I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay

People wonder if I’m gay. I know because kids in school used to ask me. When I replied with silence, they called me a fag and went on their...
09-26

People wonder if I’m gay. I know because kids in school used to ask me. When I replied with silence, they called me a fag and went on their way. If bullies wondered about my sexuality, then so did family, friends, people at church. They were probably just too afraid (or too nice) to ask. I’ve had years to think about it: if someone asked if I’m gay, how would I answer?

Saying “no” risks people thinking I’m another brainwashed fundamentalist in denial, suppressing my sexuality to please my parents, my pastor, my peers. Saying “yes” risks people thinking I’ve assumed a gay identity, that I’m out and proud, affirming and celebrating the homosexual lifestyle.

Neither is true.

The reality is that I acknowledge my same-sex desires. I talk openly with family and friends about homosexuality, especially as it relates to my commitment to Christ. More importantly, I’m honest with God about my struggles with same-sex attraction. I don’t pretend the feelings aren’t there; on the contrary, I consider them very real temptations. The only denial happening here is self-denial, the daily charge to take up my cross and follow Christ (Luke 9:23). That’s the calling of every Christian, not just those who fight against homosexual desires.

Does that make me gay? If by “gay” you mean attracted to men, then sure. For as long as I can remember. Ever since elementary school, when I told my playmates about my crush on the blond boy who won the hula-hoop contest, and even before then. I’m not convinced (and not concerned) if I was born this way, but it certainly seems as though I’ve always been attracted to the same sex.

But if by “gay” you mean one who embraces homosexuality and chooses to pursue same-sex relationships, then absolutely not. I’ve heard arguments that try to reconcile Christianity and homosexual practice. As a Christian who experiences same-sex attraction, even I’m not convinced. The Bible is clear: homosexual practice is a sin. So yes, I still have a moral problem with homosexuality. I still have a moral problem with lots of things that I do. That’s part of life on this side of eternity.

So am I gay?

Here’s the problem: it’s hard to cram a whole conversation’s worth of cultural context, theological concepts and personal convictions into “yes” or “no.” For Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction, the answer is really “yes and no.” Yes on the surface level (being attracted to the same sex) and no in the truest sense (as a new creation in Christ). So if someone asked if I’m gay, the best answer is “Kinda sorta yeah not really.” It’s a complicated answer. But so is the question.

A more important question to answer is one that Jesus asked Peter: “Do you love me?” My answer is yes. A thousand times yes! By the grace of God, my love for Christ is greater than my attraction to men. Love enables me to pursue holiness rather than homosexuality. Love compels me to serve God rather than my own selfish desires, however “natural” they may seem. Jesus makes singleness, celibacy and everything else that comes with same-sex attraction worth it. Indeed, the life I’m choosing to live can hardly be called a sacrifice.

As I’ve grown in my relationship with God and trusted more in Christ’s finished work on the cross, I’ve learned not to define myself by sins or temptations. My identity is not bound to my sexuality, but to my Savior (Galatians 2:20). That’s why I don’t call myself a gay Christian; I’m a Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction. I haven’t given up hope that God can change those attractions. But I’m living in the reality that he has not, and he may not. In the meantime, my highest goal is not becoming straight, but knowing and loving Christ.

Why am I telling you all this now? Well, this isn’t your average “coming out” story. It’s not a celebration or a step toward freedom. That happened more than twenty years ago when I gave my life to Christ. I’m talking now because the world is talking. “Be who you are, embrace your sexuality, it gets better.” They have slick campaigns, celebrity endorsements and flashy bumper stickers. One thing they don’t have is hope.

Jesus is that hope. He came into the world to save sinners—gay, straight and everything in between. God reconciles us to himself when we put our faith in Christ, who died in our place so that we may be called righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). That faith doesn’t take away our temptations—sexual or otherwise—but it takes away the condemnation (Romans 8:1). That’s the gospel. That’s a story that needs to be told. That’s why I’m talking now.

Since becoming a blogger at The Two Cities, I’ve written about gay marriage, the “born this way” debate, gay identity, ex-gays, homosexuality according to Jesus, and how to love gays. These articles weren’t just about theology and culture. They were about me. Someone who has studied same-sex attraction, yes, but who also experiences it. Someone who is kinda sorta yeah not really gay.

 

Share This:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Categories
Testimony
Bryan Magana

Bryan has a master's degree in English, a full-time job in public relations, and the gift of joyful singleness. He leads worship at his church in Utah and enjoys traveling, singing, playing games, hiking, and eating out. He can be reached at kindasortayeahnotreally@gmail.com
206 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

*

*

  • John Anthony Dunne
    John Anthony Dunne
    26 September 2012 at 10:34 am

    Bryan, you are truly inspiring and I admire your courage immensely. God bless you for your conviction.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +51 (from 61 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Barry
      28 September 2012 at 7:54 pm

      I see that (as I assumed) this has become an ethical debate which stems from an illogical base, so I will follow your lead, Bryan, and just speak for myself.

      Thank you so much for this post. I am a heterosexual married man who struggles in a world inundated with sexual images that pull me in every direction, addictive tendencies sustained by easy access to explicit images, and a culture that fosters self-pleasure, and even goes so far as to encourage me to better my marriage by watching pornography. It has been a real struggle…especially when it isn’t normal to not watch porn, to want to be modest, to not desire other women, to not waste my endorphin-bursts on images of women who 1) aren’t my wife and 2) most likely aren’t enjoying what they’re doing. It also doesn’t really make sense…it is more rational in our culture to look at this stuff, and do this stuff. But Jesus calls us to something different.

      I love that you divert the question to what really matters…not, “Should I do this or not?”…but, “Do you love me?” That really hits home for me. This can be a lonely life, and I might not ever meet you, but I’m sure going to lift up thanks to God for you tonight as a needed friend and brother. Thank you.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +27 (from 27 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Barry
        28 September 2012 at 7:55 pm

        Sorry, John. This wasn’t meant as a reply to your comment, but to the blog post! Oops!

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        Leave a Reply
      • KT
        29 September 2012 at 10:28 am

        Praying for you Barry … That you’d be further convicted in you love for Him each day and that your very real and difficult struggles of the flesh would be overcome in His precious name.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
        Leave a Reply
    • Taryn W
      27 November 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Amen and a 1000 amens. I am astounded by your blog post. See, you get it. You get that Christianity isn’t about hating the homosexual community. It’s about laying down our sins, whatever they may be and usually they are many. If you have an attraction to men ,and are laying your sins down, Christ within you will crunify your flesh and kill that desire. It was the hardest of anything for me to lay down my sexual desires in being single. My flesh battles. But my desire for Christ supercedes that. It’s OK to be human and battle with the flesh, to know you are battling means you aren’t compromising. You are growing in your relationship with the Lord. Anyone with any sexual issue is welcome to come to the Lord for salvation but it is us that have to make the choice to take up our cross and crucify our flesh. Christiand in this day in age seem to gravitate to hate speech, instead of just calling sin, what it is..sin. We were all in some sort of bondage before we came to Christ. Keep up the fight.. Bravo job.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      Leave a Reply
  • Raymond Morehouse
    Raymond Morehouse
    26 September 2012 at 10:42 am

    This is certainly among the bravest, clearest, and most moving expressions of devotion to Christ in the face of temptation that I have read. I suppose that any deeply rooted temptation could fill the space that same-sex attraction fills in your life, but it is all the more potent given the particular culture of sexuality in which we find ourselves. Thank you for this, truly.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +37 (from 47 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Isai Garcia
    26 September 2012 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for this Bryan. I have been sorting my thoughts on this issue for a little while now. I appreciate your openness about your journey. May God continue to give you the strength to speak.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +12 (from 22 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Chris Swenson
    26 September 2012 at 11:17 am

    Bryan, it takes a real man to post something like this. Thank you for your honesty and perspective. I have always respected you, but it is on a much deeper level now.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +30 (from 40 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Cole Matson
      26 September 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Chris, I went to thumbs-up your post, but was doing it on my phone, and accidentally hit the thumbs-down button, which it wouldn’t let me change! So your comment should have 2 more points on it than it has. Sorry!

      Cole

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Cole Matson
    26 September 2012 at 11:27 am

    Bryan, thank you for these words. You’re right, our identity is in Christ, not in temptations or sexuality. As someone who has also chosen celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom (for similar though not the same reasons), I understand how difficult the daily living of it can be. I admire and am grateful for your openness and courage. God bless you, brother.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +10 (from 14 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Grammy
    26 September 2012 at 11:29 am

    Excellent!!!!! Trust the Lord and He will be faithful to you!!!!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 8 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Rose
      28 September 2012 at 3:28 pm

      If this is your real Grammy, Bryan, that is too cute!

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      Leave a Reply
  • Jeremiah
    26 September 2012 at 11:37 am

    I struggle with how we are to handle this issue. Is it really a good idea for us to say to people, “This thing which is a part of you that you didn’t choose, you must not let it be a part of your identity.” It seems evil to say to people that they can never experience any sort of positive connection with their sexuality. We go on and on about the joys of heterosexual marriage and sexuality, and at the same time we tell these people that anything they do, ever, that is a natural expression of their sexuality is evil and cuts them off from God. Does no one else see a problem with that?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +18 (from 52 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Megan
      26 September 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Jeremiah, what do you actually think of the testimony itself, regardless of whether or not you agree with making his position normative for Christians who struggle with SSA. Are you at all diminishing this testimony? I understand the tension you bring up. That’s a very real concern. But as far as this post is concerned, are you at all excited about Bryan’s dedication to Christian celibacy? I’m only curious since no one responded…

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +4 (from 22 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Jeremiah
        27 September 2012 at 2:20 pm

        I don’t disagree with his position. I think until I am persuaded by some argument that the church should be fully open and affirming, his approach, which is indistinct from that of Roman Catholicism, is the only one possible. I am glad that Bryan is at peace with his decision, but the reality of his position, i.e. that he can never positively express his sexuality in any way, is incredibly stark. In some ways it is ugly, and it is worthy of lament or at the least some tough questions we need to be asking ourselves.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +10 (from 24 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Hal
          27 September 2012 at 11:05 pm

          We all struggle with sexual temptation, whether adulterous temptation or same-sex attraction. God’s plan for sexual expression–between a married man & woman–is the same for all, and is sufficient for all.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +12 (from 34 votes)
          Leave a Reply
    • Andrew Faris
      26 September 2012 at 1:20 pm

      JB,

      I think I’m in keeping with Bryan when I question both the “naturalness” that you affirm and the premise that what is “natural” to us ought to be embraced.

      I’m sure your familiar enough with conservative thinking on both of those points, so I won’t spell it out (unless you’re particularly interested, in which case, I’m glad to), but that’s basically how at least I would think of your question.

      Andrew

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 13 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Jeremiah
        27 September 2012 at 2:59 pm

        Faris,

        I think I’m in keeping with myself in pointing out that your entire response is a house of cards built on assumptions. It is a testament to your suspicion of anyone who does not fit into the “conservative” mold which, given my past conversations with you on a myriad number of subjects, I know is code for “real” or “Biblical” or “orthodox” Christianity. I made no positive statement endorsing the full embrace of homosexuality by the church, and in fact I simply provided a number of questions that I feel we should be asking ourselves. The declarative sentence in my comment which undoubtedly provoked your ire begins with “seems” because it is about how something feels. It doesn’t necessarily mean that is how it is. It is astonishing to me how your insular heresy-hunting brand of Christianity is so bent out of shape about this issue that to even express feelings of sorrow or to point out the difficulty of what we are asking people to do is to somehow endorse homosexuality. While I am convinced that the apostle Paul wrote in our scriptures condemning homosexual sex, I am not convinced that the issue should function, as has been the case in American, as the litmus test of orthodoxy. As to the question of naturalness (perhaps inborn is a better term?), obviously even your brand of Christianity realizes that something must change if homosexuality is inborn (not necessarily embrace, but we would at least have to change the way we talk), or you wouldn’t fight so hard to demonstrate that it is a “choice.” That people who are born to conservative Christian families, spend thousands on B.S. reparation therapies, fight tooth and nail against their sexuality, and are isolated and cut off from people they love as a result of it did not choose to be the way they are is so obvious prima facie that you wouldn’t argue against it without an agenda. The fact is, that even conservative Christians when forced into regular contact with homosexuals tend to acknowledge the reality that they didn’t choose it. See, for example, Mark Yarhouse’s book which advocates exactly the path that Bryan took. Being a Psychologist and a Christian, he’s spent countless hours with people who have SSA and do not want to be defined by it. Ok, this has clearly devolved into a rant, so I’m just going to stop now. There might be some misdirected anger in there, but it is frustrating to feel like a jerk for not accepting homosexual sex then have someone accuse you of doing just that. Rant concluded.

        Jeremaih

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Andrew Faris
          27 September 2012 at 3:40 pm

          JB,

          Sorry to provoke ire from you. It’s not hard to read here that the issues you have are as much with me and our past interactions as with the issue at hand. Fair enough. I’m sure I’ve been less than gracious to you at points, and I know I’ve held certain assumptions about where you’re coming from. So how about this: let’s start from scratch and not assume anything about what the other thinks?

          I put it like that mostly because you’ve accused me of a whole host of things that I not only don’t believe, but that I said nothing about in my response to you. I actually was trying to be quite measured, and really had no ire toward you whatsoever.

          So just as I think you’ve assumed quite a few things about my position that I don’t think are true, so I’ve probably assumed some things that you believe that probably aren’t true as well. I ask your forgiveness for that.

          Andrew

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +1 (from 9 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Jeremiah
            27 September 2012 at 6:44 pm

            Fair enough, though I will point out that you basically told me to assume what your position was when you said I knew the “conservative thinking on the issue.”

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
        • The Center
          30 October 2012 at 10:06 pm

          Jeremiah,

          Whether or not homosexuality is “inborn” is not important to the discussion. Nature rather than nurture has been proven in some “scientific studies” and in others nurture has been proven rather than nature.

          I find it interesting that Bryan’s post has been placed under the Testimony category. If you have a witness of traditional marriage as God’s will for man, then that is all you need to answer your question.

          I am gay. I don’t believe that God intended me to marry a man, have children with a man, or have sex with a man. My witness is that it is not His plan for me to go that route.

          I also believe that God’s plan is just and gentle. Following a path that He designs protects me from the dangerous and lonely slopes of the path I am inclined to take without His guidance.

          The force behind this raging tempest is quite real. I have faced extreme thoughts of sorrow and have stood in dark and even suicidal corners. At one point, I thought that leaving my faith and religion behind me would rid me of the guilt, anger, and sorrow. That did not work.

          One worship leader asked me to analyze for him whether I was “born this way” or not. (I told him to listen to Gaga’s latest single and get back to me–kidding.) I told him the same thing I am telling you. It doesn’t matter. I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t believe anyone truly does. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is my relationship to God, my own peace of mind, and working daily to be the best version of myself that I can be. I’d say that statement applies to any person, attracted to the same sex or otherwise.

          If I had a daughter who was born to me with an inborn temper and anger issues, I would expect her to learn how to manage her weakness. I would expect her to grow into a respectful adult.

          If as an adult she ended up in jail because of a road rage collision, I would go visit her. I would still love her. But I would expect more from her.

