As the gays bask in the glow of the holiday season, funny/smart guy Michael Henry takes a look at the tightrope act some have to navigate between being gay and being Christian.
Henry opens his short film discussing his plans for Christmas dinner with his Italian family – very traditional complete with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. That prompts Preston to pose the question: “Do you think you can be Christian and gay?”
Henry responds with a silent head shake eventually adding, “I want to say yes, but I feel…no.” And Preston is quick to agree: “That’s why I’m an atheist. I’m not letting a book of fairy tales tell me that being me is a sin.”
Ty jumps in with his own new age perspective: “I have energy-infused crystals with my Nana’s soul in them – it’s true.”
Back on topic, Henry shares that the church/gay split is a complicated issue for him as he grew up in the church and enjoyed the sense of community he found there. But after coming out, Henry distanced himself from the church because he didn’t feel he could have both.
Preston goes (forgive the expression) straight to the heart of the issue asking why anyone would want to be part of an institution that has made it clear it doesn’t want gays in their mix. Ty gets that but feels the desire for a “spiritual guideline” trumps removing religion from his life.
For Henry, it’s the issue of “stipulation over stipulation” in trying to keep Christianity in the mix leaving LGBTQ people feeling like they have to reject their queerness to hold on to their religion.
And as Preston points out, amid the judgement, Evangelicals make it their mission to proselytize (which Ty confuses with a massage for your prostate, but moving along…).
Hit play to see how Henry and company suss out the issue, which is very common for many queer folks.
In the comment section of the YouTube page, many acknowledged the difficulty of processing “Christian trauma” over the years as they struggle with religion and sexuality. Others related to “fond memories of community” in the church but said internalized homophobia led them to step back from the church.
It’s a complicated issue, and as usual, Henry opens the door to the topic for others to consider for themselves. You can check out more of Instinct’s coverage of the clever gay culture guru here. And share your thoughts on gays and Christianity in the comment section below.
4 thoughts on “The Difficult Dance Between Gays & The Church”
I can certainly understand why Michael Henry has problems being gay and Christian. I was raised in a very conservative church but found a much more accepting church when I moved away from my home town for employment. I now go to a United Methodist church in the San Francisco Bay area. Our church is a reconciling congregation (a Methodist term for being open to everyone). We got pushback when we put a rainbow flag on our building – not from our members, but from an evangelical church in town. We still fly our rainbow flag and have gay couples, bisexual and transgender people as part of our congregation. I, for one, am a very happy and Gay Christian.
The definition of the word “Christian” is being used incorrectly. Several Christian denominations are strongly supporting and welcoming to everyone. Two examples are Presbyterian Church USA and Episcopal, there are also more. There are many denominations who fain to be “Christian” but are not as they are not accepting without judgement. This is a basic principle of Christianity.
To explore one’s sexuality and spirituality I suggest Metropolitan Community Church, founded in 1968 by the Reverend/Elder, Troy Perry. There you can bring your questions and find answers.
I know so many gay Christians, It makes me very sad how many of them have struggled between the two – me included. I wish there was an easy way to reconcile being gay & Christian.