Live Chat this Evening

picture for live chat

Don’t forget tonight’s Live Chat from 7-9pm CST today, Feb 25th. And for all of my West Coast homies, I’ve started a rotating Live Chat schedule in 2010 for later in the evening, like tonight, so you can have an easier time participating – just check the Speaking Schedule above.

Here’s how to participate in the Live Chat:

-Click on the ‘Live Chat’ button on the top of the page

-Type your question into the chat box at the bottom of the page (but make sure you ‘Copy’ it before you press send, because the first time you press send it will be deleted – don’t worry, this is normal).

-After you press send, a box will pop up that asks for you to either ‘Log-in’ or ‘Sign-up Now’. Sign-up for free, and then when you’re registered, you’ll be able to ‘paste’ your question in the chat box.

-From there on out, you’ll be ready to roll each Live Chat!

Talk soon.

Much love.

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  • Ryan

    I really wanted to be at tonights chat but unfortunately it was scheduled at the same time as another event I felt I needed to attend here in Charlotte, NC. But I did want to share about this event that I am attending.

    I am going to a church here in Charlotte hosted by a church called Myers Park Baptist which was a Church that broke from the North Carolina Baptist convention (or they may have been kicked out. I am a little unclear on the details) over their accepting nature of LGBT community.

    Tonight they are hosting a talk by Mitchell Gold who if you do not know edited a book called Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing The Personal, Social, And Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America.

    If you have not read this book I would highly reccomend it. Mitchell will also be accompanied by two people who told their stories in the book who are here in the Charlotte area.

    I have only gotten a chance to read one of the stories of a young man named Matt Comer. Matt is the editor of a newspaper called Q notes which is a local LGBT newspaper destributed here in Charlotte. I was very taken with Matt”s of growing up gay in an ultra conservative church in a Winston-Salem NC.

    In my own journey I can definitely say that growing up gay in the church has been a crisis experience in my life. I cannot express the isolation and depression I go through on almost a daily basis and I have never had as much as a gay friend to relate to. I never sought help in the gay community because I was always taught to fear them because they were there to lead me astray.

    So I would ask that you pray for two things tonight first for the event which is also a benefit for two youth organizations called Campus Pride and Time Outh Youth that help LGBT teens. First please pray that as a whole this will serve as a time to show support and healing and to build bridges for the group as a whole.

    And second please pray for me personally. I desperately need to make connections with people who will support and understand me. Every day it is harder and harder for me to deal with the isolation I feel.

    Andrew thank you for the work that you are doing. It means so much to me that you took a stand. It gives me hope that in the future things will change.

  • I have had a few conversations with Mitchell a few years ago – I doubt he would even remember. But enjoy your time tonight. Look forward to the next Chat you can be a part of. Much love, and I will pray for your time tonight.

  • Seth

    What a privilege to participate in tonight’s live chat. There’s some great stuff happening here! I won’t be able to attend “Living in the Tension” next week because I’ll be out of town on business-shoot! Next month for sure. Thank you!

  • Ryan

    Hey Andrew thank you for your prayers. Hopefully you will see this post. It is difficult to put into words the experience I had tonight. When I got to the Church they had a reception before the meeting. I felt totally out of place and was alone so I just stood off to the side.

    When it was time for Mitchell to speak they had tables set up. I went into the room and went to a table nobody was at but a guy came over to me and said “You cannot sit alone come and sit with us” which really put me alot more at ease.

    Mitchell spoke for a while talking about the crisis his own experience growing up gay and the reason he put this book together. After they asked if anyone had any questions I mustered up the courage and went to the mic and just shared how isolated I have felt all these years in the churth and how important I thought his book was.

    After the talk many people came up to me thanking me for telling my story. And several people from the church made it clear that I was welcome to come back. The pastor of the church made a point to come up to me and tell me that God loved me. And another guy came up and invited me to a support group.

    I wish I had seen your post before I went because Mitchell came up to me and thanked me. I was going to mention your book but we kind of got side tracked but if I had known that you had talked I definitely would have made a point to mention it to him.

