Pastor calls his Christian teenage son “disgraceful, demon-possessed poison.” Guess why.

Pastor calls his Christian teenage son “disgraceful, demon-possessed poison.” Guess why. October 8, 2014

Portrait of a Depressed pre-teen boy.

I’ve been trying for hours to think of how to respond to the poor young person who wrote me the letter below. Usually I tell teens in this situation to simply lie to their parents: say you’re straight; smile a lot; get what love from them you can; get out. I advise this because I know often “Christian” parents throw their gay teens out of their house, and having to lie to your parents is a whole lot better than being homeless. But in this case the letter-writer is absolutely clear that lying for them (again) is not an option. So for the first time in nearly eight years of doing this, I have no advice to offer. If you do, share away.

Parents who choose to believe that being anything but purely straight is a sin: Look at what you’re doing. In the name of Jesus Christ who protected the weak and died for the suffering of the world—the Jesus you’ve sworn your life to emulating—please look at what you’re doing:

Dear John,

My name is [deleted]. I’m a genderfluid, pansexual Christian. I’m a 17-year-old high school senior. I live in rural Middle Tennessee with my Southern Baptist Pastor father and my ultra-conservative mom and brother.

I recently tried to come out to them, thinking it would be a weight off my shoulders. When I did my parents put me on lockdown. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere, do anything, or operate any personal electronics without direct supervision.

Worst of all was my dad saying I wasn’t a Christian. I was forced to quit singing in my church choir and praise team, and was told that I wouldn’t be allowed to resume such activities until I confessed my sins to the church.

After a while I became re-convinced that, of course, my dad was right. The Bible was right. I was in sin. So I gave it up. I told them that they were right, that I wasn’t gay, that I needed help, etc. I thought it would make things better for me. It didn’t. I could sing and teach like I could before, but it wasn’t the same. I felt trapped again.

Once again, I began wanting to die. These feelings hadn’t surfaced since before I came out. I started sneaking behind my parents’ backs, reading as much gender-affirming, sexuality-affirming, and progressive-Christian stuff as I possibly could. Your blog posts were like a balm to me during this time. I began to remember that I wasn’t alone, and that Jesus loves me for who I am.

I thought I could go on like this—being true to who I am but on the outside hiding my true self from my parents—until I graduated from high school. But then I got caught.

This time I told the whole truth. It was all exposed now. My dad lost it. He took away my phone, car keys, and laptop access. Coming Out, Part Deux. I was put on an even shorter leash than I was the first go-round.

But this time it was even worse, because this time my dad called me demon-possessed to my face, said I was a disgrace, a liar, a poison, and that for him to ever try to rebuild our relationship, I would have to “get right with God.”

I can’t lie again. I won’t go back to that hell. But I don’t know what to do.

I love Jesus. I love the act of formal worship in church. I love singing praises to God amidst others doing the same. But I can’t do that any more. I can’t do any of it.

Maybe my dad’s right, and I’m possessed, or maybe I’m right, and God loves me for who I am.

I also love my dad. He just genuinely wants what’s best for me. I don’t want to hurt him or my mom, who stood by him “like a good wife should.”

What do I do? They won’t listen to reason. I’m not old enough to leave. I don’t know how I can stay.

Thanks for listening. It means a lot.


I’m the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Cici R Rae

    Sweet beautiful child. You are more like Jesus then those others will ever be. I would look for LGBT services and when you turn 18, run. Run like the wind. Find your truth.

  • I wish I could give these kids a home…..My kids are all gone now and I have 3 extra bedrooms.

  • Laura Owen

    If the kid is drug free and has no crime record and can ease up on the “gender fluid” commentary, I think he should join the military. I’m serious. The kid is out of high school, so he’s clearly old enough. Since the revocation of DADT, the military has softened on gay issues – particularly Air Force and Navy. He can be gay, but not transgender. If that’s a line he can live with, then I think it might be a good idea. And there are certain career fields (like medical) that are more open minded than others. He’ll not only have a paid way out of this hell, but he’ll learn a trade and get money for college. I know a lot of your readers may have negative impressions of the military, particularly in their treatment of gays and lesbians, but I do believe it’s the kid’s best option for a normal life. I’m saying this as an Air Force veteran myself who now works as a social worker with active duty and veteran populations.

  • Laura Owen

    Sorry, I read too fast. I see he’s not out of high school yet. Hang in there. Talk to a recruiter and then GTFO ASAP.

  • Becky65

    At age 17, 7 months seems like forever, especially when you’re miserable, but unless he feels in danger, I think it’s best for him to keep his head down and finish high school. Seeking out a church that accepts homosexuals might be helpful in that he could talk to a pastor and get connected with people who might be able to support him emotionally or maybe even help him get on his feet when he’s ready to leave his parents’ house. A progressive church might be hard to find in his area, but they do exist. An Episcopal, ELCA Lutheran or United Church of Christ church would be a good place to start.

  • HappyCat

    It’s hard to give advice without knowing what, if any resources are available to him, what allies he may have, etc. At one extreme, finding a safe place and running away might be the best alternative. A GED, followed by vocational or community college is probably better than trying to finish out the school year in an atmosphere of paranoia and hatred. Also, finding the nearest LBGT welcoming church (Episcopal is always a great place to start) and talking to the pastor/priest there. They will have a much better grasp of the area’s resources.

  • Jason Bassett

    Ummm, could talk to child protective services, I think that could be grounds for removal. Additionally you may be old enough to emancipate? Depends on the state of course and its one hell of a gamble. Would be great if you could do some searching in advance for an affirming family that would be eligible to take you in.

  • Mom

    Here’s the story I shared about my son….

    This hits home with me.So I’m going to rant a bit…..

    When my son came out, he was removed from playing the keyboard on our church worship team. This was the same young man that our church had “lent out” to another church in the community, since they didn’t have any piano players and we had a few.

    This was the same young man who had played with the worship team for YEARS and was applauded for being such a positive example to youth. Until he came out.

    I want you to understand…… for the years he played on our and the other churches worship team, he was gay. He was also celibate. (which I guess would have mattered in some churches, if he was willing to admit to his great sin in being gay)

    Nothing about his character, or morals, or beliefs had changed.

    The only thing that did change was the lie. The pretense. He decided to tell the truth.

    And because of that he was told he wasn’t good enough anymore to “minister”. It still pisses me off.

    But I’m not angry at the people who were doing what they believed was right. I’m not really angry at the people. (except one, and he’s gone now). I love the people. I still go to church with some of these people. And we probly still disagree on this issue….. Which is fine….. Nobody has to agree with me.

    What I’m angry about is the damnable doctrine. The making a book God. Only seeing a person’s heart towards God thru the lens of the book.

    The fear that keeps people chained to something evil. Something contrary to Jesus.

    Don’t tell me you “hate the sin, love the sinner”. That’s bullshit. Straight out, smelly bullshit.

    Because what you really love is your orthodox bubble. Your theology. Your need to be right. And if you truly “loved the sinner” (which includes everydamnbody), you would not reject a vunerable 19 year old, gifted pianist (whose family was literally already going thru hell) because his sexual preference was different than yours.

    I thank God that my son has a strong sense of right and wrong. And wasn’t crushed by the actions of people he had always looked up to. I thank God that my son didn’t kill himself over the rejection. That he didn’t let his life go to hell because people already had him placed there.

    I thank God all of us got thru it. That we all got thru all of it. And that we’re better for it…..

    So next time you’re tempted to spout off “but the bible says it’s wrong”…. maybe you can pause a bit….. and look at the things in your own life that the bible says are wrong too…. and maybe….. just maybe…… look at the person thru the eyes of Jesus…..

    YOU are not demon possessed….. YOU are not evil. Your dad is. And I get that he’s a good guy. I really do…. but he’s bound by a religious system that insists on this kind of behavior for this topic.

    Worship Jesus alone. Sing to Him in lockdown. Show them grace. Be to them what they SHOULD be to you. Don’t retaliate hate for hate.

    And hang in there…… if you can find a way out…. run. I’ll be praying for you…. you are not alone…. and it’s not your fault.

  • Tanya

    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall he able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:35
    You are sooooo so very loved. You are a precious child of the living God and image bearer of the Divine. Your father is wrong to treat you this way. Is there another family that you could perhaps stay with for a year? Relatives? Friends from school? It sounds like you need to reach out to some other adults who will give you sanctuary. You need to get some people in your corner, but that will mean leaving your parents’ home. And you need to find a new church. You can worship God and re-frame what you understand to be true about scripture. Blessings, dear one. I will be praying for you.

  • utplagal

    I’m a cisgender, bisexual Christian from middle Tennessee—although blessed enough to have very affirming and accepting parents. I know firsthand that it’s an intensely rough environment with next to no resources for LGBT teens to turn to. I am so, so sorry for him (I’m using “he/his/him” because we don’t have suitable gender-unaffiliated pronouns. Come on, English language, get with the times!).

    When he turns 18, he should it out of there (his “home”, his hometown if need be) as fast as he can. If he has any friends who are willing to take him in for a few months, I would ask that favor. What his parents have done could very well be considered emotional abuse by CPS, and no one should ever be asked to bear that toxicity. That’s the LAST thing God wants for anyone.

    He should also do a Google search for LGBT accepting churches in his area (mine was Holy Cross Episcopal in Murfreesboro), contact their pastor/priest, explain his situation, and ask for help. NEVER be afraid to ask for help. Many of the churches that advertise their acceptance to the LGBT community have their short list of resources on hand for those people who need it. They won’t even care what state his faith is in, they will want to help anyway.

    Is he going to college after he graduates? I have the suspicion life will get a lot better for him from there, even if it means taking out loans and working during.

    No one should be forced to grow up so quickly this soon.

  • BarbaraR

    Because what you really love is your orthodox bubble. Your theology. Your need to be right.

    Spot on.

  • Michael

    Short of accusing his father of having molested him (which would get the preacher in trouble with his own church), I know what I would do. RUN as fast and as far away as possible.

    For the purposes of college grants and loans, it would be this kid’s only option.

  • Christopher F.

    As hard as it is to face this, the simple truth of the matter is that you will never be able to change their minds. Its not that your parents are bad people, its just that they’ve lived their whole lives being told this exact same thing that anyone that doesn’t fit into their little box is wrong. They’ve heard it for so long its become part of who they are.

    You can’t change that. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they can’t or won’t change, its just that you can’t make them do it. No amount of logical reasoning will change their mind, nothing you can say will do anything. Even if you came up with the perfect defense, they would just handwave it away instead of confronting it.

    Their opinions may change slowly over time to mellow more, or they might not, but its not going to change in the short term. The more you try to force them to change, the more they are going to dig in their heels against you.

    Now, you should consider yourself somewhat lucky that they’ve basically just perma-grounded you. A lot of parents with this mindset actually abandon their children completely. Kick them out of the house with no support what-so-ever and try to forget they exist. Yours haven’t done that, so they do still care, even if they can’t show it very well right now.

    So as hard as it sounds, my advice is to keep your head down and tough it out until you turn 18, and then get out. Save as much money as you can now (get a job flipping burgers if nothing else) and put that money someplace your parents can’t take it away from you so that you have it ready when you turn 18. You say you’re still in High School, you might be able to turn to a school counselor and ask them to help.

    Keep your head down, and prepare to leave. Have money, contacts, prospects set up ahead of time so that you have options that don’t include park benches. Find/make allies, and people who can get other people to help you (school friends that might let you crash at their place if things get bad, again the school counselor should be able to hook you up with some contacts, etc).

    No matter how bad it feels, you are not alone. There are people out there that can help you if you just let them know that you need it.

  • Jofo

    Let me see if I get this. A Southern Baptist Pastor calls his son “demon-possessed” even though the son is a Christian. That is not theologically correct.

    Seriously, dad is doing more harm in showing his son about Christ than the son is for being gay. It is a shame to see so many gay children from Christian households told to get out and never do they see what true love in Christ is. As a Conservative Christian father of a gay teenage son, I am pained by this.

    As for the son, can he not be emancipated from his family? Is there abuse that is physical? Is there no support system anywhere?

    This dad needs to be a Godly example to his son. This is not how to be a loving father. Dad needs to realize that his son did not surprise God when he came out as gay.

    My son has approached us and asked us if we would open our house if one of his gay friends got kicked out of the house and we said yes. We don’t live in TN

  • Jeff Preuss

    Try to tell your parents over and over that you coming out to them was because you don’t want to lie, that this IS truth, as much as you hate to disappoint them.

    And, if they won’t let you sing at church, sing at home. Because as far away as God might feel to you at this moment, the one thing your Dad canNOT take away is your faith.

    I have no idea how or if this will help mend things with your family, or help you personally. But hold on to what is most valuable: the truth of who you are and what you believe. And the truth that you love and respect your family and couldn’t bear lying to them any more BECAUSE of that love.

    I hope and pray this sort of stuff can help you through until you can find some sympathetic ear closer to home. If there is no headway made with your family by the time you can get out, I hate to say it, but you might have to leave.

    You ARE loved. By God, by us random people on this blog, and by your family, even if they can’t express it the way you need right now.

  • Junie Girl

    His dad’s livelihood depends on his church affiliation, so it doesn’t seem likely that his dad will change anytime soon. His best bet is to see if there is any extended family that would be willing to take him in till he graduates high school. If there is no family, then I would do what another response suggested–find a local LGBTQ-friendly church and ask for help. They may be able to find him a foster home situation. He found John’s blog–hopefully he’s also found It Gets Better. Hang in there, honey!

  • Linda

    “The making a book God.” So true! Bravo!

  • Christopher F.

    Also remember that this is a shock to them as well.

    They’ve been brought up to think you should have been a certain way, and when you didn’t come out the way they expected, they likely felt that they had done something wrong. That they had failed as parents in some way.

    They may be feeling like they have lost control over the situation and are desperately doing anything they can to try and regain some of that control.

    Clearly they had no idea what was happening, so you did drop a pretty big bomb in their laps, their world view is being challenged too. No one responds to their world being shaken up easily, so as hard as it is, you do need to try and cut them a little slack. They’re in a rough spot too.

