Even The Sparrow Finds A Home
It all began in our most desperate hour . . .
Locked away with our lifelong secrets, we turned to Google and typed those four momentous words: Christians struggling with homosexuality.
What we found would turn the page on our stories forever – a Xanga community of men blogging boldly about faith, homosexuality, and masculinity. Their stories spoke life into our starving hearts: we were not alone.
One by one, we joined the fold, welcoming one another as our stories spread to other lonely bedrooms around the world. For five years we forged unlikely friendships with one another — unlikely for our diverse locations, though quite likely for our common struggles and Savior.
When Xanga shut down in 2013, our community suffered a blow. For two years, our story went dark.
Everything changed the summer of 2015 when ten former Xangans gathered for a weekend retreat – most of our first times ever meeting one another.
Our three days in the hills of Tennessee felt like something from a storybook. Tucked away from the rest of the world, we laughed and cried and prayed together, sharing our stories anew, and rediscovering the force of our unlikely-likely brotherhood.
We left those Tennessee hills grateful for our renewed, beautiful brotherhood but burdened all the same. What about everyone else still struggling to reconcile their journeys with faith, homosexuality, and masculinity?
If they turned to Google as we did all those years ago – and certainly they were – what would they find? What wouldn’t they find?
Returning to our respective homes around America, we resolved it our duty to reestablish our online community of old. To open our arms for the lonely, hopeless, and desperately searching. To retell our stories and affirm for a new generation what we once discovered for ourselves all those years ago:
You are not alone.
The fall of 2015, we launched Your Other Brothers (YOB) as a blog, later creating a podcast and a YouTube channel. We started gaining readers, listeners, and viewers, and we began realizing something.
These people were more than mere followers and occasional commenters, and we were doing more than just telling our story; we were building a dynamic community, and they were becoming the story too.
In 2016, we created a secret Facebook group for our Patreon supporters, and soon more community pieces would fall into place: multiple Zoom calls each month, a Discord server, and even supporter meetups and annual retreats.
The spring of 2018, forty-seven men from America, Canada, and the United Kingdom united in the hills of North Carolina for our first YOB retreat: single to married, twenty to sixty-six years old. Our inaugural weekend together bore the echoes of a smaller retreat in the neighboring hills just three years prior.
We met in small groups and large ones; we worshipped God under one roof and struggled to say goodbye.
“Like a long lost family reunion,” someone said of our first-time gathering – indeed, a now familiar refrain several retreats later.
And the journey continues! We share our stories for fellow gay or same-sex attracted people of faith, because we are with you as your other brothers. And we share for heterosexual people of faith, because we are your other brothers, too – not outside the Church but here in your midst, yearning to be known and loved like anyone else in the pews beside you.
We never chose our story, but we believe we have been chosen for one another in this story.
So, settle into your seat – and if you feel so bold, grab a pen. Our story’s pages turn from Xanga to today, and we have this unshakable feeling that you, too, have some tales to tell.
We have seven values that shape the past, present, and future of YOB: from our humble beginnings as a blog to our evolution to a podcast and video channel with a thriving online community. Our first three values center on our relationship with God; our middle two values with self; and our final two values with others. All seven values point to who we are in Christ as we strive to follow and become more like Him, both in our storytelling content and our story-living community.
We faithfully follow the Spirit’s call to endure the brokenness and injustice of this world for the promise of restoration to come. We lament in the “not yet,” ever fixing our eyes on Christ with the strength and light He gives us.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
— Psalm 42:11 (ESV)
We humbly walk with the posture that we are not our own, bought at a price, trusting God’s story beyond anything we could pen for ourselves. We faithfully follow our Author’s lead, whatever the culture, living our stories for His glory and not our own.
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'”
— Matthew 16:24 (ESV)
We confidently proclaim our joy in the Lord. We praise God for every good thing He’s given us, in spite of our struggles, and often because of them, including this community with whom we gratefully journey alongside.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
— Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
We boldly confess our struggles and shortcomings, not for the purpose of glorifying our sin or brokenness, but as faithful stewards of the testimony we’ve been given. We share to point others to God’s past and ongoing work in our lives.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
We regularly self-assess, both individually and collectively. We confess our sins, our misrepresentations of God, our miscommunications with others, and our otherwise falling short. When we fall down, we climb again.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
— Proverbs 4:25-27 (ESV)
We openly embrace all who wish to navigate this journey with us. We are a multi-denominational, global community of men and women, gay and straight and everything in between, our many diversities joined by spiritual kinship in Jesus Christ.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.”
— Ephesians 2:19-21 (ESV)
While we welcome anyone to the table, we do not settle for shared commiseration. We spur one another toward continuing growth in Jesus, creating disciple-making disciples as He has charged us in the Great Commission.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
— Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
Meet the guys who contribute to YOB via our blog and podcasts, and feel free to email any of us! We’d love to hear from you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s just say we’ve gotten some questions over the years. Here are the most commonly asked ones!