    I would really encourage you to try and reconnect with him because I think you could both be important allies in what you are trying to accomplish. If that would interest you I would be more than happy to help in any way I could. I could probably get a message to him through some of the people I met tonight.

    Thanks again for your prayers. I can assure you that you and your book have been instrumental in what gave me the courage to go tonight. I hope someday I will get a chance to tell you the whole story about the things that have happened since I read your book.

  • Mrs T

    Ryan: Don’t you dare give up! There are so many folks who would be glad to be your friend & encourage you. Are you able to get on facebook? I bet Andrew could connect you with others to chat with & you can follow his work from there. You’ve come to the right place. Welcome!!

  • Oh my gosh…Ryan, I just read both your posts and have to tell you I’m moved beyond words. First, I have read “Crisis” and have recommended it to MANY MANY people, gay and straight alike. It’s a wonderful look into what gay youth in America go through. Second, your story reminds me a lot of my own, having grown up in East Texas, which is probably as equally conservative as your area there in NC.

    You must know you are not alone! I know how daunting it can be to even think of telling the truth when you know the outcome (or, at least you think you know). But, I also know how liberating it is when the truth is finally spoken. I was pleasantly surprised and extraordinarily grateful for the friends I’ve GAINED since I did.

    If you have any interest at all, I’d be happy to share a bit of my story with you. I think, just maybe, I could offer at least a little encouragement to you. If you think that might be something worth the effort, you can email me at If not, then know I will be praying for you. I’ve been where you are, brother, and I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s not a truck! 🙂

    Blessings to you!

  • Ryan

    Hi Jason and Mrs T thank you for your kind words and I will see about the facebook page. I really appreciate the encouragement. And Jason I will contact you at some point I appreciate your willngness to be a support and am looking forward to hearing your story also.

  • Ryan–want to add my voice to Jason and Mrs T’s! In working with Mitchell on editing CRISIS, I met many wonderful people of faith who are welcoming of all people. Facebook is a good idea. You can contact Mitchell through his page (Mitchell Gold) and the organization he founded, Faith in America (at too). And maybe Andrew could let our executive director of Faith in America, Brent Childers (you probably also met him at the church?), know about Andrew’s book, as well ( Thanks for your kind words about Mitchell; as his sister–in-law, it’s always great to hear his hard work and deep commitment are appreciated! Will let Mitchell and Brent know about your post and Andrew’s book. Wish I could have been at the event–it sounded amazing. I watched a video of Mitchell speaking on Facebook!

  • Ryan

    Mindy, I dont know if you will see this but I hope that you do. Thank you for your encouragement! I have no Idea how you even saw my post. But to tell you the truth it is kind of freaking me out (not in a bad way).

    I am extremely passionate about working on this issue. I am working on my bachelors in Sociology and one of my biggest interest is this convergence between the church and the LGBT community. I have big hopes the work that people like you, Mitchell and Andrew are doing. And I so desperately want to be a part of that work.

    In growing up in the church and being gay I have spent so much time thinking about this issue that sometime it almost consumes me. But the isolation is what has been the hardest to deal with because I feel like I am fighting a war all by myself.

    When I saw an interview on the internet with Andrew it turned my world upside down. It was a life changing moment one of thos moments that I felt I had to do something. And Mitchell has reinforced that same spirit in me. I can no longer sit on the sidelines and be a spectator. I truly feel this is a calling by God and something he has been preparing me for my entire life.

    I did speak Brent and told him about Andrews book although I think he may have thought I was crazy talking about a straight guy who moves to a gay neighborhood.

    Thanks again for your encouragement. If you watch the whole video you will actually see me on it. I know that because Brent asked me if they could use the footage of me. I hope I will get a chance to meet you someday and to see Mitchell again. Thank you for your book I can’t tell you how much it means to me. As with Andrews book I will be your biggest advocate in telling people about this book. Take care.