    Now that doesn’t change that you need to be preparing to leave, but it does help explain a bit of why I recommend staying and toughing it out. There is a slim chance that after they get used to the idea that they might come around a bit, but you need to be prepared in case they don’t.

  • Micah Langley

    You’re 17, bud. I don’t know about your state, but in Oregon, you can flee your home and take up residence at another location at 16 and you’re not considered a “runaway.” I have a pastor for a father, an ultra conservative mother, and my mother’s side of the family is so flamboyantly Christian, it’s no longer “Christian.” I know how you feel. I held my lips tight until I turned 18, but that’s not always the best option. If you feel so depressed, so alone, than the best option may be to leave. Another option is turning to God. I know you’re probably already doing this, but I never felt so good than after “coming out” to God. I never felt so free, so loved. Use God’s patience, kindnesses, and mercy in these times. A good cry with God, is better than wasted breath on deaf ears. Some families, like mine, come around in time. Others never do. As you age, you’ll find that those who love everything about you, to the core, inside and out (like God) – those people are family. Those are the people you surround yourself with. It gets better. I wish I could physically tell you this and offer you a hug, I know I needed that when I was in your shoes. But chin up, the light at the end of the tunnel is closer than you think.

  • Janet Ross

    I live in Canada so not much help to this young man (unless he happens to have duel citizenship) but I would so much love to provide a home to ostracized LBGTQ youth.

  • dawn

    Have him check out http://www.uua.org/ he can remain close with God, and be surrounded by people that are accepting and loving.

  • Lois Patton Plale

    The Episcopal Church accepts everybody.

  • Ana

    This is so truly beautiful that has bought tears to my eyes. I agree that what he needs to do now is keep on praying, singing and being the Grace of Jesus to his parents.

  • Greg Strong

    God is love. You are of God. God loves you. And like you, I believe your parents do love you. One cannot profess a love of God (in whatever form God takes for us) and believe that that love expressed to any other person is a sin or a poison. If you staying home will in anyway jeopardize your health or cause you to consider harming yourself, don’t stay. Reach out locally or via social media to find a place that will help you.

  • This is such a hard situation and very heartbreaking. I want to believe that there are things he could share with his parents that would make a difference such as Linda Robertson’s story (here is a link to her story: http://justbecausehebreathes.com/ ) but I don’t know if that is true. I know that sometimes pastors can be the most closed minded and least likely to entertain the thought that they may be wrong.

    I hope that he and his parents can come to a place where they can love and respect one another even if they never agree about this issue but first his dad would have to repent about the way he spoke to and about his son.

    I pray that this young man will find others outside of his family that will give him the encouragement and support that he needs at this time in his life…a local PFLAG chapter, a progressive church, a local family who will be there for him.

    Whatever this young man decides to do I hope and pray that he will be able to stay focused on the fact that he can have a good, happy, satisfying life in the future, that being gay is not a sin, that being in a same sex relationship is not a sin, that he is not broken because of his sexual orientation, that things are changing and there is plenty of support, encouragement and affirmation “out there” to embrace and surround himself with once he gets away from home. As soon as he can it will be important for him to start building a positive, affirming, supportive community.

  • I would refer our dear, dear letter writer to the Oasis Center. They have a comprehensive progam for TN students who are sexual minorities called “Just Us”. They have, among other programs, emergency shelter for queer youth.

    http://justusoasis.org/

    https://www.oasiscenter.org/#home

    I hate that you are in this position. Please know that you are loved.

  • I think what is being offered here is a story, where we can share resources for this child, where he can make his own decisions, being given a variety of tangible options that he can choose from out of the different options given. His rescue it out there, we want to help him find it.

  • You dear child,
    Let me tell you as a mother, that I wish I lived close, because you’d have a place to stay. I sincerely hope that you find some place soon, with a friend, a distant family member, some place. You do not have to stay in a place that is such a danger to you emotionally, and possibly physically. Look into the links that are being provided here by others. They offer help, real assistance that will help you find your way into a better, healthier place.
    I will tell you this. God loves you, created you just as you are, a beautiful handiwork, full of promise. You are not possessed, crazy, evil..all those are lies told to you by people who are afraid, afraid of what they cannot control, afraid of something they don’t understand, afraid of something they’ve been told is wrong, but never considered themselves the why of it.

  • jimmarti

    Mom, This beautiful letter had to be written by a mother (sorry, guys). So much love and acceptance in just a few words. I also will pray for this young man!!

  • David

    His father hasn’t studied the Bible anywhere near seriously enough on homosexuality. ALL of what he is saying is just NOT true. But Jesus said a lot about Pharisees who put burdens on people that were too heavy for them to bear and did nothing to lift that burden. I so feel for this young fellow. I really do. (Retired Baptist Pastor and Missionary).

  • jimmarti

    Oh, how I would like to read that entire post re: orthodox bubble to my hubby. Such a loving man — and so threatened by homosexuality, as is his church.

  • I just checked, Tennessee doesn’t allow a lot of wiggle room for emanciation.

  • I thought that too. My family has a long history of military service, and it helped most of them fund college educations. One of my brothers retired from the Navy with a masters degree, all earned while in. I’d opt for the Navy or Air Force if I was him.

  • Darcy

    My mother-heart is breaking reading this. I wish I could help in some way. Surely someone is near him and can help with the legal process of getting him emancipated and on his feet? And to offer true love and a support system.

  • Actually, its not really a shock this time around. They’ve known he was gay for awhile, and pressured him into recanting. That he cannot live the lie they want him to has simply confused and apparently infuriated them. He is dealing with the “he won’t fit, so we will make him fit” syndrome. Punishing him serves no purpose. Its not like he got caught spraying CCM themed graffiti, or was clocked going 60 in a 40 mph zone. He is simply hardwired with a small variation.

  • amanda

    Sweet sweet you. You are loved. You are so loved. You are loved by a God who created you in his own image. I know tjat mu words may seem empty but I want so badly for you to be able to feel the embrace of this digital community. You do not deserve this abuse (and it is abuse). You deserve nothing less to be loved for who you are. Every little piece, love.

  • Dana Huntington-Smith

    Dear, sweet boy. I’m so sorry that your parents are so un-accepting They are coming from a place of extreme fear for your soul. I know, I’ve been there between my son and our church/school If you have family or friends you could stay with, please see if you can go there. I know you love your parents, and I pray that they will see the truth, but your home is not longer a safe place for you. I don’t know what your father has in store for you if he thinks you are possessed by demons. YOU ARE NOT POSSESSED BY DEMONS! You are right, God loves you and made you just the way you are. I’m assuming that you are in your senior year of high school. When my son was expelled in 11th grade, he took his GED so that he didn’t have to find a new school. Maybe that can be an option for you. Bottom line is that there are many, many people who know that you didn’t choose to be gay. Your father’s theology is not the only or right one. There are many people out there that will support you, but you most likely won’t find them in your church family. If you can reach out to someone you trust that will step up and take you in, that would be a good place to start. God Bless you; you are loved!

  • Lara

    I think he should call the ACLU LGBT Youth Resource Center of TN: http://www.aclu-tn.org/LGBTYouthCenter.html
    It’s a rough situation to try to ride out, but if there’s anyone else he can possibly stay with, it would be better for him.
    Also, contact the closest chapter of PFLAG – they may know some resources as well. It really does get better, kiddo. God bless you (and your crazy ass family too).

  • Marcia Ledford

    Dear Young Man
    You are a beloved child of God, created in God’s image. I’ve been where you are, raised a Baptist. I am now an Episcopal priest who also happens to be lesbian.

    You are not alone. I started a Christian chaplaincy in Detroit for lgbtq youth experiencing what you are going through. If you would like someone to talk to, email me at madremarcia313@gmail.com.

    The Peace of the Lord be always with you, my brother in Christ,
    The Rev. Marcia Ledford+

  • Cheryl Ingro

    This just breaks my heart. I’m literally sitting here with tears in my eyes. I remember this so well. Having my first crush on a girl, not really thinking anything of it, then sitting in church and discovering that my feelings were apparently disgusting and sinful, as reinforced by my mother, and living with that spiritual torture throughout my teens and early twenties. There are a lot of good resources listed in the comments here, places I wish I’d known about myself when I was a kid. But if you’re reading this, dear heart, please know that you are not alone. All the best to you, and all my love.

  • I’m scared for his safety after reading that. My first concern would be a fear that he will hurt himself. Please don’t. You are in a horrible situation, but you have not created it. You deserve to be loved for who you are. For what it’s worth, I’m sending you lots of love via the interwebs.

  • Michele Mallory-Davidson

    Three weeks ago my daughter’s best friend turned 18 and came out to his grandparents, who were his guardians, and he was promptly put out of their home. I honestly do not understand how people do these things to children they claim to love. To make a really long story short, my daughter came to us begging for a place for her friend to stay. He’s a wonderful young man, so my husband and I got an emergency certification to become his foster parents. Since he’s been a ward of the state for 10 years, the state of Oregon is responsible for his care until he at least graduates high school. So, we’re now a family of four, I know we’ll have bumps in the road, but he deserves every advantage to succeed in life.
    I would hope and pray the young man that wrote this letter has one friend out there in his corner. I never would have imagined gaining a son at this stage of life, it was not a part of our plan, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It was hard for him to come to us and ask, I could see his pain and his bravery is amazing. Please, reach out to someone.

  • Scott

    John, I think you should reach out to Dan Savage and seek advice for this young man — he’ll know what to say. This young man is caught in a cycle of abuse grounded in the so-called gospel.

  • Kathryn

    This breaks my heart. He is 17, and I hope he can find somewhere to stay while he finishes HS. Bless this child, and may his parents find peace in their hearts andopen their arms to their son once again.

  • Except Dan asks me what to say to young Christians in this situation who write to him:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/06/16-christian-and-surrounded-by-bigots-dan-savage-lets-me-answer/

  • James Walker

    dear letter writer,

    God loves you exactly the way you are and in a perfect world you would never even have to think about hiding that. Unfortunately, you’re still under age and living in a state where children are only one step removed from chattel. Unless you have a relative or friend who can help you emancipate yourself, you don’t have very many options for the year or so until you reach the age of majority.

    My advice is to hang in there. The only thing you’re “possessed” by is your desire to live your truth. It gets better from here. You will survive this episode of your life and one day you will look back on it with a perspective you can’t imagine right now. One day you will find people to surround yourself with who will love and accept you for who you are on the inside instead of for their fantasy of “perfect son”. Until then, know that you have supporters here in this community who are rooting for you to thrive and grow in spite of your parent’s foolishness.

    Kindest regards,
    James Walker

  • Scott

    This is different — this is not only a “Christian” question, it’s also “I feel trapped at home and need to get out.” This is Dan’s wheelhouse, so please invite him to give advice, let him return the favor.

  • RainbowGurl

    I am so sorry your parents are doing this. I know that you love them, but you have a right to be in a safe home… and yours really isn’t safe for you right now. Lots of people have listed resources for you here, and I hope that John will arrange something for you. Yes, this may hurt your parents, but please remember– they are supposed to be the grown-ups, and as such, they can accept the consequences of their own attitudes and behavior. Frankly, though they will probably insist otherwise, and may even do a great job of rivaling two-year-olds with the temper tantrums they throw (they wouldn’t be the only parents who do!), they will have brought this on themselves. Let them throw a fit. You still need to keep yourself safe.

  • Pavitrasarala

    I keep searching for the right words to say… maybe it’s because I’m tired or simply too stunned after reading this letter, but all I can manage is this:

    If you really were possessed, you wouldn’t be wanting to be worship and minister the way you did before, with the amount of love and passion you’ve expressed for our Lord. I really believe that.

    I’m truly sorry your father’s pride is more important than you. I don’t have any solutions to offer, but I will pray that one comes to you, and preferably much, much sooner than later. I know what it’s like to live with people who inflict such punishment and cruelty with so much vitriol and try to cloak it as being “good Christians.”

    It’s spitting on the commandment to love one another, is what it really is… and Paul defines simply and clearly what love is and is not:

    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    Dear young man. GET OUT!! Go anywhere but get out while you still can….before they send you to someplace that will be called a place of rehabilitation, or a “Jesus camp”, or some such thing but will actually be a prison. I know it will be a fearful thing to do, but YOU MUST GET OUT. There are places you can go to right away, other churches that will welcome and help you like ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), United Church of Christ (Congregational), Unitarian Universalist, Surely there is one of them in your city. If your city is big enuf it may have a chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), there may be a college with a gay student organization. These people and organizations will not turn you away. They will welcome you with open arms and loving spirits.

    Once you are out, your family will do one of two actions; 1) they will try to take you back from wherever you are by legal means but know that YOU have legal options too (find out about emancipation, the legal concept of being your own legal self tho not yet 18), or 2) they will be actually relieved that you are gone and you will simply not hear from them. In any case, try to prevent them from knowing where you are, initially anyway, or until you are of legal age when they can take no legal action toward you.

    But you WILL find a new family. Keep in mind that “family” is more, much more than mere biological connections. A family is people who care about you and protect you and do nothing to harm you. Keep that last part in mind when you think about your current family; your parents. They may think they genuinely care about you and love you, but they are already harming you and they will do worse if you don’t get out.

    If you were in my city I would take you into my home and heart RIGHT NOW, but I am in Wisconsin so it’s not possible. Know that I and everyone that sees your letter loves you and is asking God to show you a way, and never let go of the FACT that it does get better. There is life and joy in your future. Take it.

  • Chris McKesson

    I really want to say “you are welcome in my house,” but I mean that so sincerely that I won’t even write it here without a serious discussion with my wife. But of course, in reality I suspect the invitation would be moot, since I too live in Canada.

    But really young man, as a soldier of the cross I know you can stand seven more months, and then afterwards you will be free to relocate to any of myriad new, welcoming, situations.

    I am sorry that you are in prison at this time, for no cause of your own (unless honesty is a crime in your culture.) And I’m sorry that you will be scarred by this experience.

    But please hang in there. Please don’t commit suicide – or murder – even the murder of your mind. Cling to what you can, and count the days until you can join the rest of us who live outside the asylum.

