As people who experience same-sex attraction, we are a sexual minority. As Christians with unwanted same-sex attraction, we are a micro-minority.
We are writing this open letter to you asking you to see us, hear us, and accept us.
1. We are being silenced
When we were growing up, the stories of people with same-sex attraction were almost unheard of. As a sexual minority, we did not see ourselves being represented, and we could not share our stories openly.
But when we began to share how God has called us toward His best for our sexuality, we found our voice—to tell our stories.
As men and women who have same-sex attraction, but no longer identify as gay or lesbian, our lived experiences are valid and have a place in the conversation. But there are people who want to take away our voices and ban our stories.
Will we be silenced again? Will our experiences be censored soon?
2. We are being excluded
When we discovered our same-sex attraction, we knew we were different from those around us. We felt like we did not belong. A couple of times, we heard our friends make gay jokes. No way were we going to come out to them afterwards! We felt like an unwanted presence. The loneliness was painful. How we wished they would accept us.
When we decided to stop acting on our same-sex attraction, we did not feel we were welcomed in the LGBTQ community anymore. But thankfully, we found a community that’s willing to embrace us in the church.
Recently, there are demands for people like us to stop sharing our experiences. We were brought back to those feelings of isolation again when we saw all these people ganging up to shout down our stories.
We are confused because those who want to exclude our stories are often the very ones who also advocate for love and inclusiveness. Are our experiences not worth including? Doesn’t tolerance work both ways?
3. We have been misunderstood
People make all kinds of assumptions about gays and lesbians. You won’t believe the kind of things they say. Some are pretty hurtful.
It was only in our relationship with God that we most deeply understood what it meant to be fully and truly known and loved for who we are.
In our society, though, we continue to face being misunderstood. People have said that we went through conversion therapy, when we clearly did not. Or that our stories promote conversion therapy, which we are against. Some even imposed their own assumptions on us, saying we have “fully recovered” or have been “completely healed” of our same-sex attraction, even though we were upfront in our stories that this was not the case; it’s just that that we are now more free from its control over our lives.
What baffles us even more are those who said we have been brainwashed by the church. Do they really think so lowly of us? What right did they have to mislabel us like that? We have decided for ourselves that our same-sex attraction is something we don’t wish to pursue, and we are choosing for ourselves to live a fulfilling life based on our own goals.
Please stop assuming. Don’t speak over our stories. Give us some credit that we came to our own conclusions and decisions.
Will you make the effort to understand and honour our experiences? Or will you keep imposing misinformed ideas on us?
4. We have felt unsafe
Did you know that people with same-sex attraction often have had to suss out and navigate which spaces are safe or unsafe for them? Spaces like, family, friends, schools, workplaces, social spaces, etc. We’ve become experts at finding out where we can be most ourselves and where we need to hide our sexuality from others.
As Christians who have chosen to live and express our sexuality differently, we have been marginalised by some in the church and the “woke” crowd. But at least the church is growing to become safer for people like us over the years.
But the online space has grown increasingly unsafe for us. People have been criticising our stories, misinterpreting our experiences, and distorting our intentions. It’s no longer a place where we can let our guard down and be who we truly are.
There are many more like us who, by their own choice, want to make a different, counter-cultural decision about their same-sex attraction.
You have a choice. Will you be a safe or unsafe space for us?
5. Our freedom of choice is criticised
Different people with same-sex attraction understand their sexuality differently. Some express it by acting upon it. Some express it by choosing differently.
As Christians, we have chosen to live our truth by loving God, ourselves, and the people around us by not acting on our same-sex attraction. We know love is so much more expansive and inclusive than just being narrowly confined to romance and sex.
Some have assumed that this means we are denying our true self. Actually, far from repressing our desires and who we really are, we are our most authentic self when we are being true to our values and beliefs. We are expressing our sexuality differently.
This is our freedom of choice. This is our freedom to love.
Some have also said that our stories could potentially cause harm to others. But can’t this also be said about the potential harm that can be caused to us from stories that suggest same-sex attraction should be acted upon? Don’t the demands for our stories to be excluded have an adverse impact on us and other same-sex attracted Christians like us?
We each have our own convictions and perspectives. True tolerance means we should respectfully hold space for views that differ from ours.
Just as we respect the positions of others and their freedom to choose, we ask that you respect ours.
See us, hear us, accept us.
Our lived experiences are authentic and valid.
We did not go through conversion therapy. We were not brainwashed. Don’t cancel or censor our stories with these false assumptions or accusations.
It is costly for us to speak up. But we believe that tolerance can work both ways.
We can disagree without being disagreeable. Would you be truly inclusive?
We exist. We matter. We belong.
Stand by us. Speak up for us. Accept us.
Help make our voices heard by sharing our video and our open letter.