My story begins in Panama City Beach, Florida, growing up as an “evangelical poster child” in the Christian-Youth-Retreat and MTV-Spring-Break Capital of the American Bible Belt. I stayed out of trouble, and I knew all the right answers in youth group. But I had a secret. I knew evangelical poster children weren’t supposed to be attracted to other guys, and I was determined that no one would ever find out. I believed that no one who ever fully knew me could ever truly love me. I believed that God loved me because He had to, and I was determined to prove myself worthy of His love.
Through my experience as a student and staff member with RUF, I came face-to-face with the depths of my sin (far worse than I ever could have imagined) and the even greater depths of Christ’s love (far greater than I ever could have dreamed). I also learned that the gospel of Jesus frees us to take off our masks, be fully known, and find true love and intimacy within the Body of Christ.
Since first sharing my story publicly in 2013, I’ve spoken and written frequently about my experience as a Christian who experiences same-sex attraction* because that’s the story and the song that Jesus has given me. I’m excited to talk about that, but I’m even more excited to talk about my desire to see the Church be a true Family for all who are in Christ Jesus—whether single or married.
I’m an MDiv graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and I live in the DeBaliviere Place neighborhood of St. Louis. I enjoy walking in Forest Park, sharing good food with friends, Broadway musicals, and making spreadsheets. I’m also a proud Hufflepuff.
*You might wonder why I say that “I experience same-sex attraction” instead of saying “I’m gay.” To be honest, you might hear me say both at different times and different places because different words and labels mean different things—and carry different baggage, understandably, for different people. I try not to get caught up in debating language, which I ultimately believe is a question of wisdom and liberty, and instead try to focus on communicating my own experience and convictions with both clarity and charity, and trying to create space for others to do the same. For a great treatment of the different perspectives on language, I highly recommend this dialogue between my friends Greg Coles and Rachel Gilson, both of whom I respect immensely: https://centerforfaith.com/blog/gay-vs-same-sex-attraction-a-dialogue