  • Yeah, I immediately looked at what Tennessee laws had to say about legal emancipation. The options are few and none of them fit his situation.
    I do hope he can read our comments and know that he’s not alone

  • Renee

    There is no question in my mind that God loves you as you are. I am a 57 year old woman – who left the Catholic church because of the hypocrisy and a WHOLE lot of other reasons. I am no a practicing Episcopalian. Your “preacher” father is not a man of God. He is “preaching” discrimination and exclusivity. This is NOT what Jesus was about. There are hundreds of thousands of people and Christians that would support you. Get away from the hate and find a place where you are embraced.

  • wakingdreaming

    No one should ever join the military.

  • Tina

    He is welcome to move in with me. I am a Christian who believes Love Wins. I’m a single mom, raising a teenage son so they would go to the same high school. I don’t have to check with anyone regarding allowing him to move in. Please, please don’t let these parents send this boy off to one of those conversion camps. I pray with all my might this doesn’t happen. I live in Texas!

    His environment is not healthy, and I hate that because I know suffering from depression can do to a teenager. Years from now, you will be able to work it out with your parents. Hopefully…because in the end…Love does WIN!!

  • John Mayo

    Please leave home. It will be hard. Head to Nashville look up the local Metropolitan Community Church. They can help you find a shelter to stay at. You will need to find work and get on your feet. It isn’t easy but you can. I did and with out the compelling reasons you have. Your faith will see you through. Just find an accepting church and go. They will help

  • Carole

    My precious, precious child. I loved a dear friend through coming out and leaving a well-meaning but toxic family situation. You are, indeed, loved and supported, and it doesn’t seem so now, but you will land on your feet – and on your own terms.

  • Flux

    Listen man, I appreciate your struggle. If these words reach you, I hope they offer some comfort. But what it seems to me you’re dealing with is not mere persecution or judgement or all that other fun stuff, but specifically a sense of hopelessness. As though there are no options and behold one of your favorite writers appears to agree. Many are saying leave which is the rational option, but I feel Shore’s point about homelessness and people on the streets may be even more dangerous. I also get that you still love your parents and don’t want to turn your back. So my advice won’t be practical, I just hope it’s comforting. I say give it to God. Just lay it all, everything at his feet and say “I trust that you will work with me to get me where I need to be.” Maybe that’s leaving right away. Maybe that’s laying low and waiting for an opportunity to leave. Maybe it’s finding some distant relative nearby who can appreciate your plight. But please don’t want to die. And don’t listen to the lies. Your parents aren’t struggling with a “gay son” they’re struggling with ignorance. And I don’t say that as an insult merely that they simply don’t get it. But you’re at the beginning of your journey. And you’re going to have to leave and make your own way sooner or later. Follow God and he’ll make doors where you thought there was only walls. Trust and have faith and try not to carry the burden yourself. Lay it before Christ’s feet and say “Just help me do what needs to be done today and find a direction for tomorrow.” I think that’s all you can do when the chips are as down as they are for you. Allow God to move mountains through you and he will be glorified in ways the world and even the church has yet to understand!

  • Junie Girl

    I think a mix of both is called for here, but we already know what Dan says–do what you have to to be safe until you can get out. Watch It Gets Better videos to find hope. What John needs to chip in is love and affirmation that he is not “demon possessed,” no matter how often or loudly the dad declares it so.

  • Hey kid, I hope you can get to a library or something to read these. You deserve our support. This is ingraining a kind of self-hate in you that is coming out as depression and it’s not right. My mother tried to convince multiple religious leaders in our community to have me exorcised and it left me with this horrible truth: I knew there was no one in here but me, there were no demons to leave, and that meant I myself was a demon. You are not a demon. You are worthy of love. Someone should be celebrating that you are a gender-fluid pansexual. Really. Not even merely tolerating it, but celebrating it. Hold on to your reality and forgive yourself any concessions you make or situations you find yourself in. You are just trying to survive and get out at this point and that is ok. You can do it. Play the long game. Hold on to the common ground you have with your parents as much as you can (eating, laundry, cleaning) and at the same time make a plan to get out. There are national resources out there. When you can call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 .

  • Dear young man, I don’t know if this is a good or terrible idea, and I ask John’s readers to offer their input:

    It sounds like everyone in your immediate circle of family, friends, and church already know you are gay. Is this correct?

    If so, I wonder if you might consider sharing your name, your father’s name, and the name of his church?

    My good or rotten idea: I believe through social networking … perhaps an open letter written with empathy and compassion, yet intended to shame your father and church for treating you so despicably … we could shine a bright light on your dilemma.

    It would not be pleasant, most likely, but since you’re already living in hell, it might well keep you safe, it might help change your parents’ hearts, or it might, if nothing else, push them to let you live with people who love you, just the way you are.

  • Timothy L. Northrup Jr.

    My first question for you would be this: where do you go to school/how are you educated. If you are in a public school system there are things a guidance counselor or administrator or coach could easily do, as mandated reporters, especially if this rises to the level of abuse (and I think it does). If at all possible get the wheels of the state grinding in your favor as well as any other organizations. This is the closest thing I know to imprisonment, and that isn’t legal anywhere.

    And yes, find the help you can, from local social service and LGBT organizations and affirming churches and online. But I haven’t seen the first element included in the discussion thus far–if you are in any form of public education, that is probably your easiest, safest way out.

  • Jean Stuntz

    You are not alone. There are many who are/have been in your situations and there are groups and people who can help you. Find an affirming church. Know that Jesus loves you and so do we. Keep hope alive until you can get out of there. Be like Daniel in the lions’ den.

  • also, if you were to give approval, I’m sure many of us would be willing to call your local police department and report that there may be a need for them to intercede. Like so many people here, I just want you safe.

  • Joy Perrone

    That is some of the best advice. If I lived in TN I would take this child in in a heartbeat!

  • Mark McRoberts

    I wish I could reach out to him. Offer him a home a Christian home. He would learn that he is wonderfully made as a gender fluid young person. But sadly so many children get lost to child services. May God protect you and may he bless you. I will add you to my prayers to grow strong in how God made you , wonderfully made YOU

  • Lori Wells Mang

    Sweetheart, you are not alone. Be assured that of that. You are not possessed, you are not evil or poison. You are a worthy human being with a great life ahead of you. Find a coach, another pastor, a school counselor to talk to. It’s gets better, I promise!

  • Dandhman

    I’ve been through very dark spaces. I beg you, I beg you, I beg you: when you feel like you want to end it, Keep looking for somthing that helps. I promise something will.
    “I also love my dad. He just genuinely wants what’s best for me.” Just remember He’s failing you right now.
    You’re right, remember that once youre gone fro that hateful place the world will be very different

  • Anastasia
    Thank you for this.

  • Shadow Spring

    He can come live with our family. Seriously. Contact me on Facebook L. Kardokus Saywhat. I’ll do all I can to help. Our city has a program, Time Out Youth, also on Facebook, that can help. Best wishes to you young man. Peace and good will to all who wish the same to all.

  • Stephen

    I do have a piece of advice for this young man. This is obviously a very big issue for this young man. If all you had to do to solve this problem was jog around your house non-stop until you coughed up blood, would you be willing to try that? What if you could live on the streets for one month, and have your problems disappear by the time you get home, would you be willing to try that?

    My advice to him is that he should worship God non-stop while talking to Him about the problem in-between until the problem is solved. When I say non-stop, I mean non-stop. Do it as though your life depended on it. Worship and pray with the same intensity as you would going on a dangerous voyage to get the holy grail. Only stop to do necessary things, and when you’re done with those things, get right back to business. Suspend all forms of entertainment and other non-essentials of life and spend that extra time with God. If you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him.

    One last thing, blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. So if there’s any doubtful thing in your life right now, suspend it for the time being. Also, expect a response from God and don’t doubt. Is completely and absolutely giving up one full month of your life for God too much of a price for a lasting solution to your situation? Do you want a solution bad enough to make this sacrifice? If this is unreasonable and impractical to you, then feel free to try other easier paths. But let me tell you that I’ve tried it and it works. Luke 18:1-8 works!

  • David

    I am not a “Christian.” I do not believe. Right now I can offer this young man at least a dozen people of good character who would shelter him and keep him safe, including me and my family. GET OUT OF THERE. Even as a non-believer, I know there is a demon in that house, and that demon is not you. If you are ever in Southern California, there are places of safety and welcome for you.

  • Monte

    I tried that for several years. It didn’t work. Utterly disastrous recommendation.

  • Justin Martindale

    Check out the “It gets better project”.

  • sleeplessdreamer

    godacceptsyou.org…or check out the Church of the Holy Spiritsong on Facebook. The fact you are gay or pansexual does NOT make you not a Christian. Pray for your father…he has it all wrong…our God and Christ are of love, not hate. I know..I had married a man who desperately wanted to be straight when I was a teenager…and no matter what, it wasnt there. His father was a minister as well. You can love your father…duke it out until you are of age and move on…you are who you are and God does not make junk. I go to this church in Ft Lauderdale which is predominantly gay and I love it…and they record their sermons online. Pastor Leslie is awesome…and from this church I have found peace, no hate, no condemnation. Just the love Christ wants us ALL to have.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Zie should pray repeatedly that zir parents could open their hearts to see zir as zie really is, as zie is truthfully telling them. And if God cannot turn their hearts to see the love zie needs from them, zie should get out and find a safe place where zie can still be considered good enough to worship and sing.

  • sleeplessdreamer

    And if you do decide to come to Ft Lauderdale, there are people here who will find a place for you…and our Pride Center is amazing. You are loved and no one has a right to hurl these invectives at you. Too many people in my church have experienced this sort of rejection…it is ignorance, wilful stupidity in the name of the Lord and it is the work of the Devil. Do not give up worship, do not give up on God. He loves you, he created you, and gave his son for you to have eternal life…and I do not believe one chooses to be gay, or bi, or asexual…it is the way you were made, pure and simple. Look up Cristina Plimpton on FB…I am willing to talk to you and put you with people who truly understand what you are dealing with.

  • Susan Barrett-Carter Finazzo

    http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ http://www.glbtnearme.org/ John, if you can contact this young man, have him contact these organizations. There is help, love and acceptance out there for him. He can also google “affirming and accepting churches” in his city, county, zip code or state. I will be praying for him.

  • Laura Owen

    OK, whatever, Dude. My fault for posting my opinion on a public forum. I should know better by now that responses like yours have a way of popping up. You clearly have more enjoyment toward and tolerance for provoking strangers than I do. Good luck with that life plan. I’m out.

  • Jeff Preuss

    My Dad did medical stuff in the Navy, and was the kindest, gentlest soul you could ever meet. Paid his way through medical school by being with them for years, and all he did was help people. Could be an option for the letter-writer in a way that zie could contribute positively to the world and forge zir own identity.

  • George Suarez

    It gets better. Don’t give up. God loves you just the way you are…

  • reconstructorofworlds

    First of all, you’re loved! You are created in the image of our loving God, who is neither male nor female but both and neither, God who chose to make all of us in God’s image yet who gives us all a rainbow of traits because God loves variety. If we were all meant to be the same, then we would have been made that way. We’re not, which is awesome.

    I suggest that you start making some kind of a plan, because you need something to do that will give you hope. Plan what you will do after you graduate, or when you turn 18 and can get out…or even plan how you will make it to the end of the week, if it comes to that. And keep talking to God – the answers will come.

    You are not demon possessed, or a poison. Your father is wrong, and his view of God is skewed. Not once did Jesus throw the oppressed or the wounded or the sinner out of his sight, or tell them to get right with God before he could love them. Jesus welcomed the outcasts as they were. What is the verse? He will not put out a dying flame or break off a bent reed? God loves you.

    I know what it is like to be bullied for something you cannot (and would not) change and what it feels like when it seems everyone is either against you or doesn’t care. Someone cares. Find that one person who will listen, and if you can’t, know that this season WILL end. I can’t promise your parents or church will change in time to help you, if at all, but eventually you will meet someone who can help. Just hold on until then.

    I know this hurts. But when you do get out, don’t let it fester in your soul. The pain of your family’s rejection may never fully go away, but know that God accepts you and loves you and wants to give you peace. Try to forgive your parents, but that doesn’t mean you should excuse their actions. If they reject you, that’s their problem, and their loss. And sometimes that means get out, and get to a place physically, mentally, and spiritually where you can be free to be who you are….a beautiful child of God.

  • Regarding gender-neutral pronouns, we have the singular ‘they’ – which used to be grammatically correct in the past (folks such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen used them); I have no idea when that changed, but it’s still my preferred version.

  • Wait – is there any evidence that it’s a young man? The letter-writer says they’re gender-fluid. Or was there more to the letter?

  • Adam

    This may help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thaDfYtmuZw – Loving who you love, regardless of the gender, is a gift from God.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I assumed boy at first because John’s intro referred to a boy, but since the letter-writer identified as genderfluid, I tried (awkwardly) to use neutral pronouns below. 🙂

  • I’m sorry; yes, it’s a young man.

  • Michael Brian Woywood

    Dear Young Person, Beloved Child of God and Friend of Christ,

    My heart broke in two as I read your letter. I am a youth pastor in Middle Tennessee, and I know the hate and bigotry that exists in the dark corners of this culture. I know the struggles of young people who don’t fit the Christian “norm”, and who have to hide fundamental things about themselves from family members who seem incapable of compassion. I understand the very real danger that you are in and, like many here, I wish that I could help lead you out of that danger. You have a friend and Brother in Clarksville, who thinks that you are one of the most courageous young people that I have ever heard from. Your integrity is far beyond what is normal for your years, and your desire to still be a part of God’s family humbles me. You are NOT sick, or possessed, or poisonous. You are loved and accepted. You owe nothing to a father who would hurt you and a mother who would stand by while he does it. You do owe it to yourself to reject the venom that he is spewing. I love you, Young Person, and you would be welcome in my youth group with open arms. Grace and peace to you.

    Michael

  • Chris Coles

    Letter-writer here. yeah, the kid who wrote the above letter. Thank you, every single one of you, who commented here. The support and love I’ve felt from all of you has made a bigger impct than you’ll ever know. I am homeschooled, so my family is my school support system. It sucks. I have a good, stable job though, and one of my coworkers has offered to take me in. I’ve been in a really dark place the last few days. This was just what I needed. I hope God blesses you all richly.

