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.

  • Wow, I am the first to comment. Kinda scary like introductions where you need to say something cool so that you look good. Thanks for writing. I appreciate all that you said and agree whole-heartedly that it is vital that you both love God and that you accept yourself just as you are. That’s integrity. Sexual brokenness (gay or straight) is just one thing out of hosts of stuff that could separate us from the God who loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins. He loves us that much! Oh God, I am crying right now as I write those words.
    I have been SSA all of my adult life and only recently has that diminished and my OSA grown stronger. At the time when I was actively involved in sex with another man, I was also a believer in Jesus Christ. I didn’t have all of that sorted out at that time and was asking some questions about homosexuality as related to faith. I never really answered those questions. I did however, find that my homosexual lover didn’t really satisfy the need I had for male love and connection. I really felt that he didn’t really love me, but was using me to satisfy his lust. And so I decided not to pursue that lifestyle–and never identified as gay. But the attractions remained. No acting out, and really no lustful fantasy about acting out, but nonetheless the attractions and neediness for authentic male love in a non-sexual healthy relationship were there and fueled my SSA. It was my secret life. For years I couldn’t keep my eyes off men I found attractive. Although I was not fantasizing sex with these men, I was masturbating and feeling aroused by what I saw. This made me miserable and for years I prayed for the Fruit of the Spirit, SELF-CONTROL. Not much success in this and not much progress.
    About 4 years ago, in a period of stress and loneliness, I became susceptible to gay pornography and got addicted. I felt that this was lust and was incompatible with my faith in God, so prayed for His help to deliver me from this addiction. I never despaired of my faith or questioned it, but knew that I needed to bring my life into obedience with God’s word. I never questioned His love for me, more like I questioned my love for Him.
    As I sought Him, He showed me that pornography was only really the symptom of what was going on inside of me–the same-sex attraction and so I began to work on those issues in my life that led to my SSA. Fear of men, envy of men, high need for male acceptance/connection with low need fulfillment were all part of my history that led to SSA. As I began to resolve these issues and connect with men in healthy non-sexual authentic and vulnerable ways, my SSA begin to diminish. And now, by His grace, I am closer to my God than I have ever been…it is too incredible and awesome to describe in words really. I know what I was (a sinner) and I understand how much I needed my Savior. In a way my SSA was a blessing because it made me seek Him with all my heart and learn to trust Him with ever aspect of my life.

  • When I realized I was gay, I thought the attractions and temptations I was feeling were sinful. So simply to accept them was not an option. It wasn’t exactly that I thought I was doomed to hell. After all, I could go to Confession, confess these feelings, and be forgiven; but I needed to at least want not to have them and to try not to have them. Of course, the first thing to do was to pray for a change. I also sought help from counselors at college. Later, I went to a psychiatrist for years (with my father footing the bill). Eventually, I realized that my orientation wasn’t going to change.
    As all that was going on, I also learned to distinguish between sins and temptations. We shouldn’t be out there looking for temptation, but unsought temptations aren’t our fault and are nothing to worry about.
    Finally, I was reassured by an official declaration by my Church that a homosexual orientation is not sinful.
    Those three realizations made it possible to accept that I would have to live with my orientation, and that it was okay. Like you, I believe that I am called to a chastity similar to that of an unmarried straight man (just with different temptations). And I have found that God’s grace makes it possible.

  • Great post. Like others, I first thought just having these desires were sinful and I was doomed to hell for being attracted to other guys. I’m in my 40’s and realize that isn’t true, but I too feel invisible in church. Love what you said about losing ourselves… very true.
    But Taylor Swift… really?! 🙂

  • “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.”
    Excellent point there, sir. Sexual behavior and your personality are different things. Bravo.
    I don’t think I’ve ever actually listened to an entire Taylor Swift song. I know her face, but I wouldn’t recognize her voice if I heard it. She started getting famous not long before I left America, so I haven’t been exposed to her music as much as my mainland fellow Americans have. Somehow I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything, though. 😉

  • I’ve been SO looking forward to your first post, Sam. It was everything I hoped for and more. Like Elliott, I was barreled in the gut by how you set up this notion of losing a part of ourselves — and the call to lose it all.
    Needless to say…I can’t wait for more. You’re awesome, brother!

