Coming Out as a Christian (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, I posted an article on this blog called “Coming Out As A Christian” that was all about my fear to identify myself as a Christian at work. I’ll be honest: it got a whole lot of clicks — at least way more than any other piece I’ve written in the five months since leaving Entertainment Weekly. Quite a few of those clicks came directly from a popular site called The Gospel Coalition, which decided to republish my piece and thus flatter me to no end. But even before TGC got a hold of my words, the post had done pretty darn well picking up traction for itself on social media.

As a writer, I like to believe that some of that had to do with the actual content, which resonated with Christians struggling to express their faith at work. But, if I’m being honest, I think a lot more of the post’s success just had to do with the headline. In fact, I’m willing to bet that a good number of people only clicked on my article because they were curious to see if I was announcing to the world that I am gay.

That was the point of using a provocative headline. I liked the idea of putting “Coming Out,” a term used almost exclusively in conversations about the gay experience, right alongside the word “Christian.” I liked the tension it created. Is he about to say that he’s gay? Is he about to say he’s a gay Christian? Wait, what would that even mean?? Of course, that article actually had nothing to do with my sexuality, but its title was not just a shameless attempt at click-bait. “Coming Out As A Christian” was, in fact, always intended to be a two-part series about living transparently, and that headline’s potential double meaning made it the perfect phrase for launching a new season of honesty in my life. After all, I am a gay Christian.

*Drops the mic, leaves the stage*

Just kidding. This definitely isn’t an admission worthy of a mic-drop. It’s just really not that dramatic — or at least I don’t feel like it is. I haven’t been keeping it a secret from close friends for over five years, and any embarrassment that I once felt about myself has long since disappeared. Today, I’m ready to let a whole lot more people in on the non-secret.

First off, what do I mean by the term gay Christian? That’s simple. I mean that I’m a Christian man who believes Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. I believe he died and rose again and offers a way to Heaven for all people. I also happen to be a guy that finds himself attracted to other guys. Please hear this: those two facts are not mutually exclusive!

Now, I choose to not act on my gay desires because I think scripture makes it pretty clear that that’s not God’s ideal plan for people. I’m not angry or jaded about that fact, nor do I look at sacrificing my own sexuality to God as a tragedy. To me, it’s simple obedience — and it is not shame-based. I know that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Heck, I was created in His very image! (And so were you!) But, like every other Christian that’s ever lived, I’m simply in the ongoing process of learning how to not give in to every natural desire that I feel — whether that has to do with sex or not.

Mind you, I haven’t always had a zen attitude about my situation. I spent well over a decade feeling tortured by my own feelings, addicted to pornography, and deeply ashamed of my nature. I used to spend hours on the family computer Googling terms like “garlic” and “Gap hoodie,” frantically hoping that I could push my “gay” searches far enough down the alphabetical auto-complete menu that my parents wouldn’t ever see them.

It didn’t help that I felt completely uncomfortable being honest with anyone in my church as a young teenager, and that I was harboring a heavy secret on my own. It was ultimately my own fear that kept me from confessing to peers or leaders, but let’s be real: talking about gay feelings in church is not the same as admitting you told a lie or got drunk with your friends over the weekend, even if it should be. Generations of Christians have framed homosexuality as the ultimate sin, and the church has continually — maddeningly! — reserved a special brand of judgment and condemnation for people wrestling with same-sex desires. In my experience, many Christians don’t even like to engage with the idea of gay people in the church. They’d rather shrug off the issue and recite a catchphrase like “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” which I’m pretty sure hasn’t made anyone feel loved, ever.

I often wonder if those people realize just how many of their own Christian friends may be silently suffering because they’re so afraid to admit they’re feeling gay feelings. Take it from me, the number of gay Christians (or Christians dealing with same-sex attraction, or Christians struggling with homosexuality, or whatever label you want to use) that are regularly attending church would likely astound you. I’ve learned this firsthand over the past year. As I’ve gotten into the practice of openly telling my story, I’ve been utterly stunned by the sheer number of people who have reciprocated my story with a similar one of their own, confiding in me that they also experience gay desires and have no idea how to reconcile those with their faith. I’m talking about friends I’ve known for ten years, random people at bars, married couples at church, fraternity brothers, former camp counselors, and so many others who have taken me by surprise.

They’re all part of the reason why I feel so compelled to open up about my life right here on the most public platform available: the Internet. I know there are throngs of people around the world wrestling with their own sexuality and trying to understand how that relates to their personal walks with Jesus.  I know that thousands of people are living the same story that I am — but I also know that that story isn’t part of the public consciousness in a popular way. I think that both Christians and non-Christians actually have very little imagination about what it looks like for someone with gay feelings to live a life committed to Christ, and I think it wouldn’t be so hard to show everyone what that looks like. More than anything, I believe that the stigma that suffocates this conversation and persuades so many people to live secret, bitter lives has got to be lifted. The special shame that Christians place on anything “gay” has got to be erased. This dialogue has simply got to happen. So let’s start having it.

Obviously, there’s far too much contained in this subject for me to cover everything I want to say in one post. I don’t want to write anything that long, and you certainly wouldn’t want to read it. This is only meant to be an introduction — a stepping stone into a new season of life. But I do plan on gradually parsing out my impressions and experiences as a Christian man. (And that’s legitimately all I’m planning to do in this upcoming season: to tell my own story. I’m not here to dictate how anyone else should live their lives. I’m not here to condemn anyone. I’m not here to offer a “solution.” All I can do is invite people into the beautiful awkwardness of my experience, where things aren’t nearly as black and white as popular culture might prefer. Fortunately for all of us, Jesus loves the gray areas.


I’m kicking off this new chapter by launching a YouTube series all about the intersection of my faith and sexuality. Why a web series? Because I want to help reform the tone of this entire dialogue and I think YouTube is the perfect place to talk about life in a disarmingly casual manner. Plus, I’m not exactly a theologian — vlogging is definitely more my speed, and I love the complete accessibility of it. Check out the intro video if you want, and please share it, or this whole post, with anyone you think might like hearing what I have to say. Thanks, people!

I feel obligated to wrap up this post somehow, but I’m not sure what to say. The moment I press “Publish,” I am entering into a total void. I genuinely have no idea what my life, my job, or my community will look like in a few months after I set off down this road. But I suppose there’s no point in worrying how people will react. I need to just do my best to trust in God’s sovereignty. May He do with this post whatever He sees fit.

112 thoughts on “Coming Out as a Christian (Part 2)

  1. “Now, I choose to not act on my gay desires because I think scripture makes it pretty clear that that’s not God’s ideal plan for people. I’m not angry or jaded about that fact, nor do I look at sacrificing my own sexuality to God as a tragedy. ”

    POWERFUL!

    1 Corinthians 10:13 …BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    • Having been celibate for almost 20 years I used to hold on to the same beliefs about sex and sexuality. But as I studied the Scriptures and began to see the context of who Paul was writing to I learned that Paul was not writing to me as a gay man in the 21st century. I also know that the church with its demands that I remain celibate the rest of my life and never experience love from another was extreme, wrong, and not according to the Scriptures. I knew that I was not gifted with celibacy even though I lived it many years. But after time I slowly changed and knew I wanted to love another man. And thankfully I have found my soul mate which I never believed in. Another man who lived and ministered in the church for many years. Please do not let the biases, fears, and outright lies about being a gay man hinder you from learning to love and to embrace yourself fully as a gay man.

      • I feel bad for Grady, but I’m confident that where he is now is not where he’ll remain. He has embarked on a journey of self-acceptance, tentative as his first steps are.

        One thing that needs to be said: No one has to “come out” as Christian in our culture. Now, if you’re a self-righteous, Pharisee-style Christian whose dogmatic view of the world leads you to label non Christians as heathens and most other self-professed Christians as Christians In Name Only, you may indeed have to come out, as most people don’t like to be judged by those who think they have all the answers when they manifestly do not. It might be hard to gain acceptance in the workplace if you fall on the far right of the Christian spectrum, if you don’t believe that your gay coworkers don’t deserve the same workplace protections that you receive, that they are not entitled to the same Constitutional protections and liberties that you enjoy. But most of us do not believe that. I, for example, am a Greek Orthodox Christian. That’s about as legitimate a branch of Christianity as any. And I don’t know anyone among my fellow parishioners who has felt the need to keep his or her faith under wraps at the workplace. When my sister baptized her kids, for example, she invited all of her coworkers. And believe me, that’s a ceremony that is literally awash in religion. It’s a very, very strong statement of faith. But no one had a problem with it. Why? Because my sister, like the vast majority of Christians in this country, doesn’t politicize her faith. She doesn’t use her faith as justification to legislate against those who don’t share her beliefs. She doesn’t presume to know who lives in God’s favor and who does not. She believes that her duty as a Christian is not to police others, but to cultivate the divine within herself.

