I’m queer. That is how I now identify my sexuality. And it’s how I can best define my experience of gender, too.

Let’s explore this, shall we!

Regarding my sexuality, I’ve always struggled with how to identify. When I first came to accept my sexuality, I went with “gay.” But I was never really public about this.

Years later, encountering these brothers who’d one day form Your Other Brothers, I used “SSA,” or same-sex attracted. We didn’t have many other options back in those days.

Fast-forwarding several more years, I realized I don’t necessarily like this “SSA” identifier. It’s not that it doesn’t describe me; I am attracted to other men. But it felt cumbersome. And it felt like it didn’t accurately describe me.

For one, I fell in love with and married a woman. I find her attractive — but in a unique way, unlike other men or women. I also find a person’s personality incredibly important in attraction. And I do not have a massive sex drive.

This left me dancing somewhere among the pansexual, asexual, and allosexual scales.

So, I just decided I wouldn’t define my sexuality. I was simply Dean — not straight Dean, not gay Dean, not SSA Dean, not anything Dean.

And it felt like I’d won. After all, I was placing my identity in Christ, right?

Well, I encountered a problem. I’d left my sexuality “undefined,” and it’s not just that I didn’t label myself — it’s that I also didn’t bother to understand myself.

In my pursuit to grow more like Christ, I was setting aside part of my life as a mystery spot. How could I submit my sexuality to Christ if I didn’t even know what it was?

Thus, I started exploring sexual identities again.

For a while, I thought pansexual was the one for me. But I didn’t need to know someone’s personality to find them attractive.

So, maybe I was asexual? But I found that one lacked the ability to describe my sexuality for other reasons.

Eventually in my research, I came across the revival of the word, queer — a word that was once a slur, a way to degrade LGBT individuals. However, language is always under the influence of culture. In this case, the LGBT community took the word slurred against them and flipped the script.

The queer identity became a badge of honor, not disgrace.

Something about this story — something disgraceful discovering honor — resonated with me. Perhaps the queer identity reminded me of my redemption in Christ.

How does that old hymn go?

Amazing grace . . . that saved a wretch like me . . .

How powerful for a word once used negatively now to be used positively.

I realized “queer” reflected both my sexuality and gender identity. I still bear the scars of gender dysphoria; while it is no longer a present or active part of my life, it impacted me greatly.

As such, I don’t feel like a cisgender male (one whose sense of male identity fully matches their male biology). I’m not transgender or agender at all — but I also can’t say I am this full, 100%, no-doubt-about-my-gender guy.

Queer fits me well. I’m different. Maybe just slightly, but just slightly enough. Something that was once negative, my dysphoria, is now positive: my scar-bearing gender identity.

I’m aware many of our readers may not like this. I’m prepared to get hit from all sides. If nothing else, please understand this:

I’m queer. I’m a child of God. And I have a desire to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ shared with all who need to experience His great love.

Do you also identify as queer? What journeys with sexual identity and gender identity have you taken to this point?

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