Our leadership, contributors, and community members may not collectively endorse every one of these resources, but some of us have found value in these books, blogs, podcasts, and ministries also focusing on matters of faith and sexuality. We hope any may bless you in your own journey!
Every third Wednesday of the month our Patreon community gathers on Zoom to discuss a new book together! We aim for a diverse array of authors, perspectives, genres, and focuses as we relate our own navigations of faith, homosexuality, and masculinity. We may not always align with what we read, but we’ve never had a bad book club discussion! Perhaps some of the books we’ve read over the years will spark connection and be helpful to you, too?
- October 2020: The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs
- November 2020: The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
- December 2020: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
- January 2021: Unwanted by Jay Stringer
- February 2021: Single, Gay, Christian by Gregory Coles
- March 2021: The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
- April 2021: Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach
- May 2021: Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund
- June 2021: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
- July 2021: A War of Loves by David Bennett
- August 2021: Sex God by Rob Bell
- September 2021: An Impossible Marriage by Laurie & Matt Krieg
- October 2021: From Wild Man to Wise Man by Richard Rohr
- November 2021: Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
- December 2021: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
- January 2022: Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren
- February 2022: The Relational Soul by Richard Plass & James Cofield
- March 2022: Gay and Catholic by Eve Tushnet
- April 2022: Deeper by Dane Ortlund
- May 2022: Redeeming Sex by Debra Hirsch
- June 2022: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- July 2022: Torn by Justin Lee
- August 2022: Scary Close by Donald Miller
- September 2022: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- October 2022: Out of a Far Country by Christopher & Angela Yuan
- November 2022: The Giver by Lois Lowry
- December 2022: The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
After an Eden’s upbringing in eastern Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Tom Zuniga’s world suddenly gave root to an alien existence of struggle. Initiated by an 800-mile move from the only home he’d ever known, he started warring in unforeseen ways: isolation at a Southern Baptist church and bullying at a Christian high school, all the while fiercely determined to conceal sexual secrets spanning his entire childhood. It wasn’t until after college with a fresh start in a new state and two pivotal summer excursions that a foreign thread of redemption started spinning among the struggle. Struggle Central tells the quarter-life quest of an introverted Christian’s desperate cross-country search for purpose and belonging, both inside the Church and out. Brimming with tears of heartache and euphoria alike, Zuniga’s candid collection of “messy memoirs” follows life’s arduous journey through endless valleys and perilous climbs, reveling in the breathtaking peaks to be discovered along the way.
“Gay,” “Christian,” and “celibate” don’t often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God’s “No” to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God’s will for believers who experience same-sex desires? Those who choose celibacy are often left to deal with loneliness and the hunger for relationships. How can gay Christians experience God’s favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt? Weaving together reflections from his own life and the lives of other Christians, such as Henri Nouwen and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Hill offers a fresh perspective on these questions. He advocates neither unqualified “healing” for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness. “I hope this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ,” Hill writes. “In so doing, they may find, as I have, by grace, that being known is spiritually healthier than remaining behind closed doors, that the light is better than the darkness.”
Friendship is a relationship like no other. Unlike the relationships we are born into, we choose our friends. It is also tenuous–we can end a friendship at any time. But should friendship be so free and unconstrained? Although our culture tends to pay more attention to romantic love, marriage, family, and other forms of community, friendship is a genuine love in its own right. This eloquent book reminds us that Scripture and tradition have a high view of friendship. Single Christians, particularly those who are gay and celibate, may find it is a form of love to which they are especially called.
Writing with deep empathy and with fidelity to historic Christian teaching, Wesley Hill retrieves a rich understanding of friendship as a spiritual vocation and explains how the church can foster friendship as a basic component of Christian discipleship. He helps us reimagine friendship as a robust form of love that is worthy of honor and attention in communities of faith. This book sets forth a positive calling for celibate gay Christians and suggests practical ways for all Christians to cultivate stronger friendships.
In an age where neither society nor the church knows what to do with gay Christians, Greg Coles tells his own story: Let’s make a deal, you and me. Let’s make promises to each other. I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I’ll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I’ll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I’ve whispered a thousand times since: “I’m gay.” I’ll show you the world through my eyes. I’ll tell you what it’s like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I’ve chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I’ve bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred. But I promise my story won’t all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I’ll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I’ll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, “You are not a mistake.” I’ll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most brokenhearted. If you’ll listen, I promise I’ll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.
Greg appears on our YOBcast 074: Belonging.
Religious faith reduces the risk of suicide for virtually every American demographic except one: LGBTQ people. Generations of LGBTQ people have been alienated or condemned by Christian communities. It’s past time that Christians confronted the ongoing and devastating effects of this legacy.
Many LGBTQ people face overwhelming challenges in navigating faith, gender, and sexuality. Christian communities that uphold the traditional sexual ethic often unwittingly make the path more difficult through unexamined attitudes and practices. Drawing on her sociological training and her leadership in the Side B/Revoice conversation, Bridget Eileen Rivera, who founded the popular website Meditations of a Traveling Nun, speaks to the pain of LGBTQ Christians and helps churches develop a better pastoral approach.
Rivera calls to mind Jesus’s woe to religious leaders: “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them” (Matt. 23:4). Heavy Burdens provides an honest account of seven ways LGBTQ people experience discrimination in the church, helping Christians grapple with hard realities and empowering churches across the theological spectrum to navigate better paths forward.