        So, Sorry Grady: I don’t think it’s hard to live as an “out-of-the-closet” Christian — gay or otherwise — in America. The problem is that a small subset of Christians that gets called on their bigotry and self-righteousness claims that all Christians are similarly “oppressed.” They don’t like being called on their homophobia, etc., and to preserve their self righteousness, they claim that they’re being criticized not for their bigotry, but for their faith. Never mind the fact that all around them are other Christians — Lutherans, Congregationalists, Catholics, Methodists, what have you — who suffer no consequences for wearing crosses, going to church, attending noon-hour Bible studies, talking about sending their kids to church camp, or behaving in any of a myriad of ways that reveal their spiritual inclinations.

        I wish more mainstream Christians would tell those on the far right to stop claiming to speak on their behalf.

    • Grady, I sincerely hope you find all that you need in Jesus; but if you don’t, know that hope exist elsewhere.

    • Does anybody know how to contact grady? My 17 year old nephew is going through something similar and I would really like to thank him for his videos it really helped him out alot thanks in advance!!!

      • no… do not let your 17 year-old get poisoned by this bullshit. Let him get a boyfriend and grow to be a happily adjusted man and have a family if he wants. Grady is on a path to misery and self-destruction.

  2. Um…where have you been hiding and why are we not friends? Your genuineness astounds me. Your first blog resonated well with me as I function regularly on a “I won’t talk about Jesus to them unless they ask me about him first.” Enter: Christian Closet This blog is enlightening and fascinating, as a straight gal with an assortment of gay friends all in very different and independent situations. My theological mind sits in the gray often, nearly throwing it’s hands up at times b/c every word in a conversation seems so touchy. Thank you for being a part of a conversation that feels more concrete and approachable.

  3. What an amazing man you are! As a straight Christian from the South, I truly feel yours is a message that should, and will, be spread far and wide! Keep it up… I’m sure your story will benefit SO many men and women. Prayers your way!

  4. “All I can do is invite people into the beautiful awkwardness of my experience, where things aren’t nearly as black and white as popular culture might prefer. Fortunately for all of us, Jesus loves the gray areas.”

    I love this line. It is so true. We Christians love to live in the black and white. But our world is not black and white, it has been muddied with sin. It is fallen and if things truly were black and white, achieving perfection wouldn’t be impossible. I am a Christian who has had an abortion. It is something I can not talk about because of the amount of judgement I would receive. My situation wasn’t black and white, it was full of medical complications, emotional whiplash and a deep sense of shame. But Hallelujah! Jesus loves us through the gray areas!

    I’d love to see the same type of conversation going on between Christian women ( 1 in 4 have had an abortion) open up to find healing and realize that their isn’t a black and white answer for everything.

    • I, too, had an abortion 30 years ago. I am a man but convinced my girlfriend to do so. I am free to discuss this with my church and small group because I know that God has forgiven me. In fact, I bring it up whenever I can so that others may feel the freedom to discuss any sin in their past. You say that you fear judgment. Why? God has forgiven you and other people’s opinion of you does not matter. In fact, I find it refreshing when other Christians are honest and share their sins. It gives God the glory when we are honest and then show how He has healed us. People want to know Christians who are honest, human and not perfect but who have repented and been renewed. Don’t you agree?

  5. Grady…I wish I was as brave as you. Thank you for sharing your story, and please know that this 46 year old confirmed bachelor who has never dated anyone knows exactly how you are feeling and was extremely touched at what you wrote. God bless you!

  6. Hey, Grady … excellent work! I think you and I would speak different (i.e., I’m not comfortable with the phrase “gay Christian” and prefer the phrase “same-sex attraction – maybe a minor difference, but important to me anyway) I’m so glad that other men who struggle with homosexual attractions but seek to remain Biblically faithful are talking about it! Looking forward to hearing more from you on the subject!

  7. Pingback: Grady Smith – We’re Not Alone | Who Are You, O Man?

  8. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this. This conversation needs to happen. I completely related to Part 1 of this coming out series. I struggle with it for the same reasons, so you given me the kick in the butt I need. And this Part 2, although I’m not gay, helps me continue to reconcile what Christians around me say about homosexuality and how I really feel homosexuality should be treated. I will follow this next part of your journey, so I hope you continue this important discussion no matter what the internet throws at you.

  9. Hey Grady!
    This is something I have been so saddened and frustrated by for years on behalf if my many “gay Christian” (and mostly all still in hiding) friends. I am SO happy and proud of you for starting this dialogue in such a public and easily-accessible facet. I hope you realize how many people you, in fact, might be “saving” from so much self-hate and sadness, just by introducing your smiling face and optimistic energy into their lives. Be proud of your honesty and bravery, and THANK YOU!!!! <3 Jen
    P.S. I am straight and Jewish. I think your following may be more diverse than you expected :)

  10. Grady: This column is one of the few sequels I like more than the original! I’m so happy that you’ve come to this place, and I know that it will be part of a great evolution. Best, Jeff

  11. As a single heterosexual pastor, I applaud your candor and continued faith in God. Though I am not gay, I am single and as such your choice of celibacy resonates with me. I get it. My absolute favorite paragraph in this blog is…

    “Now, I choose to not act on my gay desires because I think scripture makes it pretty clear that that’s not God’s ideal plan for people. I’m not angry or jaded about that fact, nor do I look at sacrificing my own sexuality to God as a tragedy. To me, it’s simple obedience — and it is not shame-based. I know that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Heck, I was created in His very image! (And so were you!) But, like every other Christian that’s ever lived, I’m simply in the ongoing process of learning how to not give in to every natural desire that I feel — whether that has to do with sex or not”

    Everyone has some natural desire, built into their flawed (sinful) being/body, that God promises to help them overcome. With His Spirit giving us strength and wisdom, we are able to be “kept blameless unto the coming of our Lord”. God bless you. And following Paul’s example, let us all keep the faith. Let us finish the race…in Christ.

  12. Grady, you are one more incredible guy! I just want to reach through this computer and hug you. Not out of pity by any means, but as a token of gratitude for your candor and optimism and bravery and willingness to say what so many others fear they can’t. The world is so full of fear of the unfamiliar and the uncharted, and sadly many of those unexplored areas we all fear most lie not in front of us, or even around us, but within us.

    The second we all just stop fearing what we don’t know or don’t always understand…
    The second we all just accept ourselves and each other the way were are intended to be…
    The second we all just realize that life is one complicated, weird, heartbreaking, strangely gorgeous and beautiful mess, and we welcome the madness with open minds and open hearts…

    The better off we will all be.

    Please keep posting. You have no idea how much people need to hear your voice.

  13. Grady, while I have no doubt that this is another vain (and stupid) stab at branding yourself, and that it means very little, I have to stop you right there. And say to any gay Christian (or plain religious) man or woman who is reading this: Do not see this man as a role model. You can be gay, love someone of your own sex, and be with someone of your own sex (and hopefully marry them eventually), and still be a Christian. Being a gay Christian doesn’t mean coming out and then having to continuously say “But I don’t act on it!!!!” or feel like you shouldn’t follow your heart. There are plenty of churches and deeply religious people who think this is ridiculous and want you to live life as God intended: With love!!!!!!

  14. Scripture is also “pretty clear” that slavery is not only permissible but holy, it also absolutely forbids working on Sunday, so any business other than Chik-Fil-A is in trouble there. By implying that people who are in happy, loving same-sex relationships are sinners, you’re not very Christ-like, yourself, Grady. God does not make mistakes. Do not choose a life of loneliness because you think being a Christian and being in a loving gay relationship are mutually exclusive. THAT is nothing more than peer-pressure talking from right-wing Christians of the Jerry Falwell variety. I hope that you can “Come out” from the influence of those who DO NOT speak for Jesus.

    • There are a lot of people who are having “happy, loving” affairs behind their spouse’s back or are ‘happily’ and ‘lovingly’ engaging in other sins. Just because a person does something in a happy and loving way, does not mean it’s not a sin, Brawny71. Jesus pointed out sin – nothing wrong with pointing out sin so long as it’s not done in a prideful or unhelpful way.

      • You are comparing deception and cheating (in which one person is wronged)–which would be a sin–to an open, honest, loving and blessed relationship, which is an invalid comparison. I’ve seen this tactic before.

