Our culture values community. Social media is a massive industry that is now basically essential to life. Think about how shocked you are when someone says they don’t have Facebook.

It’s no wonder that people in our culture flock to communities built around a common identity, purpose, charge, or something else.

One of the primary communities that draws in individuals is the LGBT community. This is a group that came together when the culture around them shut them out. They depended upon each other when they had no one else.

And now they stick together closely, fighting alongside each other.

Now, the LGBT community isn’t perfect. There are tensions among them, for sure. Whether it’s the tensions between the LGB and T sub-communities, the LG and B sub-communities, or even the tensions among the different races within the LGBT community, this community does have its issues.

However, the LGBT community still finds a way to come together for a common purpose. And, honestly, this is attractive to me.

I love the global Church, but we do NOT do a great job being unified. I often find more disagreements between other Christians than LGBT individuals. I often find myself more nervous to have a deep discussion with another Christian than with an LGBT individual.

Still, I don’t know that I can identify as LGBT or LGBT+.

For one, “SSA Side B” is not considered part of the “plus.”

Second, many people might disagree with my choosing that specific label and ask me to choose “Gay” or “Pan” or “Ace.”

Third, the Side B community and the Church would be upset about my wanting to embrace an identity alongside the LGBT community.

But should these things deter me? Should I look for another term for my sexual identity that fits within the LGBT community? Should I keep identifying myself in a way that appeases one of the communities?

Once again, why am I letting other people define me? Why am I letting other people have a say in something that is my own?

I refuse to let others define my gender. Why should I let other people define my sexuality?

For now, I’m not changing how I view my sexuality. I’m not thinking about changing communities or anything of the sort.

But I do find myself wanting more and more to find a place within the LGBT community. I see this group of people who need to feel the love of God. I see people who have been hurt in the past, and I want to offer comfort however I can. If that means identifying with them, perhaps it would be worth it.

After all, didn’t Paul say he himself tried to be all things to all people? What if I followed the same example?

Do you find yourself yearning to be part of the LGBT community? Or do you find yourself disassociating from the LGBT community?

  • I do not identify with the LGBTQ community. The Church, while not perfect and won’t ever be as long as there are people in it, still has my best spiritual life as it’s main focus.
    The LGBTQ community has as it’s main focus my emotional and physical wants as it’s main focus and how I can get them as easily and quickly as possible.
    Rather than lamenting the shortcomings of the church and looking elsewhere, let’s work to make it better at helping us and all it’s other members too, be all we can be spiritually.

    • You make a great point, Steve, about the church. I am not saying I want to leave the church. I am simply pointing out that the church has work to do and that there are gaps I see other communities handling well- but I’m not saying those other communities are perfect either. As long as we are still people, we will never have it figured out perfectly and no organization, group, or community, will do it correctly all the time.
      Also, I do work hard to ensure the church is improving its care of LGBTQ and SSA individuals. That’s actually my entire job at my church. I appreciate the reminder of not bailing on the ship because of a kitchen fire- but I’m already there with a fire extinguisher, doing what I can to put out the blaze.

  • Funny how you’re articles resonate better sometimes. Yup I get it. I ended up saying **** it, I’m just going to come out as gay. I feel the most unsafe and unsure of what will happen next. I’m dating a guy who’s not a Christian right now. I’ve been asked to leave my home because of it and pretty much ostersized from my church. Even the message Sunday felt pointed directly at me in a negative way. Yet I feel God telling me to live life and that he can work with my honesty. I guess I’d feel plastic if I hadn’t come out and started walking again. I happen to be in a plateau…which is where I groan the most and learn the most.

    • Hey man, thanks for your honesty. I’m going to give un-asked for advice here. I would definitely advise against dating a man, especially a nonbeliever, as I have experience here from about 3 yrs ago. I understand the loneliness and the right we feel we have to a partner. Is it physical? Is it emotionally dependent? Mine was, and he was an atheist. I felt so hypocritical and dirty because we were being physical with one another. The whole time I was sharing the Gospel with him while I let him use me physically. I had no qualms terminating it after almost 2 months. Something to ponder man. 🙂

      • My last abuser was fine with me preaching the gospel to him at 14 or 15. But at the same time, he would gladly have had me in the back of his van.

