Quarter-Life Confessions of a Gay Christian

I recently published a book. My first. You might have heard. It’s all about struggle and redemption, and I titled it Struggle Central: Quarter-Life Confessions of a Messed Up Christian.

But that’s almost not what it was called.

I spent many weeks brainstorming the perfect title. The “Struggle Central” portion emerged without much conscious effort thanks to last summer’s hearty camp experience hiding in bathroom stalls – my centralized Struggle Headquarters of four flimsy walls and a toilet.

The main title was easy; figuring out the subtitle, however, required more time and brainstorming.

Among many potential ideas, one was “Quarter-Life Confessions of a Gay Christian.” Ultimately, I switched out “Gay Christian” for “Messed Up Christian” since the book wasn’t entirely about my struggle with homo–

Oh, what’s that? You hadn’t heard?

Well then. Let me explain. Ever since I published Struggle Central two months ago, it’s been the purple bedazzled elephant in the room that I’ve been desperately wanting to kill.

So, let’s kill that elephant already.

My name is Tom. I’m 26, and I’m a Christian.

And I’m also gay.

Thomas Mark Zuniga Gay Christian: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A Gay Christian from Youth

For 19 years, I didn’t tell a soul about my sexuality. Hardly accepted or even understood my elementary attractions myself.

I mean, I’d known since second grade – distinctly remember innocent childhood desires for a male “best friend” I could see outside school and perhaps hold and fall asleep beside at night. But as my clandestine emotional desires grew more sexualized throughout my teenage years, I started realizing my harrowing situation.

I was gay; I was Christian. I supposed that made me a “gay Christian,” if ever there could be such a thing. Nobody else knew – never even suspected anything. Despite never dating a girl, I never received any verbal attacks of “fag” or “queer.” Was never called out on my secret sexuality and never even heard rumors that my peers thought I was gay.

Apparently, I was the straightest gay Christian there was.

After all, I was a Christian; Christians don’t struggle with that. Good heavens. Rather than label me gay, I imagined everyone in my perpetual Christian bubble of school-church-family simply assuming me a quiet coward when it came to girls.

If only.

In the climactic fifth and sixth confessions of Struggle Central, I wrote about the bizarre circumstances which prompted my first “coming out” to my parents at 19, and over the last seven years I’ve been confiding in other precious people at critical junctures – siblings, good friends, and most recently my church group here in California.

Then two months ago, I finally “came out” with that aforementioned book. I say “finally,” because that jump from the closet was actually preceded by quite an arduous climb. An arduous climb unbeknownst to most – a climb four long years in the making.

A Gay Christian Meets Other Gay Christians

Four summers ago, I attended the Exodus Freedom Conference in Wheaton, Illinois, just outside Chicago. For those unaware, Exodus describes itself as “the leading global outreach to churches, individuals and families offering a biblical message about same-sex attraction.” Every summer they host a freedom conference somewhere in America.

The organization has certainly fielded its share of criticism over the years – a blog post for another occasion. Criticisms aside, Exodus awakened me. Made me realize I wasn’t the only messed up, gay Christian in existence, and I even found some life-changing friendships there as well.

Relationships aside, Exodus awakened me in another powerful way – made me realize my struggles weren’t meant to stay concealed in darkness forever.

I’d have never written Struggle Central without that week-long sojourn to suburban Chicago.

It was the last night of that 2009 conference and an altogether rare moment when God distinctly spoke to me. He posed a question so insane and terrifying and altogether thrilling: What if you wrote about your struggles — including the big one? Someday?

Four years later, now living 2,300 miles away from a forlorn Georgian existence, such a bizarre vision was finally realized: I wrote that book.

It was a book, in part, about my long concealed struggle with homosexuality. My mostly secret identity as a gay Christian.

Looking out over Chimney Rock

A Gay Christian Holds Back

For the last two years, I’ve almost felt like I was “lying” to y’all — my readers. Blog post after blog post, especially the more vulnerable ones, I was only telling you part of the story. I especially felt burdened last summer at camp. Whenever I vaguely referenced my “struggles” there, I couldn’t quite write why I struggled so much.

That killed me. All summer long, I wanted to come out and say it so badly:


But I couldn’t; it wouldn’t have been right. Not at all the proper timing for such a bold, altogether awkward declaration.

In the autumn wake of my summer at camp, however, the clamps started loosening on my hesitations. After blogging here for over a year, it was time to write and publish my first book. With respect to my blog, some sort of personal nonfiction work made the most sense – and then I remembered my Exodus revelation in 2009.

God’s voice I’d heard; His vision I’d seen.

And so it was. I started writing this book in October and finished it in April. Held very little back as I kept all my trusted confidants in the loop about the leap I was about to take with Struggle Central.

