In some way, I’ve always known that I was different. When I was 18, I finally figured out why. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll get to that down the road.

Hi, I’m Sam, and it’s lovely to meet you!

I’m a Myers-Briggs ESFJ which means I REALLY love to talk to and be around other people. I can’t wait to tell you more about my life and my stories, but first, I have to get through this intro.

Let’s be real: introductions suck. From first dates to networking events, they’re just awkward. You want to make sure you make the right impression, are interesting, and say something worth remembering.

So. Much. Pressure. So, I’m going to make sure I say something truly important…

I freaking love Taylor Swift.

I’ve been a fan since Kanye-gate, and I could write many, many posts about how her music has gotten me through both good and bad times. But that’s not why I bring her up.

As a dedicated Swiftie, I make sure I listen to any artist she recommends. Most of the time, I really end up liking that artist. A few months ago, she tweeted about an artist named Troye Sivan, and I knew I had to give his EP a shot.

Troye is an amazing Australian musician. In addition to his music, he is also an actor with a wildly successful YouTube channel. He also happens to be gay.

Needless to say, I can see why Taylor approves of his music so much. It’s so…interesting. There’s so much emotion and depth to Troye’s music. His album, Blue Neighbourhood, is now out. And gosh, it’s SO good.

There is one song on Troye’s album that makes me really sad. It’s called “Heaven,” and the song is beautifully sad. You can listen to it in its entirety on Spotify.

My heart breaks when I hear “Heaven.” It reminds me how scary it can be to be LGBTQ+. As someone who has attended church my entire life, I still struggle with feeling like an outsider — as a gay or bisexual or I really don’t know what label best describes me kind of Christian.

I can feel invisible in the Church. Because obviously all Christians are straight, right? I hope you can sense my eyes rolling.

As the video says, one of the scariest parts of coming out is coming out to yourself. Like Troye, I asked myself a lot of the same questions. I can relate a lot to the song, but something about it also bothers me: the notion that being attracted to someone of the same gender automatically sends you to hell.

Being gay doesn’t send you to hell any more than being straight gets you to heaven.

Now, that doesn’t mean I can live my life however I want. In fact, because I am a follower of Christ, I try to do my best to follow God in every aspect of my life. I screw up all the time and need His grace on a daily basis. Personally, I have peace admitting (to myself) that I am attracted to guys; however, I know deep down that pursuing God is more satisfying than any sexual relationship with a guy.

The Bible tells a story of a rich man who wants to be perfect and go to heaven. When he asks Jesus what he needs to do, Jesus tells him to sell everything he owns and give it to the poor. And he declines Jesus.

Much like this rich man, we must be willing to give up all to follow Jesus. For me, this means not acting on my sexual attractions; for others, it means completely different things. I mean, this is just one area of my life I have to constantly work on submitting to God.

So, that bring us back to Troye’s question: without losing a piece of me, how do I get to heaven?

To get to heaven, we don’t lose a piece of ourselves. We lose it all. Matthew 10:39.

For myself, not acting on my sexuality is just part of this sanctification — this lifelong journey of pursuing Christ.

Following Jesus doesn’t mean I have to change who I am — my animated personality, my kind nature, and my love of stereotypically “gay things.” I can honor God and still be Sam, and it’s very freeing to know that.

This I’m sure of: I want heaven.

Have you ever felt like your sexuality separated you from God and/or getting to heaven? If you’re scared God doesn’t love you because of your sexual attractions, I want to let you know that is the furthest thing from the truth.

* Photo courtesy tommyscapes, Creative Commons.

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