  15. As a muslim man in Turkey i have same feeling about homosexuality in religion.unfortunately hard religion rules effects people so negatively.i try to say “Love is Love”.
    You have a sweet angel face.I hope you can travel to Turkey one day…
    Sorry for my bad English:(

  16. Awesome! This is a conversation that needs to happen! Love you for taking a God risk and walking on the water!! God is going to bless you!!!

  17. Hi, I hit the ‘follow’ picture and then somehow deleted the email info. Is there something I need to do to confirm I want to have your weekly blogs sent to my email? PS I am interested to hear how God is leading you! Thank you!

    • You should get an email with the details of your subscription and an unsubscribe link. If not, try again. Good luck!

  18. This is a really tricky place you are in. I lived it all the way up to the ripe age of 39, with a commitment to ex-gay and reparitative therapy to help me live it. I want you to look at what you said.

    “Now, I choose to not act on my gay desires because I think scripture makes it pretty clear that that’s not God’s ideal plan for people. I’m not angry or jaded about that fact, nor do I look at sacrificing my own sexuality to God as a tragedy. To me, it’s simple obedience — and it is not shame-based. I know that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Heck, I was created in His very image! (And so were you!) But, like every other Christian that’s ever lived, I’m simply in the ongoing process of learning how to not give in to every natural desire that I feel — whether that has to do with sex or not”

    You first say that you choose to not act on your gay desires because you believe God makes it clear it is not his ideal plan. Then you go onto to say that you choice is not shame based. Then, you go onto say you were made in God’s image…and yet you were born gay. So if God made you a gay man and then clearly says, as you put it, but don’t act on it on those desires because they don’t please me….well, I don’t how else to say this…but its contradictory no matter how nice you try to put your “choice”. I know, many folks try to sling homosexuality in the category of alcoholism and adultery, but those are things you are “born” with. Sexuality and sexual drives are born in you and they are strong and they are good.

    I’m just telling you as a Gay Christian as well, you are biting into a deception many of us do because we learn about Christ often in circles that condemn are sexuality as well. Its hard to separate being free in Christ and a sexuality that can at times be pretty earthy.

    Now, the thing you need to do is to look into those scriptures you say that God clearly seems to say homosexuality is not ideal. Translation and context. Just two examples for you: They didn’t have a word for homosexuality back in those days–only male prostitutes. Second, since they are often referring to male prostitutes, must that lump in all those who don’t live that way? Who are after relationships? There are far more men living loosely in both the straight and gay world who can’t come to turns with their sexuality than those men who have accepted their gay desires. I know this by experience.

    Research translations and context. There is no avoiding shame when you are calling a sexual desire designed by God as not his ideal. The shame is right there in the statement itself. But there is no shame in living as celibate man for the right reasons.

    Blessings in your journey,

    Larry J. (larryjamison70@yahoo.com)

    • Respectfully, I don’t think it’s helpful to accuse him of being inconsistent. Being made in God’s image does not inherently imply that we are made without sinful nature. It’s fine if your beliefs differ — we each will have to give our own account on the day of judgment — but trying to assert that any beliefs that collide with yours are inherently contradictory is the same thing the “right-wing southern conservative Christians” do.

      I left a longer comment here: http://gradywsmith.com/2014/06/26/coming-out-as-a-christian-part-2/#comment-1671

    • frodowarrior, you claim that “They didn’t have a word for homosexuality back in those days”. But Ive read a gay website that says they did have a word for homosexuality back in those days, and that because the Bible didnt use that word, it’s not referring to homosexuality. But what if youre right, and they didnt have a word for it. Does that mean they didnt understand the concept of homosexuality? If today we dont have a single word for … “dark and stormy night” does that mean we dont understand what a dark and stormy night, is?

    • Frodo – I can appreciate your perspective. The majority of my gay (and straight) friends and family believe as you do. Grady did not say he was born gay. He said he was made in God’s image. This is the crux of the issue for the church. If people are born gay, and made in God’s image, then your argument stands. If people are not born gay, then Grady is not inconsistent. I believe that being gay is not a choice, but am not convinced it is genetic. Maybe it is a mix of nature and nurture. I don’t know. I do know the church has done a terrible job of loving the gay community and its gay congregants.

      At the same time, your arguments about context and translation are inaccurate. The Bible is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. Churches that embrace anything else are rejecting not only the Bible, but the direct words of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 19: 5-6.) I have no problem with the state recognizing gay marriage. Especially as it relates to secular society, the church is on shaky ground defending marriage when Christians are getting divorced at the same rate as the general public. Grady’s choice to be celibate is consistent with the Bible instructions for unmarrieds. New Testament writers were absolutely familiar with homosexuality. The New Testament was written in Greek. Greek philosophy has references to physical love between men for hundreds of years before the Bible was written. Because I have so many friends and family who are gay, I didn’t want to be ignorant. I got a Greek New Testament and asked an expert on New Testament Greek. It isn’t context and it isn’t translation. Especially in Romans, the Bible is absolutely clear about its view of same sex physical relations. I don’t judge, but we need to not twist the Bible to say what we want it to. We need to meet people where they are at, while speaking the truth in love.

  19. Just want to say how much I admire you and how proud I am of you, Grady, for setting this dialogue on your own terms, and for doing it with such heart and grace. It’s a beautiful start of what I hope and pray will be a loving, encouraging and illuminating walk for you. Not everybody is going to accept your starting parameters when it comes to the way your faith intersects with your sexuality and other aspects of you. But those parameters are yours – you do *not* have to apologize for them or defend them – and if they happen to evolve along the way, then that’s OK too. The constants will be you, your heart, and the Light that guides and nurtures you. I wish you love and peace.

  20. From a straight Christian guy, I respect the heck out of you for not acting on your feelings because of the Gospel message… that takes a true man. I think you’ve turned me to be more accepting. I was wondering if in one of your videos you would be willing to talk about what it was like being gay at the highschool we went to. also curious what you think about the Turkish man’s comment on this, do you find that aggressive or not cool?

  21. Grady, thanks for your transparency and gentle spirit. May you continue to know and grow in the grace and truth and love of Jesus. I believe there are many who will be encouraged by you and your testimony. I, too, look forward to your future posts as this dialog continues.

  22. Grady, Thanks for your sharing and following Christ’s desires for you. I have several gay friends and this is giving me insight how I can love them as Christians. I see the extra judgement that “the Church” provides gays and know that we need to have this discussion so we can do our job that God has given us – Love your God with all of heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

    Larry, thanks for the dialogue and insights. I have to say that I am not of the mindset that “gayness” (is that even a word??) is part of God’s creation but rather part of the fall of man and comes from our sinful nature. And, I believe our sinful nature is our innate belief in our own right and wrong. So I believe that some people are born gay, just as some people are born liars or filled with vain. Now, why doesn’t the Church exclude gossipers from entering priesthood? Larry, I am intrigued by your comments on the on the language challenges and look forward to learning more on that topic. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Just wanted to applaud you for this. The funny thing is that I am looking to do this same thing(start YouTube channel). I see the need also for this generation to understand that there are more options than taking on a gay identity. I don’t use the term “gay Christian” because I don’t believe its helpful to my own identity. BUT I too am only attracted to men yet choose not to find my identity in feelings but rather in Christ. I am praying for you as you move forward in this way to help others.

  24. Hey Grady. What a beautiful and thoughtful blog post you had just written. I have been following your blog since your boxoffice junkie days and you always strike me as being honest, funny and gentle. You are also an awesome brother and a cat lover! Your message is truly astounding and enlightening at the same time. I absolutely agree with you that we have infinite desires and having faith means that we must contain our desires. To enter the kingdom of God, we must follow God’s plan and make ourselves worthy of God’s love. No matter what lies in your path in the future and wherever this conversion you just started may lead you, please always remember that GOD LOVE YOU. YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD!

  25. For people trying to get on his case about the way he reconciles his beliefs: Aren’t you doing the same thing that so many “right-wing southern conservative Christians” do? You’re trying to force your way of thinking onto him.

    I’m sure he has done plenty of reading on his own to arrive at the conclusions he has. And I’m sure he will continue to do that throughout his life. Maybe his views will change later. Maybe they won’t. Why is that your concern? He’s trying to share his experience. No doubt it’s different than yours or mine. He doesn’t need people acting out of judgment trying to accuse him of acting out of shame.

    Just because we’re fearfully and wonderfully made doesn’t mean that we’re made perfect. It’s not inconsistent to believe that we can be made in God’s image and still have imperfections that God calls us to overcome. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Yes, ALL. We all have a sinful nature that we’re called to fight against.

