I experience same-sex sexual attraction, which I regard as a temptation to sin. I definitely believe that all gay sex is sin, so I fight that temptation with God’s help. In my case, I have never had enough attraction to a woman to marry one.

Despite these sexual feelings for men, I just can’t bring myself to say I am gay. Here are a few reasons why:

1. One word just can’t accurately describe my same-sex feelings and my response to them.

If someone cares enough to ask if I am gay, he or she deserves more than a one-word answer!

If the subject comes up, I usually take the opportunity to share at least a few sentences. I don’t hide the truth, but I do explain my Christian faith and how that affects the way I deal with same-sex attraction.

Simply saying “I am gay” causes misunderstandings and just does not accurately tell my story.

2. The word “gay” means different things to different people.

I am almost 60 years old, and to most people of my generation a man calling himself “gay” means that he is actively pursuing sex with other men.

To many millennials, “gay” simply means an attraction to men, not necessarily the pursuit of gay sex. Even among younger people, however, there are big variations in how the word is interpreted, and it mostly brings confusion, not clarity.

3. Very often “gay” is not just a description of feelings but also refers to an identity.

I personally don’t want to define who I am by my sexual temptations! Instead, I define myself by something far more important — my relationship with God.

He has changed my heart so that I love Him, and He made me His son. I am a Christian!

I understand when other Christians who also believe what I do about gay sex do call themselves “gay.” They are just using the newer meaning of the word that implies same-sex attraction but not necessarily same-sex sexual behavior.

Still, I find this too confusing and don’t recommend it.

Do you call yourself “gay” if you also hold to a traditional sexual ethic? Why or why not?

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