  • Dear Chris,

    If you can say that your Dad literally – and I do mean literally – is saying you are “demon possessed,” then that is probably enough to have legal intervention to protect you. While the law respects religious beliefs, TN Family Services will not take kindly to such an “accusation.” Government, even in a conservative area, does not tend to endorse demon possession as a legitimate parental concern.

    Please let us know if we can help in any way.

  • Chris Coles

    errm, please don’t take ths the wrong way. You even noting my email ws amazing. I go by Chris ‘cuz it’s neutral. Though you saying “boy” was really great, I am biologically female. Just an FYI so if people like Michael saw me, they’d know who I was.

  • Rev Bindy

    The Episcopal Church welcomes you.

  • Pat O’brien

    Is this what religion teaches, to turn against your own flesh and blood. How very sad when minds become so twisted that they believe this is what a loving god wants. If we are all created by god then how can parents not accept the product of that creation. This child isn’t gay because he choses to be, he is gay because he was created to be gay.

  • Duvessah

    Chris,
    I too am a pansexual, Christian homeschool survivor of Middle Tennessee. I know it’s hell to get through that, especially the last stretch. But do what you can to plan ahead for your 18th birthday and leaving that situation behind you. It’s how I got through. I know it’s still hard but it’s so worth it to push through and get to a point where you love life again. You can do this.

  • I’m guessing there is not a lot in the way of LBGT support in middle Tennessee. If I read this right, you are graduated from high school. If you are out of high school then is there any other reason besides your family to stay in Tennessee? I know it’s home, but you may have to consider going somewhere else where you can get the support you need until you can get it all sorted out as to what you want to do with your life, how to go about getting started as well as what you want to believe about yourself and about God and how you want to live your life from this point forward. My recommendation is to reach out to the nearest LBGT support organization that you can find and see what they can do to help you, and if they say they can’t help ask if they have connections to the next organization who perhaps can, and keep that round of questioning going until someone provides a solution that you can live with.

  • Ana Szot

    Only you can discern what would be the best path to choose from all these suggestions, but as a former foster parent and an adoptive parent, I will tell you that what your parents are doing and saying is child abuse. As a foster parent, I was a Mandatory Reporter, and if I knew your town or address, I would call your local CPS immediately on your behalf to report it especially as it’s causing suicidal depression.

    If you can, safely, you need to leave, until such time as your parents agree to stop the abuse and get help in some way.

    I pray for the resolution of this crisis for the greatest and highest good of all involved.

  • Scott Grannan

    In the second sentence of the letter the writer identifies as “a high school senior.” What led you to think they had graduated?

  • Jennifer

    Duvasseh, I’m sorry, but while there’s scientific proof to show that homosexuality is an inborn biological state, no such proof exists for “pansexuality”. Please, do not compare this to an unchosen and limiting condition or predisposition.

  • Katherine Glindmeyer

    HI, I can’t really give any advice for this but if you could get a hold of me via facebook, or something I would like to give you an email address to someone I know who can, she is an openly gay pastor in my community and if nothing else she is in full support of the “safe place” program and could talk with you and maybe have a few ideas for you 🙂 please let me know.

  • Michael Jon Watt

    Hey Chris – (And John). Wow. I’m just now reading your letter and all the heartbreak you have endured. I’m in Franklin TN and am a gay man. I recently had to break ties with my parents who have never learned to love me and have rejected me for my sexuality… and I’m 47. I can’t promise you that things will ever work out with your parents, but I do know that taking care of yourself – loving yourself – is a brave and Godly thing to do.

    Your parents are blind and you need unconditional love and hugs. I have no counsel or words to offer other than my heart goes out to you. I hurt inside for you, and for all the kids who have endured this sort of godless behavior at the hand of their parents. UGH. Makes me want to scream. If you are anywhere near Franklin and need to connect with someone – let me know. I know other gay Christians (including a pastor) who could potentially help with resources. John Shore and I have corresponded before and he published my own letter after a confrontation with my father – I’m the Former Christian Mime (http://bit.ly/1sg1CWM) … if you need to be in touch, we can sort something out. I have spent far too many decades crying on my bed at night for myself and others like us. God is on our side. You are loved. xo.

  • TTMG

    Hi Chris- stumbled upon John’s site re: post how to care for ailing parent. Appreciated his tone so I found this link. Glad I did.
    I am a spiritual not organized religious person. I live in Portland OR- and before that San Francisco- very LBGT friendly. not every demographic can be so great. BUT there are SO many vast communities US and world wide that WILL SUPPORT YOU> I have not read the comments posts but GO LISTEN TO your inner god and Jesus has approved. The men rewriting the bible for their say for eons is the issue. You being born gay-(and millions others) are NOT AN ISSUE seriously. Except for your folks sadly. Stay with the co-worker and create a new open supportive family. Please save yourself from guilt- totally from doctrine. and the full total eclispe moon is blessing you hon. god bless your life. so be it!

  • Stephen

    I very seriously doubt you did what I recommended in my post. Cause even if there’s no answer to your prayer in the way you are expecting, you still come away closer to God after spending all that time in worship. How is that disastrous? I didn’t ask him to pray non-stop, I asked him to “worship” non-stop in a grateful spirit, pure in heart and with faith. Then every now and then talk to God briefly about his problem. I also said he should talk to God because we do not know how to pray as we ought to, and we have a tendency to pray selfish prayers; however, as he spends this time in the presence of God and searches his own heart, he will understand what to pray for.

    You said you tried this for several years? If you really did, you should be riding your own chariots of fire by now. In all honesty, I don’t see how anyone can last that long without receiving a very special grace from God. This is not your average 1-2 hours a day prayer. You’re literally living in the presence of God- before God day and night. Even when you go out to do other stuff, your mind is still focused on God and just silently worshipping and praising non-stop. You did this for years? Several years?

    Didn’t Paul say we should be anxious for nothing, but in “everything” by prayer and supplication WITH thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God? This is a disastrous recommendation? Is it because it didn’t work for you? The other person (Jeff) that responded even said “if God cannot change their hearts, he should…” I had to scroll back up to confirm if I’m on a Christian or an atheist site because of the stark unbelief.

    In my own experience, silence has never, ever been the answer to prayer. If you hang around God long enough, He will most definitely give you an answer for your situation. I repeat, most definitely. He will either answer your prayer, assure you that it has been done, tell you it won’t be done and that His grace is sufficient or rebuke you and redirect your prayer point. However, He will never, ever keep silent perpetually except there’s something amiss. Jesus was silent to the Syrophoenician woman initially, but even she got a response after she had pestered Him long enough. This initial response was even discouraging, but she kept pressing until Jesus had answered her.

    If you don’t know how to get a hold of God, admit it. Stop trying to prevent other people who want to, who need to.

  • Israel Mendez

    I can relate. I too is a son to a pastor as well as my mother. Yes it’s hard and we fought for a couple years. I’m also Christian, so don’t let anything shake your faith. I’d love to leave myself open to you if you’d like someone to talk to or just support. All I can say is look forward to your future and create your own light. You have all the power in the world to create a happier life for yourself as you get older, work, and live on your own:)

  • Blessings to you, sweet young man. You are not alone…I’m so glad that the commenters have helped. You need never stop loving Jesus. Trust the Holy Spirit who made you just as you are and loves you just as you are.

  • Michael Jon Watt

    Chris, please reach out if you need too. I’m in Franklin – not sure what part of Middle TN you’re in. I posted a longer response elsewhere. I will be praying for you.

  • Jennifer, I’m sorry, but you don’t get to determine what Duvessah believes or their sexual orientation.

  • Jennifer

    Just as I don’t get to decide what science says and what it doesn’t. In some cases pansexuality may come as a natural sexual confusion, not rooted or pre-born as homosexuality is, but caused by some other bodily or mental function. But not every unusual sexual preference is a bona fide, pre-determined design-by-nature that we have no choice over the way so many people prefer to believe.

  • Jennifer

    All right, I’m presenting some less popular questions and points. Have you decided to be or stay a man, Chris? Because what God didn’t do was design us to not know where or who we are, to be in-between like a ghost. You do need help with this; being born as either heterosexual or homosexual are things that are shown by biology to occur with no choice on our part, but being “pansexual” is something else; even people born with more than one or incomplete genitalia almost always identify as one sex and have one sexual preference, because that’s how we’re designed. For every reason of mental, emotional and even physical safety, you need to find your sexual identity and please, protect and guard yourself as the Bible commands for our good. It also concerns me for someone to tell you that you were simply born with an in-between disposition and can’t do anything about it. May God bless you and protect you, and praise Him for revealing Himself to you. I’m sorry your father has decided to act like a dangerous fool by punishing you when you need him most, but your Heavenly Father is greater.

    “I have not read the comments posts but GO LISTEN TO your inner god” Christ is not an inner god, He is greater than that.

  • Jennifer

    I meant to post this on the article excerpt from “Taking God at His Word”, but with one small exception (in the article) Pastor Shore, that is the BEST article I’ve seen on gay issues in the Bible for a very long time. Thank you.

    (I am the same Jennifer as below).

  • I appreciate your passion and compassion, Jennifer. But why is it so important that this young person decide, right now, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual? Surely we can allow people–especially people so young–to live into their sexuality at a pace, and in a way, that feels right for them?

  • Michael Jon Watt! I was just looking at your awesome letter YESTERDAY! One of my favorite posts ever. You rocked that.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you John. He doesn’t at all have to decide right now, I imagine it will be a tough journey and is very hard. But we also have to beware of doing just what “feels” right, because the Bible warns we are easily deceived.

  • Michael Jon Watt

    Hey John! Thank you again for being a voice for the LGBT community. I’m doing a silent mime in your honor right now. HA.

  • Duvessah

    Thank you. But also, in the letter Chris states that Chris is indeed pansexual.. I don’t think Jennifer actually knows what pansexual means.

  • Duvessah

    Chris states pansexuality in the letter, and pansexual is actually less “limiting” than gay or straight. It means a person can be attracted to more than two genders.

  • Brett

    Terribly sorry I can’t offer any firsthand advice for anything you’re going through(straight, went to a public school, don’t believe in a God), but I know how good it feels to read something from anyone, even a stranger saying positive things. With that in mind, here goes.(looking over, I also attempted to include advice)

    You sound like an intelligent (for lack of a better word) kid, there are plenty of things in the wide, wide world for you. There are a huge number of churches in the US(where I am assuming you are) and if you can’t go to your own, there are others you can try. I know this sounds corny but there is some little niche somewhere for you, I know there are churches specifically for non-straight Christians, I know there are support groups and there are college scholarships as well. If possible, college would be a great option; if not, keeping your job and moving in with your friend sounds ideal. According to the bible, god made you perfectly in his image(by the way, the “men shouldn’t lie with men” line is literally a paragraph above a passage about how having tattoos is evil and in the same book as stuff about not wearing clothes of mixed fibers-literally all clothes now have mixed fibers so most people have collectively just ignored or decided that part of the bible doesn’t count. Leviticus 19:28-“Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:19- “Keep my decrees. “‘Do not mate different kinds of animals. “‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”) so you should feel no shame about your sexual preferences. God loves you for who you are and you are most assuredly not possessed. Many many loving Christians are LGBT or have family members/friends that are and they are perfectly okay with that. Back to your story though, it would make for a great college entrance essay and I would really recommend you try to go to college. I’m in college right now and there are plenty of both churches and LGBT groups you could be a part of. Additionally, you would be far away enough from your parents that you could still talk to them if you wanted to but could avoid them saying the horrible, terrible things to you that they have been. Whatever you chose, your parents/family will either eventually realize they love you for who you are or not. If so, then you can reconnect on better terms farther down the line in life and resume a healthy relationship with them. If not, it would be better for you as a human being to avoid them, maybe down the line make your own family.

    Hopefully I helped you out. If not, sorry for everything you’re going through. I promise if you keep on going it will eventually get better. Good luck with your life, I wish you only the best.

  • Brett

    p.s. forgive me for any errors, I didn’t mean it to seem as if I was calling you dumb in the first paragraph, I meant I couldn’t think of a better word than kid for you even though I’m barely older.

  • Remember we had that VIDEO of you dashing across the stage waving a flag? I thought that was part of the post, but I see it’s not. Lucky you! (And so good to hear from you again.)

  • Akito (penname)

    Im no christian….but even I can tell whos truly possessed here. Possessed by the thoughts of his own selfish ideals….no father has the right to talk to their child that way. And no father should ever do so. You will rise above this. You can be better than this. The world is so much stronger and brighter than any of this…. You can always escape if need be. Take drastic measures. God loves you. You will always be safe in his arms.

  • Duvessah

    I’m NOT confused about my sexuality and it’s demeaning of you to suggest it to a complete stranger when you don’t even seem to understand what pansexual means. I know I’ve been attracted to women as well as men and adrogynous people since I was young. I just found a word for it finally. I can’t speak definitively for Chris, but I somehow doubt Chris is confused if zi is to the point of enduring such hardship over it. So I’m going to continue with my original messae: Chris, hang in there. It gets better. You can do this and I wish there was a way for me to personally help you.

