How Do I Answer My Own Questions?

Last night, I defined the Christian sexual-identity terms I use frequently on this blog, using the commonly accepted language of sides. I included this table with a set of six questions a same-sex-attracted Christian might ask themselves if they’re trying to figure out which “side” they’re on:

Issue Side A Side B Side Y Side X
May I marry and then have sexual intercourse with a member of my own gender? Yes No No No
May I identify as “gay”? Yes Yes No No
Should I publicly “come out of the closet”? Yes Yes Yes No
May I covenant with another member of my own gender in a celibate life partnership? No (it’s unnecessary—just get married) Yes Maybe/no No
May I marry and then have sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex? If you did, you probably wouldn’t identify as “Side A” but rather as bisexual Yes, but it’s unlikely you will Yes, it’s possible Yes, it’s encouraged
Should I pursue sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE)? No Probably not They’re an option but not necessary Yes, they’re encouraged
The Questions

In the interest of full disclosure, it’s only fair that I answer each of those questions about myself for my readers:

  1. May I marry and then have sexual intercourse with a member of my own gender?

I strongly believe that same-sex sexual intercourse is forbidden by God’s word, by church tradition, and by the leading of the Holy Spirit: Sides B, Y, or X.

  1. May I identify as “gay”?

On this question, I haven’t yet arrived at an answer. I suppose that would mean I’m in between Sides B and Y, leaning B-ward.

  1. Should I publicly “come out of the closet”?

I have absolutely no problem with other celibate believers publicly admitting that they experience same-sex attraction or identifying as gay. However, I personally have not yet done so, so if I’m being honest I suppose that means I’m in between Sides Y and X. I look forward to the day when (yes, when) I will finally come out of the closet.

  1. May I covenant with another member of my own gender in a celibate life partnership?

Gosh, I long for the answer to this question to be Yes. But I need to spend more time studying this and discerning where the godly boundaries lie. For the time being, I’ll say: in between Sides B and Y, leaning B-ward.

  1. May I marry and then have sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex?

I celebrate with other same-sex-attracted Christians who choose this route in honesty and vulnerability with their opposite-sex spouse, but I doubt it’s God’s intention for me: Side B

  1. Should I pursue sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE)?

I did, it was bad, and that’s all I care to say about it at the moment. Obviously, my position is colored by my bias from experience, but for now I’ll say: in between Sides B and Y, leaning B-ward.

My Answers

Visually, here’s what my answers to these questions looks like on the table I devised, with RED cells representing strong disagreement, GREEN cells representing agreement, LIGHT GREEN cells representing uncertain agreement, and white cells representing a neutral opinion:

Issue Side A Side B Side Y Side X
May I marry and then have sexual intercourse with a member of my own gender? Yes No No No
May I identify as “gay”? Yes Yes No No
Should I publicly “come out of the closet”? Yes Yes Yes No
May I covenant with another member of my own gender in a celibate life partnership? No (it’s unnecessary—just get married) Yes No No
May I marry and then have sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex? If you did, you probably wouldn’t identify as “Side A” but rather as bisexual Yes, but it’s unlikely you will Yes, it’s possible Yes, it’s encouraged
Should I pursue sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE)? No Probably not They’re an option but not necessary Yes, they’re encouraged

 

In Conclusion

Q: Where does this leave me?

A: Hesitant to assign a “Side” letter to myself, but continuing to become increasingly comfortable as a “Side-B” celibate gay Christian.


Updated 11 August 2018: Updated my answers to the following questions above:

  • Question #2: Now leaning toward Side-B instead of ambivalent between B and Y.
  • Question #3: Expressed my enthusiasm for someday coming out of the closet.
  • Question #4: Changed position from leaning-Y to leaning-B.
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