A leap four impossible years in the making.

A Gay Christian Steps Forward

Since “coming out” with my first book two months ago, I’ve withheld any blogging about my homosexual struggle. It’s not that I’ve been afraid to do so; it’s just that my book’s homosexual reveal is a bit of a bombshell, and I wanted to give ample time for my most faithful readers to uncover that confession for themselves before I started openly blogging about being a gay Christian.

If you’ve downloaded/purchased the book, but hadn’t yet hit that pivotal part of my story – I’m sorry for “spoiling” things. Don’t worry, though; I promise there’s so much more crap to my story than being a gay Christian.

(Spoiler: there’s tons of redemptive moments as well.)

For the last two years – and especially these last two months – I’ve been eager to advance this blog to the “next level.” To further the mission started four years ago at an unsuspecting conference. A mission of striving to bring darkness to Light.

And so, I have some confessions to get off my chest – quarter-life confessions of a gay Christian.

TMZ Wanderer 2

A Gay Christian’s Confessions

For brevity’s sake, here are some bulleted points that pertain to my faith, homosexuality, and the seeming conflict I bear as a gay Christian:

  • Yes, I’m still attracted to guys even after confessing to so many people. And God. After 26 years, I’ve never been physically attracted to a girl.
  • No, I didn’t “choose” to be gay. The matter of sexual “choice” has been argued to death in Christian culture, but honestly, I’d have never chosen this life if I’d had any say in the matter.
  • Yes, I consider myself a “gay Christian,” though I also describe myself as “same-sex attracted” (or “SSA,” as the trendy Christian acronym goes). To me, it’s all semantics and one in the same with regards to my sexuality.
  • No, I’m not actively seeking a gay relationship. Despite my unceasing male attractions at gyms and coffee shops alike, I’ve realized there’s something intrinsically deeper beneath my male attractions. I hope to elaborate more on this particular point in another post.
  • Yes, I believe homosexuality is outside God’s ideal story for humanity. I realize there are massively opposing opinions outside and even within the Church, but for my own personal sense of peace, I cannot mentally reconcile a homosexual relationship with also following Christ. Given the choice of one or the other — well, without Christ, I’m lost.
  • No, I don’t need “healing.” Or at least not like Westboro Baptist Church thinks I need it. Let’s not even go there.
  • Yes, this life really sucks sometimes.
  • No, it’s not all doom and gloom. When you think about life as a struggle and drawing closer to Christ by picking up your cross and carrying it as He did — well, that’s a pretty fulfilling life.
  • Yes, I want a wife and kids someday. It could happen; I’ve read stories about it happening and have even witnessed those stories firsthand. So much would have to transpire in my life first, but you know what? I’m good with the single life for now; it gives me a lot of independence. Especially as an introverted writer. For now, it’s wonderfully freeing not to be romantically attached to another human being.

I may elaborate on some/all of these “gay Christian confessions” in the ongoing future of my blog. My story. But for now, you have the basics.

A Gay Christian Anew

Four years after receiving my Struggle Central revelation at a conference, I find it eerily fitting that I’ll be returning to that same conference this summer – this week, actually.

Of all the places in America, Exodus is coming to my sunny southern Californian backyard this year. I’m ecstatic to reunite with some long lost friends and hopefully create some new ones as well.

You can certainly expect a healthy Exodus recap in the weeks to come.

I’ve not attended the Exodus Freedom Conference since that pivotal Chicago summer of 2009, so to come full circle here in Orange County after finally publishing that insane terrifying thrilling book is a pretty spectacular turn-of-events.

A “God-thing,” if you will.

I never chose this path, but I have it all the same. And so it is; and so I walk. If you’ve read Struggle Central, you know my homosexuality has prompted some monumental moments. Redemptive moments that have only confirmed my belief in a God actively seeking to reconcile me back to Him. Reconcile all of us.

If you wrestle with homosexuality or any of my other struggles chronicled in Struggle Central, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on this post or email me privately. You can shoot me an email at tmz[at]thomasmarkzuniga[dot]com. I’d love to hear from you.

It’s a bit difficult condensing 26 years of a struggle into a book, let alone a blog post, but consider both the book and this post a start.

Consider this moment the gateway to a new era on this blog.

I’m unceasingly amazed at the power of Story as it relates to brokenness and redemption. I want to step more boldly into the Story ever ago penned for me. I want to proclaim my story and be the voice I longed to hear 15 years ago when I thought I was all alone in this struggle.

I wasn’t; I’m not. Nobody is alone — gay Christian or otherwise.

And so, the journey’s just getting started.

Travel well —

— and please excuse the dead bedazzled elephant on your way out.

UPDATE: Read my friend Joseph Craven’s fantastic response to this post, “Hating My Roots: A Post About Identity.”

