Straight Christian Pretends to be Gay

Cross In The Closet, Timothy Kurek’s book on his experience

I found this story absolutely fascinating. I really want to salute this man. Timothy Kurek grew up in a conservative evangelical church. He had always been told that homosexuality was an abomination and the best thing you could do for somebody who is LGBT is to tell them that they need to repent so they can go to Heaven. He makes a lesbian acquaintance who explains how she was rejected by her family after coming out. So the first moral of the story: once you actually know somebody in the LGBT population, you are a lot more likely to realize that certain actions toward them are not loving no matter how you try to rationalize it.

He decided he had to take action, which to me is always step two. He is straight. But if you’ve ever heard the phrase “walk a mile in their shoes,” you’ll understand the principle by which he decided to pretend to be gay for a year. He “came out” to friends, family, and church. He got a job in a gay cafe, went to a gay bar, and joined a gay softball league. Three people other than Kurek knew the truth: an aunt, a close friend, and a gay friend who pretended to be his boyfriend. Sure enough, most of his friends stopped talking to him and his mom seemed to take it the hardest of all.

By the end of it, he was an ally of the gay community. It seems like he stayed a Christian, too, demonstrating point #3: being a Christian and being pro-LGBT rights do not need to be contradictory. I may pick up the book he wrote of the experience, The Cross In The Closet. Regardless of whether you think it is a sin, it is things like these which will go a long way to bridging the divide between the church and the LGBT community. Sometimes you really do have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. It humanizes them and exposes hateful actions in ways that judging from the outside cannot.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.