Dr. John Corvino wrote an article at 365gay.com about LGBTs being defined by their sexuality instead of a number of other facets that make up a person’s fully identity. John contacted me before he published the article because in it he writes about The Marin Foundation and the infamous Chapter 2 of my book.
He and I have met in person and corresponded before, even hanging out for a few days earlier this year. He knows of my broadening perspective on what I’ve been told by my LGBT friends (and those on this blog too…who I consider friends as well ). With that in mind he asked me to write some thoughts for him and the article regarding that process. Although I wrote too much and he didn’t have room to include all of my thoughts, he asked if I could post them here in full so he could link to them from his article. You can read his article here. And here are my full thoughts in response to his question:
It is sometimes difficult for people in the LGBT community to grasp the truth that what I wrote in that section came directly from what many of my LGBT friends and people I know in Boystown told me over the years. Since I wrote that chapter three years ago my thoughts have changed. I wish I would have added more qualifiers before and after I wrote that section; however, today, the reason my thoughts have changed are also directly related to my LGBT friends and people I know in Boystown and around the country describing their connection between their identity and sexual behavior in a different manner than they did even a few years earlier. As I’ve said many times before, I’m not gay. I’ve never had a same-sex attraction and far be it for me to sit from the outside and comment on matters that I have no personal experience with. What I write and speak about comes from the large LGBT community I have close relationships with – from all shades of the spectrum from the far left to the far right. Regarding LGBT identity, sexuality, thoughts and opinions, I very carefully make sure that when I’m in conservative evangelical circles I am doing or saying nothing more than an honest relaying of thoughts, stories and experiences from people in the LGBT community, and what they think important enough for me to communicate to conservatives about. Let’s be honest, if a gay Christian man in a committed relationship and I stood on the same platform and said the exact same words in the exact same manner with the exact same cadence, who would a conservative evangelical audience listen to? Because they would listen to me doesn’t make the situation or the institution right, it just makes it that I must humbly listen and learn more intently to the LGBT community and be responsible to put forth a message that is accurate and representative of as much of the community as I can communicate. One of my main checks and balances is that my inner circle consists of a number of LGBT people (Christian, non-Christian, partnered and single) who hold me accountable. But just as culture shifts, so do words, concepts, politics, perceptions, experiences and cultural norms. My role as a bridge builder is to try to keep up with the ever-moving and evolving times of the differing worldviews, experiences and filters of each community and the disconnect that follows those variations. Sometimes it proves right, sometimes it proves wrong. But the faithfulness to the fidelity of relationship never changes.