          Also of importance is that I do not associate myself with the word “conservative” or the word “liberal”. In comparison, I am more conservative than some, true. By a different comparison I am more liberal than others. When I die, I expect the Lord to judge me not based on the words “conservative”, “liberal”, “orthodox”, or “progressive”. I expect him to be more concerned with other words: “kind”, “meek”, “humble”, “clean”, “grateful”, “diligent”…..to name a few.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +10 (from 14 votes)
          Leave a Reply
    • Alicia
      26 September 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Why is homosexuality to be different than all of the other unGodly desires people have? Some would say they have problems with monogamy and they have desires to be many different men or women, whatever the case may be. Some would say they would not be fulfilled in a monogamous relationship, does this mean that it is right to go have multiple relationships? No. Our society would say it is okay, if everyone is consenting, but it does not make it so. People will also not be truly satisfied in such lifestyle as it is not the way God intended it to be.
      There are also people that have strong desires to be with children or other not right things, even though this is not as prevalent in our society, I believe it is in the same category. Maybe more of the population does struggle with this, but because it is not acceptable people don’t talk about it? Our hearts are wicked and we desire wicked things… it does not make it okay and that we should embrace it. We all suffer from different sins, what my struggle is will not be the same as others, but it is all sin.

      Love this testimony, as it is someone saying things that I have believed, but as someone who does not struggle with this sin, I would not be listened to in voicing it.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +10 (from 36 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Carrie Allen
        26 September 2012 at 2:58 pm

        I think we need to be more careful here when we compare homosexuality with sexual predators. Sexual abuse actually is very prevalent and not in the same category as two consenting adults (no matter the gender).

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +18 (from 30 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Alicia
          26 September 2012 at 4:25 pm

          I am not comparing the act of sex between consenting adults and sex with a child… my point was the unGodly desire/ thoughts. Though acting on either is a sin, forcing yourself on anyone, especially an innocent child just compounds it with more sin.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +1 (from 29 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Lyndsay
            27 September 2012 at 4:53 pm

            No, you did compare them. Love between two consenting adults usually is seen as a good thing. Why does gender have anything to do with it? No one is harming themselves or others. When an adult takes advantage of a child, the child is harmed. That is wrong.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: -4 (from 32 votes)
      • Aaron Andersen
        1 February 2013 at 6:55 pm

        What separates homosexuality from all these other things, including the use of pornography for sexual gratification, is the possibility for a sexual interaction to be life-affirming and mutually beneficial, versus exploitative and objectifying. Many committed homosexual relationships definitely fall into the first category. I know a lot of Christian gay men and lesbians in such relationships. Certainly some heterosexual marriages are exploitative and objectifying, no matter how monogamous or blessed by a pastor they may be, and I would describe those relationships as sinful.

        Most of the New Testament condemnations of homosexuality are translations of Greek words that are more specific than just homosexuality. They mean specific things like men hiring young boys as prostitutes, condemnations of young boys seducing older men, or older men taking on young boys in a sort of sexual mentorship relationship that wasn’t uncommon when the words were written, but don’t make any sense to us today in this society. They were about differential power distribution in relationships, e.g., trading youthful attractiveness and sex and autonomy for security and luxury. You don’t have to be too imaginative to see the same problem in some heterosexual marriages.

        These specific condemnations have been rewritten to “homosexuality” in some translations, and “unnatural desires” in others. And the people who wrote those translations were translating from an understanding limited within their own time and society, just like I’m writing right now with an understanding limited within my own time and society.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
        Leave a Reply
    • Emily
      26 September 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Isn’t this true of every sinful thing in our lives? My strongest temptation is to anger. This is a part of me that I certainly didn’t choose, and yet has been a defining part of my life since infancy. No matter how much it is a part of “who I am”, it is still a sin to act in accordance with it.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +16 (from 28 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • MamaLlaura
        26 September 2012 at 8:07 pm

        Exactly what I was thinking as I read, Emily. It’s a big soapbox for me that it’s easy here in the Bible Belt for some people with “socially acceptable sins” (like gluttony or anger) to point fingers at people with “taboo sins” (like sexual sins, addiction, etc). (note that this delineation is clearly in the eye of the beholder, NOT the Lord who states that sin is sin is sin.)

        Anyway, I love this post because I see myself in it–any one of us can substitute our own struggle with Bryan’s & re-read the article as our own battle. OR, unfortunately, some of us would substitute our own struggle in these lines & realize we are not as diligent in our fight against the flesh as Bryan is. We ALL battle against the flesh. ALL of us. We all SHOULD battle against the flesh. My struggle is very different from Bryan’s, but my heart rings true when I read these words–this is the same battle I have been fighting over the past year. The battle to put my Lord above my fleshly desires…the battle to honor the Lord in my body instead of indulging my own selfish whims. THIS is the battle we all should be waging against sin…regardless of the sin.

        Thank you, Bryan…well put.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +15 (from 19 votes)
        Leave a Reply
    • Amy
      26 September 2012 at 11:45 pm

      I think we need to recognize our desires for relationship and sexual union as a reflection of the image of God in us, and also a reflection of our need for relationship and union with God. We do people a disservice if we let them believe that marriage is the complete answer to the desires that all of us experience. Rather we acknowledge that marriage is a gift that God chooses to bless SOME people with (certainly not all people, even all those with heterosexual attraction) that gives us a glimpse of what true relationship is like. And for those who are not yet married (or perhaps never will be married: gay or straight), their desires are no less an outpouring of the very same need experienced by people who are married. I believe that when we acknowledge the source of our desires and do not allow them to become our idol, we can, in fact, glorify God through them, even while acknowledging that they may never be fulfilled on earth.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +23 (from 23 votes)
      Leave a Reply
    • Trent
      11 October 2012 at 6:15 pm

      You wrote, “This thing which is a part of you that you didn’t choose, you must not let it be a part of your identity”.

      Shit happens. Whether it’s being born to terrible parents or getting raped as a child or even adult, it is now a part of you – whether you chose it or not.
      Doesn’t make it good.

      Sexual gratification is not the be-all, end-all of life, or even marriage. Anytime you elevate something to such a high position we run into trouble. It’s idolatry. Love, sex and a fulfilling marriage won’t make life better. It doesn’t fix anything, it won’t solve your problems, it won’t take away loneliness. And as Bryan wrote – it won’t give you hope.
      It can’t do these things because people are broken and we are looking to people to make us feel loved, accepted, fulfilled, needed, enjoyed and they always fail.
      I know that my wife won’t fulfill me because I know how messed up I am, and how I can’t even begin to “save” my wife from, well… anything. Not really, anyway. The only one who saves is Jesus.

      Bryan, thank you so much for sharing your story and thoughts.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
      Leave a Reply
    • Kathy
      19 November 2012 at 12:40 am

      Jesus denied Himself the expression of His sexuality. So it is an honuor to be celibate.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
      Leave a Reply
    • Angelina
      3 December 2012 at 4:57 pm

      God never promised that we would all marry and be able to experience the beauty of sexual intimacy.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Natasha
    26 September 2012 at 11:39 am

    Although we share different struggles (mine not being same sex attraction), your testimony resonates with mine in a profound way, reminding me of the far reaching power of the cross. Blest be the tie that binds. I commend you for your courage. Your testimony blesses and encourages me.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +13 (from 17 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Matt Weinstock
    26 September 2012 at 11:48 am

    Dear Bryan,

    Thank you for sharing your story. In a world where we are prone to pose misconceived questions and then quickly provide overly-simplistic answers, your writing is a breath of fresh air. Your articles are mature, measured, thoughtful, and (most importantly) Christ centered. Thank you for reminding us that the only identity that actually matters is the one we find in being a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, and that whatever our temptations (because we all have more than one) we all share the same call to pick up our crosses, find strength through the same Spirit, and await the same hope. I’m proud to know you. Keep it up, you have much to add as this conversation continues in our culture.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +11 (from 17 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Jeremy
    26 September 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I don’t know that I’ve read more informed or helpful articles on this subject than the ones you have posted on this topic. As someone who has taught young people in a Christian environment for over a decade, seeing young people struggle with this issue personally has grieved me deeply. Often the church has had little to say other than “Homosexuality is a sin,” with little or no help beyond that. Your articles have helped inform me and I will use them as I dialogue with others in the future regarding same-sex attraction. I give you my heart-felt thanks for your contribution!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +21 (from 23 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Diamond
    26 September 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I think it is so awesome to see your struggles and convictions turned into a testimony that ultimately points back to Christ. It’s an encouragement to see a life of sin transformed to bring Him glory—and even gives hope to others that they too can do the same, no matter the sin.
    Your bravery in sharing this is admirable, especially considering the context of culture and controversy present on this particular issue. Keep up the excellent work, and thank you for sharing!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 11 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Ryan Lunde
    26 September 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Bryan – you express the heart of faith! Finally, a man among us who bears his cross! May God truly bless you!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +8 (from 14 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Andrew Kelley
    Andrew Kelley
    26 September 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Bryan,

    Amen.

    Sincerely, Andrew

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +7 (from 11 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Amber
    26 September 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Praise the Lord for such a clear testimony of HIS grace!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +8 (from 12 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Don Johnson
    26 September 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for putting out there in the blogosphere what I’ve known for many years: obedience IS The Way. That’s why at Celebrate Recovery (I’m my church’s ministry leader) I always introduce myself as “Hi, my name is Don and I struggle with anger and same sex attraction.”

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 9 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Yes, obedience motivated by love (John 14:15). Not obedience for obedience’s sake, of course. Thanks for your comment, and for your ministry.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      Leave a Reply
  • Karen Olson
    26 September 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Bryan, as God asks: Will you trust me even if I never tell you why?

    You have answered, and continue to answer this question, beautifully.

    Thank God for you!!!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 10 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Eric Eberhard
    26 September 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve always respected and admired you Brian, you’re sexual orientation has never even crossed my mind, nor would it have any relevance on friendship. I’m sorry to hear you had to deal with bullying in this aspect as a child. Kids, more often than not mimic their parents since they haven’t developed the mental ability yet to judge rightously, and the parents of those children apparently never did develop that attribute. Either way, you came out as the stronger for you’re ability to cope with, understand, and “bear your burdens” if you will. Thanks for sharing this piece, it was insightful. Of course I’m still just considering you a fair weather friend since you only call when you need something! :) J/K

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • C. Alan Loewen
    26 September 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you for putting in a simple succinct post what the essence of Christianity is all about: that daily decision of following Christ and denying self for His glory because we simply love Him and are grateful for what He has done for us.

    God bless you.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Carrie Allen
    26 September 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Bryan,

    I wonder what the world will look like in 50 years… What will this blog post look like in the eyes of our future generations. This topic is not going away anytime soon in secular society or the church, and the first steps for the church to embrace and openly talk about homosexuality and the LGBTQ community is people like you. It’s time for Christians to step up and feel comfortable saying -“These are my struggles”. Not just homosexuality but ALL struggles – addictions to alcohol, drugs, porn, food, etc etc. Christians who are living in ways that are not of the spirit. We are all sinners. We are all guilty. We all need God to be more and for us to be less. Even if the sacrifices are great for the Christian, we must make them to live the holy life we’ve been called to live. Thank you or giving us all an example of that.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +20 (from 24 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Andrew Faris
      26 September 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Great stuff, Carrie. I loved this comment.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Carrie Allen
        27 September 2012 at 11:51 pm

        Thanks, Faris :)

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        Leave a Reply
  • Kevin Allen
    26 September 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Brian, great article. Carrie Allen…amen.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Tamara
    26 September 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I can’t even begin to thank you enough for this article. God is so good! This has been a blessing to me and I am sure it will be to others!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Brittany Adams
    26 September 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Bryan, I have many friends that have the same sex attraction, and have had many conversations with them and others around this if they were “born this way” or not. and this has always been my thought process. We all have different temptations that we must go through but its our faith in christ that helps us fight these temptations. Thank you for describing it so eloquently.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Mike
    26 September 2012 at 7:55 pm

    This is cowardice.

    You are denying who you are because of nonsensical religion and all these other commenters are like “oh yes, praise Jesus!”

    Meet a nice guy, get married, adopt a kid, and live a happy, complete and wonderful life.

    This attitude of “the feeling is there but I won’t act on it for god” is equally as destructive as any other bigoted attitude.

    It’s this perspective that you can never be happy because you are broken is why youth suicide among LGBT teens is so high.

    Open your eyes and live your life.

    If you “god” existed, and was remotely kind of loving, that’s what he’d want.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -23 (from 83 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • John Anthony Dunne
      John Anthony Dunne
      26 September 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Cowardice? This blog-post is the most courageous thing I’ve ever read. I wish I was courageous enough to expose myself vulnerably like this before the entire blogosphere. It takes a true man to write this post, and an even greater one to faithfully live the life that Bryan has chosen. You don’t have to like it or suggest it be normative, but this is far from cowardice.

      Presumably you believe in Gay rights, correct? What about the right to celibacy?

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +27 (from 45 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Mike
        26 September 2012 at 11:16 pm

        Someone choosing to be celibate because they want to be celibate is different than someone choosing to be celibate because their antiquated values system tells them they must be or they are a bad person.

        Same sex attraction isn’t a disorder, a flaw, or a condition that has to be dealt with. It’s just another facet of someone, like skin color or height.

        The “cross” that gay people carry isn’t same sex attraction, it’s the bigotry promoted on sites like this which tell people that it’s wrong for them to be in a happy relationship and start a family with someone of the same gender.

        The message of love and compassion that we should be promoting is that it’s ok for people to be who they are, and live fulfilling lives. Not that they should deal with their homosexuality like it’s diabetes because your imaginary god demands it.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: -5 (from 63 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • John Anthony Dunne
          John Anthony Dunne
          26 September 2012 at 11:20 pm

          Do you at all realize that you’re exemplifying bigotry towards someone attracted to the same sex? Your words on this site (and twitter) are nothing short of hate-speech. Somehow you’re above bigotry?

          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +20 (from 36 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Mike
            27 September 2012 at 9:11 am

            I’m don’t accept people treating delusion like its an acceptable reality. Denying yourself having a partner because you misguidedly believe that “god” doesn’t like it is delusional.

            But it’s you who support this mentality who are bigoted.

            If you really loved and supported the author you would tell him NO. God loves you exactly how you are, and wants you to be happy. He wants you to understand that your homosexuality is just a part of you, not a problem. He wants you to live a wonderful life full of love.

            But instead you are all like “yes! Good homosexual! Be celibate and we like you!”

            C’mon man. Go live. You’re completely normal, and deserve the best. Don’t buy into this BS that you are broken. Your perfect just the way you are.

            Except that whole thinking you can’t have companionship or romance in your life. Like my twitter comment (@c0wb0ycliche) said, that’s pretty idiotic.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: -5 (from 45 votes)
        • Andrew Faris
          27 September 2012 at 1:08 am

          Hi Mike,

          What psychological/scientific basis do you have for saying that sexual orientation is synonymous with things like skin color and height?

          Thanks.

          Andrew

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: -1 (from 15 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Mike
            27 September 2012 at 9:13 am

            What scientific proof do you have for god, Jesus or anything in the bible? You can believe all of that with only scientific evidence proving its fictional, but require science to prove that being gay is normal. Bit of a double standard there no?

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: -1 (from 33 votes)
          • Andrew Faris
            27 September 2012 at 9:43 am

            Mike,

            I’m not attacking you. It’s an honest question, since I regularly hear people say things like you have said, namely that homosexuality is entirely natural and ought to simply be accepted.

            I’m not suggesting that this is never the case, but I’m curious as to why it is you think that. Again, not an attack. An honest question.

            And how about this: you answer my question and I’ll answer yours, as yours is also a fair question.