    We’re made to be redeemed so that we can live in perfection eternally. Maybe you don’t view homosexuality as a struggle you should combat. He obviously does, and it would be inconsistent of him to pretend he doesn’t.

    • Would you say not to “get on his case” if he were in love with a person of another race (or attracted to them primarily), but wanted to post to everyone on the internet that he was abstaining from loving that person of another race because God says it’s wrong? Because, although no longer a majority, a lot of people still believe that today. Think people currently IN interracial marriages should just be cool with that and not weigh in?

    • To answer your question, my concern is the harm that he does to children. By reinforcing the idea that God cannot accept them as gay people he forces them into a decision that may separate them from deeper spiritual relationships they may have in life as a fully realized and accepted person. When you couple the idea he’s putting forth here, that gay people must be celibate, with the ideas that are put forth in churches all across the country, irreparable harm is done to children who are gay and being raised in the church.

  26. I can’t even with this. I’m gay this makes me sad. I grew up Christian. Just because the bible tells you no homo does that mean all us that do practice loving gay relationships go to hell? Is that something you believe?

  27. Pingback: Estoy tan conmovido de que hayas confiado en mí. En serio, te sigo queriendo igual. | Post.sethfontana.com

  28. Thanks for sharing this, Grady. I “came out” as both a Christian and as a celibate gay man years ago. You’re right. There are so many more of us than most Christians realize. Granted, some call themselves gay Christians, some call themselves ex-gay, some call themselves same-sex attracted, and some refuse to put a label on their sexuality at all. In any case, we’re a large and diverse group of Christ-followers, we’ve all been through similar things, and I hope that more and more people will be brave enough to “come out” and share their stories like you have done.

    For what it’s worth, I developed more true friendships after I “came out” than I ever did while I was still pretending to be straight. My sexuality isn’t all of me, but it’s a large part of my life, and it’s tough being a single Christian in a church that is largely marriage-and-family oriented. Being open about who I am, and why I’m single, allowed other people to know me genuinely, and I’ve been blessed with a wonderful community since then. The “void” you speak about is living in darkness, falsehood, and shame. Once you’re honest and open, it gets to be full of light.

    God bless you, man.

  29. Grady, thanks for your courage and honesty. It’s not easy to share such a deep and personal part of your life. Especially when people are free to criticize your attempts to vulnerably discuss your experience. I pray you will have tenacity to keep your eyes on Christ and not what people think of you. Keep sharing your story, brother.

  30. I can relate with you in some many ways, though we have very different stories! And thank you for sharing.

    In my relationship with God, I struggled with my sexuality. I was willing to give up everything that made me me, including my name because I wanted to completely die to my old life and become a new creation (I literally asked God to give me a new name if it meant I could draw closer to Him. ha!). We can experience an entirely different relationship with God once we’re ready to give up everything. It’s like being broken into a million pieces; you’re a better version of you when God is finished putting the pieces back together. And that’s what I think you’ve done or are doing (though I hope I’m not being inappropriately presumptuous). Through your struggles, God will be glorified and blessed and in return He will glorify and bless you.

    Though I haven’t been led to be a single, gay Christian, I respect and admire your strength to follow the plan God has given you. Christians from all walks of life can be called to similar works and given the same gifts.

    God bless you!!

    Your brother in Christ,
    – Z

  31. Thank you so much for speaking out. Not condemning any side but simply sharing what God is doing in your life! I’ve longed to sit down and talk to my gay friends about how they reconcile this issue spiritually. As a straight female Christian, I want to hear. I want to be open to hearing without being condemned myself. I look forward to hearing more from you and your testimony!

  32. Ugh. I’m all for you being celibate if you want. But this will just be used as more ammunition against gay people who, unlike you, don’t believe God has called them into a life of celibacy and sexual isolation. (I notice you have a more nuanced interpretation of that whole ‘no tattoo’ verse.
    I’m sure you’re a good person, but the harm you do by reinforcing the idea that someone must choose between being Christian and being in a loving gay relationship is tremendous. Sad that kids are constantly being pushed into abandoning their spiritual relationships because some people want to selectively enforce literal interpretations of scripture.

  33. So, what you are saying is that God made you gay but doesn’t want you to do what that means? That sounds to me like God is cruel. Please don’t think I’m attacking you, but it sounds to me like your take on all of this is unfair to you. And that doesn’t sound like the work of a loving God. That sounds more like Jonathon Edwards’ God.

  34. It’s super exciting to see you have the faith to step out into what God’s calling you to talk about… it can’t be easy, and you’re an inspiration for this! God is indeed faithful, and He’ll be with you as the good and bad gets thrown at you. Keep being obedient to what He’s putting on your heart, and you’ll look back on this a long time from now and realize that God isn’t leading you down this path just to let you down – HE WILL NOT FAIL. You’ll look back and realize it’s the best decision you’ve ever made.

  35. This post was sent to me by my son Weston — a fellow PhiDelt and alum of UVA. Just to say — thank you Grady Smith for breaking silence and telling your truth. You are so right that these two things — Christian faith and homosexuality are not at impossible odds. I think the story of Christ and Christian belief is really about loving acceptance of the “other” and of the “all.” I have such respect for your choosing to use your voice — your fine skills as a writer — to share your journey with others. May it help lessen another person’s private agony along the way, and may it create the space for compassionate inclusiveness — which is what the Christ story is in the first place. My hope it that my writing to you as a “PhiDelt Mom” helps other parents support you in your wholeness and integrity.

  36. Bravo! I commend your courage. I also commend your decision to not try and “become straight” You have a difficult road ahead. You,yourself, said that being gay and Christian are not mutually exclusive. Remember that God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you in his image AND he made a you a GAY man IN HIS IMAGE. For a reason, what ever that reason is. Are you not going to seek out relationships, date ,etc. Remembering of course that dating and sex are two different things.

  37. I think transparency is honorable. Now your next step is Authenticity; being entirely honest with your self and others. Saying what you mean, and from your soul and your sexual beingness, meaning what you say. You will have arrived at spiritual sovereignty and resolution, when you find no conflict at any level of your being around your sexual orientation. God makes no mistakes. However, men do. Lots of them. Make their mistakes, not yours. You did not make them, and you are not forced to own them, unless you so choose to be self forceful, which through life long celibacy, forceful you are.
    Sexual attraction is designed to pull you toward one to love, a sacred bond between two people; not exact you into fear of your own Authenticity, your true reality, fostering isolation and despair. It is natural to move towards sex love and relationship regardless of your sexual orientation; if you are excuse free and engaging as a fully integrated adult. Such is not to be squandered.
    When you are ready to know God, the true meaning of love, through your own realization and not of male Bible writers who interpreted god’s word to their own effect FOR YOU, you will understand what I mean. You will then understand God’s love as it will then be your own.
    Many many things Bible writers wrote, have been left for dead, as mistakes. And rightly so. They were irrational. Of this there is no lack of proof. Being gay and “obeying” irrational Bible writer’s’ false interpretations about “all things gay”, is irrational in itself, and is the current item destined to the dustbin of religious antiquity.
    Until you have decided to explore your personal Authenticity through YOUR own eyes and not someone elses male-fallible interpretation, enjoy your path as much as possible. It serves everyone well that you are in a state of evolution. In your case, being Authentic will most likely take a lot more courage than being transparent.
    I sincerely hope your church family and friends can handle this next step, should you decide to engage, with love openness and God’s unfettered eternal grace, as a bird with self-clipped wings, is surely not a lovely sight to behold.

    Good luck and God bless you always.

  38. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” – 1 John 4:7-8

    I can’t take “simple obedience” and “it’s not shame-based” at face value. Simple obedience is to love! Shame’s argument is, “You shouldn’t be gay, and you shouldn’t love another man.” Love’s point of view here is, “You should love everyone, and you should love yourself.” You’re not overcoming your shame, you’re succumbing to it. God doesn’t want that for you! Choose love! Choose God!