Bridget appears on our YOBcast 087: Heavy Burdens.
Christians who are confused by the homosexuality debate raging in the US are looking for resources that are based solidly on a deep study of what Scripture says about the issue. In People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle challenges those on all sides of the debate to consider what the Bible says and how we should approach the topic of homosexuality in light of it.
In a manner that appeals to a scholarly and lay-audience alike, Preston takes on difficult questions such as how should the church treat people struggling with same-sex attraction? Is same-sex attraction a product of biological or societal factors or both? How should the church think about larger cultural issues, such as gay marriage, gay pride, and whether intolerance over LGBT amounts to racism? How (or if) Christians should do business with LGBT persons and supportive companies?
Simply saying that the Bible condemns homosexuality is not accurate, nor is it enough to end the debate. Those holding a traditional view still struggle to reconcile the Bible’s prohibition of same-sex attraction with the message of radical, unconditional grace. This book meets that need.
Preston appears on our YOBcast 073: Gender Identity.
What does it mean to be gay … and a Christian? Beginning with how the Bible describes sex and gender in Genesis 1-2, author Nate Collins provides a theological framework for relating sexuality to gender identity. He unpacks biblical concepts like desire, lust, and temptation, and applies them to modern constructs like sexual attraction and orientation.
In addition, Collins explores the theme of identity, focusing on facets of personal identity that are central to the experience of Christian gender minorities. He looks at what the Scripture says about the formation and function of Christian identity, highlighting several theological and sociological tensions.
Finally, Collins helpfully outlines a theology of reconciliation that challenges the Church to examine the obstacles that inhibit Christian unity and calls straight and non-straight believers alike to patterns of Christian obedience that respect and honor their similarities and differences. He writes for believers who have a traditional sexual ethic and provides a compelling vision of gospel flourishing for gay and non-straight individuals.
In this powerful and personal book, author Rachel Gilson describes her own unexpected journey of coming out and coming to faith… and what came next. As she does so, she addresses many of the questions that Christians living with same-sex attraction are wrestling with: Am I consigned to a life of loneliness? How do I navigate my friendships? Will my desires ever change? Is there some greater purpose to all this?
Drawing on insights from the Bible and the experiences of others, Born Again This Way provides assurance and encouragement for Christians with same-sex attraction, and paints a compelling picture of discipleship for every believer.
Whatever your sexuality, this book is an inspiring testimony of how a life submitted to Jesus will be fulfilling and fruitful, but not always in the ways we might expect.
In this first book from an openly lesbian and celibate Catholic, widely published writer and blogger Eve Tushnet recounts her spiritual and intellectual journey from liberal atheism to faithful Catholicism and shows how gay Catholics can love and be loved while adhering to Church teaching.
Eve Tushnet was among the unlikeliest of converts. The only child of two atheist academics, Tushnet was a typical Yale undergraduate until the day she went out to poke fun at a gathering of philosophical debaters, who happened also to be Catholic. Instead of enjoying mocking what she termed the “zoo animals,” she found herself engaged in intellectual conversation with them and, in a move that surprised even her, she soon converted to Catholicism. Already self-identifying as a lesbian, Tushnet searched for a third way in the seeming two-option system available to gay Catholics: reject Church teaching on homosexuality or reject the truth of your sexuality. Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith is the fruit of Tushnet’s searching: what she learned in studying Christian history and theology and her articulation of how gay Catholics can pour their love and need for connection into friendships, community, service, and artistic creation.
Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones provides practical insights on how to honor God and radically love LGBT+ people in your life. This 150-page, interactive guide is a comprehensive resource that rapidly equips pastors, parents, and all who care. Great for: Christian parents, family members and relatives of LGBT+ loved ones; pastors and ministry teams seeking to enhance care for LGBT+ individuals; staff and faculty of Christian schools, universities and camps; executive leaders seeking to train and equip your ministry team; Christian counselors and pastoral care staff who often care for LGBT+ people and their families; small group study resource.
Guiding Families seeks to eliminate family rejection in this generation. Examples of content: understanding risks LGBT+ youth face (family rejection, bullying, suicidality, and homelessness); real life profiles from LGBT+ young people and their parents; powerful insights from our nationwide parent survey; practical tips for life stages and events (coming out, transitioning, partners, weddings, family gatherings); articles from Christian leaders specializing in LGBT+ relational and spiritual care; guidance on prayer and supplication to bless LGBT+ loved ones — and you.
Guiding Families features an article contribution from our YOB editor, Thomas Mark Zuniga. Check out Lead Them Home and their Posture Shift seminars, a biblically sound, missiological approach to LGBT+ outreach and pastoral care.
Founder, Bill Henson, appears on our YOBcast 065: Loving LGBT+ People.
Host Josh Proctor heads up this podcast that looks at the lives of LGBT+/same-sex attracted Christians who believe in the traditional sexual ethic of the Christian faith and therefore live according to that view whether through celibacy or a mixed orientation marriage.
Laurie Krieg is a teacher, author, and Hole in My Heart Podcast host whose mission is to equip Jesus-followers with a gospel-centered approach to sexuality. Laurie speaks and trains extensively about the gospel, sexuality, and marriage.
This nonprofit’s mission is “to support and encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual, and other same-sex attracted Christians—as well as those who love them—so that all in the Church might be empowered to live in gospel unity while observing the historic Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.”
Several of our YOB authors have attended multiple Revoice conferences. Check out our posts and conversations on those events.