When I Became a Sexual Compulsive

In 2013, I was sick with heartbreak. My boyfriend, on a sunny January day in Baltimore, broke up with me.

He was a conservative Christian, and so was I. We both believed that homosexuality was not God’s best for humanity, and that it would be a sin to act on it. And yet, here we were: deeply in love, and now deeply heartbroken. We had lived in a horrible in-between place, unable to change our beliefs and unable to stop loving each other. The dissonance drove us mad, and it ended in him breaking up with me. I’d never known such rending emotional pain.

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On Listening to the Death of Trees, Planets, and People

In her book Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, Madeleine L’Engle writes,

When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening. I will never understand the silent dying of the green pie-apple tree if I do not slow down and listen to what the Spirit is telling me, telling me of the death of trees, the death of planets, of people, and what all these deaths mean in the light of love of the Creator who brought them all into being; who brought me into being; and you.

This questioning of the meaning of being, and dying, and being, is behind the telling of stories around the tribal fires at night; behind the drawing of animals on the walls of caves; the singing of melodies of love in spring, and of the death of green in autumn. It is part of the deepest longing of the human psyche, a recurrent ache in the hearts of all of God’s creatures.

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Dear Christian, Stop Telling Me What I Know Deep in my Heart

Nearly every gay person raised in the Christian world has heard it at least once in their lives: “You know deep within your heart that what you are doing is wrong. You know in your heart that homosexuality is not God’s best for you, and you are just unwilling to admit it, running away from the truth.”

Far too often, we hear this from the people we love the most: old friends, pastors, parents and siblings – the people who raised us, nurtured us, taught us how to understand the world. They are concerned, well intentioned, unaware of just how damaging, belittling, dehumanizing those 9 little words are: “you know the truth deep down in your heart.”

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Exploring Sexuality as Language

Several years ago, as I was journeying out of the traditional theological view of gay marriage, I read an extraordinary book by Dr. James Brownson titled Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing The Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships.

Bible, Gender, Sexuality is a thing of theological beauty: elegant, persuasive, and deeply compassionate. It was the book that allowed me to finally pack my bags and walk with confidence into affirming gay marriage and my own gay orientation.

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In Praise of Secrecy

Years ago, a therapist once said to me, “Stephen, you are so open, and honest. You expose so much of yourself to the world, and that is wonderful. But I want to challenge you to do something: keep secrets. Keep something away from the world, just for yourself. I don’t care what it is – it could be your favorite drink at Starbucks – but just keep something secret.”

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