  39. Have you heard of or seen the documentary “For The Bible Tells Me So”? It’s on Netflix, watch it!

  40. Grady: Wow, I bumped into your post while scrolling thru a website that I often try to avoid called Queerty. I was intrigued to watch it, but initially passed it by. Then, I decided to go ahead and check it out because you are really cute! :) Also, I, too, am a Christian, and have struggled with my homosexuality my whole life, but unlike you, I have acted on it since a teenager and have carried enormous guilt over it to this day. I still am very Gay, but have been more or less in the closet for ever. However, it doesn’t matter because most people, including my family, either know or think I am Gay anyway. I’m not effeminent, but have been seriously indiscreet in the past. Even though I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ more than life itself, And talk to him every day, and pray for the grace and strength to do as you have done and not act on my desires, I continue to fail. Not that I ever have sex anymore, but I still can’t escape my addiction to Gay Porn nor my constant carnal desires. Obviously I can ago on and on, and this post is already too long, but I just wanted to tell you that you’ve really reached me with your sincere posts. I feel that yours is a Gay life worth emulating. I wish I had been able to do likewise. I am still struggling even in my later years! Yet, I still pray that I may be able to cast off the desires and keep trying to be who God wants me to be, to be strong for Him as Jesus was and is for us. Thank you for being so courageous. I know I would never have been able to be such. God bless you. CHUCK

    • just a suggestion… but if you keep praying to your god to make you not have sex and you keep having sex anyway… there are only a few reasons… your god is made up, your god doesn’t care if you have sex, your god thinks it’s a totally absurd thing and finally, your god has better things to worry about than whether you get some tail or not. either way… praying is obviously a waste of your time and you should cut it out.

    • Hi Chuck,
      Have you ever heard of Sy Rogers? He shares his story concerning his relationship with Jesus and his homosexual desires. It was super encouraging :)

      And don’t believe that just because you struggle God is not real or not helping you. For many years I struggled with sexual addictions and also a really bad eating disorder. I could never get away from my habits.

      While praying I realized that I had been molested as a child. When I questioned my mom about it she confirmed that horrible acts has been done to me as a child, too terrible to remember. The sexual addiction and my eating disorder were just symptoms of the hurt that was locked inside my heart.

      I pray that you find freedom!

      • ok great, but being gay isn’t a mental illness and it’s not “caused” by being raped. So they’re different things. The only “freedom” he’ll find is by giving up this absurd dedication to a god that isn’t real so he can have a life of his own.

  41. The thing is that… you’re still gay. You’re just miserable and will live alone. If that’s what your “god” wants you to do… your “god” is kind of an asshole.

  42. Pingback: Gay Writer Explains Why “Sacrificing His Sexuality To God” Is A Beautiful Thing / Queerty

  43. Hey Grady. Congrats on your bravery, and the start to what I hope is much longer journey than just the thought in this post. Coming out is incredibly difficult, no matter how you do it, so I have to throw my support to anyone that is going through the process.

    I am confused by your logic though and a little worried about the message that this sends to others, especially young gay people in the closet and families struggling to embrace a gay child. You invite people to join the awkwardness and talk about how Jesus loves gray areas, but you open the meat of your argument with this: “Now, I choose to not act on my gay desires because I think scripture makes it pretty clear that that’s not God’s ideal plan for people.” That seems like a very black and white interpretation of something that is simply not – just read through the comments here to see how others talk about the scripture; check out “For The Bible Tells Me So,” check out the words of Desmond Tutu or Bishop Gene Robinson. Other Christians do not use what you said as the axiom to start their journey in the intersection between being queer and being Christian. If you really want to have a dialogue and live in the gray, you can’t start with any statement that says “it’s pretty clear that…” I know you have done your homework on the scripture, and have spent a lot of time reading/pondering/coming to that conclusion, but it’s YOUR conclusion. I take issue with you stating this like it’s an axiomatic fact that everyone who is committed to Christ agrees with.

    Which brings me to my next point – I hope that lots of people who have already come to the same conclusion as you read this post, watch your videos and engage in a conversation with you so you can all figure out how your choice of living a celibate life looks like. Great! But I worry about the young closeted, Christian who hasn’t necessarily come to the same conclusion and reads yet another message that is really is essentially “Love the sinner, hate the sin” (even if you say that you don’t like this phrase), again with the starting point of gay relationships being a sin. I worry about the parents who have a queer child that they do not accept and will give them this post and say “why can’t you just do what Grady does and lock it up?” I worry about all the straight people reading this and enthusiastically commenting about how awesome what you’re doing is because you’ve found a way to be gay without disturbing their sensibilities or asking them to ACTUALLY embrace another human being for who they are, and then are probably assuming that all other gay people should follow suit because Grady can do it. I’m pumped that you can start a dialogue with people who have already thrown their sexuality under the bus in the name of scripture, but just so deeply worried about the people whom you will reach with this that might live a different life if presented with more interpretations of scripture. You’re not here to condemn anyone, you say, but you do implicitly condemn a lot of people. Even if you say that you are not ashamed, know what you’re doing here – this post will make many people feel deep, deep shame.

    Being gay is not about “desires,” it’s about love. Even if you have closed off the possibility for loving another man with your full, romantic heart, I sincerely hope you find some sort of love in your form of a celibate gay Christian, however that love may look for you. We all deserve to love and be loved, which is something I hope we can all agree on.

    • Bowman– Thank you. You managed to say so much of what I have wanted to post. I have been struggling to compose something that captures the sentiment your words depict. Grady– I think you have every right to share your own journey, and I recognize how difficult this part of your path may be, especially in sharing this so publicly. But I also worry about the unintended impact your words may have on young people. Having worked as a youth counselor, I have seen many young people deeply struggle to love and accept themselves, their friends, and their families- straight and LGBTQ. Self acceptance is part of the journey we all have as people– but the journey for many LGBTQ youth continues to be full of landmines of shame, discrimination, rejection, and self-loathing, surrounded by condemnation even and sometimes especially from communities of faith. Your journey is your own to experience and share, but please know that your words may contribute to shaming and condemnation in the name of Christ’s love.

  44. Hey,

    I just wanted to write a note saying that I have tremendous respect for you. I too, seek to follow Christ in how I live my life. And I’m in that gray space with you. I am currently a celibate gay Christian. I don’t know where God is calling me, whether it is to be celibate for the rest of my life, or whether I will be in a relationship in the future, with someone of my sex, or someone with the opposite sex. But I do know that I want to live a life that honors God, and that means I need to follow wherever God leads me (though it’s unclear where He is leading me….) I’m blown away by your courage to put yourself out there. You’re video is very thoughtful, unimposing, honest, and open, which I hope will be able to engage people on both sides of this cultural divide. I’ll be following along every week and praying for you. May the Lord bless you and keep you, – JD.

  45. You seem like a nice, earnest guy — and you’re handsome. Now what is this nonsense about saving yourself for Santa? It’s fine to have an imaginary friend, but it’s foolish to give up your life “because Jesus.” Also, tell the truth: you’re getting some sort of compensatory erotic thrill from all the attention and compliments, aren’t you?

  46. How sad that your family was not, and is not, more loving and accepting. I was raised as a Christian, in the United Church of Canada, and when I came out (as a teenager, in high school) my congregation only loved me more. The little wrinkly grey/white-haired folks who’d known me since I was a toddler – they love me as the gay man that I am – and unlike you, I don’t need to be “celibate” to earn their conditional tolerance.

    Your story is very sad, and at worst dangerous – as your ‘personal choice’ thus states that all those who “do act on their natural desires” are shameful, dirty, sinful, damnable and affronts to God. Your message is dangerous. It’s a shame you and your family never attended a PFLAG meeting – you might have had the chance to become a well-adusted adult. As is, you’re still a boy – trying, as boys do, to run away from the problem and find any grovelling chance to be “tolerated” – instead of loved, accepted, embraced and understood.

    Many people are brainwashed by religious cults and manage to use critical thinking skills to develop spines and the ability to think independently. That’s not happened for you, yet. You have my sympathy for being born into an anti-gay family who won’t love you or accept you if you actually embrace the person you truly are – rather than apologizing for it with this public oath of celibacy.

    This story applies to you>

    http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/dad-says-youre-fag-hesaid/

  47. As a follower of Christ first and foremost in my life, a Pastor of a very vibrant and multicultural congregation in the Bible Belt, an advocate for HIV testing and prevention, running an underground syringe exchange program with access to Naloxone for those that are addicted to opiates: THIS IS MY IDENTITY WITH CHRIST BEING THE CENTRALITY OF IT ALL.

    However, I, like you, am a gay man or if you choose to use the terminology of struggle (which I find a bit reprehensible since that is not my journey) and have been my entire life. At first I was open and brazen about it. And then, I found that being gay is not central to WHO I AM and more importantly WHOSE I AM (meaning Christ’s).