            Andrew

            P.S. I recognize that you’re posting on a Christian post as a minority voice relative to the rest of who would read this blog. If you would rather not have this discussion in a public forum, I’m more than happy to take it to private email or something so that you don’t end up fighting an internet war against tons of people. Thanks for your comments here.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +11 (from 17 votes)
          • Mike
            27 September 2012 at 5:36 pm

            I’ve tried to respond to your last comment, but it isn’t getting approved, so I’ll try one last time, this time putting it here instead of with a link.

            This immediately struck a chord with me as it’s the same bullshit approach that my own family would love for me to take. That whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach. But what people don’t realize is how this attitude is no better than Fred Phelp’s “God Hates Fags” movement – and how much it matters. And how disheartening it is to see the majority of the comments on that post celebratory and proud of this man denying himself love and companionship because of his religion.

            About homosexuality being natural/normal.

            While I wouldn’t normally be linking to Wikipedia, as it’s not really a reliable source, the page for this contains all of the links to the reliable sources at the bottom of the page under references, as well as decent summaries.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

            But, frankly, I don’t think that matters.

            The argument boils down to a question of choice more than a question of the biological root, and that question is where being homosexual is a choice or is not a choice, and whether it is possible and/harmful for people to “convert” to heterosexuality.

            There is an element of homosexuality that is not a choice, and an element that is.

            The element that isn’t is same sex attraction. Just like a straight male doesn’t decide to get aroused when he sees a naked woman, a homosexual male doesn’t choose to become aroused by men. Since that’s a biological reaction, I’d assume there is some sort of biological cause. Likewise, since over 1500 species engage in homosexual activity, I’d suggest it was pretty natural. But again, it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s from a gene or life experiences or whatever, it’s not something you choose, as even the author of that blog acknowledges. I can acknowledge this myself as a gay man, and also, similarly to the author of that blog, can confirm that I had feelings towards other males from a very early age, well before understanding what it meant, and without any sort of external pressure to do so, like abuse or weird familial structure or whatever. I had a pretty normal childhood, and ever since I can remember I was attracted to men. Where this relates to the comparison to skin color or height is that just like those attributes, it’s not something you can choose. It’s not saying they both have the same biological measureable cause, its saying just like you can’t decide to have black skin, you can’t decide to be attracted to men or women or both. And research has shown that trying to change this is overwhelmingly harmful, and doesn’t work.

            But, truth be told, even if for someone it was a choice – that’s still a choice that should be respected and tolerated. If someone didn’t say what gender of person they were aroused by, but that they decided they wanted to be with someone of the same gender, that’s a completely valid choice. I have never met anyone like that, and don’t know if they exist, but if they do, they have the right to do that. Likewise, someone who is attracted to people of the same gender (and is honest and open about it) but decides to be with someone of the opposite gender (honestly) or alone – because they choose to, not because they feel it’s wrong to be who they are – deserves respect and tolerance. Again, I don’t know any of these people, but whether nature or nurture or choice, who someone decided to have for a partner that is a consenting adult is their own choice and shouldn’t be criticized by someone else.

            The choice of gay people is to accept who they are and be unafraid to live openly and honestly as who they are. And it is a choice. For me, this choice came around 17 or 18. I had to consciously acknowledge that no matter how many girls I dated or tried to be with physically, I wanted to be with a man, even if my family told me I would go to hell for it and at the time I believed it was hugely wrong. It wasn’t an easy choice, and one that took me years to make. But it was a choice. And it was a choice with only one courageous option – to be true to myself. Could I have forced myself to deny it, and be with women, and get married and live a “normal” looking life? Yes. Could I have chosen as Bryan did to openly admit my sexuality but never act on it out of a sense of religious obligation since I believed it was a wrong? Yes. But those choices are wrong and cowardly – and the message that they send is both the same, and hugely damaging.

            An undeniable fact is that suicide among LGBT youth is significantly larger than among straight youth. It’s estimated nearly 30-40% of young gay and lesbian people have attempted suicide. That’s an absurdly high percent. And there is one reason, above all the others, that causes this.

            The belief that something is wrong with you. That you are either broken or sick or wrong in some way. That there is something inherently wrong with what you want – the way that a murderer’s desire is wrong, or a child predator’s desire is wrong. It’s this belief that causes the effects that cause young kids to try to kill themselves. It causes self-hatred and external bullying, it causes families to break apart and people to be left abandoned when they need love the most. And it’s incredibly dangerous.

            Bryan might be willing to admit that he has feelings towards men, but he’s also agreeing that if he was to act on those feelings he would be doing something wrong. Which puts him in the same boat as Fred Phelps and Rick Santorum and any other person who is responsible for making gay people feel “wrong.” And it’s sad.

            And it’s intolerable.

            As a culture, as a country, as a people, as a species, we need to move towards a place where if a child feels same sex attraction, he won’t even think twice about it, he’ll just be like every other kid. Where it’ll be normal for people to marry who they love, and no one will bat an eyelash about what gender they are. And it’s not such a far stretch.

            Martin Luther King Jr. imagined a world where white kids and black kids would play together and not notice their differences, and in many ways, we are getting there.

            I imagine a world where sexual orientation won’t be discussed because it will be a non-issue – like skin color. And I think, slowly but surely, we are getting there.

            But mentalities like Bryans are going in the wrong direction. And it’s sad. I feel bad for him. Honestly. I want him to find love. I want him to find happiness. I want him to know that he is whole and perfect and wonderful and shouldn’t feel bad about himself. I want him to find a man who will love him and respect him and make him know these things. But I don’t think that will happen.

            Why?

            Religion.

            I’m not going to get into it again, but read some of my previous entries, most specifically On Religion for a brief slice of my perspective.

            http://dharmaburns.com/2012/07/11/on-religion-part-1/

            Now about our discussion regarding god – if you are up for it, I’d love you to answer the questions in my previous post.

            “So why do people who otherwise are sane believe this nonsense? I really want someone to explain it to me. “Faith” is not an answer. How admitting you believe nonsense just because you believe it is an answer is beyond me.

            When a nut job hears God tell her to drown her kids in a bathtub we all admit she’s a nut. But when a reasonable person says gay people shouldn’t get married because God says so we see this as a respectable opinion.

            So that’s my challenge- without citing faith, why should we respect beliefs which are based on things that are factually and scientifically impossible?

            Why is someone who believes in a flying spaghetti monster a crazy person but someone who believes 2000 years ago a Middle Eastern man was born by a virgin and rose from the dead and walked on water is sane enough to run for office?

            How can you believe things that are factually wrong and not know you are an idiot?”

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: -5 (from 29 votes)
        • Keith
          27 September 2012 at 8:10 am

          Mike,

          Please read Charles Taylor, “A Secular Age.” You’ll discover that your narrative about fulfillment as the highest goal remains patently modern. It is what Taylor calls “subtraction theories” (i.e. we shed off what those silly people before us believed). Another narrative, and a more honest one it seems, is that people got sick of God acting within history, so we shaped a culture that has altogether ignored his presence and goals.

          Please be aware that your narrative is not The only explanation of what is going on here.

          Anyway, this post was nothing close to cowardice.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +10 (from 18 votes)
          Leave a Reply
        • Ryan M
          27 September 2012 at 8:40 am

          Mike,

          What if in 1000 years your values system is antiquated? It is only some sort of arrogant pride of place on the timeline of history that makes you believe that somehow in the year 2012, we have finally arrived and our value systems are no longer antiquated. Besides that people, have been acting on homosexual feelings for thousands of years so you believing it is ok is hardly something novel.

          Secondly, homosexuality is NOT like skin color or height. Unlike skin color and height, homosexuality is undetectable apart from self identification. Perhaps this article with will shed light on that: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/07/19/gay-is-not-the-new-black/

          Moreover, I think you have missed the overall point of Bryan’s message. He is saying that there is something more satisfying than “falling in love,” “finding your soul mate,” or in your words, “Meet a nice guy, get married, adopt a kid, and live a happy, complete and wonderful life.” Bryan’s point is that these pleasures are all far too simple. As a married heterosexual man, I can state unequivocally that I agree with Bryan here. In my case, “Meet a nice GIRL, get married, adopt a kid, and live a happy, complete and wonderful life,” is not enough to satisfy my soul. My soul needs something deeper. A connection with the God who created me. A real relationship with the one who created, loved me and died for me. Only then will my soul and any human’s soul be satisfied. This is the most important point Bryan is making. It’s his story and the primary point of his story is that there is a greater satisfaction in God than what can be found in any other earthly pleasure.

          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +17 (from 31 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Mike
            27 September 2012 at 9:18 am

            That’s not his point.

            His point isn’t that there is greater satisfaction than building a relationship and family with another man so he chooses to devote himself to spiritual practice. That would be an acceptable point.

            His point is that for him to be with a man is immoral, so he chooses not to be. That’s just sad, and not an attitude to be proud of, its an attitude that needs to be corrected with love and acceptance.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 36 votes)
          • Brad
            27 September 2012 at 9:52 am

            Mike,
            Obviously you endorse the LTGB movement to “normalize” homosexual behavior. How would you argue against NAMBLA’s push to normalize sexual relationships between consenting adults and children? Of course, Im making the assumption that you would protest to this type of sexual expression? It seems to me you are assuming some sort of ethical standard in your comments. You use words like, “bigoted” and “needs corrected?” From where are you deriving these didactic lessons? If they simply originate from your own “feeling” about the issue, what you are say essentially is “yuk! I don’t like Bryan’s view of homosexual sex!” However, if you believe Bryan’s views are objectively wrong and should be “corrected” as you stated, how have you come to discover these objective moral norms? It seems to me you (and others arguing against Bryan’s position, even to the point of calling him a coward) have no moral right to do so. Who gives you the authority to judge him? What objective and external standard has he broken? Your admonishments are mere emotivism.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +8 (from 36 votes)
    • Carrie Allen
      28 September 2012 at 12:06 am

      Hi Mike,

      I totally hear what you are saying. I first want to apologize for being lumped in the category of “that Christian” who is often openly and publicly coming down hard on the LGBTQ community. We as Christians are so fallen, and we forget what God has shown us about loving one another like He has loved us (His love shown on the Cross). And I hear where you’re coming from – it would seem natural to think, “No… you do not have to sacrifice these desires of same sex attraction because you are a Christ follow.” I do understand how that can seem hateful, I really do. But just like we should (and some do) love people who make those decisions for themselves, doesn’t mean we cannot love and support people like Bryan who make different decisions. Whether our faith seems delusional or untrue to you, doesn’t mean we should judge others for that.

      This problem of hate is on BOTH sides. Christians are seen as conservatives and do not leave any room for tolerance or acceptance of certain peoples lifestyles and beliefs. But at the same time I can copy and paste that sentence for Non-Christians who are seen as liberals, and do not leave any room for tolerance or acceptance of certain peoples lifestyles. I am so guilty of this myself, as a Christian and definitely a more leftist democrat, I find myself judging other more conservative Christians ALL the time, and I try to remind myself that I need to have more patience and acceptance of their beliefs (mostly political, some theological).

      There are many gay Christians who choose to live out their faith and openly have same sex relationships. Bryan could have easily chosen this path, but for him, it doesn’t seem right. We have to respect that story and I really hope that you can appreciate a different perspective to this subject. And I truly hope that you will take into consideration the validity of Christianity and the power of God and the Holy Spirit, in giving Bryan this kind of courage to take a position on what his life will look like for the future.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 8 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Dianne
    26 September 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you for your honesty! Well said!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Concerned Christian
    26 September 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I appreciate the effort behind this article. However, the “It Gets Better” campaign was created for same purpose that it seems you have, which is to encourage others to press on in life as they work things out for themselves with their sexuality. It was created to help teens stop parasuicidal and suicidal acts. You flaunt the way that you have manage your homosexual desire but don’t compassionately grant others the same grace and space to figure it out, also. I would think you would not attack others with a very important objective to protect the lives of others (who you probably believe will go to hell if they have completed suicide attempts), even if you believe they are misled to accept themselves in a way different that you did. You’ve created a “but I’m a Christian and not really gay” schema for your life to survive, and reject anyone else who cannot immediately jump to that conclusion. These forums make struggling and newer Christians feel even more hopeless when they cannot just “achieve success” and soar on it.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +8 (from 24 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • KT
      26 September 2012 at 10:31 pm

      I don’t believe Bryan was bashing the “it gets better” campaign but simply trying to convey there’s far more to live for than self (and societal) acceptance. I also hardly felt he was “flaunting” the way he manages his desires/SSA and would imagine his struggle has been extremely painful. He doesn’t appear to be have “achieved success” but rather accepted a Savior. This is the gospel and it is what every CHristian must boldly proclaim. Great job Bryan!

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +7 (from 21 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Marta
    26 September 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I am so grateful for this blog and will continue to read what you write, Bryan. I believe you have expressed what many cannot. I am involved in ministry to those with loved ones who struggle with SSA. You have capsulized the challenge of ans
    wering candidly a difficult question in difficult times. Thank you.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Trent
    26 September 2012 at 10:27 pm

    This article is a very though provoking, well written personal story sharing an honest,open, and logical experience of a person who has struggled with same-sex desires for some time now but who has deliberately chosen not to persue such feelings. It’s always about the choice isn’t it at the end of the day. Although I cannot relate with Bryan in the slightest to his same-sex desires, I’m sure all true Christians can relate to the aspect of knowing we are all sinners in the eyes of God and fall short and are in constant need of repentance; the willfull choice of choosing good which is God, over evil.

    There are definitely an entire host of ungodly desires all of us struggle with each day. This doesn’t give us a reason at all to not constantly strive toward being kind to each other, loving each other as Christ and God loves us. God loves the sinner (the person) unconditionally but cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance (which is where true repentance comes in). Much of what Bryan wrote reminds me of Mosiah 3:19 here:

    “For the anatural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”
    http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/3.19?lang=eng

    God said we are on earth to be tested to see if we will obey all of his commandments which are reveal through his prophets, ancient and current. Will we ultimately choose to side with our Father & Mother in Heaven? Such is a hourly, daily decision reflected in our choice. It seems the fruits we bear will be the ultimate judge of who we really are and who we really desire to be with. Thanks for the post!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -9 (from 21 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Trent, thanks for the comment. However, for the sake of our readers, I should mention that I do not share your Latter-day Saints worldview. I certainly don’t believe my choice to be celibate will be the “ultimate judge.” To stand blameless before God we need “a righteousness apart from the law” (Romans 3:21). That is, we need Jesus and him alone. His righteousness, his work, his blood. Of course, there are other differences in our worldviews (red flags: “Mother in Heaven,” “current” prophets, quote from Mosiah), but for the sake of this discussion, I want to emphasize that I’m not depending on my own works to be accepted by God, but on Christ’s finished work on the cross.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +42 (from 44 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Patrick
    27 September 2012 at 3:22 am

    I’m sorry.

    I’m sorry this delusion has caused you to hate aspects of who you are, only to feel relief by being forgiven the imaginary slight against an imaginary being by the imaginary being.

    I’m sorry you think you live in reality, even though conversion therapy doesn’t work, and never will. Even though the evidence for Jesus is as strong as the evidence for Hercules.

    I’m sorry you have to lie to yourself to find hope, and that you are so misguided that you think that no one else has found hope.