          • It is the right word, brother. I was sexually abused by several people growing up. Thank God for His marvelous grace that saved me at 14 and gave me the grace and power to say no and put a stop to all of it.
            I never dealt with the fallout of what happened to me until recent years. It has been rough, to say the very least. But I am encouraged in the Lord, and He is taking me through.
            Thanks for your kind thoughts, Joshua. Love you, brother.

          • Thanks for sharing that brutal stuff. I don’t know if childhood sexual abuse has symptoms, so to speak, that manifest later in life. I don’t have any memory sexual abuse, but I did act out with boys my age when young, like around 7 and 8, and with my male cousin when we were like 11-12. I never ejaculated with another male until I was 26, and he was 24. It’s amazing that God saw it all.

          • I totally get it. That was my life from a young age until 14, brother.
            It does have symptoms that manifest both early and later in life. Early: SSA, emotional confusion and dependency, and mountains of insecurity. Later: major depression.

          • I see. My sister was sexually abused by our grandfather when she was 10-14. I was unaware of it until she told me when I was 22 and she was 19. I believed her. Mom remained in denial, as did my mom’s brother and my aunt. That was in 1999, then she told my uncle in 2013. Granddad died in 2002. I don’t believe he ever repented. Also, he was never in church. Ever. My grandmother had been church secretary for decades until she passed in 1995. I sure do miss her, but I’ll see her again with Christ…I hope. I look forward to a New Heavens and Earth, bro.

          • I’m sorry for her, brother. Bless her heart. And then to not be believed by some. That’s awful and tough. I’m glad she confided in you, though. Holding that in is complete inward torture.
            At least 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused as children, and the number is thought to be actually higher. Not a pretty statistic. I am one of them. I am a number, part of the statistics. A sobering reality.
            Heaven will surely be worth it all, won’t it? But I am also so thankful that I don’t have to wait for a new heaven and new earth. Christ has made all things new for me when He made me a new creature. Regardless of my past or the struggles of my present, I have a little bit of heaven to go to heaven in.

          • Thanks man. My sister has leaned upon Jesus since she was very very young. I struggle with Jesus loving me, His child while I have/endure these same sex attractions. These are very real desires, but so is my desire to be pure and spotless to Him. I have to quote His words to myself often….”He who began a good work in you…” I have to believe those things.

          • Joshua, my brother, you are a man deeply loved by the God who made you. A man, he made you a man–a real, living, vibrant man. Don’t let the devil tell you anything less about yourself or try to demean you. God gave His very best, His only Son, to save you. I don’t know what greater thing He could have done to prove He loves us more than that.
            You are a man loved by God, loved by me, and loved by many others who know the joy of your presence in their lives.
            Our light afflictions which are but for a moment, our temptations, what are they in the light of God’s overwhelming love for us? It is vast as the sea and higher than the heavens.
            What can separate us from the love of Christ? Paul lists a litany of things. Nothing. Nothing is the answer to that. Keep your hand in His, my brother. Keep reminding yourself of that scripture. The words of God are true and more real than even our own present reality.
            I love you, brother.

    • Plateaus are difficult. Thank you for such an honest replay, Robert. God definitely can do more when we are honest with Him rather than trying to “hide” parts of our lives from Him. So often, we feel like we can keep something from Him when He already knows. But if we bring our lives to Him fully open, we give Him full control to work as He leads. I pray you continue to pursue God honestly, Robert.

  • While I understand the sentiments concerning the churches expressed here, and the desire to be a help to those outside, I am also deeply troubled at this thought process and where it can lead.

    • Agreed. It’s dangerous to look longingly outside the church and think it somehow better.

