire, you can be sure his profession of faith is false.
In any case, if it is true that this person knows “many Christians” who desire anyone’s eternal damnation only proves that those whom he hangs out demonstrate they are not Christians, regardless of their profession of faith.