    I wish you luck in your freedom, and I know you have the capability to find it.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -14 (from 46 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Ryan M
      27 September 2012 at 8:17 am

      Patrick,

      Has it ever occurred to you that what you are maligning is the very thing your pretend to stand for? And I use the word pretend very deliberately. Here you are, some “holy roller” of gay rights, telling another person that what he is doing is illegitimate. You are just as absolutist as any Christian. Don’t kid yourself. And the words from your blog post. Oh my goodness. You might as well join the people who hold up signs that say, “God hates fags.” Your sign would just say, “I hate people who are gay but choose not to act on it,” or something of the like. The hate speech in your blog is unprecedented. If people should be allowed to live as they please, then why does Bryan’s choice bother you so much? You are doing the very thing that you say Christian’s should not do, which it to tell others they are misguided, wrong and should live differently. There will never be an honest conversation on this topic unless people like yourself recognize that your beliefs are just as exclusivistic as any Christian’s. The hypocrisy of your statements and blog post are of such a massive nature, that there is no word in the English language to quantify them. I hope people read your post because they will realize that the only person here filled with hate is yourself.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +13 (from 23 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Mike
        27 September 2012 at 9:23 am

        There will never be an honest conversation until its between two parties who don’t believe in delusional notions of god and religion from thousands of years ago and instead use reason and logic.

        And I can’t speak for Patrick, but assuming we share similar ideology, our signs wouldn’t say we hate anything, they would say “we LOVE you and want to open your eyes so you can be free.”

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: -10 (from 28 votes)
        Leave a Reply
      • KT
        27 September 2012 at 9:56 am

        Well said Ryan.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
        Leave a Reply
      • Patrick
        27 September 2012 at 10:54 am

        “Has it ever occurred to you that what you are maligning is the very thing your pretend to stand for?”

        I stand for humanity and will oppose people who by their inaction or action actively create suffering, and will not abide it? I will malign people I see causing harm rather than help. Guilty on this count.

        “You are just as absolutist as any Christian.”

        What does this mean? That I’m absolutely appalled at trying to trick oneself (and others) into thinking it’s somehow good or beneficial to live in contempt for one’s own nature? That repression-repentence-self loathing cycles are reprehensible? Guilty as charged.

        “You might as well join the people who hold up signs that say, “God hates fags.” Your sign would just say, “I hate people who are gay but choose not to act on it,””

        From this it is clear you didn’t read my article as an unbiased outsider. I take issue with the author’s misguided notion that it is *possible to change one’s nature, *possible for everyone to deny who they are, *hope is only for those who do this, *”it gets better” is a slick marketing gimmick, and *Homosexuality has some moral consequence.
        None of these things are true, and spreading lies like this create situations where people want to kill themselves. I don’t abide this sort of thing.
        I’m not sure what definition of hate speech you’re using, but let me show you what hate speech actually looks like:

        “Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth.” – Dr. James Dobson

        I used strong language suited for a strong, charged topic. If you are not enough of a grown up to hear dissenting views presented by someone who has actual, real, breathing gay friends that suffer because of tripe such as the above article, I’m sorry. Don’t go to my blog until your faith is bigger than a mustard seed.

        “If people should be allowed to live as they please, then why does Bryan’s choice bother you so much?”

        Nowhere anywhere in my blog did I make this argument. I am talking about one specific instance, and pointed out multiple examples of immoral actions that violate the consent. Please engage in honest dialogue as I have done, and note that ‘strong language’ is not synonymous with dishonest. If someone has non-consensual sex with a minor, it’s okay to call it child rape.

        “There will never be an honest conversation on this topic unless people like yourself recognize that your beliefs are just as exclusivistic as any Christian’s. ”

        Yes? I have empirical evidence to back up my claims. I cite the APA, have read scholarly journals about the nature of the bible, old and new testaments, read about the historical context of homosexuality in the Bronze Age middle east, Greek, and Roman culture.

        What do you have? Feelings? Good. Your religion is equally legitimate to every other religion or mythology system that has ever existed on the planet, including Ra-worshipers, Scientologists, Muslims, and Cargo Cultists. I understand the actual psychological terminology for what’s happening in your mind; Confirmation bias, projection, duning-krueger effect, stockholm syndrome, compartmentalization. Doesn’t make me smarter, just means that there is a lot more there that you probably don’t understand.

        Meanwhile skepticism and rational inquiry don’t cause quite as many gay teens being kicked out of their homes (or suicides) because their fundamentalist parents hate them. You’re comparing a Lexus to a drawing of a unicycle. One can be used to do something productive, the other doesn’t exist except as a concept written down.

        I changed my mind once. I will gladly do it again, if there is objective (read: agreed upon by everyone founded in reality) fact that validates some of the theology espoused by Christianity. Until such time occurs, I recognize Christianity as a very convincing delusion that by its nature kills and destroys human life, both figuratively and literally. To that end, I plan to continue pointing out the sado-masochistic nature of the charade.

        “The hypocrisy of your statements and blog post are of such a massive nature, that there is no word in the English language to quantify them.”

        What hypocritical statement did I make? I never claimed to have perfect knowledge, though it is quite clear to me as an ex-christian of 10 years, that it is a delusion that kills. I pointed out references and provided hard evidence to back up my claims.
        What is the reference here? One person’s opinion on an ancient text.

        So hypocritical to think that an opinion founded in agreed-upon objective reality beats out the uniformed ramblings of mysogynistic homophobic genocidal-desiring schizophrenics and politicians from 1900+ years ago.
        If you disagree, gird yourself up like a man and point out the unverified facts that I used to supplement my argument, and I will give credit where credit is due.

        “I hope people read your post because they will realize that the only person here filled with hate is yourself.”

        I’m finally sorry that people are so blinded as to mistake a passion for my friends, being offended by evil guised as ‘love,’ and speaking out clearly and strongly against evil is ‘hatred.’ I pity you.

        (A note to the moderators: I utterly blew it the first time a comment was submitted. feel free to delete the previous version and keep this one)

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 18 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Andrew Faris
          27 September 2012 at 12:28 pm

          Patrick,

          I disagree with nearly everything you’ve written here, and yet I really appreciate the thoughtfulness, spirit, and tone of what you’re saying. I myself am only interested in a spirituality that is rooted in some kind of objective truth, not in one that is a self-focused myth/delusion to make myself feel better built on blind faith.

          You have written too much for me or anyone else to respond to every point (and that’s not a slam- just a reality). So instead, let me focus on what I think the core of what you’re getting at is, at least on the side of Christianity.

          First, I’m not sure your definition of “objective” is fair. You say that “objective” basis would be “agreed upon by everyone founded in reality”. Obviously there’s some polemic here, but of course, in that case, we don’t really have objective basis for almost anything in the world. There are smart people who disagree about nearly everything anyone has ever said on the basis of perceived facts, not just feelings and whims. So “objective” has to be a little broader than you make it.

          Second, I’d suggest that the fundamental historical basis for Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus, which there is good reason to believe in. The Bible has multiple sources purporting to report historical fact in its resurrection accounts, and I consider those sources to be reliable historical witnesses. In the face of ancient authors reporting that event, my question becomes this: why do you think they were either deceivers or deceived, and what explanation do you suggest in its place that has a better explanatory scope than the resurrection of Jesus?

          That’s the way I get there in one paragraph in the comment section of a blog post. Of course, topics this big deserve better than that, and I’ll say the same thing to you I said to Mike above which is that I’d love to continue this conversation over email. Let me know if you’re interested.

          Again, I’m grateful for your comment.

          Andrew

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +8 (from 12 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Patrick
            27 September 2012 at 12:42 pm

            http://coffeeshopatheist.com/blog/2012/03/lord-liar-lunatic-literal-3-lets-make-a-resurrection-legend/

            Main reason I do not believe the resurrection is that the amount of superfluous details and aggrandizement grow in the gospels alongside the dating of the gospels, coupled with the fact that paul never saw the bodily resurrected jesus, only presumably met a large number of predisposed-to-hallucination christians at the time of the resurrection.

            Read the article I posted above and I’d love to continue by email! Best of luck!

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: -1 (from 9 votes)
  • A
    27 September 2012 at 8:02 am

    This is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -12 (from 40 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Have you ever heard about genocide? Child abuse? Human trafficking? Gang violence?

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +44 (from 50 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Andrew
        28 September 2012 at 12:09 am

        As someone in the same boat as you, I second this. Denying myself of sex for the one who denied himself of his whole life is minuscule to all of the above. I love your insight and your plain interpretation of the Gospel. Massively encouraging! There is hope in the Life Jesus gave. My life now has purpose and I have Joy overflowing. There is freedom in denying oneself and not everyone will understand it until it is revealed to them. Maybe we are crazy for not living like the world is telling us we should, but I’d rather die crazy than not have the Joy I have found in knowing Christ! Again, I’m so incredibly happy God let me read these words from someone else who is finding victory.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +19 (from 25 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Bryan Magana
          Bryan Magana
          28 September 2012 at 3:27 pm

          What a great testimony! You’re right, biblical self-denial results in joy, hope and freedom. Thanks for chiming in, brother. I prayed for you last night. Glad you’ve been encouraged. I have, too.

          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
          Leave a Reply
  • Barb
    27 September 2012 at 8:29 am

    Excellent! Thank you for sharing. I love this summation: “My identity is not bound to my sexuality, but to my Savior (Galatians 2:20).” That is so completely the truth for all of us…married, single, man, woman, content in relationships or not, struggling, not struggling, young in Christ, seasoned by years walking with Christ…our identity is Christ. Our need is Christ. Our source is Christ. And He is sufficient.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 10 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Christina Paul
    27 September 2012 at 10:43 am

    This took some courage to write! I was very encouraged by your story and your openness about your struggles. I am so proud to have a brother in christ who is sticking to truth and denying himself. In the words of Elisabeth Elliot, wife of martyr Jim Elliot, our desires and wills must die that they might be “reborn in power and purity for God.” We must die first to ourselves, then we can experience the power of his resurrection.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 10 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Paul Nielsen
    27 September 2012 at 11:04 am

    If only you could say this whole article every time someone asked you “the question.” I admire you so much for speaking your mind and even more to your conviction to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Come unto me all of you who are…heavy laden.” You have been given a heavy load and are bearing it well. I’m glad that you understand that Christ will help to lighten that load. Good luck and God bless.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Taylor Holiday
    27 September 2012 at 11:45 am

    Beautiful, honest, inspiring story that we all share in one way or another. Thank you Bryan for being willing to come out and declare your love for Jesus to be worth more than anything else. I pray your story and courage tears down barriers and reconciles hearts.

    Taylor

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +7 (from 11 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • cliff hughes
    27 September 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Blessed by this. Thank you, brother.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Kathy Stolhand
    27 September 2012 at 1:21 pm

    It takes courage to address this issue as personally and honestly as you have. Thank you.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 9 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • stephanie drury
    27 September 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Hmm.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 14 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Hannah
    27 September 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’m gay and Christian – there’s no contradiction there. For me denying myself to follow Christ meant accepting the person God made me to be and living the life that God planned out for me – including a same-sex partner – even though that would mean losing a lot of my closest Christian friends. Coming out as a gay Christian is hard and a lot of people have cut me off, or acted with pity. But I celebrate the person he made me to be because that is how I honour him and his creation.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 31 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Hannah, you say following Christ means “accepting the person God made [you] to be.” Since you identify as Christian, I’d love to see biblical support for such a belief.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +5 (from 17 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Robert
        28 September 2012 at 1:52 am

        Bryan, that’s pretty awful. She calls herself a Christian, and you ask for proof because you don’t like her interpretation of what that means?

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +1 (from 23 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Andy
          29 September 2012 at 4:16 pm

          On the contrary, I think Bryan’s question is very justified. When the Bible says explicitly deny yourself and live holy (i.e. set apart) lives, and gives other such life-altering instructions, I feel the weight of Biblical evidence suggests that we’re NOT meant to be “true to ourselves.” Just because we have certain urges does not automatically mean we’re intended to act on them.

          “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick,” and I personally don’t see how that meshes with Hannah’s statement.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
          Leave a Reply
        • Adam
          14 October 2012 at 3:25 pm

          Robert, I would have to disagree completely. Far more importantly, God’s word would disagree.

          “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
          -2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

          In his comment, Bryan made Scriptures the standard by which to test the idea, not his opinion. If we truly want to know and follow God, we must constantly test our subjective opinions of the objective Truth that we find in God’s word.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
          Leave a Reply
    • Kate
      27 September 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Good for you, Hannah. I’m glad you choose to believe in a God who loves who you are.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: -1 (from 21 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Tommy
        28 September 2012 at 9:38 am

        That’s not the Gospel of Jesus Christ though. He loves us, and comes to us as we are, but He does not intend to keep us that way. There are plenty of sinful desires that we have, that He shouldn’t just leave in us for the sake of “loving us as we are”. Should we say porn, alcohol, or drug addiction be left alone(or whichever the struggle might be), or should we actually be transformed by the One who bled on the cross for us?

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +3 (from 13 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Chris
          26 October 2012 at 12:16 pm

          Tommy, your comparison with drugs and alcohol addiction is ridiculous. Drugs and alcohol addiction hurts other people around you, sometimes killing others, i.e. drunk driving.

          Hannah has every single right to believe as she does. It hurts no one and being proud of who you are and growing as a person leads to a healthier and more fulfilling life. One thing I feel that is always left out and something I struggle with conservative Christians and also why it took me so long to grow as a person is being faced with judgement from family and friends. Doesn’t matter to you or anyone else how I live my life, GOD is my only Judge.

          I am also a gay Christian. I’ve read just about every post on this page. Lots of opinions and some are hard to deal with. I grew up a chrurch going Christian. I went to the same high school Bryan did and graduated the same year. I’ve always wondered about Bryan and I have to be honest, his post leaves me worried and concerned for his happiness and quality of life. It’s clear that he has a love for Christ which is amazing and unquestionable. It’s awesome that he’s outspoken about his beliefs. I do question though if he’s really happy because he’s clearly struggling with his identity. His words, not mine, “a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction.” If God meant for him to choose a life of celibacy I don’t think he would have a desire to be with someone else other than God.

          I believe in Christ’s love and I believe in the gift God gave me to love my partner. I believe my partner is a gift from God. I don’t believe anyone, not anyone, has the right to tell me that this gift is wrong. Not my family, not a pastor or elder, not my state or my government. God willing, I will be able to marry my partner and live a normal happy life raising a family and teaching my kids to love and respect others as they should love and respect themselves.

          Beliefs are personal so I’ll give Bryan the benefit of doubt that he is living a happy life and not suppressing God’s gift to find and share a life with someone else. I pray this is the case.

          I personally grew up knowing i wasn’t meant to be alone and also know that I have feelings for the same sex not the opposite sex. I grew up struggling and trying to suppress my feelings for the same sex, having a girlfriend but never connecting as I should have on the level of that kind of a relationship. I grew up being told not to be gay because I would never be happy and I would die of aids. I’m here to tell you I’ve never been happier being myself, growing as a person, growing in my relationship with my partner and growing in my relationship with God and I do not of aids!

          I pray my family can one day understand this. I pray one day I can marry my boyfriend and take benefit of the legal aspects that the word, marriage, provides to all those straight couples out there. Did you know marriage provides over a 1,000 benefits to straight couples that gay couples do not have access to? I’m not talking of the Biblical term I’m speaking of the legal term. Though I guess that’s a different blog.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • mathew
            15 November 2013 at 4:56 pm

            Chris, thank you for this really encouraging comment. This is what any young Christians who are working out their feelings about their god-given orientation really need to hear.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Evan Church
      28 January 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Hannah,
      As a Christian struggling with SSA, I understand where you’re coming from, although I do not agree with it. Jesus says three times in the gospels (Matt. 16:24, Mark 8:34, and Luke 9:23) “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross (daily [Luke 9:23]) and follow me”
      It is a difficult thing to deny myself daily the pleasures of homosexuality and pornography, but God clearly states that His plan is for a man and a woman. Look at Genesis when God establishes marriage between Adam and Eve. Romans 1:26-27 also speak of homosexuality, as does 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. James 1 says to rejoice in trials, because they further God’s glory, which we understand is our ultimate goal.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Paul Watson
    27 September 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Saddest thing I’ve ever read. Shame that your God doesn’t accept you for who you are.