    • Deeply troubled how, Kirk? I do think the Church could absolutely learn a thing or three from how the LGBT community supports one another. Not necessarily from a faith/sexuality standpoint but sheerly a human one. Empathy and understanding and loyalty.

      • I shared a bit of my life story in regards to sexuality and faith last year online. Something I felt that I needed to strongly highlight was the fact that the church can and SHOULD learn a few things from the LGBT community in terms of empathy, support and care. Things that Christ championed.

        • If the churches cannot learn these things from the teaching and example of Jesus Himself, they certainly will not learn it from the LGBT community. And it would be better for such churches to cease to call themselves by His name than to shun His example.
          I understand the disaffection with the churches by and large. I completely do. But this isn’t merely an SSA issue. They are failing more people than just SSA individuals.
          How far do we take the “learning” thing? Is the LGBT community welcoming to Side B’s? Someone already in these comments indicated there really isn’t a place for Side B’s so much. And that is the awful and honest truth. They are not examples of Christ-like care. For Christ-like care involves telling the truth. Faithfully and with love, certainly, but telling the truth nonetheless.
          It’s hard to type these things and not be misunderstood. I speak from a full and caring heart.

          • I agree with everything you just said 120%%%. “If they’re not going to learn it from the teaching and example of Jesus himself, they will certainly not learn it from the LGBT community” PREACH!!!
            What I didn’t do a great job saying is that some churches have lost empathy, support and care and that others in secular culture have done this well (on the surface) which is why people can be tempted by/drawn to such groups. And you are right, this failing goes far beyond SSA group.
            And oh, I can feel/hear your full and caring heart, truly. You are passionate but I sense no anger or negativity. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. You are someone who’s comments I have come to look forward to whenever I run across them.
            And I made another comment on this blog where I agreed with the person who said there isn’t much room for a Side B person in the LGBT community. Once I identified as side B, my experience was not a positive one.

      • I’m not sure where to start, Tom. This discussion is so fraught with the potential to hurt, to be misunderstood. Anyone who knows me will know that is not my intention. I’ve been through an awful lot in my life. I’m no hater.
        What part of the empathy and understanding of the nominal LGBT community am I to take as my example? Their pure acceptance and support of one another? That acceptance very often means the condoning of sin. And loyalty? How far does that loyalty go? To the point of allowing the scriptural view on matters of sex, marriage and morality? Not generally.
        I have better examples of these things in others to draw from. I think we ought to be careful in what we point to, as it can lead others to draw wrong conclusions. I fear it is doing so, already.

        • Right, I prefaced this empathy and loyalty outside the concept of what you and I call “sin.” The LGBT community just does a fantastic job welcoming in the outcast, the homeless, the misunderstood. Watch a few coming out videos on YouTube and the support is tangible.

          • Point taken, brother. But isn’t there a difference in just simply pointing that out and declaring you want to be part of the LGBT community because of it?
            That’s my concern. That is what I consider deeply troubling.
            I’m in no way defending the half-hearted and lukewarm Christianity that cares more about appearances than following Christ’s example. The Lord knows there is enough blame to be found there.
            What I am excited about, however, is being exactly what Jesus calls me to be in these matters. To welcome the outcast and point them to the life-changing power of the gospel. To create the culture and community we find lacking.

          • Tom, that’s true in some cases for sure, especially on face value. There are loving LGBT people who welcome and accept. The acceptance doesn’t always hinge on simply being happy someone else is experiencing what you experience, though that’s what I find tangible in these coming out stories. People cry when they realize someone loves them for who they are, and they cry when someone knows that they are going through. What’s also true, unlike what happens in most church communities, is there are also gay men, particularly, who “welcome” and expect something, usually sexual. While that’s not always the case, I can honestly say that EVERY older gay man that approached me with friendship, job offers, etc., turned out to have ulterior motives, which was extremely disappointing to me. If I did not reciprocate, the love and welcoming became alienation and rumor spreading. I truly wish I had a better experience, but this is what they call “my truth.”
            The slander, the gossip, the emotional manipulation is real. My theory is that since many gay men were not allowed to socially express themselves in their early years, there is this rampant emotional immaturity that makes so many like middle schoolers in how they relate with others. It took horrible experiences for me to grow somewhat out of that emotional state. I will say this though, my life is so much better now that I’m in my 30s! Ha!

