An explosion of resources in the past decade has provided valuable assistance for LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities seeking to reconcile their sexual and relational identities with their identities as faithful followers of Christ. While there have been faithful Christians exploring the implications of following Christ as a LGBTQIA+ person for over half a century, in the past few years the books on reconciling one’s faith and sexuality are coming out almost too fast to read. [The Resource pages are currently under reconstruction but will list as many of these as is practical.] A quick search on the hashtag #faithfullylgbt produces an endless string of individuals and organizations living out their lives at the intersection of sexuality and faith—as well as other intersections too numerous to mention. Amid this wealth of resources, one question seems (with a few, notable exceptions) to go unspoken and unanswered: “As I integrate my sexual and relational identity with my identity in Christ, what do I do about sex?“
So, What About Sex?
Ironically, I’ve been trying to get an answer to this question for over thirty years. I remember sitting in the wood-paneled office of the local Episcopal priest (who kept setting off my gaydar) and not quite being able to put together the right words to ask my most pressing question: “What do I do about sex?” I needed to know how to conduct myself as a responsible sexual being. I wanted to know the rules for dating people of the same sex. I wanted to know how to find a Christian husband (if he weren’t available). I needed to know how to handle my lusts. As a newly-out, young, gay man exploring Queer-affirming religious traditions for the first time, I expected an answer as clear as the non-affirming answers offered by the Evangelical world I had fled. I remember asking what “the rules” were for gay Christians like myself. I remember his thoughtful expression and his deep, brown eyes as he thought about what wisdom to give. And, when he answered, his answer was both painfully clear and painfully frustrating. He suggested, sincerely, that I pray.
A Spiritual Approach to Sex
Although I wish I had the nerve at that time to press him to elaborate, his impulse to point me toward a spiritual rather than a moral solution was correct. Over the course of my training to become a spiritual director, I have become increasingly aware of the vast treasure of wisdom held within the deep Christian tradition on how to make decisions that align with one’s Christian values. I learned that there is no area of human experience that could not be prayerfully brought into the presence of Christ. However, I was not aware of a resource in the form of a book that took both a practical and spiritual approach to sexual decision-making and sexual ethics specifically for Queer Christians. So, after facilitating a couple of discussion groups on sexuality and spirituality, I decided that I needed to create a set of resources myself.
Sex & the Gay Christian
Sex & the Gay Christian is a sex-positive initiative to help Queer Christians embrace their sexuality, make sexual and relational decisions that fit their Christian values, and integrate their sexual and spiritual lives so that they may live lives of abundance and joy in Christ—sex included.
“Write what you know,” they say, so my initial impulse was to write a guide to help GBTQ+ men make healthy, faithful decisions about their sexual practices that they could feel at peace with. However, as I started to search the Internet and the rapidly growing Queer spiritual literary world, I realized that Sex & the Gay Christian needed to be more than a book project: it needed to be a community. And I realized (at the nudging of an interested publisher) that the principles I was discovering to make healthy, faithful choices might apply to the entire Queer rainbow and beyond.
I’m only one voice
But I realize that I’m only one person. I look through a very specific set of lenses that color the world I see. Even though I am a cis, Black, gay, Christian man, my particular set of experiences and inclinations could not even adequately describe the reality of another cis, Black, gay, Christian man (and I know a few who would agree!). But what I can do is bring together a variety of voices from a variety of different perspectives and give them a place to be heard. I want to know the concerns of this entire tribe so that I can hold them up for prayer. I want to curate the wisdom and the testimony of the great cloud of witnesses for those who are hungry for clear guidance considering the ramifications of their sexual and relational desires.
I need your help
So, I ask for your help on this journey. I will offer my own questions and ideas not because I have a corner on some special wisdom, but to stimulate a conversation already in progress and bring it more fully into the light of day. I ask that you let me know what you think and feel about the things I write… the choice of topics, the conclusions I draw, the few statements I will make. I invite you to push back. I will attempt to continue the dialogue as civilly as I can. And together we will create a supportive culture of wisdom within the body of Christ that will be as much a blessing to the world as we will be a blessing to each other.
Thank you for your time and your attention. I thank you for your feedback and your prayers. Please feel free to comment below or email me directly at email@example.com. I will do my best to prayerfully and thoughtfully respond. And I ask in advance for your forgiveness and prayers when I don’t!
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