Gay but Won’t Act on It?

I want to tell you about one of my saddest interactions with a religious person.

I have a friend that I grew up with. He was a pastor’s kid. We met in middle school and stayed friends throughout high school. We graduated and went our separate ways and I haven’t seen him since.

When Facebook came around we reconnected. I really enjoyed reading his posts and was genuinely interested in what he was up to. He was always very unique with a somewhat boisterous personality. I always thought he was a great guy.

A few years back he came out as gay on Facebook. He said he knows this about himself however, he will never act on it because it’s a sin.

I was dumbfounded. He isn’t allowed to fall in love? What kind of god won’t let you fall in love? 

This friend works for a popular Christian attraction. (I don’t want to say what it is to protect his identity.) So I’m sure there is peer pressure.

The comments following the post were just as disturbing. There were many that said, “You’re such a good Christian!” I went from dumbfounded to pissed. I wanted to leave a comment. I thought for a while about what I might say but eventually decided not to say anything at all. 

It’s his life and I need to let it go.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Do you know anyone who is openly gay but doesn’t act on it because it’s a sin? I think that would be such a horrible and difficult situation. Would you have commented on the post?


  1. sonofrojblake says

    I think I’d have probably taken the same route as you, after some soul-searching (so to speak).

    I’d *want* to say something along the lines of “I hope you someday find your way to a place where you’re allowed to love authentically.” Or some similar shit.

    But it’s been decades since I thought it was worth trying to talk religious people out of their delusions, even the few I actually cared about. After the first couple of dozen horses that you lead to the waterside keel over and die from thirst in front of you, sooner or later you start thinking “fuck ’em” and just leave them in the desert.

  2. lanir says

    I haven’t run into this sort of thing. Most of the people I met through school… Well, my life is better off if I never run into them again.

    WIth religious people in general I find it works out well if I just explain that I don’t agree with what they’re into and then focus on the things we actually have in common. So for something like this I don’t know that I’d comment on the post because starting an argument about it in the comments would probably not help anyone.

    I might send a private message to them though. Give a short explanation using their belief system about why I don’t feel it’s a sin or any sort of moral quandary to have consenting sex between adults. And tell them I support their decisions to live their life in the ways that make them happy. As long as I can tell them I don’t agree with their conclusion without triggering a defensive reaction then that should work.

    Probably also worth remembering that not everyone is as into sex or romance. I am but I have friends that are asexual. It’s a whole spectrum. It would drive me batty trying to live in some christian cult that wanted to control sex (and most if not all of them do). But I’ve met several people who could just ignore restrictions on sex for the most part so they’d be fine as long as they could put up with the rest of the cult behavior.

  3. maggie says

    If he came out on FB, the Xian attraction probably knows that he is gay. If he wants to live in misery, that’s his business., Let’s hope he doesn’t get talked into getting married to some poor woman and having children. That would just blow up a whole bunch of other people.

  4. txpiper says

    “He said he knows this about himself however, he will never act on it because it’s a sin.”
    In most societies, people who are attracted to children, or animals, or dead bodies, are expected to live unfulfilled and frustrated. He is just choosing to abide by cultural norms.

  5. says

    Actually, no, @txpiper, they’re not expected to “live unfulfilled and frustrated;” they’re expected (in CIVILIZED societies at least) to get help in dealing with unhealthy desires to do harmful things — and gay sex between consenting adults is not in that category.

    Also, the bigoted beliefs of an established religion are not the same as “cultural norms,” especially when: a) many adherents of said religion don’t share those beliefs; and b) the people they hate are also part of the culture and also don’t share those beliefs.

    I find it amazing how consistently wrong you can be about everything in so few sentences.

  6. K says

    @5; you’re ignoring the fact that none of your oh-so-tired examples can give consent to sex…but then again, your faith doesn’t care if its adherents consent to what’s being done to them.

    On a similar note to Ashes’s example, one of my co-worker belongs to one of the many whackadoo Christian cults. In this one, the pastor has forbidden having a television in the home. They still do, but they hide it when the pastor is over. I asked what the point was of belonging to faith that runs against their own beliefs.

    How much sadder for Ashes’s friend to deny the very core of his being just to cling to a faith that would expel him if they found out who he really was.

  7. kimpatsu1001 says

    In 2018 I reconnected with a frien I had in elementary school. He told me that although he was gay, he had denied that fact to himself until he was 27YO because of his Catholic upbringing.

  8. K says

    Any of the wackier cults hate homosexuality, not just Catholics. I suspect txpiper is from one of the whackadoo stagnant eddies of the Protestant pool

  9. brightmoon says

    This is so sad. Living with a false persona is one of the most stressful things you can do . It’s a form of self abuse . I think I’d just say I don’t agree because it harmful and then I’d drop the subject unless they wanted to continue. Then I’d tell them why

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