    • Kirk, I am simply pondering out loud for everyone to hear. I see a gap in the global Church and I see someone else doing it better. It doesn’t mean I think they’re perfect and that the church is worthless. It’s simply a thought process. I believed it was safe to share here.
      God’s truth can be found in many places other than inside the Church because God’s Truth is found in every aspect of His creation (aka general revelation). It’s why sometimes secular sources provide good lessons because it is a reflection of God’s truth permeating through His world.
      This doesn’t mean that we look to others instead of Jesus. And it doesn’t mean we ignore the Bible’s teachings. It simple means that I am constantly trying to learn and grow and will filter everything through the Gospel in order to grow closer to Christ and lead others to Him. I hope this lessens the troubling that was caused to you.

      • Dean, your responses on the comments have all been very gracious.
        God’s truth can be found through general revelation, yes. And people display at some level the image of God when they demonstrate His various attributes.
        But the LGBT community is as varied in their treatment of people as other communities. And the movement representing said community stands for something or some things way out of bounds with faithfulness to Christ. So when one talks about yearning or longing to identify with them, it gives the wrong impression. If your heart and desire is actually to just be able to have a Common Language so you can reach them, and to use your unique struggles as a method of helping them to understand the gospel and the claims of Christ upon them, then I understand. But if your longings are for acceptance by them, or to feel at home among the community, then that’s where I really feel there is a problem. Because the real community, the main community, not the fringe with the side Bs, is behaviorally driven. And that behavior is at variance with the gospel.

  • Great posting Dean! Oh wow! If I had to answer one of the questions, I’d say I dissociate with the LGBT community. However, wouldn’t I need to be associated with them first? That’s the catch with me. Being who I am *specifically* I just can’t see myself as a part of that community. I just wouldn’t fit in or be comfortable in their respective venues. LGBT community: “But Mac, you’re gay/SSA!” Yes, I know, but that doesn’t change the way I feel or my perception of the LGBT culture. Maybe I see it as too artsy, too effeminate (I’m quite masc.), too liberal, too carnal and too dangerous for my tastes. I don’t hate gay people. It’s just gay culture I find incompatible with my sensibilities.

      • Me too!!! I might use the term “gay,” and I might even dabble in gay culture that I find to be within the bounds the Lord has set, but there’s a fundamental belief system regarding marriage, family, etc. that kind of repels me. I’m still trying to understand my feelings on the matter.

        • I’m curious about what you mean about bounds the Lord has set that would allow us to dabble in gay culture.

          • I may not understand what “gay culture” encompasses or how it is defined here. But I’m referring to some of the stereotypical fabulousness with dress and grooming, flirting (which just “happens” with me), admiring other men in my life and in the media, etc.

    • I can understand not being able to relate to a culture associated with a community. I’ve wrestled with that in other arenas outside the church and the LGBT community (like “teen” culture when I was a teenager- never got it.) I appreciate your honest answer, Mac. Thank you for reading!

  • I’ve never been able to identify with the LGBT+ community. Even identifying as the “G” has felt awkward and not quite right for me. But I do feel a strange sort of kinship with the community from afar. I want to make more inroads. I don’t want to be removed or separate or, in their eyes, greater than. I want to be “all things to all people” as Paul describes. And Jesus is for everyone. I think we in this SSA / Side B / gay Christian sub-world can play a pivotal role drawing people (back) to Jesus.