  • Randy

    Here ya go Jennifer.
    Human beings, by nature must be, “pansexual” (from the Greek, Pan = all) a complete sexual person. We all possess various sexual possibilities
    generally classified as heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, autoerotic,
    fetishist, sado-masochistic, etc. These tendencies in our nature can come
    out at any time, according to the development of each individual. Children
    are born polimorphoperverse; the curiosity of discovery leads them to play
    with their mothers, touch their genitals, masturbate and investigate their
    excretia. Later, as they develop, they play games of “doctor” as they
    explore the bodies and functions of their friends. All this is perfectly
    natural.
    During puberty their ambivalence is natural and undeniable as they adapt to life as an adult. Only later does their sexual proclivity become more
    crystallized and definite, although the range of options remain open. These
    options are partially repressed or are made taboo, according to the society
    in which they live.
    There’s a tribe in Borneo in which the women live with their children in a
    huge hut, while men live apart from them. In Kenya there’s a nomadic tribe of proud long-living people who have the custom of coupling boys of twelve
    in a ritual of blood-mixing. These male couples remain faithful to each
    other all their lives, wandering far off together, returning to the tribe
    once or twice a year in order to procreate with the women. There are many examples, like the Siwans from Africa, the Sambia in New Guinea, where nearly all males engage in both hetero- and homo-sexual intercourse, but we can leave these to the anthropologists.
    The term “pansexuality” exists already, but with a different meaning to that which I apply to it, indicating the concept to which sexual instinct is the basis of all human behaviour (Freud).
    It is important not to repress any of our pansexuality and to live it
    freely, using good sense. The repression and banning of natural instinct
    creates frustration, often resulting in antisocial and violent behaviour.
    Good sense is embodied in the expression: “Don’t do unto others what you
    would not have them do unto you!”
    Definition of pansexuality:
    Pansexuality includes all kinds of sexuality that can exist in a human
    being, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, transgender, heterosexual,
    tendencies that may prevail either permanently or occasionally.

  • Akito (penname)

    I know how you feel. Trapped. Alone. I had a stepmother who tried to take everything away from me. I was in the most dark place in my life….. but one day, I woke up, and I stopped sinking. I swam. And youll swim too. I can feel it….I know you will.

  • Randy

    Sorry meant for Jennifer, and this is coming from a God loving happy Pansexual that grew up in Georgia.

  • Michael Jon Watt

    I think I begged you not to post it. *cough*
    I’m going to be in touch with you soon. I’ve been working on some writings that I want to share with you. Let me know if Chris needs someone to help advocate for him – I’m in Middle Tennessee too.

  • Jennifer

    Actually, I didn’t think you were confused, I thought you were just as likely knowingly using that term whether it was correct or not. I’m sorry if I myself got only part of the definition correct. We all have to decide whether we believe one can be born with certain preferences, and all I’m saying is that there’s no evidence of bisexuality or pansexuality as concrete as homosexuality. In other words, it’s possible that you are not born stuck in-between and can do something about it, rather than live what every non-hetero person has testified to be a pretty darn hard life sometimes. My suggestion would be that you try to make things as safe and easy for yourself as you can, but that’s your decision, and I hope you stay well.

  • Jennifer

    I’m glad I don’t think we’re all as fluid and prone to just about anything however harmful as you do. It may be natural to be curious, but it’s not at all ok for children to touch other children inappropriately and I hope you wouldn’t condone or encourage that. You may wish to read David Kupelian’s “The Marketing of Evil” to see presentations of other studies in science; just because some societies like the Greeks encouraged just about any kind of behavior doesn’t mean it was inborn.

    “It is important not to repress any of our pansexuality and to live it
    freely, using good sense.”

    So just have safe sex with any and everyone if you choose. How sensible. I’m sorry, I’m a Christian and don’t share such ideas the likes of which have helped make many countries sicker. Your statement and views are not in line with God’s Word at all.

  • Jennifer

    I think his father is utterly possessed by fear. He needs prayers too, folks; the natural punishment that people like the Westboro Baptist church brings on themselves is losing their children and honestly fearing for their souls. It’s an incredibly hard thing.

  • no, you did great.

  • In your opinion.

  • Yes, it is brutal.

  • Jennifer

    Well once again, this is based on something I was told about scientific findings, but I don’t deny the confusion is real. My only real beef is when and if that term is applied to people like porn stars who willingly choose to do it with anyone.

  • Jennifer

    There are only two genders, and people mixed with the two (used to be called hermaphrodites) or perhaps lacking in something.

  • June Schadler

    I’m a christian. Been raise in the life but I’m not prefect and get a lot of hate by my own family who is ‘bible this and bible that’. I get a lot of hate for wearing all black or listening to ‘devil music’ Though Black Veil Brides and Rock is not. They help me out to deal with the hate.

    Though I came to believe that they always say that ‘god made us the way we are’. I always question that little statement. If he made us the way we are then what to christian, like the one that follow the bible 100% judge and pick on people that are different. It’s not right what your father did. parents are to be there for their kids. Through good and bad times. It’s really sad that your father did that to you. I mean I know that it’s hard to deal with things like that. I’m not in your shoes, I’m a girl and love guys. But I know the feeling because my aunts and uncles and being in PA there is a lot of ‘hateful’ people that try to bring me down for the way I act, dress and so much more.

    Though I always go to one thing that makes me happy and smile other then my music. And that is, you can and still are a christian, just because you are different. Doesn’t matter if it’s your music, life, personal things, styles of clothes and so on. As long as you believe…I mean there is times I just talk to god because no matter what he loves everyone and made everyone who they are. Sorry I just keep on talking but just speaking my mind. people sit there and tell me I’m not a christian because I swear and dress in all black and listen to hell music. Though bands are more cooler then people that judge for all the wrong reasons. Try not to let you father get the best of you.

    You are who you are and not one will change that and as one of my favorite quotes from a band member of BVB “Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone” I live by that quote and it helps me through a lot. Also what I learn from other BVB members is follow you dreams, don’t let people take you down, and don’t let people tell you who you are to be. Life is only so long, live while you can and never regret things. and most of all Never give in, Never give up There is nothing that is prefect in this world. There is just good, bad, weird, crazy (good and bad crazy). Anyways done talking lol I talk too much.

    But said what I had on my mind after reading your letter. I mean what I really want to stay would have been so much hate toward your father because people like him really make me mad. But this isn’t to hate on him. this is to help you so be yourself, your parents and brother loves you it’s just they have too much believe in their faith to see that you’re there son and they should be there for you. God made you for who you are and it annoys me that some (mostly all) Christians throw that around without thinking but are yet so judgement when it comes to being gay, bi, listening to rock music, games, and just tons of things. It makes you really wonder why most kids become rebels, or stop believing in god and refuse to go to church. I mean I even stop believing in him and stop going to church because I couldn’t be myself and got a lot of hate for what I wore and listen and so much more. But I found a church that the lady, she takes things from the bible and then relates it to things in the real world like apple (people that make Ifails) and movies and zombies. Something I can relate to as the message.

    But whatever you chose to do, remember, we are who we are. No one can change that other then ourselves 🙂 I’m so sorry that your father is being like that to you but once you move out and whatnot and you end up now talking to him for a while or whatever. Hopefully he will open his eyes and see that you are the same son that he raise and accpet you. Not I’m done talking 🙂 I hopeful everything goes well for you and don’t give up, life will try and rip you down until you break, but don’t give in to it NEVER give in to the hate and unfairness of this world. Because it will always be there, But yet again here’s another quote that I like and live by “There is so many people out there who will tell you that you can’t…what you’ve got to do is turn around and say ‘Watch Me’!” 🙂

  • Dan

    Step 1: Realize you and your family are lost in the ideal of god & that science has pretty much disproven that horrible book.
    Step 2: Look into Science and realize that you are genetically wired to be gay, not because God made you gay. You must realize the logical fallacy in God “Hating Gays”, then turning around and creating Gays. Either way you look at it – God either made you gay and thats the way he wants you to be, or (My belief) There is no god, and you are who you are.

    You may know that most Christians believe in an All Powerful & All knowing God who “Created” the universe. If god is truly all powerful & all knowing, god Creates EVERY SINGLE INDIVUDUAL KNOWING how they will turn out in life. One conclusion you can draw from this is that God CREATES Evil. If he creates life, and he has the “Divine Plan”, He knows if you will be gay, he knows if you will be a killer. Clearly, (by believing in god), it is not your fault you are this way, it’s Gods…
    With that being said, do you think a loving god would Intentionally create a human being KNOWING how they will turn out in life – only to condem them to an eternity in hell? Does this make sense to you? Even if God DOES exist, I refuse to bow my head to a creator like that.

    You can go two routes. If you choose to be blinded by religion, you can convince yourself that god made you this way intentionally according to his divine plan, or you can choose to realize all of the bullshit & hardache religion creates and convince yourself you have done nothing wrong & that your Dad is the reason religion has a horrible reputation.

    Look into science brother. It feels nice to be educated. The bible & your dad is poison – not you.

    BTW, to any Science hating, athiest loathing commentors on my post –

    Keep in mind, telling me I’m going to hell for bashing the word of god is just about as bad as a child telling their parents they aren’t getting dessert after dinner.

  • Scott

    First of all, Chris, I’m glad you have found safety. Don’t worry about those here who look solely to science to (in)validate your self-identity. “Science” has always been way behind on issues of sexuality. Your heart is what matters most; I pray you will be free to follow it. Lastly, family is not always a “blood” connection. Find and create your own true family.

  • Alliecat04

    Have you considered becoming an emancipated minor? At 17, with your father actively imprisoning you in the house, it should be just about possible. I’m in TN too (Memphis), but my legal connections and info are about 10 years out of date. Is there anyone here who is closer and has the ability to contact people in his area for him so he doesn’t have to make phone calls, etc., with dad trying to stop him?

    Failing that, is there another relative who might be willing to take you in and less crazy? I’ve seen that work for other people in your situation. Try proposing this one like, “I think it might be best for me to live somewhere else while I think about what you’ve said.” Better if you can get your mom on board, since she probably wants something to give here, she might be willing to help you think of something that could work.

    Re: wanting to die. If you heard about a guy who killed himself because he was sentenced to a year in prison, you would probably think he was seriously overreacting. Your situation seems harder because you expect more from your family. If you think in terms of your life with your family as a prison, it’s cushy by comparison. You can do this for a year. You can do ANYTHING for a year. Then you are free, free, free. Hang in there. And if you do truly get desperate, think: before you consider something as irrevocable as killing yourself to change your life, first try every other possible thing. You could run away. You could call the local news and tell your story. Try EVERYTHING else before you even think of hurting yourself. Your job right now is to make it to adulthood safe and sane. All these great people here will be waiting for you when you get there.

    And remember that God doesn’t do what your father wants. He doesn’t take orders from your father, and you aren’t going to hell just because your dad feels that way. Your dad was made in God’s image, not the other way around. Your dad is afraid to lose his livelihood if he breaks from the expected path. He also may have his own sexuality issues that he’s in denial about. None of that is your problem. You do your thing and then get the hell out. When you are safe and strong, then you can worry about whether your dad is torturing you because deep down he really loves you. F that. Torture is torture, however it’s justified.

    Sending all the love I can your way.

  • Alaina Brooke

    Hey Chris, my heart broke in two when I read this. I just wanted to let you know your story has made it to south dakota. I also wanted to let you know that YOU ARE LOVED! GOD YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU! YOU ARE HIS CHILD! Also I want to say how sorry I am to hear about the way your parents have treated you and how your father has spoken to you. It is not their place to judge. Every one sins and no sin is worse than the other. Keep praising God, he will help you through this even when it feels like nothing is getting better, keep thanking Him. It will raise you above the circumstances and your heavenly father will give you peace if you ask for it. I will be praying for you and your parents, and that God will made himself known to you and to your parents. I will also pray that God works in the hearts of your parents. Remember you are God’s masterpiece, you are HIS SON. He will never leave you or forsake you and give you the strength to get through anything life throws your way. You are so much more than what people may or may not see you as. You were fashioned for a specific purpose. God has a plan. Praying for you 🙂

  • Meredith Putvin

    Dear Chris, What you are experiencing has a legal definition. It is called Child Abuse and it is against the law. You may be 17, but you can turn to the authorities for help. There is no earthly reason why you need to live in an environment that is, in and of itself, poison. A Doctor, a police officer, a nurse at a local medical center can be the person you reach out to.

    And no compassionate God would EVER condone the hate that your father is spewing. It is pastor’s like this and hypocrites that have made me turn my back on the church as an organization. I still believe and I still lead a moral life, but I don’t place false prophets ahead of the Lord.

  • Anne

    If this young man is willing to live in New Mexico, he can come and live with me until he’s done with college. John – you have my contact information.

  • Owengirl

    Please be safe. Know that you are loved just as you are by MANY Christians. Get out now if you can safely do so with your coworker or any other way. Finish high school. Please stay in touch with this group if you safely can. You are in my prayers.

  • Kelle Walker

    know hiding your self is not being your self your right God loves you for u its a sin to lie so be true and real with your self u deserve to be happy and loved no matter what if you were my son i would not say those horriable things he should understand God made u not him God chose u not him and God and i love u your a beautiful human and a creation of God who you should not ever hide and know God will protect you and be there and give u answers when you least expect it

  • Jonathan Bradshaw

    Seriously please take the advice I’m about to give and do so as soon a possible. You need to find a good lawyer, who is an open advocate for LGBT which you’ll likely only find in larger metro areas like Nashville, and you need to be emancipated while you’re still 17. Try to find one through local LGBT resources for minors in your situation like a homeless youth shelter or something. Part of being emancipated is you will likely need to move out of your parents’ house. Again a homeless youth shelter can help you with this. I know the prospect of changing homes and most likely schools like this is daunting, but it will be the most important thing you can do for yourself as you will very quickly discover when you become an adult. Why? The cost of college and our screwed up federal financial aid system, which bases the amount of aid you’ll receive on your parents’ combined income regardless of whether they help pay for college. Think your dad will help with that? Only if he can keep the leash as tight as possible, which means you’ll be going to the local school and living at home where you’ll continue on in the same life you’re living now for the next four years or more. Or only slightly better he’ll send you off to a fundamentalist school where administration will have been alerted to keep a close watch on you and you will feel the burden of stigma around virtually every corner you turn. However, there is hope. If you become emancipated before you turn 18, your financial aid will be determined based on your income alone, which will be much less and lead to much more free money. With this support, you will be able to put yourself through a college you choose where your thoughts and ideas aren’t policed to conform to someone else’s preference and where you will for the first time in your life feel the full extent of freedom to discover for yourself what you believe and value. Do not miss out on that opportunity! Also, plenty of scholarships exist specifically for those who are “homeless”. If you can’t realistically be emancipated in time, you should consider becoming homeless. I know it sounds crazy; welcome to the jacked up world you live in. If you can prove so many months of homelessness, you will be exempt from disclosing your parent’s income and will be allotted a lot more aid money. Also, it’s not quite as scary as it may sound. If you’re healthy and smart, you should be okay. Trust me I know from experience. Also, trust me when I say it’s better than living in a prison, which is where you live now. Please seriously consider all this. It could truly change your life. One last thing, try to find some faculty support at your school to help connect you with a homeless shelter and lawyer. Of course, that’s only if you go to a public school. Private schools are made for the parents first and foremost, so you generally can’t trust the faculty there to keep your plans secret while you are working on them. Make sure your parents and siblings dont find out about any plans until your lawyer says its safe to. Good luck! It’s hard but it really can get better!