    I sincerely appreciate your candor and willingness to even start such a discussion in a country that is deeply divided by what all of this means. I am a firm believer that the Bible contains everything that I need to live the life that Christ has given me and that the Holy Spirit will empower me to do so. However, I also know that man’s perception and understanding of the Bible can be clouded by a multitude of personal issues that prevents them from seeing that GOD CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE PLACED INTO A NEAT BOX AND CONFINED THERE IN HOW HE CHOOSES TO HELP US WALK THROUGH LIFE WITH HIM AT THE CENTER.

    I think that the most difficult aspect for those that are outside of a situation like yours and mine, is that it does not fit within the preconceived limitational box that the majority of the church would like to put us in. The use of logical fallacies, unproven scientific research, even the depth of spiritual deliverance ministry are all attempts to place God in a simple box. The difficulty in doing so is that scripture refers to God as Pneuma in the Greek and Ruach in the Hebrew: Both terms signify God as being both wind and spirit. Neither of which can be contained in a simple boxed explanation of what, why, where, when or how He chooses to reveal, interact, or work in each one of our lives. In essence, it is all less about programs to “get rid of the gay” and more about “how do we as the followers of Christ allow God to be God in each person’s life and He see’s fit”.

    The conversation that you have started is extremely well received, much needed, and I am praying that God uses this as a revelatory tool to help you and others like myself who make a conscious choice to live a life that is outside of this world.

    Pastor James

  48. I am a Christian who belongs to a parish which welcomes everyone, and affirms that God is love no matter with whom God chooses for you fall in love–and there is NO shortage of parishes like mine in the U.S. Our pastor, who is the smartest man in any room he enters, would have no problem debunking the lies that would have anyone believing that there is sin in loving anyone. I highly recommend the books Prayers For Bobby, and What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.. I know; I’m not gay but I had to come around from ridiculously anti-gay background, as most people were up until maybe the last 10-15 years or so, at best. And the hard programming, of which your blog post is an unfortunate example, starts very early!

  49. Grady,
    I respect you greatly for your beliefs. Many do not understand God’s call to celibacy. You will meet resistance on your journey. However, as a celibate gay man, I can tell you that my love for God and for God’s people has never been stronger. God calls each of us to various vocations and direction in our lives. Whether we listen or not is our own choice. Be strong, dear Grady. You are loved and respected by many.

    • So…God made you a gay person…but He hates you enough to tell you not to live an authentic life to the fullest extent possible?

      God sounds like a homophobic hypocrite and an asshole, in that case.

  50. Reblogged this on myfullemptynest and commented:
    ” All I can do is invite people into the beautiful awkwardness of my experience, where things aren’t nearly as black and white as popular culture might prefer. Fortunately for all of us, Jesus loves the gray areas.” ~ Beautiful!!

  51. To each his own, I suppose. I don’t think God would have created you, Grady, unless he meant for you be who you are in the truest sense- gay feelings and all. Basing your entire life plan on the scripture, a human-influenced text, seems like something that would make the “love me as I am” God sad, not pleased. Many commenters here to seem to think that Grady, by stating he does not act on his gay impulses, is implying he is going to live his life as a celibate gay man. Did he ever say that? I did not hear that. I’d be interested to know what his plan is.

  52. There is nothing even slightly wrong, ceteris paribus, about loving and being loved by another person, or hoping to be in that state, in accordance with the choice-independent disposition to be physically, emotionally and intellectually attracted to and complementary with members of the same sex. In fact, it’s the most choice-worthy and valuable good in a human life, as well as the most joyous one. I hope that, in the long run, if you meet somebody, you won’t forgo an opportunity for something so wonderful because of beliefs based on either epistemically unsupportable claims to knowledge of divine commands (of the sort so self-servingly selectively appealed to by fundamentalist Protestants) or natural law arguments that are (IMO) both substantively implausible qua human nature perfectionist foundation for meta/normative ethics and which, even were their premises to be accepted, would not on the most charitable interpretation of said premises logically yield the homocensorious conclusions that their exponents imagine. Finally, I’d just note that it seems very plausible to me to imagine that a person-affecting condition applies to proposition about morally better and worse state of affairs; that’s to say, to say that A is a morally better state of affairs than B, it has to be better *for* somebody, on the basis of a given account of what things intrinsically have value. At a first cut, this would suggest it has to be better with respect to somebody’s welfare conceived either hedonically, in preference or informed preference satisfaction terms, or in ‘objective list’ terms (i.e. in terms of a list of objectively valuable goods). If such a constraint does indeed apply, I can’t see anything at all morally better for anybody about a state of affairs in which — as per the generalisation of your belief system — gay people live lives celibate, loveless, lonely self-reproach, and I can see many things that are morally much improved in a state of affairs in which gay people qua gay people accept themselves, are accepted by others and are free to pursue fully realised lives — very much inclusive of the hope and actuality of loving and being loved by a true companion. I know that finding mine was the best and most enriching thing that ever happened to me, by far; it not only makes me exponentially happier than I was alone, it also improves me as a person in countless small and sometimes large ways. In any event, as a gay man and a philosopher (well, graduate student and aspiring, at least), I very much hope that you will will consult some of the philosophically rigorous literature in sexual ethics on both side of this debate before deciding to deny yourself that opportunity on the basis of scriptural literalism, peer pressure, declarations of self-declared theoretical authorities, upbringing or anything else. It’s too important by far not to bring your reason to bear. At a first cut, I’d consult this article on homosexuality at the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, which is a handy introduction and, crucially, has a very extensive bibliography. If you don’t currently have an academic subscription that enables you to access these articles — and, in particular, I’d recommend the pieces by Finnis (Law, Morality and Sexual Orientation), George (Same Sex Marriage and Moral Neutrality), Macedo (Homosexuality and the Conservative Mind), and a book that isn’t mentioned here by John Corvino (chair of Philosophy at Wayne State) called What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?, which is an excellent (critical) overview — then I’d be happy to forward them to you by email. I hope you read broadly!

  53. Everyone tells has their own story. When I realized who I was in the early 80’s, AIDS hit the news, and I cowered back in the closet…not because I didn’t want to be who I was, but because I seriously did not want to die. In the next several years, I turned down offers for sex time and time again, and it saddens me to think that 3 of those individuals had all contracted HIV, all turned into full blown AIDS, and all 3 died from that. It took a lot of time to finally feel comfortable again, after the turn of the century, and in the 2000’s I’ve enjoyed a much better life. Love will find it’s way into your heart, Grady, and God wants you to be happy. I think you’ll make someone immensely happy, just give it time.

  54. Oh you poor soul. I can’t believe you hate yourself enough to act as if God hates you for existing as a gay man. Your religious leaders really did a number on you, didn’t they?

  55. Personally I believe (and all the research shows) that gay men and lesbians (like everyone else, really) are at their happiest, healthiest, best adjusted, most productive and most fulfilled when they are in committed, long-term, exclusive, sexual relationships. I have been fortunate enough to find one of those kinds of relationships with my fiancé.

    That said, I can and do respect that you have chosen a different path as long as you can and do respect my chosen path and the path chosen by the vast majority of LGBT people.

    However, I will never have any respect for any gay man who chooses to marry a heterosexual woman. I believe that it is selfish beyond words to deprive someone of a spouse who can offer them the emotional, romantic and sexual relationship that they both need and deserve…

  56. Hi Grady. I first watched your Youtube video coz one of my friends posted it on FB, and now I’ve read your blog post as well. Like many of your readers, I really appreciate your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable in initiating this conversation. I have a similar experience and would like to get in on the conversation as well, and I’d like to know if the venue for this conversation is right here on the comment box of your blog, or whether your also open to having the conversation through an exchange of private messages on your Facebook inbox? Looking forward to your reply. God bless you, Grady! :)

  57. Evolution vs. Modern Leaps in Medicine and Science.
    Grady, you are, or may be, living in a past era regarding your sexual orientation, that no longer exists, and has no rational basis in application to today, whatsoever.

    In “Biblical times” there were no hospitals, no schools, no electricity, no medicines and no science. The public water was often contaminated with feces and urine. Hunting knives were used as surgical tools. And beer and wine were used as anesthetics.The mortality rate for babies was as high as 50%. If you made it to age ten you were considered “blessed by God” and lucky at best.

    Anything that portrayed something other than hetero sex was forbidden, frowned upon intensely, as the propagation of the race was an imperative and explosive focal point. Kids and babies were dying in droves. Mothers and fathers were on their knees in the streets crying. Funerals were as common as daily shopping at your local grocery store.