    • That’s well put Tom. It’s funny that no matter how messy my life feels and no matter how many people condemn me for where I’m at…one thing seems to come back again and again. Jesus. Plain and simple Jesus. Warms my heart and gives me hope. I’m excited to see my life in two years. Ideally married and still a Jesus freak. Yeah!

    • I like your point about Paul, Tom. That’s definitely one of the big factors in my thought process. And, like you, I think our subculture/community can have a powerful reach with the Gospel. Thank you for your thoughts, brother.

    • I identified with the gay community up until about 3 years ago. That’s when I started to emotionally drift from them. I still have many friends who identify, and I’m still at a point where I fear telling them my true feelings. It’s like coming out all over again in my 30s, ugh. Becoming closer to Christ, my true identity, is of course what led me to drift from the LGBT label, However, to be totally honest, being part of and witness to the utter depravity of so much of the gay men community, especially in the bar and online scene, turns my stomach. It used to intrigue me until my eyes were open to the lurking evil and danger of such a life. The gay friends I still have are not huge participants in the gay community, and I think that’s why I feel so much more comfortable around them. I can tell many stories of life was like inside gay bars, etc. The cartoonish drama depicted in media is charitable compared to the real, hurtful, bullying, shameless, degrading atmosphere that truly exists in these places. Now, that’s not just true of gay bars, but it was certainly my experience.

  • I have a somewhat strained relationship with the LGBT community, and I’m still trying to figure out my place. Whenever Pride month rolls around…I mean I’d love to walk down a public street holding hands with someone I love, but I don’t subscribe to much of gay culture, namely, what I believe marriage is and how gay marriage has now weaved its way into human rights and equality. My beliefs are now characterized as being “anti-equality,” and homophobic. As one who believes we all have equal, individual worth to God, I struggle accepting that sentiment.
    So the LGBT community accepts my affections and might accept me as a person, but I think it would be hard for me to find affirmation and support in my beliefs. Likewise, the Church supports my beliefs, but I’m not sure they’d like me holding hands or putting my arms around guys.
    Yes, there is a part of me that wants to be accepted by and affiliated with the LGBT community. But I want even more to be accepted in my church. There are many GOOD things happening. I can at least talk about being gay and my perspectives on the gospel. But yeah it would be nice to be able to bring a potential partner (preferable celibate) to church and just be understood and accepted.

    • I can relate to that tension, Alex. While your beliefs may line up with the church, you can’t always guarantee they would understand all of your actions and decisions or relate to them. It’s an issue of understanding that the church is still working on. I pray you continue to journey well and pursue Christ- and while doing so, I pray you find a community of believers who will journey with you without judgment or thoughtless restrictions.

  • I am in a no man’s land. One side said for years that I was going to hell for being gay and that people who got AIDS deserved it. The other side is monolithic and said that I was born this way; wanting to define me; and when I dare to speak out against them, they publicly shame me on social media. I still find it difficult to walk into a church, but I am disgusted at people who march in pride parades (especially in front of TV cameras).
    Neither side has been too kind to me; one telling me I was going to hell; the other horrified that I don’t indulge. Frankly, I am tired of the whole mess. I just want to go Home.

    • I am sorry to hear that neither community has been able to show you the love that God has called His children to show. I pray you find a community of believers in the church who will accept you as Christ accepts you and love you as He did.

    • Bradley, you’re not in no man’s land. I think everyone here resonates with some of your experiences, and if they don’t, we are certainly learning from them. I know I am. Thank God for you.

  • for a period of about 4 years, I was a part of the LGBT community and tried to reconcile that with my faith. Then I had a period of 3 years where I was around the LGBT community and still maintained relationships, but started becoming more vocal about my Christianity. This time last year, I fully and publicly declared my Side B stance to my Christian and LGBT communities. In certain ways, I was ostracized and attacked by some in the LGBT community. The separation was painful. (That pain comes from tethering ourselves to things we were never supposed to-very much like a break up of sorts) I was labeled intolerant and dismissed as a “self hating gay.”
    There are some things I learned from the LGBT community that I think we in the church could benefit from. Sometimes, I just miss being understood without having to explain myself at every turn like I can sometimes feel that I have to do at church. and I had some good clean fun with this community that are now cherished memories.
    We all want to belong, to be known, accepted and loved. I find that many Side B folks wrestle with the feeling of being in between, in a grey area of sorts. Finding the YOB community has been very healing for me. I was having breakfast with a close friend from church this morning and just shared with him the sense of belonging that I’ve been able to find here at YOB.