  • Chris Karmosky

    Saying a prayer for the letter-writer. I’m the faculty adviser to an LGBT+ group at UT Martin, a small public university in the northwest corner of Tennessee. Sadly, I hear this type of story way too often. On the bright side, I have known students who absolutely flourish here once they’re old enough to get away from home. A college education is your ticket to a better life. Do the best you can to get good grades, don’t be afraid to apply to schools because of the cost– there is financial aid! If you ended up at UT Martin, there would be a great support network for you here!

  • Matt

    Dear Chris,

    So many people have said so many wonderful things. I only wanted to add that it gets better. For real. I didn’t have what you have when I was 18. I had nowhere else to go. Despite having a job, I had to stay in the prison for 3 more years. I got out. It’s been tough. Extremely tough. I’ve been so hungry that I stole food from classmates, even though I felt horribly about it. I’ve picked up the phone thinking it’s a job offer, and it’s a bill collector instead. I’ve moved, and moved, and moved again trying to find somewhere stable to settle, sometimes with just an hour’s notice.

    And you know what? It is still better. So much better. I respect myself far more. I’m not nearly as afraid anymore. I am able to be myself. I have people who really will stand by me through thick and thin. They love just having me sit with them. I have a sense of humor again. I have laughed more in the past few months than the past three years. The freedom and the safety–you can’t imagine it, but you will feel it soon, and you will never want to let it go. It’s that precious and amazing. Trust that it’s worth it. Never stop working toward it. It’ll keep you going when little else will, when the darkness is so determined to back you into a corner and smother the hope out of you.

    Stop trying to work out if your parents love you, or if they’re right, or any of those questions. Just shelve it for now. That can be done later, when you are more stable and safer. It’s a long-term process. It took me the better part of a year and a lot of conversations to work even an initial answer out to those questions. It’s natural to care about their feelings, but you can do nothing about them right now. And anyway, it’s clear that they are far more concerned with their own bullshit. That’s…what it is, but you don’t need to keep paying for it.

    If you have questions about attending college without your parents’ income, I have had to do that as well. There is a very specific process involved, but I may be able to answer some of your questions. I will pray for you also. You will do great, whatever you decide. God loves you more than you can possibly fathom.

  • ajtiowa

    If you need to get out – out of that house, that town, that state…please say so! We will find a safe, loving, and supportive community for you! Hugs! You are loved and known by an amazing God who created you!

  • Shiphrah99

    If you want to try Maine, I’ll take you in. I’ve lived all over the country and Maine is awesome. It’s the only place where I’ve felt accepted just as I am, without pretense. Yeah, we have a long winter here, but they know how to plow, and there’s a certain point where you just stop quantifying how cold or how deep it is. And summer is glorious. I’m just a few minutes from the Augusta campus of UMaine, and there are plenty of other options.

  • Nessie Siler

    I am so glad we heard from you, Chris! {{{{Big Hugs}}} You are loved, dear one.

  • Gabe Givens

    Hey Chris Coles,

    Remember this: Galatians 5:22-23: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

    You know what you’re doing is exactly right. Working to be peaceful, loving, and caring. You are who you are and nobody can change that. If your parents want to behave contrary to that, then it is their loss to not know their son, the flesh of their flesh. I hope you have it in your heart to forgive them for their actions. Just remember, your relationship with Jesus is YOUR relationship and nobody elses. Follow Christ’s formula for good living, have a good heart, do good to others, and give of yourself as you can, and you’ll do great!

    Many blessings, young sir!

    Gabe

  • Jill

    This man here knows what he’s talking about. Wise far beyond his years. Big love to my soul brother Matt!!!

  • Ronda M Kelso

    Chris:
    You are loved beyond your wildest imagination. God is awaiting your true freedom, you have a story to tell that needs to be heard – that story is still being written. Be safe, be true. Might want to chat with a family attorney about emancipation as an option. It may be an option in your state. That would give you the option to leave with the power of the law with you – to live and make choices as you see fit. (your friend might be charged with custodial interference, if your parents found out…. ) People are willing to help you and people are praying for your safety and your freedom. continued blessings.

  • Jill

    Jennifer,
    I think we can collectively let go of the urge to give advice that involves “because the Bible warns”. The Bible says a lot of stuff, some of it is great. But if our relationship to words on a page trumps our personal and private relationship to God and holy spirit, then I think we’ve got skewed priorities.

    If God is not in our hearts to guide us to find our right path, then where is God? For any of us out here that escaped cultish fundamentalism, if we had fully applied the “heart is deceitful” concept we would never have gotten out with our lives.

    Let’s instead assume that God’s love is stronger than any deception that could be employed to trip us. It’s only once I sorted that out I stopped being a mess and started to live an authentic life.

  • Pegel

    If he is near the Murfreesboro area there is Holy Cross Episcopal Church. They have several gay members that may be able to offer advice. They are accepting of everyone.

  • Snooterpoot

    I think you forgot part of your comment. “I think no one should ever join the military because….”

  • Dani Soto

    Hi Chris,

    I was also homeschooled, and am also a proud Lesbian Christian. I pray you are able to hang in there as long as possible. You are loved by God and by so many people here who don’t even know you personally! You are made in His image, and God made you who you are. Don’t ever feel sorry about that – and don’t let anyone else make you feel less-than. I understand how isolating homeschooling can feel sometimes, especially if all of your friends go to your same church (that was my experience). I strongly encourage you to find whatever support you can – online, in person, whatever. I also strongly encourage you to go to a secular, liberal arts college. Hopefully somewhere where you can live on-campus! You will soon be able to be yourself. It may damage your relationship with your parents, even if they love you. But in the end it is worth it – for your own self-esteem, your own mental health, and yes, for your own spiritual well-being as well. I hope and pray that your parents may someday reconsider their feelings and opinions on the matter, but you only have your life to live and you can’t control who will love and accept you and who won’t. I just wanted to say that you’re not alone, that others have been where you are, and you can get through it. I love you! And I hope all goes well during this difficult time. <3

  • Chrishari De Alwis Gunasekare

    Hi Chris,

    Sometimes it’s really hard for Christians to understand and accept any issue with regards to sexual orientation and gender. Trust me I know because I’m half-Baptist and half-Roman Catholic and even as a straight-sexual (I don’t like saying heterosexual because it has become sort of a label), I get a lot of criticism for defending and accepting those who are not.

    But the thing is, never let that make you doubt the fact that God loves you and always remember that no one but God has the right to judge you, not me, not your parents or anyone else for that matter. Keep your faith in God, ask Him for strength and guidance and know that He will not abandon you.

    And most importantly LOVE, it might be difficult at your present state but please don’t give up your capacity to love and to feel love. Because all of us out here, we love you and it would be sad if we were to loose you. I may be from a different continent, a different country and unlike some of these people I may never get to meet you or see you. But despite all of that, know that I love you and my prayers are with you. May God bless you and keep you.

  • Andy

    Needs more upvotes.

  • Andy

    I don’t want to derail this thread of support — which is awesome — but I’m curious about something. If heterosexual and homosexual refer to being attracted to the opposite gender and the same gender respectively, what do you call someone who’s genderfluid and not pansexual (e.g. is only attracted to men, or only to women)?

  • Jill

    I see you’re the only one here referring to porn stars,
    indiscriminate sex and homosexuality as a “limiting condition”.

    And your affinity for David Kupelian’s message does not give your comments scientific credence, as a simple Google search has this gentleman listed as #221 on the Encyclopedia of American Loons, one among many other shiny character references. It says only that you have ulterior motives for commenting here.

    Please stop posting your lack of knowledge. It is serving no valuable purpose.

  • Jill

    If advice includes any reference to coughing up blood, run away.

  • April Coldsmith

    Chris, you are a child of God, and hiding your light under a bushel does you and the world no good. How long before you can leave the house? What about approaching a lawyer and becoming an emancipated minor? At 17, you may not even need to go to court. Your parents are victims of homophobia. Just like racism, it is a cruel and learned behavior. Pray for them. Go to a nearby support group for LGBT young persons. I don’t think coming out to your parents will ever be a good idea. Sometimes our family is made up of the people we end up choosing and not the ones we are born to. Besides, the only family you need to come out to is your parent God, your brother, Jesus, and Jesus’ Mary. And they love you, for you. I pray God helps you to get through.

  • Scott Jensen

    It’s time the ACLU, Southern Proverty Law Center or someone take a court case against religious parents who discard their parental duties because they hide behind their holy scriptures. It’s well past time to start testing this. Of course I’m not a legal,scholar so I don’t even know if there’s a leg to stand on. But it’s time for something to change.

  • Chris Coles

    Thank you guys again. I have had our local CPA contcted, but evry time he was informed of their visits, he would go on and on about how I betrayed him, how I was overreacting, and how I would hurt everyone in my family w/ my big mouth. He starts talking about the liberal commies just waiting to destroy people like him and the families thereof. By the end of the rant- mom jumping in occasionaly, terrified of losing her kids – I am ready to lie to the social worker. I say that there was a misunderstanding, everything here is fine, go away. and she does, convinced that there was nothing wrong. I tried to leve before and stayed w/ a cousin. After thinking about letting me go, he came and got me, saying that I was a flight risk and that he needed ti keep an eye in me. He cited some texts to my best friend about living in Canada. (If he had read ALL the txts he would have realized we were talking post hs.) Thats why I haven’t told anyone. Just makes things worse at home and accomplishes nothing in my favor.

  • Snooterpoot

    I wish that was true. An Episcopal church in Falls Church, VA, split because the Rector was welcoming and affirming. It got ugly and nasty and eventually a law suit was filed over the church property.

    Many Episcopal churches embrace us. The Church of Sts. Monica and James, in Washington, DC, is one of them.

  • BarbaraR

    Chris, I worked for CPS (CPA in your state) for a long time. Don’t assume the social worker was convinced there’s nothing wrong. It takes multiple reports, multiple visits, multiple interviews before anything is done. It’s rare for anything to happen fast (unless there is gross bodily injury, or something akin). But keep trying. Tell the truth, always.

  • Alan Canon

    Straight LGBT-ally Alan here from Louisville. My heart aches for your situation, and I hope you can tell from the comments below how very many people in this world empathize with your plight. We are all around you, and we care for you just the way you are.

  • Chris Coles, Hello! I am a Gay Christian and yes, we exist! I have never met you, but I LOVE yiu like a brother, because you are! It is not you with a problem, it is those who can not accept you and this often includes family! God has no problem with yiu Being gay, I am sure! Matthew 19 says Gay people are one if three types of Eunuch and our type is Born That Way and created from mothers womb! Isaih 56 says Hristos (Crist) can not return until ALL of God Eunuch sin and daughter are welcome in church and heaven! Timithy 4: 1-16 says in Latter times many will fall away from faith to listen to doctrinei Demons and wickedness spirits preach who become liars and Hypocrites forbidding people to marry! Look at how Gay people are treated now and see if these similarities make sense? I LOVE you and God Loves you! And there is a whole community th

  • bonj100

    Chris I’m glad you’ve found a possible way out. It won’t ever be easy, but knowing your true self as a person and as a child of God is worth every step you take. Don’t hide who you are from anyone, especially yourself.

  • Kristin Smith

    Everything is wrong with this comment. “You do need help with this; being born as either heterosexual or homosexual are things that are shown by biology to occur with no choice on our part, but being “pansexual” is something else;…..” Neither science nor the Bible back up this comment and it sounds like you stated it off the top of your head. Also, there is nothing wrong with being in a state of questioning and/or figuring yourself out.

  • AJ

    Your family may say they want what’s best for you and you may think that they do, but they really just want what’s best for themselves.

    When you get down to it, they’re just afraid of what other people think. “Oh my God my kid is (LGBTetc) what is the church going to think!?” And so they take it out on you because they don’t want to look bad.

  • Mary Nichols

    Chris, If things don’t work out in TN, there’s always room for you in our home and in our hearts. God loves you unconditionally. I hope you have the chance to experience that same kind of love “with skin on it.” So if you need a place to go, you always have one in West Virginia.

  • Junie Girl

    I’m not sure if it’s available in Tennessee, but you can look into online school to get your HS diploma. That way, you won’t have to deal with any bullying in a public school once you get out of your parents’ home. (College should be better.) Good luck–you are so loved and we are all praying for you! Hopefully your parents will come around–Dan Savage says give them a year to have their hissy fits, then after that, their right to have you in their life is limited to how well they treat you. You shouldn’t have to put up with inexcusable behavior, just because they’re genetically connected to you.

  • Lachlan Brown

    I don’t think God loves us for who we are, because we are sin and God doesn’t love sin. I think God loves us for who He is. I think it would be true to say that God loves us wherever we are at in our lifelong journey towards Christlikeness and sinlessness but yeah, I’m just not sure we can really say that God loves us for who we are. Semantics maybe, but I think it’s important. Also I really like this line from the song The Family Ruin by Oh, Sleeper that goes “Who you are is how I made you to discover me.” So whatever situation we are in life, it is a situation designed by God to draw you closer to Him.
    Anyway those are just my musings.

  • Isaac Lucas

    Beloved, I am so sorry you have been punished in this way. Being disowned for any reason, let alone for being gay, is worse than having the carpet pulled out from under your feet.

    I believe the wisest option is to move away as soon as is humanly possible. It seems highly likely that it will come to it, anyhow.

    You will not be able to both appease your family, and live the truth in your heart at the same time, unless they change their minds. Well sorry, but it’d be easier for you to sweep the tide out with a broom… for now, it’s fair to walk away from your love of church, choir and so on. You can always return to an accepting brethren later, when things calm down. In the meantime, you have Him in your heart, wherein He has always, and will always, dwell. You can sing your songs of praise and worship to your Beloved, in your heart. He has been there since before churches began…

    Lastly, I’ll just say that you are in our thoughts and prayers. “When you do what is right in your heart, it cannot turn out wrong for another.” Maybe a bit of tears, shame, guilt, hurt or anger… then – joy, freedom and happiness.