    Homosexuality was considered absolutely against the tribe mentality. Not because of “God” but because of fear of extinction of the human race. HUGE. The support of the race was paramount, and anyone that went against that was horribly discriminated against. This is how the “clobber passages” on homosexuality found their way into the Bible. It was the lawmakers of the times that tried desperately to make sense of life, pregnancies, babies dying, sex itself, that designed and implemented the Bible passages against homosexuals. Men who had homosexual sex were considered satanic scum by those who lost their children to death.

    As you well know, such is not the case today. Mankind has made it very far since then, medically and scientifically. We have evolved. But the disgust and hard lined energy around death and loss of loved ones, still sits in people’s guts as if passed down in our genes. Homosexuals were hated, horribly, by those who lost their loved ones to death. That hate is still all present and accounted for today. This could be rampant “in your genes” also, making it perfectly logical that you potentially would want to propagate the race, not have gay sex, and help your race survive. The hatred today of gays, is directly connected to our past, even though the logic then, is not even remotely applicable to today, due to the fact our race is almost out of control by the opposite; overpopulation.

    So when you take up your flag for annihilation of gays and gay sex through severe discrimination of gay sex, (because that is how witch hunters who want gays dead will take it), be sure you have done all your research, emotionally and mentally. There have been many “gods” in this world in the past, “Yahwah” is only one, but that symbol called “God” has always, ALWAYS without descent, been used along with what was happening, in those times, that era, of those times. We are not “in those times” any of them, anymore. In fact that are very very primitive.

    Everything makes sense if you give it a chance. There are no mistakes. But there is ignorance and bigotry that can twist reality. I would do yourself, and the gay community a deed of good; that if you are going to raise a flag to crush gay people into oblivion, that you have done serious grounded research, because right now, your stance is based on “a wing and a prayer” that you are right. Right now you don’t make sense, you have no proof, you have no rational basis in your assessment. And that my friend, is very very shaky ground.

    Also, you are barely transparent in your “coming out” process. How do your parents feel about your decisions on homosexuality and celibacy, do they back you? And what is their stance on Bible interpretations of homosexuality? Do you have any brothers or sisters, and if so, how do they feel? Did you go or do you go to a religious school? Is your family all fundamentalists? How do you label yourself religiously? Are you a fundamentalist?

    Do you still struggle with pornography? Do you have sexual thoughts towards men? Do you masturbate and if so how often? do you feel guilty about it? How old are your? What state do you live in? What is your fully flushed out basis for celibacy? Straight people do it to not get pregnant out of wedlock, very rational, and they get married and have full adult lives with sex love and relationship. Celibate gay men have lonely lives of religious negatives to contend with. Is that your basis too?

    Transparency goes all the way. You don’t see just half way through a clean window. If you are going to have this conversation, lay it all on the line and don’t hold back. This conversation is all about SEX, so blushing and shcool girl embarrassment need to fly out the window for Dr. Ruth style clear and present engagement. Get real, be real. If you’re going to do something, do it right.

    Good luck and may many blessings be at your back. And Courage!

  58. Grady or Commenters, re: typo in my post; please replace the first word “Evolution” with Fundamentalism.

  59. Thoughtful post. I’m not religious, though as a gay man I feel Christianity is a factor in my life, with or without my consent. I recently read the Bible for the first time in order to figure out if how it is represented (i.e. anti-gay, Jesus would denounce homosexuality, etc.) is truly accurate. Although a few places (Leviticus, Romans) do come out against sexual immorality (and specifically gay in a few places), Jesus certainly does not–his opposition is to sexual immorality, which seems to apply to cheating on your spouse, etc. It’s a shame that so much of the Bible offers some great stories and useful life lessons. Sadly, a lot of people will never encounter this work because of how The Bible has been twisted to serve anti-gay sentiment. Kudos to you for finding a way to make it work for you, as a Gay Christian and not apologizing for it.

  60. And herein lies the problem. Someone read this and actually wants her teen nephew to be “helped” into living a life of denial. Not to mention the poster who has “carried enormous guilt” over something for which there should be no guilt (and “tries to avoid” a very witty and informative gay website). And we’ve got someone recommending the words of Sy Rogers–a name I Googled just now and found to be a complete mess who would only confuse a gay person further. If anything good comes of this, it will be when a questioning gay Christian finds the other comments here from people letting him/her know that God is love, and there is no way nthat Jesus would take any issue with two people loving each other openly and honestly (as opposed to an affair, to which one anti-gay comment above refers in a rather ridiculous comparison).

  61. I appreciate your sincerity and modesty and devotion. I wonder, though, why you imagine Jesus would choose to deny anyone the experience of consensual love (which includes sex – period.)
    It is what nourishes us – and makes us better people.
    My Jesus would want me to experience profound, true love. So that I may better share it with my fellow man.

  62. Grady, I just wanted to giver you props for the courage and the vulnerability you are showing here to acknowledge that being true to yourself doesn’t mean to give in to every physical impulse and inclination that we as human beings have. Another fantastic resource or place where this conversation is being had is the following website http://www.ldsvoicesofhope.org/

    Others here who are choosing to approach their homosexuality just like you are. You are definitely an inspiration.

    Curtis

    • No. He is not. He’s fighting his own nature to please a made up god. Why is it straight people are all encouraged to fall in love and get married and give in to those “impulses” but gay people are all expected to stay single and lonely and miserable? You make me sick

      • Why are you bringing so much hate Jasun? He is not saying he can’t love. Sex is not always love and love is not just sex. Grady says he believes that Jesus to be his Lord and savior, but you say he is a made up god. That is offensive and hateful. We need a lot more love in this world and Grady and others are looking to promote understanding on this topic.

        This conversation is not about the right and wrong of the secular gay lifestyle – as a Christian I believe we have a choice and if that is your choice and you should be able to have that choice. And as an American I choose to defend that choice of yours. What this conversation is being a gay Christian man. This is the “grey” area. I respect and value Grady’s choice to take up Jesus’ challenge and “follow” him even when it isn’t what he wants. I believe that following Christ is not about taking the Bible and choosing what we want to follow or what we believe is right and wrong. I believe it is about following Christ and even when it goes against our nature, our desires, we surrender and rely on Christ. You see Christ wants to have a relationship with us. We are made to have relationship with Him and each other. But to have this relationship with Him, I believe we have to accept His plan, His design, His Godliness. Grady is saying (and I believe rightfully so) that laying with another man is not in God’s design for man. Just like viewing porn isn’t in His design, or gossiping or lying or coveting.

        We spend way to much time looking to influence, correct and berate each other on this subject. I am looking to understand a lifestyle I don’t know because I don’t want to come across as looking to influence, correct or judge. I want to love, understand and accept my gay friends better. Because as Lloyd’s blog says – we all have our “lists” – and I want to be there for the people that i am honored enough to make their lists.

      • To Mat: you say that “this conversation is not about the right and wrong of the secular gay lifestyle”. I fundamentally disagree. At the absolute core of the entire web of questions raised by sexual orientation is one’s beliefs about the truth or falsity of a set of sexual ethical propositions. Is it morally wrong for two people of the same sex to have sex, with or without love? Is it morally wrong for them to fall in love and build a relationship, with and without sex? Is it morally vicious not to be reliably disposed to think, feel and act in accordance with the belief that one’s physical and emotional attractions to the same sex are censurable and ought to be repressed? Irrespective of one’s substantive attitude towards each (I think the answer to all three is negative), having a justified, philosophically informed perspective on them is the necessary first step towards having justified (and, hopefully, true) answers to all the others that follow, in particular those which address the evaluation of people, states of affairs, relationships etc which exist in morally complex ‘grey areas’, which questions would (non-exhaustively) include ones about what reactive attitudes one ought to couple with one’s beliefs about the answers to those three questions (e.g. ought I be empathetic and compassionate and civil towards the unrepentant gays/unrepentant homophobes? ought I be disposed to forgive them? ought I be internally consistent in the application of the principles from which I have arrived at these judgments?) and in political philosophy (e.g. how ought civil law legally regulate same sex relationships?). However many additional and important caveats are added through answering those subsequent questions, and however essential a role they all play in a case-by-case in situ evaluation of particular people and relationships in particular idiosyncratic circumstances, one can only move on to these more nuanced questions and all-things-considered evaluations once the answers to those three sexual ethical questions are sorted out, through rigourous moral reasoning, first. That’s why I don’t think you advance the debate by evading the question that Jasun originally and correctly placed at centre stage: “Why is it straight people are all encouraged to fall in love and get married and give in to those “impulses” but gay people are all expected to stay single and lonely and miserable?” If your answer is simply an appeal to biblical literalism (“it says in Leviticus, therefore it’s a justified true belief, i.e. knowledge) , then I simply don’t think it withstands rational scrutiny; it’s a fideistic choosing-to-believe, not knowledge, and I simply don’t find that rationally compelling as a putative justifier of any moral beliefs, let alone those which have such huge implications for the quality of an individual’s life. Now, if you’re a Catholic, then you have Aquinas to invoke, though defending his claims against objections is another matter entirely. I’d be interested to know what your answer is to those questions, and why.