    • Thank you for sharing, Henry. I am sorry you lost friendships and became wrongly accused of things because of your walk with Christ. There is an understanding that can only be offered by those with a similar story. I’m thankful you have come to YOB where you can find that again. Journey well, brother.

      • I posted a one year update of sorts on Facebook about some of this today. It’s public if you want to read the whole thing. I included this about YOB though and I want to share it here.
        “I have also recently stumbled upon an online community specifically for men who have decided to walk my same road. (Your Other Brothers) The lord has used this community to teach me, encourage me, comfort me, heal me and most importantly, remind me that I am not alone. Finding this community has been an extension of Jeremiah 29:12-14 in action.
        “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. Youwill seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
        everyone at YOB, Thank you. Y’all breathed new life into me.
        Dean, I thoroughly enjoy your writing! Your experience helped me a lot. Thank you for sharing.

  • I can’t say I really want to be apart of the LGBTQ community. However, I would love to build bridges of dialogue between them and us. We definitely have many fundamental difference but all have very similar stories of struggling with our sexualities in a world hostile to them.

    • Even bridges of relationship that allow us to be a light can do more than we realize. I pray you continue to build those well, brother.

  • I don’t think involvement in the LGBT community is wrong or necessarily all that “dangerous” (as it’s been made out to me). I feel like there’s an impression among many Side B folks that the defining quality of the LGBT community is its carnality (in which case I think the intent to become more involved could very well be problematic), but I wonder if that’s an uncharitable assessment. I would not want, say, my brothers here at YOB to be evaluated in such a one-dimensional manner. Is it for everyone? Probably not. Know what’s going to make you stumble. However if I were to flee every potential temptation I wouldn’t even go to church–that den of iniquity!–because of all the temptations I encounter there: envy, jealousy, pride, and hey guess what there’s cute guys anyway.
    I will say I don’t have much first-hand experience with the LGBT community. Some good (friends) and some bad (people yelling at me on Twitter). I don’t take either to be fully representative, so I have to say I just don’t know what the community is “really” like, or it would be like to become more involved. (Indeed, I’m not sure what specific activities “getting involved” would entail.) It has not been very appealing to me because I don’t really feel like I fit in that well, despite the fact that I feel fairly comfortable describing myself as “gay” to the people close to me.
    HOWEVER, at the end of the day:
    1. I lead a ministry for non-straight folks at my church. This has been an important calling in my life.
    2. I hope and pray that God would use this ministry to build bridges to the LGBT community one day.
    3. That means running in their circles.
    4. Which doesn’t mean, like, infiltrating and pretending, or anything. People can tell when you try to fake relational investment. I’m going to have to really invest time and energy and my heart, in the context of the LGBT community.
    So where I wind up at is seeing, and even praying for, greater participation in the LGBT community in my future, if God keeps me on this course. It will mean asking God to help me fall in love with a people group: to see the good things in their culture and delight in them.
    Does that mean dating? No. Does that mean flirting with anyone? No. Does that mean having a showy, triumphalistic attitude about my sexual thirst? No. Does that mean following a bunch of shirtless dudes on Instagram? No. Does that mean giving it my all at Celine Dion karaoke? Maybe (groan)! Does that mean going to gay bars? Probably depends on how I comport myself inside, just like any other bar! (Incidentally, maybe it means actively supporting and helping build LGBT spaces that don’t revolve around hookups and alcohol!) Does that mean learning queer history–for example, how the LGBT community cared for its members during the AIDS crisis–and identifying how God is already working there? You bet! I think participating in the LGBT community could mean a lot of different things, and some of them are right and good.
    Nevertheless, I can’t see myself finding a home truer, better or more beautiful than the church.
    Thanks for writing this, Dean!