    Admire your conviction however.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -6 (from 42 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 5:19 pm

      The gospel is about God accepting us despite who we are, not because of who we are. We’re made righteous through the substitutionary atonement of Christ, then conformed to his image through the process of sanctification until, at last, we’re made like him. If that’s the saddest thing you’ve ever read, you’ve got more reading to do.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +29 (from 39 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Kate
        27 September 2012 at 8:49 pm

        Oh yes, those are my favorite relationships–the ones where my friends don’t actually love me for who I am but in spite of who I am. I’ve never felt more loved or accepted.

        This truly is one of the saddest things I’ve read.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: -8 (from 22 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Tommy
          28 September 2012 at 9:40 am

          Let’s say I’m addicted to porn, to the point where it is destroying my marriage and my relationship with my children. I’m glad I have friends who won’t step in to help out, only clap me on the back and say, “good job”.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +1 (from 9 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Kate
            30 September 2012 at 4:26 pm

            I’m not talking about doing things that destroy relationships. Being gay and having gay relationships does not destroy relationships, and for gay Christians it only strengthens their relationship with God. You’re making a false comparison.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
        • KT
          28 September 2012 at 10:51 am

          Kate: I would ask you to consider God as a loving parent vs. a friend. The most loving parents set boundaries for children because they know what’s best for them. I believe God sets the standard even if we don’t like it. Please know it grieves him deeply when his children (his beloved creation) harden their hearts to the truth. I greatly appreciate your comment because I think it’s at the heart of why many just CANNOT believe in God. They just can’t accept that God could turn his back on them. I struggled with this for years (why would a loving God allow sin in the first place?). I would just ask that you take some time to get to know the God of the bible. Give him a chance. I think you’ll find him to be a good and fair, and just. God loves you more than you can even fathom … not “in spite of who you are” but because he created you for a divine and eternal purpose.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Kate
            30 September 2012 at 4:31 pm

            Well, I can’t believe in God because the whole notion, even objectively, is absurd. Even if I believed this idea of God was actually loving, I still would find no compelling reason to believe it.

            Out of curiosity, what *is* your response for why a loving God would allow sin? If God is creator of all, it only makes sense that God is ultimately the creator of sin. I’ve read hundreds of apologetic “reasons” for this that all sound insufficient to me.

            It’s unfortunate that you assume I haven’t given this God a chance. I grew up as a (Reformed Baptist) Christian and loved it. I studied the Bible, led Bible studies, worked at a Christian camp to spread God’s love. I believed all of it. I no longer do and am annoyed by people who delegitimize my Christian experience as you just have.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +2 (from 8 votes)
  • Michael
    27 September 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Echoing the sentiment of many others who have been voted into the negatives above me–this makes me very, very sad. Both for you, and for any gay Christians who may be reading your post (and all the affirming responses to it), and thus reinforcing the idea that the only “good” response to their homosexuality is to deny this part of themselves, and never experience a loving, intimate relationship.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 35 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Lewis
    27 September 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I respect you, and your article. I really do.

    But I can’t help but feeling that it is all full of crap. You cannot tell yourself that it will be easy to have a life of celibacy just to “please” God. I feel like this is just self-destruction. It is a path that will lead you to unhappiness, and loneliness. God doesn’t want us to be alone. Gay/Straight. Anyone. That’s why he created Eve for Adam. A suitable partner. Not the perfect or ideal or only partner, but a suitable one. Who says you can’t find a suitable partner amongst people of the same sex?

    I would just hate for you to miss out on a whole life full of happiness, love, and with God, not apart from him. Give yourself that chance.

    And trust me, I have struggled with these SAME issues. And even more so now that I’m on staff at a church in the Bible belt. It can be hard. But all I keep thinking is God loves me and past that nothing has changed, is changing, or will change. It’s all between you and Him. Pray about it. Read about it. Instruct yourself about it. Don’t take the Bible as just words, go deeper into it. Don’t read the Bible just for what it reads, but for what it means.

    I hope you can find that balance. And above, love yourself. God made you the exact way he intended you to be.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 35 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Appreciate your concern for my happiness, but your comments make it sound like singleness is a miserable fate indeed. That’s bad news for widows, divorcees and other single people (gay or straight). My view of singleness is much brighter, yes, but I never said it was easy.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +17 (from 25 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Michael
        27 September 2012 at 5:23 pm

        Bryan, is it not different to be “forced” into singleness, with no prospect of a romantic relationship? Sure, you can say you’re choosing this, but your post makes it seem as though you’re “choosing” this in the same way that one would choose not to steal from another person–ie, it’s a choice between right and wrong, not a choice between two equally valid options (to be single or to be in a relationship).

        Those who are divorced, widows, etc. have the option of seeking out a romantic relationship. While they may still be happy in their singleness, it is not forced upon them by birth.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Bryan Magana
          Bryan Magana
          27 September 2012 at 6:10 pm

          As a Christian, I still have “two equally valid options”: pursue holiness through marriage, or pursue holiness through singleness. Indeed, some Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction choose to marry, but skeptics often deem these relationships a sham, no matter how happy the couple claims to be (see my article “Ex-gays: Fact or Fake?”). Allow me to speak from experience: God didn’t “force” me to be single. I’ve had opportunities to pursue a relationship with a woman, but I chose to remain single: 1) because I’m content being single and view it as a happy alternative to marriage, and 2) because I wanted her to meet a godly man who could love her better than I could. Perhaps it’s not the popular view, but yes, people like me still have two God-glorifying options.

          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +14 (from 22 votes)
          Leave a Reply
          • Mike
            27 September 2012 at 7:28 pm

            The problem that I, and at least a few others, have, is that you don’t believe that you have a third option – to marry (or be with since it’s not legal everywhere) a “godly man” yourself who could love you better than a woman could.

            Why can’t you have a God-glorifying option to be with someone who you love and support and who love and supports you?

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +2 (from 18 votes)
          • Bryan Magana
            Bryan Magana
            27 September 2012 at 7:48 pm

            Hi Mike. You may have a problem with that, but you need not. Everyone draws a line somewhere. Even you. Many believe marriage should be between two committed adults (gay or straight). Polygamists draw the line further out, extending marriage to three (or more). Some cultures draw the line even further, marrying off their children. As a Christian, I draw the line closer in, believing marriage to be a covenant between one man and one woman.

            VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +11 (from 21 votes)
          • Mike
            27 September 2012 at 8:10 pm

            Bryan, I’d like to ask this question honestly and sincerely – if your religion didn’t tell you that it was wrong, would you want to be with another person in a committed and loving relationship?

            If you answered yes, than how can you just accept that it is wrong for you to do so.

            Why can’t you have someone to hold you in bed at night? To give you a shoulder to cry on when you are going through rough times? To be by your side for good times? To be your partner in life? And please don’t give me some “Jesus is that” answer.

            I don’t know what your level of experience with homosexuality is, but I wish you could switch into an alternate universe where you are married to a man, raising an adopted daughter, and embraced and accepted by loving family and friends. I wonder if you could experience this if you would still “know” that it’s wrong.

            Because I don’t think you would.

            Your sexuality isn’t some evil desire. It isn’t a desire to hurt another person or yourself. It’s a desire to love and be loved. And that’s something beautiful. Don’t deny yourself that.

            You deserve that.

            And while I may not believe in your god, if he is loving and compassionate than how would he not want that for you? How would he not want you to have love and companionship and satisfaction in your life.

            I wish I could talk to you in person, and just grab you and shake you and tell you over and over that you are beautiful and perfect the way you are, and that you deserve to be loved by another man and love him back and that it is absolutely good and wonderful and pure.

            :(

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +8 (from 22 votes)
          • Bryan Magana
            Bryan Magana
            27 September 2012 at 11:58 pm

            Mike, I’ll give you my honest and sincere answer: yes. That’s Part 1 of my article, the fact that I really do have “homosexual desires.” That includes everything you mentioned (not merely sex, as people imagine). But Part 2 is where our worldviews are bound to collide. Because I do believe in God, a holy book, the Christian religion, there’s now an external standard, something outside of myself, to which I adhere. I’m now motivated by love for this God. I can understand why you’d think that absurd if you’re starting with the presupposition that God doesn’t exist, or even that God’s greatest desire is our self-fulfillment. I think your biggest beef with this article is the (imaginary, delusional, outdated) external standard? The gay part is just a piece of it.

            VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +9 (from 15 votes)
          • Michael
            27 September 2012 at 9:05 pm

            I certainly respect your decision to remain single rather than enter into a relationship where there is no mutual romantic attraction. I wouldn’t go so far as to call such relationships a “sham,” but I do strongly believe that they are unfair to both people involved.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
      • Lewis
        27 September 2012 at 10:27 pm

        I’m sorry. I did state myself incorrectly there. I did not make it out to be like singleness is awful. In fact, I’m currently single and loving my life. However, what I am saying, is that you cannot, or at least should not, withhold yourself from blessings that God may have in store for you.

        Love is a beautiful thing. And I know God loves you. I do not believe in a God who withholds Heaven from those who love Him.

        Thanks for your honesty. Hope you can appreciate mine.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
        Leave a Reply
  • Lily
    27 September 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Remember when there’s nothing wrong with same sex attraction because lines in an old text dont constitute reality? Oh yes that elephant in the room. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU AND YOUR ATTRACTION ISN’T SINFUL. I can’t believe that amount of brainwashing that goes on still in the modern world.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -8 (from 28 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Rider of Rohan
      27 September 2012 at 4:46 pm

      I’m just curious: why do you think there’s nothing wrong with it? what are your reasons for believing that?

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Phil
        27 September 2012 at 5:02 pm

        Oh heck, I’ll take a stab at this one:

        It doesn’t harm anyone. Indeed, it can be incredibly helpful.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +4 (from 16 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Jacob
          29 September 2012 at 8:12 pm

          Wow, that’s really helpful information there.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
          Leave a Reply
  • Phil
    27 September 2012 at 4:30 pm

    From the (gay) blogger Andrew Sullivan [with my additions]:

    The point of the gay rights movement is not to make everyone gay; it is to help everyone be themselves, to expand the possibilities of a fulfilling, loved life for more human beings. If that means some gays really want to marry women [or remain single], and they are not deceiving anyone [including themselves], it’s totally their choice – and their right not to be mocked for it.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 14 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Lyndsay
      27 September 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Good point.
      Going off of your point but addressing everyone else (since I’m sure you’d agree for the most part), you don’t even have to be gay or want to participate in that lifestyle to support the gay movement. But recognize that not everyone believes in your God and chooses not to act on their sexuality to please him. I’m sure you don’t believe that you are inherently evil because you are gay. You feel the actions are bad because that’s what your religion tells you. Not everyone feels it’s evil, and why should they have to abstain as you do if it’s not inherently evil. For example, Catholics give up something for Lent. That doesn’t mean that if you do not you’re evil or that everyone should give something up. It’s all relative to your religious beliefs.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Lyndsay
    27 September 2012 at 4:39 pm

    While I totally respect your commitment to your faith, I am curious about your reasoning. I personally have heard very, very convincing reasons for being gay not being against the bible’s teachings. Why do you say these are wrong? For example, Jesus never talked about homosexuality. Most people refer to Leviticus, but we ignore lots of the other arguments (wearing clothing of mixed fabrics, hair cuts, etc.). Why do you feel the part about laying with another man is still applicable? Again, just trying to get some conversation going. Being gay yourself, you’ve probably put a bit of thought into it and I’m definitely interested in hearing your opinion.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Good questions, Lyndsay. I’ve addressed some of them in previous articles (links above). See “Homosexuality: Does Jesus Even Care?” in particular. With regard to Leviticus, we can’t throw out every ancient law simply because some of them are now obsolete. For instance, what Jesus called the second greatest commandment is found in Leviticus 19:18, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Would hate to lose that one (as would my neighbor). For the sake of time, I’ll just say we need to understand the difference between the moral law and the ceremonial law in the Old Testament. Then explore how the New Testament addresses these laws, issue by issue. Far better scholars than me have tackled that topic, and I’d encourage you to explore their work. Thanks for your comment.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Lyndsay
        27 September 2012 at 8:43 pm

        Right, but Jesus also talked about loving neighbors as yourself. He thought it was super important, which it is no matter what religion you follow or if you follow a religion at all.
        I’d also argue that homosexuality is no longer an issue. We are not struggling to populate the world; does not having the ability to physically have children make a big difference? What in itself is wrong with it? Not killing people; makes sense. Not stealing; makes sense. Not loving someone; you lost me.
        I have read literature on the topic, actually. One scholar talks about how that specific section of Leviticus is talking about how a close town participated in these things and the people of the other wanted to distinguish themselves from those people. That sounds like it’s looked down upon solely for being a part of a different culture. I no longer see why it’s relevant.
        I’d argue that the most important thing to take from the bible is to love Jesus, and to love other people to show it. Just about everything falls relates back to that, except homosexuality being a sin. Being gay does not harm anyone. Showing love does not harm anyone. Restraining from expressing your love just because there’s a line in a book that says not to, just harms yourself.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +3 (from 9 votes)
        Leave a Reply
      • Lewis
        27 September 2012 at 10:16 pm

        I don’t throw out every ancient law because they are ridiculous, which they are. They provided guidelines for people to remain close to God, since the people were deep in sin.

        However, we have the fulfillment of the law and that is Jesus Christ who loves us unconditionally. The total and complete FULFILLMENT of the law. Now, while that doesn’t mean we can rampage and do whatever we want, it does mean we don’t have to stick to old laws, appropriate to that time, to gain access to God. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

        I stand by what I say. Again, I’d implore to look deeper into the Bible and your faith. You seem like a very bright and awesome human being. Read the Bible and God’s word for what it means, not what it reads.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
        Leave a Reply
      • Evan Church
        28 January 2013 at 5:08 pm

        Good answer Bryan. I’ve been seeing a biblical counselor recently with regards to my SSA and porn tendencies. One of the passages pointed out was Romans 1:18-the end of the chapter. Another was i Corinthians 6:9-11; both of these passages are New Testament examples of God’s disapproval of homosexuality. I really appreciate your honesty with these blogs; they have really helped me out in my own life. I make it my aim to be a godly encouragement to others every day, and I hope I have achieved that end.
        God bless, Evan

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        Leave a Reply
    • Dc
      27 September 2012 at 6:57 pm

      I will add that Jesus also never said anything about pedophilia. The “Jesus never talked about it” point tends to fall apart when you think about it on a grander scale.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 9 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Lyndsay
        27 September 2012 at 8:46 pm

        That’s not sound logic. No, he may not have said something about it, but you don’t need someone to tell you to not take advantage of young children in powerless situations, do you? Obviously harming and sexually abusing a child is wrong. There’s no question about that. But a caring, committed relationship between two consenting adults, is not. If you are married or in a long term relationship, or plan to be one day, you know that it betters yourself. Why deny someone else of this?

