In which I interview myself . . .

I never thought of myself as the kind of person who would write a blog. But I’m considering[1] the possibility of a new chapter of my life—“out of the closet”—and have been encouraged to record my thoughts in writing. So here I am, doing just that.

After finally mustering the wherewithal to create a blog, the next (and obvious) hurdle for me was to decide on a format for my first post. Because most of you reading this will have been directed here after I confided my sexuality in you, I’m going to try a Q&A format. I hope you find this helpful in understanding me: who I am, how I process my calling, and a little bit about how I got to where I am.

So you’re gay?

Yep. Have been for as long as I can remember. Even before puberty, I had this sense of “I’m not like the other boys.” Then during my adolescence, I was horrified to find myself sexually attracted to other males.

Why did that “horrify” you?

You have to understand the family and church I grew up in. Being “a homosexual” was synonymous with being damned to hell. It simply was not something that was supposed to happen to good Christian boys like me.

You’re 30 years old. Why has it taken you so long to come out of the closet?

I wish that it hadn’t. But I hid my sexual orientation from people for all these years because I was ashamed of it. I thought that it made me less of a Christian and less of a man and I didn’t want people to think less of me. I also think that lies have a way of trapping us, and this lie was especially harmful: Once I thought I had led people to believe I was straight, I felt compelled to develop some very unattractive compensatory behaviors to perpetuate the lie, and those truly ensnared me. I lived in constant fear that people would suspect my secret.

But fear is not of God (2 Timothy 1:7). I have come to believe that my orientation is not a curse but rather my daily cross to bear (Luke 9:23) and a thorn in my flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7). The temptations I contend with do not define me, just as they did not define my Savior who was tempted in the exact same ways (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, I now know that I can live a fulfilled and victorious Christian life even while acknowledging that my sexuality is something with which I struggle.

I’m coming out now because God is really working in me. I want to be free of the burden I’ve been carrying for so long. And for the first time in a long time, I have a wonderful network of very close friends, who have promised to support me through the potentially painful transition from closeted to open.

Does “coming out” like this mean that your lifestyle is going to change?

No, not at all. My conduct will remain unchanged and I will remain chaste. I simply won’t be hiding a secret anymore. No longer will I explain away my singleness as “Not having met the right woman yet,” but rather as a choice I’ve made for the sake of the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:12).

I do hope that my new openness and honesty will produce at least a few changes in my life:

  • I want to support and identify with the global community of Christians who experience same-sex attractions but are still committed to the traditional sexual ethic that the Church has always taught. (I may as well mention here that I don’t have a desire to identify with the broader LGBTQ+ community, but my reasons why are the subject for a future post.)
  • I want to be an encouragement and resource for others like me. I am a teacher and have a special aspiration to mentor students who may struggle with the same issues I’ve grappled with.
  • Because a marriage covenant is not an option for my future, relationships with friends become of highest importance to me. I hope that by being more honest, authentic, and vulnerable with my friends, I strengthen those relationships. I hope that being open about my sexuality will facilitate new friendships, as well.

What do you mean when you say you’re called to celibacy?

I mean, first of all, that my life’s highest goal is to glorify my God, who loves me beyond description and saved me through unfathomable sacrifice. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever” (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 73:24–26). As someone who believes that as a core conviction, it brings me greatest joy to relinquish control of my life and hand it over to God. I believe that God reveals himself to us primarily through his Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments that we know as the Bible. In God’s Word, sexual activity between two members of the same sex is prohibited (more on this in a future post). Therefore, I believe that God wants me, as someone who is exclusively attracted to other men, to remain celibate—to forego sexual activity for his sake.

To put it another way, the factor of my identity that matters most to me—far more than any other factor—is that I belong to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Because I am his and not my own, he calls me to obey the statutes he has revealed in Scripture. That means that, as someone for whom marriage to a woman is not a fitting option, my vocation is celibacy.

I know that to many 21st-century minds, that kind of thinking seems hopelessly outdated. All I can say in response is:

  • It brings me greatest peace to accept the univocal historic teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and the Christian church.
  • Choosing a path other than celibacy (e.g., a romantic relationship with a man or a mixed-orientation relationship with a woman) would conflict with my core values, which I have thoroughly and critically questioned and evaluated, but which still remain through the power of God’s Spirit.
  • Just as you would expect me to respect your well-considered major life decisions, I want you to respect mine. Please don’t judge me as prudish or pity me as “repressed.”
  • I am not saying No to sex. Rather, I am saying Yes to celibacy. Because God has called me to this vocation, I know that it will bring me much greater eternal happiness and fulfillment than following any other path could. There are days when the thought of remaining chaste for the rest of my life seems like a terrible sacrifice, but the reality is that the rewards far outweigh the costs. And by God’s grace, my overwhelming emotion in the face of lifelong celibacy isn’t negative at all. Rather, he inspires me to see my calling as what it is: the way for me to live the fullest life possible.

In my next post, I will share more of my story, in more narrative form, but I hope that my answers to the questions above have helped answer your questions. Thank you so much for caring enough about me to read this—it means the world to me.

[1] Please note the emphasis on considering. At least for the time being, if you’re reading this it’s because I personally directed you here. I ask that you respect my privacy and keep my identity anonymous. (Thanks in advance!)

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