  • I haven’t posted here in a long while (I do most of my posting in Yobbers under my real name) but I am very, very concerned here. How many of us have gone through the grief of seeing an SSA friend who we thought was a genuine Christian going over to “Side A.” It is nothing short of a terrible tragedy. As someone who believes that Side A is essentially a cult and not Christian (I firmly hold to the belief stated by Paul in 1 Cor:6 that “those who live this way will not inherit the kingdom of God”) I consider it to be salvation threatening to cross over to the “other side.” BY IMMERSING ONE’S SELF IN THE LGBT COMMUNITY YOU ARE PUTTING YOURSELF IN GRAVE DANGER. I have seen it happen before. Satan will be pulling at your throat, luring you first into the Side A theological position and,finally, into active homosexuality. I have painfully witnessed this sort of flirting with the gay community and how it leads to a devastating downfall. This is playing with fire! Even playing with a little “gay” culture can be perilous. Our ministry needs to bring gay men and women to Christ and bring them out of that world, not keep them in it. The fact that much of that community seems to display a certain sense of mutual support can be a trap to lure men like us into heresy and sexual sin. If you become a part of that community you will be tempted and lured into abandoning Scriptural truth and embracing homosexual practice – first in others and, finally, for yourself. Yes, we need to have an outreach to the LGBT community but never to become a part of it. Part of evangelizing the gay community is to call them out of that lost and destructive world. And ministry to the gay community should never be done in the “lone ranger” mode if you yourself have SSA – there is safety in numbers. Don’t put yourself at risk of being lured into a lie that could sever you from Christ – perhaps forever!

    • I very much agree. But I think we’re losing the argument along the generational divide on this, Buckdipper.

    • You make many legitimate points, but there is clearly a generational divide, even between me in my 30s and others on this site who are younger. The gay community mirage of welcoming is very tempting, so tempting that I was part of it since I was 18 years old! I had so many brushes with death in that time that I know for a fact I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t a part of it. It made me regret ever coming out of the closet. Yes, there is merit to there being turmoil in persecuted minority groups, but there is something so much more insidious that goes on within the LGBT community, but more specifically in the gay men community. There is a rampant anti-family strain that runs deep in the community, even among those who are start families. Monogamy is the extreme minority, even though even close friends will tell you otherwise, I only have one single example where I know a gay male couple who is monogamous, and that’s because they never have sex!
      I do think the younger generation needs guidance, I mean, I still need guidance. We all do, but they must experience the world to save the world. That doesn’t mean going in and becoming an active participant, but it does mean a stronger effort to reach out. Since I have so many friends who are still actively in the LGBT community, I can say from first hand experience that it’s a tough sell to them to join us, to follow Christ or even attempt to. The lure of sex, gossip, vanity is very strong and seen as a good thing. When bad is seen as good, you’ve already lost the war. The active gay friends I know do not profess to be Christians, so we don’t even get to have that conversation often, but I do know a few Side A Christians who are actively trying to change the Book of Discipline in the United Methodist Church. My backbone will be growing here very soon as we approach the schism of our church, and it’s so unfortunate. Sorry, I’m all over the place in this post, but my point is that we can’t totally hide from the world, including practicing LGBT people. In order to spread the gospel, we have to serve as a light in the world. We can’t do that from far away, can we? Perhaps, with the internet, which has been a wonderful thing for this community, but face-to-face time means a lot.