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Caleb Johnson
          Caleb Johnson
          28 September 2012 at 1:25 am

          Hi Lyndsay,
          I think DC picked an extreme example to try and emphasize his point. That point being (if I’m reading him correctly) that just because Jesus isn’t recorded as saying something about a given subject doesn’t mean that subject is unimportant or that the right perspective on that subject is obvious. I’m sure we can think of a myriad of difficult questions on which we don’t have the recorded words of Jesus to guide us, but that doesn’t mean these issues were deemed unimportant. In the last verse of the Gospel of John, the author tells us that “there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” Isn’t it possible homosexuality was a subject he addressed during his ministry? Even if he didn’t, the issue is addressed in other places (besides Leviticus) in the Bible. The apostle Paul addresses it in a number of places in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10, Romans 1:26-27), including it in lists of sins. If we were to write off the passage in Leviticus as only being authoritative for a given people group at a given time in history (though I’d caution against doing that; see Bryan’s comments on exploring the differences between moral and ceremonial laws), we’d still have these passages in the New Testament to contend with. Jesus himself may not be recorded as saying something, but those red letters in our Bibles aren’t our only source of authoritative teaching. Christians believe that all of the Bible is authoritative because it is all inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).

          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +6 (from 14 votes)
          Leave a Reply
  • Paul
    27 September 2012 at 7:07 pm

    For years that was similar to my thinking: “accepting” my orientation but deciding to never act on it (though unlike you I never told anyone about it).

    What helped me get over the chasm was not the progressive response to Biblical passages purported to be about homosexuality. When I would hear those, I would just think, “That’s just wishful thinking,” and believed that because it would be convenient for me to disregard those passages, I had to accept the evangelical interpretations of them. I didn’t realize until years later that I had accepted many hidden premises of the argument as true (without which that interpretation doesn’t hold up).

    One thing that did help was reading and hearing the stories of other people like me who eventually were able to accept their sexual orientation as a gift from God. Positive Scripture-based messages about being gay also helped, and meeting gay people helped me get past my own stereotypes (yes, as a gay person I had stereotypes about gay people) and experience them as real people.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 13 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Hi Paul, what were the “hidden premises”?

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Paul
        27 September 2012 at 11:02 pm

        Hi Bryan,

        First, let me clarify that by “hidden premises”, I didn’t mean that others were hiding them, but rather that I was hiding them from myself; or probably more accurately, I was unaware of them.

        There were quite a few, and it would take a while to think back and to write about them, but here are a couple:

        1. Not only is the Bible divinely-inspired, the translator of the Bible into English must also be divinely-inspired in order to communicate the same intent as was present in the Greek/Hebrew word at the time it was written.

        Many of the disagreements between different interpretations of what gay advocates call the “clobber passages” center on the translation of words. I used to believe that that concern was pedantic and that the Bible says what it says. But if we really want to understand the intent of the text, an understanding of the word in its original language is imperative.

        2. The “other side” starts with an assumed conclusion and then fits the arguments to support their conclusion, while “my side” has no such motivation.

        I believed (without any evidence, I now realize) that progressives had already decided that homosexuality was ok and that they then went back to the Biblical passages and came up with arguments to support their viewpoint. At the same time, I assumed that I was open-minded and had no pre-determined conclusion.

        It’s never possible to really know another’s motives (even, sometimes, our own). Therefore, as far as we are able, we should not base our acceptance or dismissal of an argument on what we think the motives are of those who make them.

        Having said the above, while I believe that making up arguments to support a conclusion is dishonest, viewing credible evidence through the lens of one’s world view is probably unavoidable. If possible, we should be aware of the lens we are using.

        On a separate note, since I don’t know if/when I’ll have the chance to write more, one “positive, scripture-based message” (as I mentioned in my previous comment) that has meant a lot to me is Peter’s vision in Acts 10. A sheet was lowered from heaven with all sorts of foods that are considered unclean in Jewish law. The voice says, “Go ahead and eat.” Peter says, “You know I have never eaten any of these foods. The law forbids it.” The voice says, “Do not call anything unclean that God has made clean.” Of course, as we find out immediately afterward, Peter’s vision was not ultimately about food, it was about people and their inclusion in God’s kingdom. It was about you and me.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +5 (from 11 votes)
        Leave a Reply
        • Josh
          30 September 2013 at 12:08 am

          Paul, just a quick note:

          You mentioned a hidden premise in the idea that “Not only is the Bible divinely-inspired, the translator of the Bible into English must also be divinely-inspired in order to communicate the same intent as was present in the Greek/Hebrew word at the time it was written.”

          Two thoughts I would like to point out:

          No man was divinely inspired. Not the original author, nor the translator. According to the Bible, “all Scripture” (literally meaning “written words”) itself was inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), and the men were moved of God to pen them (2 Peter 1:21).

          This leads to the second point which is that God gives us two or three examples of a translation of His Word bearing the same weight as the original language.

          Off the top of my head I think of Moses conversing with Pharaoh in Egyptian, yet it being penned in Hebrew, and Jesus read it from a text that was in Greek. And that Greek was a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, far removed from the original Egyptian conversation. Yet Jesus referred to the translation he possessed as the Scriptures (which would mean it was inspired according to 2 Timothy 3:16).

          Consider likewise Joseph speaking to his brothers in Egyptian (Genesis 42:23), yet it was also recorded in Hebrew. So whom did God inspire? Joseph’s original Egyptian words, the interpreter’s verbal translation, or Moses’s written interpretation in Hebrew? The “scripture” is inspired, meaning that Moses’s written translation was inspired.

          In Acts 22 Paul speaks to his Jewish tormentors in the Hebrew language (Acts 21:40, 22:2). The testimony found in verses 1 through 21 is all given orally in Hebrew. Yet there is NO manuscript of Acts 22 which records Paul’s statement in Hebrew. Luke wrote it all out in Greek. Which did God inspire? Paul’s verbal statement or Luke’s “progressive inspiration”?

          Just my thoughts about one of your “hidden premises.” It’s not without a scriptural basis.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
          Leave a Reply
    • mathew
      15 November 2013 at 5:09 pm

      Paul, thanks for this comment. As I read over the post and comments—although I aknowledge Bryan’s social location and the culture which informs his thinking—I get really worried for any young people who may be trying to work out how they feel about their God-given orientation and might take this post to heart in detrimental ways.

      It’s important that we expose young people to varied stories—not just the singular story of a theology developed from an ancient worldview (which, of course, also included a Ptolemaic view of the universe, polygamy, animal sacrifice, and so on). It’s important that our theologies take the Gospel message of radical inclusion to heart and that our theological thinking, our worship, and our Christian communities use biblical witness for justice, flourishing, and compassion.

      To riff on your thoughts below a little more—”Divine inspiration” is a theologically developed human idea. Most modern theologians agree that God discloses Godself through the time, place, and language of a particular culture. Really, I think, what “Divine inspiration” (theopneustos or god-breathed) expresses, is the Holy Spirit’s ability to work through the text, for the text to come alive in human communities as expressions of justice, mercy, compassion, self-giving, and God’s superabundance. I don’t think “Divine inspiration” is a mandate for literal biblical interpretation—the bible should be used for the flourishing and thriving of all Creation! Denying ourselves love is to deny conformity to the Triune God who is unendingly rich in love. I can’t wait for the day where “take up your cross” is read in a way that calls into being the Kingdom of God as being about justice, overthrowing oppressive politics, radical self-offering, etc instead of as a moral mandate for self-suppression.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Marie Roth
    27 September 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Well said. A parallel would be asking “straight” me: “Are you an adulterer?” Well, yes and no, kinda sorta.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 14 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Why other people suck at talking about Christianity and homosexuality | St. Eutychus
    27 September 2012 at 7:31 pm

    […] interview about his refusal to be defined by his same sex attraction, comes this post from another Christian who is kinda, sorta, not really gay. This guy Bryan shares his testimony in a really clear and compelling way – and the more […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Kate
    27 September 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I respect your own personal conviction but am uncomfortable with you projecting these convictions onto other Christians who do not see being gay as any sort of inconsistency with their faith. Celibacy is a spiritual gift for relatively few people. I suppose if you feel as though it is a gift you have, I understand, but if you’re really only adhering to it because you think it is your only option and you really would like to have a marriage commitment, then I hope you keep researching this and learn to accept who you are.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 19 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Ryan O’Farrell
    27 September 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Bryan,
    I just wanted to say how incredible your testimony and reflections were. Thank you for sharing.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Anna
    28 September 2012 at 12:04 am

    I am so proud of you for refusing to be defined by your temptation, or slipping into this media-glorified, societal construction that is homosexuality. You are so much more than your temptation, and yours is a strong voice that gives me back the hope I was beginning to lose. I pray that you will continue to speak out, and be as courageous as you’ve been today, and lead those struggling with the same attraction. Because I am bound by my small human perspective of the world, I can’t help but hope that you do find yourself attracted to women, and you are blessed with a loving wife, but if that isn’t God’s will, maybe that’s just because he has called you to higher things.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 14 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Robert
    28 September 2012 at 2:06 am

    I feel bad for any young gay Christian kid that comes across this post. You belong to a small, fundamentalist sect of humanity, and yet this post could have drastic repercussions. Does this post do more for the world, or for your ego?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -3 (from 23 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • mathew
      15 November 2013 at 4:34 pm

      I think, sometimes, that the label “fundamentalist” is as othering and hurtful as using “homosexual” as a slur. We live in a world with many opinions—some hurtful, some encouraging. I, too, am concerned that a young person struggling to understand their orientation in a faith-specific family environment may be led to make detrimental decisions concerning how they approach their sexuality. I am thirty years old now, and have strained relationships with my conservative Christian family—this is the single most painful part of my life. I miss the closeness of my loving and encouraging family. Unfortunately, they live inside a Christian culture that cares more about maintaining “family values” than valuing humans. We all have a responsibility to speak sensitively of issues like this. On one hand, I have grace for my parents homophobia because I can see that it is a product of the culture they have been raised in. On the other hand, it is important that we examine where our attitudes and prejudices are coming from. Christian life is often conceived of as a “radical” departure from the “ways of the world.” Personally, I believe that the way this is expressed in my denomination (Evangelical) is missing the mark: Christ calls us to radical inclusion and radical love, acceptance, and compassion. In some ways, then, Christian life is more about finding the via media between human extremes in order to try to conform to God’s own lovingkindness. I’m proud to be a follower of Jesus and also a gay man. I believe that being gay and being in a committed and loving gay relationship is not sinful in anyway. But, I also believe that as a gay Christian, I’m called to understand, listen, and engage lovingly with my fellow Christians—even if they are involved in hurtful homophobic behaviour.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Alex Rodriguez
    28 September 2012 at 2:20 am

    May God continue to show you His beauty and grace in Jesus. I respect and admire what you have written

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • pohyoke
    28 September 2012 at 3:33 am

    Thank you for sharing so clearly and logically. I think of my daughters who are beautiful and talented and single. As Christians they remain celibate until the right men comes along. The ‘right men’ may never come along given the church statistics for men in our country..just not enough to go around.They would love to be married and have children but most importantly, they love the Lord more. So Kate, maybe more and more wonderful Christians have to accept that the ‘gift’ of celibacy is not so rare after all.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 7 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Andrew
    28 September 2012 at 4:38 am

    Dear Bryan, major respect to you for writing this. Thanks for sharing your story and being honest about how you feel. Obviously, what you’ve written is controversial, but don’t let anyone try to invalidate your personal experience. This is your testimony, after all.

    That said, I disagree with the perspective you take on the recent efforts to support non-hetero sexual identities (such as the “It Gets Better” project that you reference). You write that these campaigns have “celebrity endorsements and flashy bumper stickers [but] no hope”.

    For many people, these campaigns DO offer hope. Real hope. It’s not Jesus’ hope, by any means, but then again, these organizations are not concerned about salvation. They are concerned about people struggling to get by in a society that maligns them. They tell teenagers that suicide is not the answer. They offer proof that a happier life is possible. And they do this without talking about Jesus. Is this wrong? I would argue no. It’s possible to lead people in our religion-weary society toward a happier life without framing everything in the sin/salvation paradigm first.

    As someone who identifies as Christian, I do believe that Jesus is the ultimate answer. But people have a funny way of tuning out when Jesus is mentioned nowadays. When it comes to keeping troubled teens alive, then, I fully support the efforts of secular organizations to affirm positivity and self-worth. I think that it is indeed a real hope that they offer.

    And as someone who identifies as a gay Christian, I feel it is my duty to reach out to anyone who is questioning their faith identity or their sexual identity with a double helping of hope: Jesus has saved us, and he loves us just the way we are. If that isn’t clear enough: There is nothing wrong with being gay!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 11 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • mathew
      15 November 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Andrew, thank you for this comment. I’m also a gay Christian and feel strongly about providing a balanced and Christ-centred view for any young people coming across posts like this. It’s important for young people to know that it is possible to live in faith-driven communities who firmly believe that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered is not a sin—that sin is, in fact, a distortion of “right relationship” and God’s grace and lovingkindness… not a list of rigid moral laws.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Darren
    28 September 2012 at 8:40 am

    Bryan,
    This is an incredibly honest and vulnerable post. I’m filled with admiration and love for you and I’m proud to call you my friend. Your love for Jesus and the gospel are an inspiration. Keep seeking and pursuing Him.

    Your brother in Christ
    Darren

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Evan Church
      28 January 2013 at 5:10 pm

      I second what he said ^

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • PG
    28 September 2012 at 10:52 am

    Bryan,

    Does your heart ever just simply ache! Like there is something missing.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      28 September 2012 at 3:53 pm

      More on this in future posts, my friend. Stay tuned.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Kevin
    28 September 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Bryan, thank you so much!

    As a Christian man dealing with singleness and same-sex attraction in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Lord himself knows what kind of a Corinthian society I deal with daily. I, too, openly share my same-sex attraction with my pastors, friends, colleagues and family in a way that confuses them. Take for example my most recent experience at gay pride with a gay pastor of a local church. When he asked me if I was gay, I replied, “I’m a sinner saved by grace.” He looked puzzled, and asked me again, to which I responded “I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ.” He got frustrated with me, told me my answer was a cop-out and proceeded to tell me that he was a happy-to-be-non-practicing (but looking to practice with me *wink wink*) gay pastor. I was flattered, but not swayed. Maybe my answer was a cop-out. I’m sure the next time someone asks me if I’m gay, I will respond with “I’m kinda sorta yeah not really.”

    That being said, I also direct worship for my church and one of the things I have always found hugely convicting is holistic worship. Worship is NOT JUST song and dance. Unfortunately worship pastors in this generation have all but reduced it to that. Worship is really about becoming obedient with our bodies, minds and hearts in response to a Triune God (Romans 12). Your testimony strengthens me because you are doing exactly what a worship leader should be doing: showing people how to worship Jesus Christ with everything you are, for all He is, and for what He did for us on the cross…

    KP

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +19 (from 21 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • John Anthony Dunne
      John Anthony Dunne
      28 September 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Kevin, I’m very encouraged by this comment! Thanks for sharing.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +6 (from 10 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Kevin
        28 September 2012 at 1:01 pm

        Praise God! =)

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
        Leave a Reply
      • Kevin
        28 September 2012 at 2:21 pm

        I shared this post on my Facebook wall with a little snippet of my thoughts:

        “I have never been as convicted as I have been reading this post by Bryan Magaña.