  • Jordan Peterson

    Dear Chris, I’m sorry you have to live like this. I read stories about kids being thrown out, beaten and almost killed by coming out to their loved ones. Sadly people are stuck in their ways and won’t listen to reason. My coming out was simple. My family already knew when I was very young. But I will not lie, high school was hard. Many fowl comments, jokes, pranks and the worst of it being jumped walking home from the store for my mother. But I will say this. Things get so much better. Once you get the chance to leave your home. Take it and don’t hesitate. Leave and start your life somewhere else. Find a new church to help you. I was born and raised in the same religion. And I can tell you this. Not all churches will deny you because of sexuality. We are all gods children. I’m not a devout member. But I do know that heaven has a plan. And it’s always in play. Just stay strong and keep moving forward. But I promise. Once you Leave, and are able to grow your roots. You will thank yourself for taking the chance. Life may seem hard. But once you can be who you really are, life turns into what you want it to be. Stay strong. You have my support.

  • rivers

    I hate to say this but i went thro the same thing im from a small town in mississippi and i did my best to hide it but im a bad lier when it cums to maters of the heart and so i will give you the avice i had to tell my self. i am a christon and i am loved and i deserved to be loved by the ones i love and so i roght a leter telling them that and that if i was not going to get it from them id go to the church and find it so i did and i went after school every day alone and found every thing i could on why i was me and why i couldnt be any one elce then told my parents that i was moving out for a while and so i did for two and a half weeks did not hav contact with them the hole time and it helped me clear the gilt form my contunse and them time to think of what they are rilly doing to me and so i maed a secon family at a friends house one that didnt go to my church but another one and every time they would herass me i would leav and go viset my other family the only difrence is that my mom had passed away and my dad and step mom were the ones that herasd me saying i was crazy and sent me to see a christion phycoligest to try to fix me but giv your self sum space and just rember you are not alone

  • Stephen

    Umm… some professional athletes experience this as a physiological and/or pathologic response to intense workout. It’s just a way to convey intensity, persistence and perseverance. Is this the only problem you have with what I wrote?

  • Chris, my heart hurts for you.

  • Pamela Patterson Lake

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Fundamentalism is a fear-based belief system that robs many people mired in it of joy. Your story highlights the poison that permeates fundamentalism. Know that you are loved, that God sees you, and that he made you just as you are. A lot of folks here offer some heartfelt and deeply good advice – there are undoubtedly resources and people available in your neck of the woods who can help you break away from your father. I’m so sorry you have to “break” from him – no child ever really wants to do that, but sometimes for your survival and health it’s necessary to take the hard and rocky path. Be strong, rest in the knowledge that you are not alone and that many of us are praying for you. I know God will provide you an out; be alert to look for it and recognize it. I pray that God will comfort you and bring you a peace that surpasses all understanding during this terrible time in your life. Most importantly, do not apologize for who you are and don’t allow others to box you in. God bless and peace to you.

  • Gail Byas

    Dear Chris, what you are going through breaks my heart. It is so hard when our Christian parents are so hurtful….even if they think they are doing the right thing. I understand from personal experience. You are loved by God just as you are. I hope you have a supportive network of friends and adult mentors who can be there for you. Don’t give up. You will find a way to make it through this difficult time and be the person you were created to be.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wait…you were a mime? I roomed with a clown once (he turned out to be gay, too) who occasionally mimed, and…it was weird.

    So, the other blog says you were a Christian mime – did you mime at church?

    I KNOW, I KNOW, TANGENT, but I’m full of Ikea meatballs and a little bit wired.

  • Michael Jon Watt

    Yes. Sadly, yes.
    I’m currently writing a memoir (my friend calls is a “MIME-oir” and it will be filled with juicy details. Including the time I was forced to “denounce the Demon of Penis”.

    Fun times.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, I would want to read THAT! I’d ask if it were going to be available as a book on disc read by the author, but I guess I can just put a blank disc in the player and listen to the silence.

  • Veritacity

    Chris I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I will pray for your salvation and the amazing deliverance that actually comes with it. The gospel of Jesus is the power of God unto salvation (deliverance, Romans 1) and has wonderfully changed my heart and life. You see, I too was one of the sinners of whom the Holy Spirit speaks of in I Corinthians 6:9-10, and now, praise His Name I am now one of the ones He speaks of in 6:11. The thing that I finally had to humble myself to accept was that I was a sinner and that according to James 1:13-15 I could not blame God for my sin, nor for the temptation that entices it. You see Chris, I finally found forgiveness when at last I confessed my sin against God. That word confess in the original language is ‘homologeo’ (homo = same, logeo = to say) this means that we have to say the same thing about our sin that God says about it. The Holy Spirit further says in I John 1:10 that if we say that we have not sinned – we are calling God a liar (because He says we have). Please receive this in the spirit in which I have written it – Truth in Love (Eph. 4:15).
    On a final note Chris: I have spent some time reading many of the comments that have been left by many well meaning, yet very misguided people. I must compassionately tell you that though it sounds like they love you (and I am positive that they mean the kind words they say), the truth is that anyone who would encourage you to live in a way that our God condemns (regardless of the sin – I would say the same to a liar, a racist or a heterosexual fornicator) is not showing true love to you.

  • Josh Magda

    Dear Chris:

    I am now 30, but have been through a similar experience.

    You have to choose to forgive them. Even now. Even in the midst of it. Forgiveness does NOT mean staying or agreeing with them. It means recognizing that they, like you, are created in the image of God, and then making a conscious choice to Love them anyways. It means recognizing, in this instance that they are wrong.. REALLY wrong. It means knowing and declaring to yourself, even if you don’t feel like it at the time, that God is bigger than they are. Bigger than Church. Bigger than anything you’ve ever experienced. And in each instance, more wonderful than we can possibly imagine.

    I am angry at my inability to dissolve this hateful situation in your life outright. It’s larger than life right now, but it will get better. So I offer the only thing I can: forgiveness is the only power I know of on THIS Earth, that can eventually heal evil. What you need right now, more than anything, is access to spiritual power (Love) and the self-knowledge that you are authorized to use it. Forgiveness, the power of Love incarnate, is Jesus, Chris. Moments like these are precisely what we’re all doing week after week, in the Church that you Love so. Preparing. For moments like these. So stretch your Heart farther now then you ever thought possible. Allow it to break, over and over again. And at the bottom of the night, see if you don’t find Someone you’ve always Loved and who’s always Loved you.

    Claim God as your ally, like so many other gay Christians here have done, and continue to do, every day. You will not have the religious life you imagined. But you will have God, the One who is closer to you now than you are to yourself, and, even when it seems otherwise, you will never walk alone.

    – Josh

    Childofmana@gmail.com

  • Lee Walker

    Chris, I think AJ below said what I tried to post yesterday, but I’ll say it again: your dad does NOT want what’s best for you, as I think you put it, he wants what’s best for him and his public image. And that does not include a gay child. He is acting out of shame and fear of what people will think, not love. Be true to who you are because God made you as you are, and loves you as you are. 1John 4:8.

  • Chris Karmosky

    God does not condemn those who are gender-fluid. That’s simply not true.

  • Veritacity

    We are all sinners in need of His forgiveness and deliverance – regardless of the sin.

  • Chris Karmosky

    This, to me, seems like a true statement veiling a condemnation. I have heard it used as such too many times to just let it be.

  • Veritacity

    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

  • Chris Karmosky

    John 3:17

  • Veritacity

    John 3:16-21

  • Chris Karmosky

    Yup.

  • Thanks, Chris. As you can see I/we deleted the caustic comments of “Veritacity” to which you responded. But wanted to thank you for stepping up the way you did.

  • Lee Walker!

  • de_la_Nae

    Veritacity, my cousin, you are a sweet-toothed serpent!

    That you dare act this way in this time and place is an abomination before God and man alike!

    One
    day we will sit at the same table, and laugh at the sad follies that
    stood between us. But until that day you will remember the cries of the
    shepherd Amos, as he railed against those who trod down the poor and
    denied justice to the oppressed!

    God help us all.

  • I deleted ol’ “Veritacity”‘s comments, but … nice job!

  • de_la_Nae

    That would explain the posting issues. I’m a little worked up this moment, thought Disqus was just being wonky.

    Good luck, John.

  • MJW

    There is no need to be cruel or rude. This is John’s blog and he can do with it what he chooses. And the point is there is a hurting young man who needs love and does not need distraction by folks who perpetuate the very thing he needs to get away from.

  • This is “Veritacity” assuming .. now a total of five … different ID’s as a way of … really, really, not having a life, apparently. (Because, you know, each time he has to create an entire new Disquus ID. Because … you know … that’s how real Christians roll.)

  • MJW

    My inner mime could not be silent.

  • HAR!! You with your … big bad staff.

  • Hey, 17 isn’t that young – I left home at 17 to go to university.

    It will work out, dude. Glad you have somewhere to live.

    Sorry about your family.

  • love it. thank you, Tim. Good to hear from you again.

  • Yeah, John, Chris’ story really got to me.

    Just so, so sad about the emotional violence involved.

    Looking for a church myself (I like singing and teaching, too, Chris!) I know there are churches out there which welcome everyone in love, rather than having secret cultures (or overt policies) of rejection.

    It’s really tough to discover that people who you trusted to love and welcome you, do something you never expected. And ever weirder when they want everyone to say that it’s “loving” or “right”.

    Oh, and P.S. Chris, the public school system might be a little bit of a shock, but it really is ok.

  • async1

    No, your dad isn’t right.

  • Alistair

    My friend, your father is the one who is living in sin for hating on his own flesh and blood- you are simply refusing to disregard the gifts that God gave you. YOU are who YOU are, who God created you to be: a genderfluid pansexual Christian. Embrace who you are and use what God gave you to fully show your love for him.

  • Jill

    Why does spiritual advice have to involve even proverbial bloodshed and self-flagellation? I don’t understand the proclivity toward martyr-like behavior in order for God to notice your sincerity.

  • Peg Weissbrod

    Don’t give up. There are gay-affirming churches out there!
    http://www.gaychurch.org/find_a_church/
    http://www.fhcpresb.org

  • Stephen

    Thanks for your question. First of all, you say bloodshed as though it were some kind of violent act. I’m a medical student and we talk about blood almost everyday and it’s not violent or gore or taboo or any of that stuff. I can understand that people can be apprehensive at the mention of the word regardless of context. Blood is just blood, nothing more, nothing less.

    You are not doing all of that stuff to get God to notice. You’re doing it to overcome the resistance of the enemy. Daniel fasted 21 days. Think of what would have happened if He had stopped halfway. From the first day God answered, but did Daniel get the answer that same day?

    Jesus said there is a kind that doesn’t go out except by prayer and fasting. Some say He was referring to unbelief, some say He was referring to the demon. Whatever He was referring to, it wouldn’t come out except by prayer and fasting. I’m just bringing up this example to show that there are some situations where we have to go the extra mile.

    The Luke passage I mentioned, talked about how God would answer those who cry out to Him day and night. Day and night… It starts with “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” In other words, keep praying, don’t faint, cry out to God day and night. He will eventually respond. The reason why some don’t receive is because they faint. Then they start again after a while and faint again. When you ask them, they’ll tell you they have been going at it for years. It doesn’t work that way. You need to continuously press into it without fainting. That’s what I’m trying to say.

    Time would fail me to talk about how Jehoash struck only 3 times instead of more in order to completely defeat the Arameans. Or how David struck his enemies over and over until they wouldn’t rise again.

    Now, if you think about the questions I asked, the honest answer to all of them would be yes. Meaning that as human beings, we are willing to go to extreme miles in order to get things done. If we can do those extremes, then surely it won’t be difficult to do what the bible recommends for us to do. In otherwords, all that extreme stuff was just motivational speech.

    There’s a very popular video on youtube where an old man tries to drown the younger man. Then when the younger man struggles and succeeded in rising above the water, the old man tells him that he can’t be successful unless he wants success as bad as he wants to breathe. Pretty graphic stuff, but standard motivational speech.

  • Russ Capps

    I was in your shoes 30 years ago. Know that people can change. By the time my father passed away 6 years ago, after 3 heart attacks and a bunch of operations, he had mellowed. His last words to me, the day before he died were “I love you and I am proud of you.” So there’s hope.
    I got married last year to the beautiful man that I have been with for 17 years. My mother refused to come to the wedding because she “didn’t want it to look as if she was in any way condoning same-sex marriage.” The thing that we have to remember, as children of parents dealing with this, they are doing the best they can with what they have been given in these circumstances.
    I wish you well, you are a lovely young man.

  • Psycho Gecko

    Considering how things are with Christian Scientist-types killing their kids by praying instead of seeking medical care, and with the HSLDA’s defense of unaccountable homeschooling, I doubt the ACLU or SPLC have a legal leg to stand on in this regard. I’d like them to, but precedent weighs heavily against them.

  • RainbowGurl

    Point CPA to this website right off the bat, so they’ll understand not to believe you when you backtrack. Better still, ask them not to give your family any kind of heads-up, stating that it places your safety at risk when they do. They’ll probably do a 10pm visit, to make sure everyone is home.

  • JJ Marks

    Chris, I’m glad you have found solace in this community and safety with a co-worker. Go.
    Your story is unbelievably painful. I felt the same emotions at the same age as you and hid from my minister-father. It took until my 30s to come out to them. You are so much more ahead emotionally, accepting all your self.
    Continue to reach out. There are so many of us who are willing to help and step in as your new family until and if your current family relents. Peace, J.

  • Jill

    “… all that extreme stuff was just motivational speech.”

    I’ve got nothing. Glad this kind of thing works for you.

  • Stephen

    [Comment deleted]

  • Jill

    Plenty of other blogs on the interwebs that tolerate your level of ignorant commentary. Go find them.

  • Stephen

    Ok, my apologies if I offended you or any other person on here. It wasn’t my intention at all. Take care.

