Then it hit me. That feeling I’ve felt far too often over the past twenty-seven years. Shame. I noticed an attractive player on one of the teams, and then a painful void opened up in my gut.
EQUIP has designed and tested a program, called Coming Out & Gay Pride: A Compassionate Christian Response, that invites Christians to think deeply and have healthy conversation about these topics. Better yet, this year your church can host Coming Out & Gay Pride at so that your members can learn how to respond compassionately to gay pride and coming out.
What’s our vision for churches? That they would pass EQUIP’s Gay Teen Test. Our Gay Teen Test asks whether what gay teens in your church hear and see sets them up to fail or flourish. Does a mix of silence and hypocrisy in your church lead teens to reject a traditional sexual ethic and, often, God altogether because of their confusion, shame, fear, loneliness, and hopelessness? Or does your church courageously lead compassionate conversations about God’s love and plan for all people, setting up gay teens to embrace the beauty and the burden of the gospel?
Will is a 17-year-old gay Christian, and Frank is a 60-year-old gay Christian. I’m not using their real names, but their stories are very real. Separately, the two emailed me back and forth over a weekend, and by the fourth email, I couldn't help feeling some deja vu. At times, it felt like I was talking to the same person, just 43 years apart. They both struggle mightily to obey Christ’s teachings and find joy as gay Christians, and neither of them feel like their church has anything meaningful to offer them.
Boy Erased highlights a theologically and psychologically destructive school of thought. The practice of gay conversion therapy has led millions of LGBT+ Christians to lose their faith and commit suicide. And these ideas and practices continue today, albeit in more subtle ways. The Church must repent of what we have done, and we must make sure it never happens again.