The Struggles Of Closeted Evangelical Christian Gay Boys In The ’90s

We may have been born this way, but we were also born to Evangelical Christian families. The closeted struggle was real.

1. You probably joined the drama team at church.

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Heaven’s Gates & Hells Flames / Via

Yes, a walking cliche. But how else will the church put on a FABULOUS production of Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Flames without you? Unless there was a lock-in or youth group carwash that weekend.

2. You had a crush on Joshua Harris…

Joshua Harris / Via

Homeschooled author of courtship guide I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Ironic, don’t ya think?

3. …or your youth pastor…


4. …or a member of Plus One.

Or all the members of Christian ‘NSYNC knock off Plus One. I don’t judge.

5. After all, they had some jams.

Like “Written On My Heart” or “Last Flight Out

6. Not that anyone could know about said crushes…

Mean Girls / Via

…not your sister, not your BFF, not your diary. Not even Jesus, if such a thing was possible.

7. You wanted to sing an Amy Grant song during the offering.

Whether you could sing or not. Of course, “Baby, Baby” was out of the question, that was from her “secular” album. And there was so much controversy about that! But she wrote “Thy Word” which was in the friggin’ Praise & Worship Songbook so you were allowed to sneak some “Every Heartbeat” onto your mix tapes. Maybe.

8. You couldn’t indulge in Spice Mania…

Those sex crazed maniacs were perverting our youth, obvs.

9. …so you settled for Point Of Grace mania instead.

Not quite the same, although the remixes on the above single were banging.

10. And you had a few “anti-Britney” types to choose from.

Stacie Orrico, who would have a minor crossover hit with “Stuck”…

…Rachael Lampa, who was more Christina vocals-wise…

…and a pre-fame Katy Perry, under her birth name Katy Hudson.

13. It wasn’t all pop culture alternate reality stuff…

…though there is plenty more of that.

14. You knew from early on that being gay was a sin.

Youtube / Via

Your pastor probably preached a sermon about it. And your mom heard it from Focus On The Family or the Family Research Council. Your youth group probably discussed it along with the evils of alcohol and secular rock music. There was probably a few books about it in the church library. You knew.

15. You probably tried to pray the gay away.

South Park / Via

You didn’t pray it out loud but it was probably on the top of your evening silent prayer list.

16. You may have secretly wanted to go to reparative therapy camp.

Mostly to meet other gay kids and maybe have se… I mean, help them in their carnal struggles. All night, if need be.

17. Hopefully, you didn’t end up there.

American Horror Story: Asylum / Via

It doesn’t always have a happy ending.

18. But you couldn’t contemplate suicide.

The Trevor Project / Via

Because that’s a sin, too! Also: a permanent solution to temporary problem. But mostly A SIN! But you probably considered it anyway. (I know, way to bring the party down.)

20. Maybe you covered your gay tracks with some homophobic bullying.

21. Or maybe you danced around the issue…

Tim Davis / Via

…with some discussion of the theory that the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was homosexuality that he wouldn’t act on. Or, if you went really deep, dropped mention that the centurion’s “servant” Jesus healed in Luke 7 was a mistranslation of the Greek word. It actually could mean “male lover.” But no mention of your own “thorn in the flesh”… wink, wink.

22. But you took solace where you could…


23. …rejoiced when someone tells you that you can be both gay and Christian…

Larry King Live / Via

Like your favorite Christian singer/songwriter Jennifer Knapp.

24. …and hopefully found a church home that accepts you for who you are.

For example, a Metropolitan Community Church or Unitarian Universalist or even some Quaker churches.

25. Or maybe you don’t go to church anymore…

…that’s ok, too.

Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit / Via

Jesus loves you anyway.

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