  • AtalantaBethulia

    The problem here is not this young man’s faithfulness to God and putting this level of effort on him as if it were something he could either earn or as if God had a tipping point is… abusive.

    The problem lies with his parents.
    Not with him.
    Not with God.

    Does this young man need care and love and concern and compassion and comfort and options and strength? Yes.
    Can God be a comfort? Yes.
    Is God going to find him a new home? Or change his parent’s mind? No.
    People are going to do that – you know, Jesus with skin on.

    God’s attention is not earned through effort.
    God is already aware of and aggrieved by the problem at hand. (Millstones as you may recall.)

    So perhaps instead of giving this young man spiritual calisthenics (and what sounds like a MLSM pitch)… we could give him some encouragement and compassion.

  • AtalantaBethulia

    re: “I’m a medical student and we talk about blood almost everyday and it’s not violent or gore or taboo or any of that stuff. I can understand that people can be apprehensive at the mention of the word regardless of context. Blood is just blood, nothing more, nothing less.”

    Hello, Medical Student,

    I’m an advanced practice nurse.

    The problem is not the mention of blood, nor that lay people aren’t as immune to the squeamishness of the mention of blood as we are.

    The problem is that while blood is just blood (issue neutral) bloodshed is usually indicative of trauma.

    I believe this is Jill’s point.

    Trauma is, precisely, what this young man needs no more of.

  • Susan Jones

    God and Jesus loves you. Jesus loves every person. He understands who you are and loves you for your good heart. I’m glad you have someone to take you in. Get your education finished; find friends that support you. Go live your life in happiness.

  • Susan Jones

    Exactly, shame of what people will think and fear of what he doesn’t understand

  • Stephen

    Ok, thanks for clarifying. I didn’t mean to imply any kind of trauma if that’s how I came across to you guys. I might have been a bit insensitive. Please bear with me.

  • Joanna Mandell Tipple

    Just another voice – that of a Christian pastor- saying that God created you and loves you. You are God’s beloved. Bless you for understanding your dad’s take on this as I see it as cruel and unjust and toxic. If you have family or friends you can stay with I would recommend doing that as tough as it might be. Even family can be toxic and shouldn’t be tolerated.

  • Tyler Jozovich

    Hey, I’m sorry you are going through this. You have options, don’t doubt that. I hope it works out with you and your family. If it doesn’t just know that others will be there for you in your time of need.

  • Stephen

    I do regret the insensitive parts of my posts, but for suggesting what I suggested, I make no apologies because I know what I’m talking about. I’ve lived it, I’ve helped others live it, and it’s a principle straight out of the bible. I guess this forum would not be the best place to get in depth in the word to address your concern of getting God’s attention with effort although I’ve already addressed that a bit in another post. I do respect your opinion and I will leave it at that.

  • Stephan Sinyard

    Chris Coles, I think the most important thing for a younger individual to invest their mind into during a time of darkness is the constant motion of time itself. It’s very important to develop an understanding of the nature of experience and how your perception of it will always be persuaded by environmental influences, particularly situations and their circumstances. Once you find a humble solitude in the fact that nothing is permanent as far as experience goes, you will be able to remove yourself from at least the feeling of hopelessness involved. We grow the most as humans when we are subjected to resistance. I assure you that you will come out of your darkness stronger than you would ever imagine. I truly wish the best for you my friend. Good luck on your journey.

  • Alliecat04

    Just an FYI from my own experience for those well-meaning and wonderful people who are offering to open their homes.

    If a minor travels across state lines to join you, without parental permission, you can and will be arrested for kidnapping. I came very close to having this happen to me when I was young. I was 18 and my best friend was 17 and being abused at home, so I let her stay with me. There was actually a warrant out for my arrest. Fortunately my mother (who had abused me herself back in the day) cam through for me in a big way: she called my friend’s mother and convinced her to drop charges and allow her daughter to stay. Because she herself was an abuser, she was miraculously able to reach this woman. Crazy, huh?

    My point though: helping minors across state lines will get you arrested. Do it only if you are aware of the risks.

  • Alliecat04

    Thanks for clarifying your situation. CPA is not always the best solution in any case – like using a hammer to do surgery. And the foster care system in tn is not better than your current situation, usually. (I have been a foster parent, so I’m not against them as such. It’s just that my kids were sometimes raped by foster parents.)

    The cousin will at least be a place you can go when you are 18. Start planning now how to pay your way and get your schooling. And look into emancipation, which would allow you to move out now. Having a place to stay would be in your favor when seeking emancipation.

  • Margaret Ann Larcomb

    Chris, I used to get so aggravated when my Grandmother would wipe away my tears of agony about the pain my parents put me through (and she only knew the teensiest tip of the truth of it; I mean – how can you tell your Grandmother her son is a pedofile, ‘ya know?) – anyway – she used to say, “This too shall pass,” and I used to feel like she was dismissing my pain. But, I know now she was letting me know that pain always has an end. I’m glad you found a safer place to be. Remember always that Jesus is the guardian and Savior of your soul. No earthly circumstance has the power to defeat you.

  • Jennifer

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  • Jennifer

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  • Jennifer

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  • Jennifer

    I’d say you call them according to whatever they identify as.

  • Jennifer

    Chris,

    Thanks for your witness to the grace and power of our God. It sounds like he is building you into a person of integrity and compassion.

    Love your family. People will encourage you to vilify them, and it will be so easy to be angry. But don’t shut them out of your life. Tell them and show them that they are precious to you. You’ll blow it sometimes, but remind yourself every day to love them the way you wish they’d love you–completely and faithfully, no matter what they are or what they do to you–because that’s how Jesus loves us.

    You seem to have a healthy view of your parents right now: you see that they love God and you and are trying to do what’s right, but that doesn’t stop them from sinning. Good intentions don’t stop anyone from sinning. But God is bigger than our sin. Keep putting yourself in their shoes–it will help you relate to them kindly. If your dad trusts Jesus as you think he does, then you’ll get him back–at the Wedding Supper, if not before. Soon you and he will enjoy God together with no hurt and no anger and no pain. Our Jesus is in the business of healing broken relationships.

    It looks like life is going to be hard for you. I’m sorry. But I’m happy for you, too. You’ll be forced to cling to Christ in ways that most people never get to. God taught me the hard lesson a few years back that not everyone gets to be happy, but he’s good and in control, so it’s ok.

    Best wishes, brother. I probably won’t get to meet you before we die, but we should hang out in eternity.

    Jenn O

  • Mom

    My husband has the biblical view that being gay is wrong…. HOWEVER, when my son came out, my husband, his dad, told him this:

    ” We both know how I feel, but you are my son and I love you and I’m proud of you. and none of this changes that.”

    To me, THAT is how a loving father responds even when he disagrees…..

  • Mom

    Chris…… My son was also homeschooled, along with his brother and two sisters. This is what I posted about my husband’s (who has also been a pastor) response…..

    My husband has the biblical view that being gay is wrong…. HOWEVER, when my son came out, my husband, his dad, told him this:

    ” We both know how I feel, but you are my son and I love you and I’m proud of you. and none of this changes that.”

    To me, THAT is how a loving father responds even when he disagrees…..

    I’m so glad you were able to read the love and support everyone poured out here for you. I do think emancipation is a viable option. And being homeschooled, you can qualify for a GED now I would imagine if your education at home was anything like my children’s.

    There is nothing easy about your situation but know that Jesus understands and does not condemn you for a thing….. least of all for being who you were created to be….

  • Josh Magda

    Dear Chris:

    We Love you and are still here for you.

    Through a process of elimination I know who your dad is. In addition to my advice on forgiveness, from what is publicly available on the internet, my advice now is also to LEAVE as soon as possible. This is not good, brother. This is a path too many of us have seen before and I refuse to see it play it out in your Life. You have made an incredibly courageous step by writing John and writing to us here. When you are 18 (or sooner) please use that same courage and avail yourself of the offers to stay in people’s homes while you finish college, if you don’t have something local already worked out (and maybe even if you do). I have nothing material to give or it would be yours. But there are others here that do. I have to believe they wouldn’t have offered unless they are serious. The important thing is that you GET OUT.

    Josh

  • Linnea912

    Agreed. As much I would LOVE for a court case like that to happen, I’m afraid it wouldn’t get anywhere. The courts tend to give parents a LOT of leeway in raising their kids, too much, IMHO.

  • Linnea912

    Chris,

    I’m glad to hear you’re in a better place. Your parents are so wrong, it’s unbelievable. Praying for you!

  • spinning2heads

    Chris- I’m glad that you found another place to live. I was actually just about to give my advice, which essentially boiled down to “get out of there!” Parental rejection hurts. It hurts in a deep deep place that you almost can’t imagine you have. Just know that though trite, it’s true that it does get better. It gets better because you find people who are good to you, it gets better because you get stronger, and it gets better because you MAKE it better. I’m glad to hear that you are taking steps to make your life better. It’s a long road, but you can make it, and have a wonderful life.

  • DazzyG

    Sounds like an all too familiar story. My father was exactly the same and said very similar things. “Your going to hell” “Your possessed by the devil” Being an “Elder” in a born again religious nutter’s church, he posted me photocopied pieces out of the bible every week for well over a year, telling me to repent my sins or face the wrath of god. I’m going back 15 years now. It certainly affected me and badly back then turning into a huge party boy.

    I’m 40 tomorrow and our relationship is where it always will be. A country apart, limited to mostly funerals these days. 5 mins of conversation of acknowledgement which neither of us can bare! All because his religion (more like a cult for him) does not and will not accept “Gay”

    I grew up in New Zealand on a farm with my parents, 40km from the nearest town. On my 16th birthday I got my drivers license. Within 2 days I had sold my horse and purchased a car. I moved out within the week and moved to the other end of the country.

    When it comes to religion, they will never change and it will hurt you to the end of the earth. The best thing you can do is move on from them, live your life and divulge into some therapy to make yourself a better person and realise “It’s not you, it’s them”

    Like your dad is meant to be a religious nutter who sings on streets and preaches in prisons, you are meant for something at the opposite end of the scale and that’s just how it is. It is what it is and that’s all it’s ever going to be.

    You have to remember that you are more fabulous than they are and to rise above it and live your life the way you want too! Your friends become your family and that’s all that you really need.

  • Psycho Gecko

    Maybe I’m being a little melodramatic here, but here’s a little something to take to heart. And this is the more subdued version of it. Of course, if you want to see the other one, there’s no shame in that. The blog just might be flooded by tears. Anyway:

    http://i.imgur.com/LMbzz.png

  • Psycho Gecko

    A clown, eh? I wouldn’t want to walk a mile in those shoes.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yeah, who would ever want to…walk…um, in…those shoes…? ::shiftless whistling::

  • Psycho Gecko

    http://i.imgur.com/TRdwnH8.png

    That’s how it happens. You go out partying, get drunk on Ikea meatballs, next thing you know you’re walking for miles down the side of a road wearing clown shoes.

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/54da304045e941c1618c3a1886496851/tumblr_mwfeoptFbM1sp7ha5o2_500.gif

  • Kristin Dean

    Chris, it took a lot of courage for you to seek help, first of all, so I have to applaud you for that.
    As far as what your parents think of you, you shouldn’t worry so much about it. First of all, you’re pretty much an adult. You said you graduated from HS, so I’m guessing you’re going to be 18 soon, right? I know that your parents opinion means a lot to you right now, but trust me…the more you get out in the world and are exposed to everything that’s out there, their opinion really isn’t going to hold much weight.
    Like you, I too, was raised in a very strict, Christian home. I was very sheltered and naive. I was also very judgmental towards non-believers and those who didn’t share my morals and beliefs. But when I got out on my own and started being around people who were not raised like me, listening to their stories and experiences, I started realizing that my parents opinions are not the “be all, end all.”
    Don’t get my wrong, I love my parents very much and respect them and what they have to say, and am very thankful for the way they raised me. But I’m also confident in the person I’ve become and my own thoughts and opinions.
    Just know this…you have to find your OWN place in this world. Not be confined by what other people think you should be or think. Don’t be afraid to form your OWN opinions and beliefs. God created us to be intelligent beings, forming our own opinions based on the information that we come across. It should also be based on His Word and the truths that He reveals to us. YOU’RE the only one who can live your life for you. No one else.
    I’m almost 40, divorced, and have two children of my own, one of which is close to your age. I tell both of my kids that they have to form their own opinions on matters. Use the tools that their dad and I give them, along with the tools that they’ve learned in church and school, but ultimately, they need to be confident in themselves. I want my kids to be able to think for themselves and be smart about what they believe and know WHY they believe the way they do. And to not be afraid to stand up for themselves, no matter what, because in the end, it’s them that has to live their lives. Not their dad and I.
    Something to remember…GOD is the ONLY one who is going to be judging you at the end of your time on this earth. Make sure that you’re right with Him and Him alone.
    Don’t worry sweetie…you’re gonna be okay. 🙂

  • Sid

    I totally stumbled upon this awesome blog yesterday and although it has been some time, I wonder if there is an update on how Chris is doing?

  • gimpi1

    I have to disagree. This young man’s parents are bad people. A big part of not being bad, in my view, is learning how to get rid of the cruelty, nonsense and nastiness that we’re all exposed to. If you can’t look at your own views and see the harm they cause, if being right means more to you than your own children, if sitting in judgement over others matters more than kindness towards them, you’re a bad person.

    We’re all exposed to bad ideas in our lives. Racism, hateful views of other beliefs, taking prideful pleasure in cruelty and many other truly awful concepts are all around us. They hide in every belief-system. Occasionally, they take root in us. We all have the responsibility of cleaning out our mental attics occasionally. Yes, that will mean finding out that you’ve been wrong about something. And that’s fine. In fact, I would go so far as to say if someone has never discovered that they have been wrong about something, they may well be pretty bad.

    If not taking an honest look at their beliefs and seeing what fruit they have borne is more important to parents than the well-being of their son, they’re bad parents and bad people. They’re more afraid of finding out they’ve been wrong and of the scorn of like-minded folks around them than they are of doing severe, lasting harm to their child. That’s awful. They’re bad people.