        I have many gay friends that think I’m absolutely crazy, that there’s no way that I could hang out with them, drink with them, cause debauchery (which I have been a part of way too many times in my life to count), fall down, or in some instances act as a complete hypocrite and fall into temptation. I have many Christian friends that think the same thing. Here’s the deal. My reasons for going to church, for self-denial of my desires, for my transparency with my friends on both sides, my confessions to my closest friends, and never giving up my hope is based on this crazy love: the fact that I believe in a God who loves me so much that He humbled Himself, became man, walked among us, died on the cross and came back to life again. My response is one of worship.

        No matter how many times I stumble, no matter how many times I fall, no matter how many times my gay friends might think I’m crazy, no matter how many times conservative Christian friends of mine might think I’m crazy, I know that I’m only crazy for one person. His name is Jesus Christ: the God-man who paid it all. I love Him more than anything in this world, and loving Him is worth my singleness and complete devotion, even though I have days when I am the least devoted to Him.

        And yes, I’m kinda sorta yeah not really gay…”

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
        Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      28 September 2012 at 3:35 pm

      Kevin, it’s tremendously encouraging to hear stories like yours, and it’s especially nice to hear from a fellow worship leader. Thanks for joining this conversation. Feel free to add your two cents anytime. I’ll be praying for you, brother.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Kevin
        28 September 2012 at 3:59 pm

        Thank you, brother! I shall be praying for you as well! I have found that we are few and far between as to our views and stance in relation to this struggle. Praise be to God our Father who ransomed us through the cross by the blood of His Son and sealed us in His Spirit.

        I shall feel free to add my two cents, or ten cents, or quarter-piece if that’s alright with you! =)

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
        Leave a Reply
  • KEB
    28 September 2012 at 12:49 pm

    After reading several of the comments, a few things came to mind for me about this topic. It is interesting that people who believe that a homosexual person should embrace their desires and tendencies by being able to find a partner would be the most fulfilling optionfor them, and enything else will lead to a life of not having true happiness, love or joy. There are many people who believe that the number one reason we are here is to find love, love, and be loved. But is that true? Is the main goal in life to find love with another person? Is a person’s life not fulfilled if for some reason they don’t? Just because a homosexual person doesn’t enter into a relationship with another person doesn’t mean they are going to be left to face a life of feeling alone, unloved or like their didn’t fulfill their true purposes in life. If a person who is gay chooses to remain single for the sake of what Bryan listed as his reasons (to lay his life down and glorify God), then why does that have to mean that he will be lonely? I do believe that God is loving, and we are still provided joys, laugther, loving, caring, nurturing relationships with others, even outside of a partner relationship. Marriage or a partnership to another person is not the end all for feeling loved. I believe He will still provide blessings of these types of situations outside of a partner relationship.
    This also reminds me of an article I read a while back on women and motherhood. Women are physically designed to be the ones to have children. Some women might make the decision, for whatever reason, to not have children. Some people would look at them and say “why would you not want to be a mom? God wants us to procreate and have children? You aren’t going to fulfill your purpose in this life, you are going to miss out on so many things”. But, I don’t believe that is the case at all. Being a mom isn’t a woman’s life end goal, and her life wouldn’t be left incomplete if she chose to do so. There are many other things that a woman could involve herself in that would provide her with just as much fulfillment in her life than just having children. I feel like these two things in a way relate to each other. If anyone, not just a homosexual person, made the decision for thier own personal reasons, to remain single, why does that equal to living a life that is unfulfilled?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Kelly
      7 October 2012 at 6:47 pm

      But what of the woman that is incapable of having children, or has an infertile husband? The Bible tells us to procreate, so isn’t it an uncontrollable sin as well? It’s a choice we don’t make for ourselves, but is part of who we are.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • diane
    28 September 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you so very much for your honesty and your humility. Your testimony is going to help SO many young men and women who feel guilty because of their temptations. Because of your honesty I do believe that MANY will have hope in Jesus in their struggle against same sex attraction. I don’t know you and may never meet you this side of heaven but I am so grateful for your candid post. May God bless you and may you always hope in Jesus!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 9 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Mom of an SSA
    28 September 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Bryan,
    When this was posted by a friend on FB, I was nervous about opening it. Having a child who is now fallen away from the faith because of her SSA and who is shutting out her family over this, is heartbreaking. So, I opened your blog hoping above hope to be so encouraged. And was I! Even the debate between those who disagree with you has been encouraging me. The problem with discussing openly with those who are telling you to “just embrace who you are” is that they just don’t really understand the overwhelming joy we experience through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The idea that we need to be loved by “man” is a nice thought, but that is really just an exchange for the TRUE love that comes by being loved by our Creator. Oh the power of that love exceeds the temporary arousal we receive from our earthly love interests. Basking in the love of Jesus, a love that never fails, never disappoints, and always present, is so much more fulfilling. Not that love from humans is to be disregarded, but it is not as forever as God’s love. We humans are fickle. Unfortunately, 1/2 of the people who have responded to your blog will fall “out of love” with their love interest within the next decade. Thank God in Heaven – He will never fall out of love with us! Halleluiah. So embrace His love. Embrace celibacy. Frankly, your blog actually made you incredibly attractive! Christian women want a man who is willing to be devoted to the Savior. If God changes your heart and causes you to be attractive to women, message me. My girls are amazing (and would probably even turn your head!) and would love a husband like you! :) Many blessings!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 16 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      28 September 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Glad you clicked! Thanks so much for sharing your story. The families of people who struggle with (or embrace) same-sex attraction are such an important part of this conversation, and part of the reason I decided to speak up. Please know that I’m praying for you and your daughter. Hope you’ll find lots more encouragement. God bless you.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 8 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Sean Scott
    28 September 2012 at 2:50 pm

    For a man who is struggling with same sex attraction I want to thank you for this article. I lived my life as a gay man for 7 years and in the fall of 2011 I gave my life over to Christ and left the old life behind. I’m so blessed that God saved me from destruction and I pray that anyone will realize that our identity is found in Christ alone and remember that all sins have been conquered by the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Thank you again for the posting of this article.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +11 (from 17 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      28 September 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks for telling us your story, Sean! I’ll be praying for you as you continue to follow Christ and pursue holiness. Glad you found this blog and hope to hear from you in future posts.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
      Leave a Reply
    • Evan Church
      28 January 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Amen! Praise God, Sean! That’s wonderful!

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
      Leave a Reply
      • Sean Scott
        29 January 2013 at 6:35 am

        That was a year ago today that I was baptized. Praise Him Indeed!!

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
        Leave a Reply
  • Is He Gay? — The Not So Straight Answer « Thinking Out Loud
    29 September 2012 at 9:36 am

    […] reading I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay at The Two Cities […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Liberal Conservative Buddist
    29 September 2012 at 6:09 pm

    While I appreciate the perspective of those unfortunate enough to be born into a culture wherein the predominant religion teaches intolerance against them as a form of indoctrination, and the increased stress of enduring that while also trying to hold to the principles of the very same religion that teaches that hatred, I can’t help but feel that this article is extremely short-sighted. I’ve seen the argument for abstinence as spiritual servitude in the past and it’s never really worked out.

    The writer claims that he hasn’t “given up hope” that God will “change” his sexual orientation. That troubles me. Mind you, I’ve also read accounts from people who still pay year after year to attend seminars and retreats with the hope that counseling will remove their urges. This isn’t just an extra lifestyle expense; some of these are men who are married and have children. For them, the penalty of living between two worlds is a loveless marriage or, worse, divorce. These are men who believed, for a short time, that God would or already had changed them.

    This is the kind of religious persecution that people don’t talk about: societal expectation. If you are attempting to live a philosophy that is not compatible with your identity and the reality of your life then you are on the road for considerable trouble, not just for yourself but for your loved ones as well.

    So, no, it’s really not okay to be gay and pretend that mainstream Christianity still has something to offer you. It’s self-destructive, dishonest and potentially very, very costly.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -4 (from 18 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Kevin
      1 October 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Hi!

      I think the main point that you’re missing here is that this article is not about “being born into a culture wherein predominate religion teaches intolerance” nor is it about the “argument for abstinence as spiritual servitude.” Let me explain.

      One of the things people get wrong is this notion that Christianity is like all world religions in that it teaches you a set moral standards or codes you have to follow in order to attain some sort of salvation or enlightenment. I believe you are Buddhist. If my understanding serves me correctly (without offending you because I’m going off of what I learned in school), the Buddhist thought is that an individual needs to follow the eight fold path (do so many things) to unlock nirvana (spiritual enlightenment). I think the underlying argument that Bryan makes (without putting words in his mouth), and the argument that I would like to make is that Christianity is completely different.

      The crux of the matter (no pun intended) is the cross. We believe that there is something better for us here on Earth and something even greater when we die. We believe that there is a way to get in and experience some of that now, but unfortunately we believe that there is absolutely nothing we can do in our own merit or power to get in. We believe that the only true way to get in is by believing and trusting in a God that loved us so much that he died so we could experience it.

      If we understand that the Christian response to this trust at the individual level is pursuing a relationship with God in perseverance, then we understand that Christian faith operates much like an athlete trains daily in his or her sport. We also understand that we might not always win. In my case (and most likely Bryan’s case), I don’t abstain because it makes me holier than other gays that profess to be Christian and practice (although there is a spiritual benefit to abstinence), nor do I abstain because some book that I believe teaches me about God’s love tells me so. The point in this article is that although it may be difficult abstaining, it’s worth it because my love for God is that strong.

      Which begs my question: Have you ever loved anyone so much that you would do absolutely anything for them? Well, that’s the feeling I have for God. Sure, it sounds like insanity, but to me it’s even bigger insanity when I come to the realization that I have a God that died for me. It’s the least that I can do to try and live life in a way that I discern (not what other people tell me) pleases Him the most.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 7 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Jeff
    30 September 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Bryan,
    Martin Luther gave a sermon on temptation one sunday morning and one of the congregation asked him “when temptation comes knocking at the door of your heart what do you do?” His answer was “when the door of my heart opens, satan looks in and says “you are not Martin”. Jesus answers “no, Martin doesn’t live here anymore–I do”. It is only by God’s grace and mercy that each of us doesn’t jump head long into every temptation that satan throws at us each and every day. We love you brother……….

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Gay | An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy
    1 October 2012 at 7:34 am

    […] out” but refusing to accept the label “gay”), so to stir the pot some more, here’s a great piece published a few days ago. People wonder if I’m gay. I know because kids in school used to ask me. […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Casey
    2 October 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Hey Bryan,

    Thanks for the article, it was very encouraging. How did you begin to open up to people about your struggle and did you every feel guilty for not telling someone? In my case most of friends know about my SSA as I’ve become fairly open about it with them, but my family does not know (mainly because I’m not sure if they are beleivers and am afraid of their response).

    Second question: could you go more into why, when you had the opportuinity, you did not puruse a relationship? Why would you assume someone else could love her better than you?

    P.S. Here’s a link to a blog I wrote about how trusting in the sovereignty of God helps me deal with my SSA: http://yearnforgod.org/2012/08/23/how-to-fight-same-sex-attraction/

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      3 October 2012 at 11:24 pm

      Casey, thanks for sending that link. It’s tough to keep that eternal perspective, but so important. To answer your first question, a good friend of mine told me not to lay a “law of transparency” on myself when it comes to sharing my experience of same-sex attraction. So although I’ve been fairly open to sharing my story, I rarely feel guilty when I choose not to. As a rule, whenever my story can be used to help somebody, when it serves as a testimony to God’s grace, that’s when I talk. As for your second question, that’s a bit more complicated, and something I’d like to tackle in a future post. In the meantime, I’ll shoot you an email. Stay strong, brother. God bless.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • Straight Idolatry | The Two Cities
    4 October 2012 at 9:30 am

    […] I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Ships Passing by Night: Morality, Secularism, and the Bible | The Two Cities
    5 October 2012 at 4:39 am

    […] week, Bryan wrote an article entitled, I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay. As you might imagine, the post got a lot of attention: good, bad, and […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Alice
    7 October 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Wonderful post… What incredible faith and love in Christ. This is an amazing example of what we should strive for as Christians – to put our love and devotion to Christ above anything else. Just like all humans, I struggle with certain temptations that don’t coincide with Christian teachings, but sometimes think, “well, I’m not hurting anyone, so what’s the harm?” The harm is not putting my love for the Lord above this temptation, so I thank you for reminding me that this is a struggle that we all have and should rise above, no matter how large or small. Your courage is admirable. God bless

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Laura
    10 October 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Wow, wow, wow, and WOW! Thank you so much for all you have written. I’ve seriously been sitting here for almost an hour just pouring over your posts. It is very clear that God is working in and through you for His glory and I am so thankful that you chose to cling to Him. Your ministry is so very needed. Keep strong, Brother!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Kassi
    13 October 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you for this, dude – it’s fantastic.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Allen Roth
    15 October 2012 at 8:22 am

    It’s difficult to construct a suitable response to your article, because on the one hand, you are clearly an intelligent, thoughtful, sincere person. That is clear. But on the other hand, I do believe that you are punishing and hurting your inner self unnecessarily. It is a shame. You write about the outside world persuading everyone to do whatever feels good, but you do not mention the outside world that is attempting to persuade everyone that being gay is abnormal, sinful, sick, wrong, morally evil. That is the world to which your reactions are directed. You don’t want to be excluded from that world.
    I’m not a Christian. I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family and I, like you, experienced gay feelings as far back as I can remember. I am no longer a part of the Orthodox world (I left it years ago, for different reasons than being gay), and I have been openlygay for many years.

    Although I’m not a Christian, I do believe that Jesus was a great and good man, and that his teachings contain much that is wise and deeply profound. I don’t think that I will persuade you to change your point of view, but I would like to say a few things.

    What would Jesus say to you, were he alive today? I do not think that he would tell you to live your life the way that you are doing. Perfection is not really possible for human beings. That is why there is Confession, penance and Grace. If a straight man refused to marry because he was afraid he would commit adultery, and thereby wanted to be more pious, I don’t think that Jesus would approve. He would advise the man to marry and try to avoid adultery but, if he were to fail, he should go to Confession and repent. Which one of your Christian heroes said, “Better to marry than to burn?”

    Many of your commenters make the analogy to other sins, arguing that straight people also experience prohibited desires from which they must refrain. But let us say it now: None of the other desires is as fundamental as a fulfilling love-relationship, in the life of a person. Of course there are single people who are content and happy (I happen to be one of them right now), but there is a huge difference between someone single who hopes that he or she will meet the right person one day, and fall in love, and someone who feels he is unable to participate in romantic relationships because of who he is. There are also single people who have had romantic relationships in the past (I’m one of those as well), and those memories help to sustain someone during periods of loneliness or despair. But to condemn someone to live his entire life without the love of another is much more terrible a fate than to be married and refuse to succumb to temptations.

    Although your priesthood is celibate, the love of a man and woman is sacred too, and is consecrated by the Church. Perfection is not possible in the human realm, so we live with our frailties and sins.

    I hope you rethink your point of view, perhaps with the aid of a sympathetic priest, and that you find a way to seek love in this world.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Sara
    22 October 2012 at 9:03 am

    I’m (kinda sorta yeah not really) gay, too! And I can completely resonate with everything you have shared here. I admire your boldness and conviction, and cannot imagine how difficult it is to stand so strong and so sure in yourself in Christ, I am so curious about the process of your journey coming to the place you are today and I am also curious about whether or not you ever waver in your conviction or if you are always, by the grace of God, so confident and sure of it?

