Out of the Closets and Into the Pews!

My piece for AmCon on gay Christians coming out is online!

Coming out of the closet is the simplest tool of the gay movement, yet it’s proven to be the most powerful and even the most spiritually profound. On the political side, Pew Research data this year found that knowing someone who is gay was the most common reason people switched to supporting gay marriage, and the percentage of people who know someone openly gay has risen over 25 points since 1993.

But on a more personal level, coming out is a practice of honesty and integrity—no more “pronoun games,” no more hedging and sudden silence when the conversation turns to romance or visions of one’s future. The coming-out narrative transforms a source of shame and stigma into a freely accepted, simple truth, which no longer excludes one from the ordinary social world. Coming out allows deeper bonds to be formed: not only romantic relationships but deeper friendships, more honest familial ties, and more pointed and relevant relationships with spiritual guides such as confessors or pastors.

As the gay movement has enjoyed remarkable success, a new kind of coming out is occurring, in which gay or same-sex attracted Christians openly discuss both our sexual orientation and our desire to live according to the historic teaching of the Christian church, which bars sexual activity outside marriage of one man and one woman. As gay Christians—an unavoidably reductive term—come out, our presence is changing the culture of our churches.

more (WITH BONUS KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER)

About Eve Tushnet

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