I spent many, many, many [insert dramatic pause] many years in my gay Christian closet. I sat amidst my dirty laundry afraid of many things, whispering lots of questions into the dark. I needed answers before I felt safe enough to come out.
I was 31 before I realized I didn’t have to be either gay or Christian… that I could be both.
I now work full-time with LGBT teenagers and I am amazed at how brave they are. I can’t imagine coming out during high school. In 1998, Ritch Savin-Williams estimated that the average gay guy comes out at age 17. Reliable research is scarce, but that number must be even lower now. I can’t imagine.
Of course, many of these youth don’t have to fit the God shaped piece into their “coming out” puzzle. They don’t subscribe to a Bible-based religion that makes saying “I’m gay” infinitely more complicated. I expect that kids like us – kids whose sexual identity was/is all tangled up with our Christian identity – ask different (and maybe harder) questions during the coming out process than non-Christian kids.
Maybe that’s why it takes us a little longer to come out.
So, let’s compare questions, eh? Leave a comment inspired by one (or more) of these questions…
1. What questions did you ask – or are you asking – yourself, God, or other people during your time in the closet?
2. What did you need to figure out before you could come out as a gay Christian? (or, what are you still trying to figure out?
3. What made/makes it hard for you to come out? What made/makes it hard for you to reconcile your sexuality with your spirituality?