    My story is extremely different, because I am able to be in a god honoring marriage and have a beautiful family with the husband of my dreams. But I still must always be aware and on guard to protect my heart from same-sex attractions, and opposite-sex attractions as well!

    I cannot imagine how much more difficult and confusing the struggle would be if those same-sex attractions were the only attractions I ever experienced! Thank you so much for sharing your story, I think if more and more people (like me who hides and lurks in the shadows with my history and temptations) were out there sharing their stories about these struggles and temptations, then homosexuality would be understood so much more by “the church” and perhaps there wouldn’t be so much judgement, perhaps hatred, and “stigma” surrounding this issue among our fellow Chritians. And for that shame on me! And good for you!

    My biggest fear in sharing my life’s struggles with same-sex attraction is worrying that every woman I am friends with is going to suddenly feel like I am desirous of them, or that they cannot be close to me because I am going to try to seduce them or something of that nature. So I lurk, wishing that during misunderstood conversations of homosexuality that I could speak up and share my personal testimony and try to help correct these misconceptions.

    I pray that someday I can have the boldness that you have, and that my story too can be used for the glory of God.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      23 November 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Sara, thanks so much for your comment. Your story is one the world needs to hear. The world claims that our only option, or at least the one that will bring us the most happiness, is to pursue the desires that seem “natural” to us. So people like you, who are blessed with marriages and families, despite ongoing temptations with same-sex attraction, are an important voice in this conversation. I hope someday you’ll share your story for the glory of God and the encouragement of others.

      As for your question, I haven’t always had such unwavering conviction. I used to struggle with assurance, mostly because I had a skewed view of homosexuality that made it seem worse than any other sin. But the more I focused on the gospel and my identity in Christ, the more homosexuality became just one of many struggles, not the struggle. It normalized homosexuality (without legitimizing it). Like you said, it was a journey.

      Thanks for your encouraging words!

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      Leave a Reply
  • A Kinda Gay Q&A | The Two Cities
    30 October 2012 at 9:49 am

    […] publishing my article “I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay” last month, I’ve received a lot of follow-up questions. Not so much about the article, but about […]

    Leave a Reply
  • I’m (Obviously Not Really But Yeah Mostly) Democrat | The Two Cities
    5 November 2012 at 5:36 am

    […] I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay […]

    Leave a Reply
  • SSA: A Dad’s Perspective (Guest Post) | The Two Cities
    13 November 2012 at 9:44 am

    […] I also have a son who is (kinda sorta yeah not really) gay. […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Needsanadvice
    18 November 2012 at 10:15 pm

    hello! this story is very inspiring. I’m an eighteen-year-old girl. During my elementary years and probably junior highs, I’ve had crushes on boys, but then I became tight friends with this one girl, and Idk… I think I’m attracted to her. (The first time I realized this is when I was fifteen)
    Since then, I had been plagued with guilt! I’m still attracted to boys, but I have no boyfriends during all my high school years because I still kinda, you know, maybe like HER, and I don’t want to have a boyfriend yet have feelings for someone. It’ll be unfair to him. I don’t pursue these ‘weird’ feelings, though. I stay friends with her until now.
    I begun to turn to God and ask Him to deliver me out from this sin.
    I love God, and like you said, I love him more than my attraction to girls, so I’ve never acted on these feelings. I avoid her sometimes, and try to avoid movies that shows girlxgirl relationships. Still, after four years, every time I see her, there was still this tiny bit attraction that couldn’t disappear.
    So, I’m trying my best. Sometimes I still have the urge to kiss a girl (and these urges comes strongly, though not frequently). I’ve dreamed about kissing girls sometimes and woke up VERY guilty in the morning.
    You see, your post had helped me a lot, to know you’re dealing with the same problem as a Christian. I realized that this is my temptation, and I won’t succumb to it.
    Still, I sometimes wonder whether God is angry or very sad at me because of these attractions? I mean, I’ve tried my best, and I never acted on these feelings, but the attraction will probably always be there :(.
    Do you think He’ll always forgive me, no matter how many times I’m attracted to the wrong persons? ><. Will he forgive me if I sometimes dreamed about the wrong things and thought about kissing the wrong people?
    Guilt is the one thing that always weighed me down. Sometimes I felt so ashamed with myself, and I can't talk to anybody for fear they'll cut me off.
    It's confusing. I still like boys, of course, but as of now, I never go out with any of them.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    Leave a Reply
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      23 November 2012 at 12:43 pm

      God will always forgive sinners with truly repentant hearts (1 John 1:9). I’d encourage you to focus less on being attracted to the same sex and more on the reasons for your lust. What draws your heart toward this girl? What does she offer that God doesn’t? It’s important to ask questions like these because homosexuality is often paired with other sins that are more “common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13). In other words, same-sex attraction may not be the problem; perhaps it’s plain and simple lust. Or perhaps it’s discontent in your singleness. It’s better to tackle the root sins. I’m planning to write more about this in upcoming posts, so please stay tuned. As for your dreams, I’m not sure we need to ask forgiveness for things we can’t control, but that’s a tricky topic that I’m not prepared to take a stand on. But I’ve touched on it here: “What To Do With Dreams.” God bless you!

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
      Leave a Reply
  • In the Closet with My Foot in the Door « Tomes of Bragi
    29 November 2012 at 11:18 pm

    […] just read the first chapter of Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin, and a little while ago read this blog post, and I must say, I find myself in an unusual position, as I always have. When it comes to […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Pianomankugie
    20 December 2012 at 1:36 am

    Bryan, thank you very much for this post and for trusting God to sustain you thru taking a public stand. To all who commented, thank you also. I didn’t see hate in any comment, but concern for the welfare of others. I am continuing to find that it is a much easier yoke and a much lighter burden to take up my cross than not to. Self-denial can be a form of love, as we see parents doing for children, spouses doing for each other, warriors doing for citizens, etc. Obviously a person doesn’t have to be a Christian to practice it. If Christianity were rules and regulations which would lead me either to a false feeling of superiority or a true feeling of despair, I would find it to be quite useless, and when I thought that’s what Christianity was, I did find it to be at the end, useless. But when I experienced the coming in of God, a transformation began in me. I consider the dual image of God, male/authority/respect/truth and female/power/love/grace, and how that union might best be reflected in the physical. Yes I know that word best is offensive and sounds judgemental. Yes God loves us as we are but his love changes us. If one doesn’t perceive that the flesh and the spirit are in opposition, then obviously the exchanged life (ours for His) won’t make sense. Christ said if anyone doesn’t hate their life they cannot be His disciple. So loving my life down here is not my highest priority.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • Happy New Year! | The Two Cities
    1 January 2013 at 3:11 am

    […] far the best post of the year was “I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay.” This post is part of a larger series on homosexuality that is very helpful, but this one […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Glory to God
    27 March 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Bryan, your testimony has blessed and convicted me more than you could ever know. I read your entire article and read through each and every comment, and was completely overwhelmed by all the different perspectives and opinions, as I usually am with this hot-button issue. I never comment on articles, especially when there’s such heated debate going on in the comments section. I closed my computer grabbed my newly acquired book “Lord Change Me” by James MacDonald for my daily reading. Then, I read this and immediately thought about this article: “Here’s the hard truth that sets people free; God’s bottom line doesn’t have anything to do with you or me or any human being. This whole universe is not about us; it’s about God. God does not exist to fulfill our purposes; we exist to fulfill God’s purposes. The reason He allows you and me to draw another breath is for His purposes, not ours. God changes us not to make us feel good or accomplish our plans. He changes us so we can accomplish His purposes. God is not here for us, we are here for Him.” (p. 56). I truly believe that therein lies the disconnect between the Christ-follower and one who does not believe in Christ: it’s not about us. It never was, and it never will be. It’s about God. We literally cannot breathe our next breath without Him. We were created to glorify Him and to acknowledge Him in all we do. So Bryan’s happiness isn’t even a factor in any of this. Neither is mine, or yours. God did not create us to be happy. He created us to be holy, as He is. And the awesome thing about that is that I truly am happiest and I find the most joy when I am living in accordance with God’s holiness. Don’t get me wrong – my joy is not founded upon my own striving to be good. I find the most joy when I wake up in the morning and say, “God, this day is about you, not me. I will have my struggles. Temptations will come my way. But I choose YOU. I choose you because you chose me and you love me. And I want to love you with everything I have. So God I need you every hour – no, every minute – of this day.” THAT’S when I feel I am living completely. And I totally get it if that sounds crazy to some of you. It sounds like the complete opposite of freedom. But it truly is a paradox that cannot be explained unless it is experienced, and I long for each and every one of you to experience it. Amazingly, God did not set this standard of living without providing a model to follow – Jesus. He lived every second of his life in obedience to the Father, even though he and the Father are one! He lived to glorify God, and he was killed for being considered a crazy blasphemer. Fellow Christ-followers, this is for you. Love each and every person in all you do. Never forget that. A gay person is neither better nor worse than anyone else who struggles with any other sin. I struggle with a myriad of sins, myself. We all do! However, please do not fall into the trap of thinking that we must be relevant to our culture. That was never God’s plan. Again Bryan, thank you, again. Reading about your steadfast love for and commitment to God has renewed my own. It has reminded me to stop sinning so selfishly and to stop seeking my own gain. I will be praying for you!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • The 30-Year-Old Virgin | The Two Cities
    20 June 2013 at 8:29 am

    […] for his glory and our good, and we should delight in following his commands. Anyone who’s read my previous writings on homosexuality knows I’m not a 30-year-old virgin because it’s fun, but because I’m committed to God’s […]

    Leave a Reply
  • » Fun fact #7
    23 July 2013 at 7:33 pm

    […] A while ago, I’d been introduced to a blogger at a site called The Two Cities (www.thetwocities.com). This site is hosted by several God-fearing, intellectual-type, bloggers. If you haven’t heard of it, I suggest clicking around. I’m pretty certain you’ll find some great stuff…It can be a wee bit addicting. But the gold nugget for me was a blogger who came out with an INCREDIBLE blog post about how he is “kinda-sorta-yeah-not-really” gay. He’s a guy who LOVES Jesus, pursues holiness, wants to live a God-honoring life and struggles with same-sex attraction (SSA). Talk about hope. His “coming out” story can be found here. […]

    Leave a Reply
  • What I Didn’t Say About Homosexuality | Impact Blog
    29 August 2013 at 3:03 pm

    […] I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay – Bryan’s admission that he has homosexual desires and discussion of why he chooses to follow Jesus in singleness rather than embrace them. […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Matt
    26 September 2013 at 10:54 pm
    • Bryan Magana
      Bryan Magana
      27 September 2013 at 10:16 am
      • mathew
        15 November 2013 at 4:22 pm

        It feels a little… frustrating… that Christians need to engage in 5-hour polemic come-backs. Isn’t this kind of mis-focused? Shouldn’t we be spending our time following Jesus’ example of self-giving and compassion. Isn’t it a better use of our time to strive for justice, follow Jesus’ preferential option for the poor, orphan, and widow? I’m certainly not perfect and make mistakes every day (boy, am I thankful for grace)—but I think there are better ways to spend 5 hours. What this amounts to is an attack on Matthew Vines himself; any Christian who is convicted that their version of morality or doctrinal position on homosexuality is capital-T-Truth—wouldn’t need to issue a 5-hour rebuttal… they would get on with grace, mercy, compassion, self-giving (kenosis), challenging oppressive political order, devotion, worship, and pursuing holiness (which, biblically, means wholeness) and forget about longwinded polemic. I appreciate that this is a complex and emotional issue for Christians across the Christian faith mosaic… but perhaps we could focus more on the Kingdom of God, on being exemplars of Christ, and engaging in useful and edifying conversations about how we can all work together for the good of God.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        Leave a Reply
  • mathew
    13 November 2013 at 2:03 am

    Would just like to chime in, here, to balance the conversation. There are lots of gay Christians who understand that the Bible was orally transmitted and written in a certain time, culture, and language—and, that what applies to an ancient world might not necessarily apply to a postmodern world. Of course, this sets me up from the get-go for a conservative lashing. At any rate, there are lots of gay Christians who love Jesus and do not see anything wrong with embodiment and its spectrum of orientations. We are able to say, in the same sentence, we are Christian and being gay is not sinful. Nor are gay relationships or gay sex, provided they are relationships that rehearse justice, compassion, mercy, self-giving—all the hallmarks of the Kingdom of God as modelled by Jesus. So, if you are reading this and you are gay (“same-sex attraction” is a lousy phrase, it stigmatizes, excludes, and shames—not Christ-like behaviour) and wondering if you can be gay and Christian… you can! And you can live a radical Christ-like life without shame.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • "I used to think that babies were sinless. We are sinful from conception." Insufferable Intolerance
    25 December 2013 at 8:57 pm

    […] G Here’s the articles I was talking about: http://www.thetwocities.com/practica…ot-really-gay/ […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Is being gay a sin? | asktheBigot
    29 January 2014 at 4:55 pm

    […] want to close with a quote by Bryan Magana from his post “I’m (kinda sorta yeah nor really) gay.”  If you have a few more moments, read the entire post.  Bryan is amazingly vulnerable and full […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Follow Your Arrow? | The Two Cities
    10 April 2014 at 10:45 pm

    […] consider. Remember the Golden Rule. Kiss lots of boys, unless you’re also a boy, like me, who is (kinda sorta yeah not really) gay and trying to uphold a biblical sexual ethic amid mounting pressure not to. Or kiss lots of girls […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Macklemore’s “Same Love” Same-Sex Marriage Song. . . Talking Points. . . | CPYU
    29 April 2014 at 1:07 pm

    […] you to read the very personal and compelling words penned by Bryan Magana in his recent blog post, “I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay.” Here’s what Bryan writes. . . and once again, this is worth discussing with your kids. . . […]

    Leave a Reply
  • Redeeming the Friend Zone | The Two Cities
    9 September 2014 at 9:24 am

    […] “coming out” in September 2012, I’ve talked to friends and family (and a few online trolls) who think that, […]

    Leave a Reply
  • This Week’s Good Reads – Pastor Dave Online
    22 November 2014 at 6:32 am

    […] “I’m (Kinda Sorta Yeah Not Really) Gay” by Bryan […]

    Leave a Reply
  • "Is it bad to be a Christian and be a homosexual?" – Sunlight Youth Group
    1 February 2015 at 5:48 pm

    […] I’m (Kinda sorta yeah not really) Gay by Bryan Magana on the blog The Two Cities – This is an awesome testimony of someone who is gay and loves God. […]

    Leave a Reply
  • aaron
    2 February 2015 at 9:04 pm

    hey bryan!

    I just wanted to thank you for your blogs, I read this one at youth group the other day when we were talking about homosexuality. you have a truly inspiring testimony. thanks and God bless!

    aaron

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    Leave a Reply
  • » #sarahturns40
    11 February 2015 at 5:27 pm

    […] he was little probably didn’t look down the road and imagine being single either. He is my “kinda-sorta-yeah-not-really” friend. I blogged about him once a while ago. A fine man who lives with same-sex attraction but […]

    Leave a Reply
  • More Posts

    RELATED BY

    • Growing up my hometown was, and still is, very conservative. Most everyone identifies as a Christian and a Republican, and to me those two terms were nearly synonymous. I...
    • In this past year, as ISIS has committed targeted genocide against Christians, the Church at large has become aware of the reality and horror that is persecution. For those like myself...
    • Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water...
    • This month’s issue of Scottish Journal of Theology published an article by BYU professor Noel B. Reynolds entitled ‘The Gospel According to Mormon’ (SJT 68: 218–234 ). As the...