      • Benjamin: I believe the primary dialogue that Grady started is not about the secular gay lifestyle because he is “coming out as a gay Christian” and this about “the intersection my faith and sexuality”. I think that the Church has gone to far to many times in providing “judgement” to secular community. I believe that God wants us as Christians to Love our God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind and love our neighbors as ourselves -Matthew 22:26-30. Not to judge – Matthew 7:1. So I am more interested in participating in this dialogue with those who believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, that he died for us and provides the way to Heaven.

        Who am I to tell someone who doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God and doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, what they should believe? How can we rationally discuss and debate moral questions if we don’t believe what is foundational and what is God’s design for us?

        With that being said. The way my beliefs and faith answers your three questions is this: Affirmative – it is morally wrong. Not just because the Bible says so (Lev. 18:22, Romans 1:18-31, I Cor. 6:9-10 and 1 Tim. 1:9-10) but also that it goes against God’s design for us. Very briefly, I believe that God created for us a purpose. (What item is ever created without a purpose?). In Genesis, before the fall of man, He gave us three things to do: take care of His creation, reflect His image and reproduce a Godly heritage (Genesis 1:26-28). At that same time He made a suitable partner for us. Men sleeping and partnering with men goes against that design. You might not like it, I might not like it, but that is God’s design and I have chosen to follow His design – even when I don’t see the rightness of it.

        Now to answer Jasun’s question: “Why is it straight people are all encouraged to fall in love and get married and give in to those “impulses” but gay people are all expected to stay single and lonely and miserable?” This question is asked in a manner that I can’t answer as it assumes that I expect gay’s to stay single and lonely and miserable. I believe Grady is on the road, as all Christian’s are, on a path of peace that passes understanding. Grady’s struggles are bringing him in closer reliance and relationship with His God. That will not be miserable and will bring great joy to His Lord and Savior. For those who are non-Christian’s – I am not here to tell you what to do or can’t do. All I ask is respect each other’s choices, seek to understand, and let’s not look to influence each other’s kids either way where we agree to disagree.

      • Mat… the reason I’m bringing “so much hate” is that I’m throwing all I’ve seen from people like you back. You’re comparing my 23-year marriage to “lying” and “gossip?” No. Sorry, but while Grady is probably a lost cause, there are a lot of young men and women who are going to see this… and think that it’s remotely possible to just… deny your natural instinct. Ask the Catholic Church how well “just be celibate” worked out for them.

        Come back and tell us what they say.

      • Mat, While I always appreciate cordial expressions of faith like yours, I would encourage you to more fully explore the simplistic idea of “design.” The thing about creativity, even God’s, is the incredible amount of variation. While one may be considered the ideal or perfect, it doesn’t make the others less beautiful, less fully created by God.

        We have a beautiful girl in our family with Down Syndrome. Is she the perfect model of God’s “design” genetically? Maybe, not, but she was woven to be exactly who she is. While not everyone fits the norm, we are all normal variations of God’s creation. In the study of nature, there are positive things about having ‘non-competitive males and females’ in animal groups for protection and caregiving and the same could be said of our human tribe. Western society’s obsession with sex is silly. When it comes to defining sin, it can’t truly be done. For one person, sin could be a hand on a breast, for another it could be kissing, for another, it’s simply the thought. Either sin exists as a concrete point of no return or it doesn’t really exist at all except on an individual basis. If Grady believes that sexual contact is sinful, I’m not here to judge for him. However, by putting his own hang ups out for the commentary of the world, I worry the influence it will have on vulnerable gay kids in the church.

      • “Who am I to tell someone who doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God and doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, what they should believe?” That is indeed of foundational importance. Simply put, I don’t. As an agnostic, I believe it is epistemically irrationally to believe in the truth or falsity of any proposition that has theistic content (that’s to say, which makes some truth-evaluable reference to the existence, nature, purposes etc of a supernatural creative intelligence or intelligences). On a scale of belief in the truth of such a proposition ranging from 0 (complete confidence in its falsity) through to 1 (complete confidence in its truth), I think that the only rational belief for a human being is 0.5. Why? Simply put, because we can *know* (i.e. have justified true beliefs) about any such proposition ever, period. Nor is such a leap of faith necessary to have an account of the foundation, content and point of morality. I find it very intuitively perplexing and temperamentally incomprehensible to form, revise and hold beliefs about morality – which beliefs are necessarily, by their very nature, inter-personally judgmental and demanding and imperatival – upon a blind leap of faith. Personally, I think it is at best epistemically irrational, and at worse profoundly disrespectful, to do so — where the disrespect arises form making extremely costly demands upon others (as any moral belief about a matter as fundamental as prohibiting a romantic relationship does) on the such an epistemically shallow or even non-existent foundation. I was raised in a nominally, culturally Anglican household (Episcopalian, in your context, if you’re a N American), but I can at least respect the Catholics for putting the intellectual effort into elaborating a sophisticated Natural Law moral theology that at least aspires (though I doubt whether it succeeds in that aspiration) to being free-standing with respect to claims of that fideistic sort about knowledge of divine commands. Whether you agree with me or not – clearly, you don’t – I think it is self-evident that an argument that is necessarily dependent upon claims to such knowledge will inevitably be entirely, blamelessly inaccessible for all those who aren’t prepared to suspend their rationality and make a blind leap of faith as you evidently are. I’d add, finally, that I don’t think purely faith-based reasons are of sufficient epistemic quality to be invoked in putative justification of public policies. You’re free to live your own life in accordance with such beliefs, but I do hope you can understand the ethical reasons to refrain from trying to (directly or indirectly) coercively impose them upon others.

      • **on the basis of such an epistemically shallow, or even non-existent, foundation (should read).

  63. Telling a gay Christian man that he can’t love and be with someone else because of his same sex attraction is like telling a Down syndrome Christian man that he can’t love and be with someone else because of his multiple physical abnormalities and intellectual impairments.

    • The Bible talks about gay sex as sin just like it talks about other types of adultery and fornication. That’s very different from someone with an intellectual impairment.

      • (A) The Bible is an antiquarian text, not a self-certifying source of moral knowledge. Assuming for the sake of argument that your biblical exegesis and hermeneutics are unimpeachable, there’s nothing intrinsically normative or reason-giving about a gobbet of antiquarian text. I could just as readily quote some Plato on the Ancient Greek variant of appreciation of same-sex attraction, and you’d just as much be within your epistemic rights to say, “so what? What counts is whether the proposition is supported by conclusively persuasive reasons, not whether it says x, y or z in a given text.” (B) Gay sex is a part of gay relationships, and gay relationships and the love between their participants is just as good and valuable and choice-worthy, and just as much a necessary precondition for durable happiness and a fully realised life, for dispositionally homosexual persons as it is for straight persons.

  64. I support you Grady! I was very pleased to read this. I am from a different Christian religion and I am also gay. I also believe in the same things you do regarding this, and I’m striving to follow them. Thanks for sharing!

  65. I watched your Youtube video intro a few weeks ago and thought about what you said a lot. Your choices reminded me somewhat of the blogger Josh Weed’s, who is Mormon, gay, and married to a woman with whom he has children.

    I wanted to tell you that I think your story is very important. The Christian community stigmatizes homosexuality more often than almost any other struggle because to church leaders, it’s scary. They don’t know how to deal with homosexual sin while accepting someone who denies themselves of the gender they’re attracted to. No one talks about it. It’s important that people do talk about it. I was shocked when I looked at the comments on your video. I saw hardly anyone supporting you being honest about what you feel and the life you’re living.

    The fact that you are bringing awareness to a hardly-talked about sexual sin is very brave. I pray that you will continue as God leads you, and say what he wants you to say with peace and love.

  66. Thanks for being an authentic man of integrity. Once people knew what Christ stood for they left him. Even when he performed miracles they despised him. Many would insist that going against your beliefs is right because the world had changed. God is no respecter of persons and does not change. As a man who also has Same-sex Attraction, I believe that there is a purpose to this experience and it is a divine calling. I have shared your blog within a community of like-minded folks and it was well recieved by all there. May God bless you and keep you.

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