      • Hi, Robbie. I like the way you put things. I think testimonies like yours are crucial to this type of conversation, because it is so easy for those who have never been full in to the lifestyle to have an idealized view of “being a part” of the community. This is a point I’ve made elsewhere. We see the façade–the YouTube videos, the movies, etc. etc. The reality appears to be a bit more brutal.
        And I am totally with you on reaching out to them. I guess my main point is that we do so in a way that maintains the clear line of demarcation between the new life and the old. Yes, it is hard to win them over, but isn’t this true of any people group? How many in our society are flocking to the gospel? Preaching the gospel is hard work. This is why the scriptures always speak of it in terms of work–harvest, labor, etc. We need be under no delusions that we will save all (people have this stubborn thing called a will), but we can save as many as we can.
        The call to come to Christ is to forsake all, take up the cross, and follow Him. It is to lose our life (yes, our identity, our attractions, our hang-ups) and find our life in Him. It is a hard truth. We are asking people to go willingly to crucifixion, to mortify or put to death the deeds of the body. Ouch! What? And that is the offence of the gospel. No matter how loving and tender and gentle we are in laying out the claims of Christ upon the soul, there is always going to be that knee-jerk reaction, that repulsion, the shrinking of the flesh away from the fine point of the nails. But in the end, there is resurrection to new life, a greater life of joy and peace and brotherhood and…eternal life.
        What a trade! What worlds of ecstatic glory the love of Christ opens to our view!

        • Beautiful and pointed response regarding the truth of the matter.
          I do need to continue to get better about being able to share my experience and perceptions without coming across as demonizing the LGBT community. That’s certainly not what I’m trying to do, even if I do feel like there are some demonic presences within the community. It’s hard for me to consider LGBT community as just another people group because it’s so much more complicated than that, although I do feel like LGBT community has begun to develop almost as a religion unto itself. It’s frightening thing to make sexuality become your faith, but there are many evangelical churches who idolize marriage in such a profound and exclusive way that they also are making their sexuality their faith to exclude others. Both groups don’t really seem to know what they’re doing.

  • I know it was said as a joke on the “Labels” podcast, but I really do like the label Y.O.B. It’s short, to the point, and can mean many different things. I’ve never witnessed a community who had experienced so many of the same feelings and events as YOB, so why not call ourselves, YOBBER, YOB. It’s as good an acronym as any other, maybe better.

  • Yikes. Reading through the comments, I see that there’s some controversy over what the author means by this rather charged headline. It’s attention grabbing but not fully accurate for the bottom line of the piece. I see what the beef is: the church doesn’t get people like us and creates tension, and we who struggle with SSA experience conflict on many sides. But that’s no reason to find appeal in the LGBT community, which gives a willing and unrestrained nod to all manner of perversion. Again, yikes. There are so many scriptural problems with this thinking, I don’t even know where to begin. The Bible talks about us being in the world but not of it. Certainly we should seek to be missionaries to those in the LGBT community; after all, they can never find freedom apart from Christ. They need to hear this message. But to sincerely find the idea attractive of identifying with this movement in any way, shape, or form is indeed upsetting. I think a follow-up article of clarification might be helpful. A lot of us are wondering where on earth YOB is going with sentiments like this. Even with a good motive of wanting to help these people, seeking to identify with LGBT? What? Should we be like Lot and move into Sodom to reach the people there? I’ll double-check my Bible, but believe Lot was badly mistaken to pitch his tent that direction.

    • Was Lot actively seeking to minister to others or was he just after the land because he wanted wealth? Check your Bible because that is what I see in Genesis. As well, there is a striking difference between identifying as LGBT solely because I am not straight and living a life that immerses me in gay clubs as the source of my satisfaction and Fulfillment.
      A clarifying post will be coming. I hope it will clear up some confusion.

  • Dean

    I write under this pseudonym account and do my best to pursue Jesus Christ every day. I fail often, yet I get back up each time. I am married to an incredible woman I call Lisa – she is far better than I deserve. My daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life. And in my spare time, I watch my favorite TV shows and movies, play RPG video games, and hang out with my friends. Yes, I am a nerd and I am proud of it.

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