  • This hits so hard with the reminder that we’ve been called to give our whole selves to Christ, not just one part. Many times I view this struggle as the “one I’ve gotta give to God in order to be in right relationship with him”. But really that’s so inaccurate – it minimizes the importance of the rest of my life and amplifies the importance of my sexually.
    Anyways, this really challenged me to think, am I making more out of this struggle and not surrendering other parts of my life?

  • Sam, what a great first post. I love Taylor too, but OMGsh …Troye Sivan, I just simply didn’t believe anyone else in the USA know who he was. The Blue Neghboorhood series is so good. When I read “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”, my heart hurt. At this very moment, I am having to give up one of the best friendships I have ever experienced. We are both SSA, but are earnestly living our lives to honor God. It became clear to us that we were both becoming emotinoally attached and those feelings were unhealthy and were a hinderance to our walk. I’m praying desperately that God will give me the strength and faith necessary to travel this path and to make this sacrifice. Yes it hurts and it seems unfair and unjust, but I know I serve a loving Savior and his desire is not for my happiness in my friendships, but in my pursuit and obedience to Him. Walking in obedience and submitting EVERYTHING to Him is true joy.

  • Your post and especially your “I want heaven” quote are reminiscent of a common expression I pray to God following “moments of weaknesses” where I feel my actions (i.e. masturbation, porn, etc.) have caused me to lose love and favor in His eyes. I pray: “I don’t want to perish.” It is essentially a plea to Him that I don’t want him to abandon me and allow me to perish into eternal hellfire. Please don’t send me away from your presence/love or I’ll just die (literally). I understand that we are not saved through works but through grace in Jesus Christ, but at the same time I am overwhelmed by my own perception that I don’t deserve heaven. Who does? Romans 3:23, nobody is perfect verse of the Bible. But the life, this heaven, is a gift from our heavenly father to be received if we choose to accept it.
    Incidentally speaking, I have “daddy issues” with both my heavenly father and earthly father. We’ll get to that later on.

  • Dude, I love this post so much. It was the perfect first blog for me to find on YOB. I’m a huge Swiftie as well! I saw her 1989 tour on 2 different dates. It was awesome. Troye is my dude too, super talented. I love how you talk about giving things up to follow Jesus. It’s such a hard conversation to have with people who don’t understand why you aren’t pursuing same-sex relationships. I’m also a big fan of “gay things.” Not so long ago, I used to be fully supportive of same-sex relationships and convinced a lot of family and friends to support them as well. Now I’ve come to a totally different understanding of scripture. Sometimes it feels like I’m the minority in the minority, but I have to remember that my identity is in Jesus. I’m still trying to figure out a way to “come out” to my friends and family again. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to read more of your posts!

  • Have you ever felt like your sexuality separated you from God and/or getting to heaven?
    Only every single day I live, Sam! You gotta give me one thing, though… At least I’m consistent!
    But, don’t worry. I’ve long since realized that this is a lie, straight from the devil, meant only to put me in bondage to discouragement. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a daily battle that I must fight in order to maintain that assurance and clarity of heart and mind.
    I wonder if it isn’t somewhat healthy to remain “in check” about such things? I mean, I know that we are not ever supposed to live in fear. But should our self-awareness as a Christian believer ever become complacent or casual? I don’t think so! Seems to me that this may be even more dangerous to our spiritual health, than a healthy dose of sober, daily self-reflection is.
    It is good to remind myself that I would indeed be hell-bound because of my sexuality issues (and all of my other sin as well) were it not for the blood of Christ. In fact, if the “Christian” doesn’t find his or herself battling their own flesh—and battling it often—in order to keep Jesus upon the throne of their heart as Lord, rather than “self,” then I’d actually question, “what manner of casual Christianity has that one believed in?”
    I think the key for me is not to “judge myself” guilty (or without hope of Heaven) all over again, for a crime that was already paid for with the blood of Christ. The Apostle Paul even had the Christ-centered audacity to proclaim this of himself,
    We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    – Romans 7:14-20 (emphasis, mine)

    I try to maintain this balanced approach, as well. It isn’t a license to go on freely sinning, of course. But it is indeed license to choose to not live in condemnation of one’s own self.
    And yet, it continues to be a daily battle that I must wage against my own self-condemning thoughts, Sam.
    Great post!

  • >