  • Amy H.

    Okay, now I can review your book! I’ve been holding back because ,while the overall message of your story was clear, it left me wondering where you saw yourself after all of those realizations. To me, there is a big difference between discussing ones struggle with sexual identity and openly admitting to being gay. I’m very proud of you for being honest about who you are and look forward to reading your future posts!

    • TMZ

      Appreciate the kind words, Amy!

      I apologize if this post preceded the ability for folks to review my book. I intentionally left out the details of this post from the book since, like you said, I was shooting for an overarching theme in the book (“we all struggle; we all can find redemption”). This post has been a long time coming, and I’m eager to move onward from here!

  • I’ve been waiting for this post, my friend! It definitely ties some things together between your book and now. Once again, thank you for your boldness and transparency. Still praying for you and looking forward to seeing how God works through this struggle in your life.

    • TMZ

      I’ve been waiting for it as well! Was just a matter of timing. I figured with my return to Exodus this week, the time was finally “right.”

      So blessed by your support and encouragement throughout this process, Laura. Thank you also for your continued prayers. You rawk. I hope your summer is awesome!

  • As always, your honesty and vulnerability amaze me. Thanks for sharing, TMZ. The muddled, unpopular issues of homosexuality and faith perplex me greatly, and I admire your courage in writing about them so openly. I look forward to the “new era” of your blog. Godspeed!

    • TMZ

      Thanks Adam. It’s such a tough issue, and I want to start sharing my side of the story on this blog. It will be a long process, but the book and this post is a start. Excited to dive deeper. Appreciate the support!


  • Kathy

    I so admire your courage, honesty, and faith in God! Good luck in all you do and God Bless!

    • TMZ

      Appreciate the kind words, Kathy!

  • Rebecka

    Once again I’m amazed and impressed by your honesty and transparency. I also really admire your strong desire to let God work through you, and I’m excited about the new era of the blog.

    I hope you’ll have an amazing time at Exodus!

    • TMZ

      Thanks Rebecka! I can’t wait to recap that grand reunion.

  • SJ227

    Thank you for this bold post – I hope you receive all the love and encouragement that the family should be giving to each family member as we are all “messed up Christians”.

    • TMZ

      The support I’ve received from blood relatives and spiritual relatives alike has been so joyously overwhelming. I am humbled and blessed. Indeed, we are ALL messed up human beings. I hope my single messed up story can prompt continued boldness in myself and others amid a culture prone to darkness and cover-ups.

      Thanks for commenting, and all best!

  • Rebecca Kuebler

    Tom, I’m so proud of you. As someone who has known you from afar but worked with you, prayed for you and watched you grow, I’m beyond words with pride and love for you in this moment. I’ve waited for this for a very long time — but you’ve waited even longer. The audacity you have to be bold and honest about your struggle is exactly what we need in Christian writing today. This is a defining moment in your life, and my prayer for you is that you experience the freedom in Christ that confession offers. Be blessed, brother!

    • TMZ

      Blessed by your words and constant support, Rebecca. Certainly striving for increased authenticity and boldness in my writing. You’re right in that I’ve waited a long time to reach this moment, but the hard long road getting here has so been worth it — a time and a season for all things under the sun.

      Definitely keep in touch!

  • MLYaksh

    I’m trying to think if there’s anything new I can say, Tom. You have grown incredibly since we met and you continue to grow in a way that amazes and challenges me. This post- I’ve been waiting a long time for it. Not the “big reveal of your deep dark secret” part, but the moment that you finally show who you truly are to the world without any shame or any reserve. You might be an introvert but you are the boldest and most courageous introvert I have ever met. This post- this is the beginning of a new and glorious season for you, man. And just wait till you see what Jesus has in store next! Thank you for being a pioneer in the SSA Christian community. Thank you. And praise Jesus for that dead bedazzled elephant!
    Praying for you always, Tom!

    • TMZ

      Appreciate those affirmations, Mitchell. Your support on this blog and in my life is so very treasured. We’ll just see what comes next!

  • Rocky Clay Stone

    Hey Man…not certain if you are aware of our group on facebook NotGayButG0y (g0y is spelled with a zero) and we have an organization address at g0ys.org

  • Natalie

    Thank you.
    The pastors at the church I attend (Reality) recently gave a talk about identity in our culture, and how much we define ourselves by labels. “employed” “unemployed” “single” “married” “gay” “straight” “bi”… all of these things that we define ourselves by and seek our happiness in. They spoke a lot about how that is not how God wants us to define ourselves. He wants our identity to be in Him, as children of God seeking His glory. We are to be so in love and enraptured but Him that everything else in this life is secondary.

    I sat there and listened, and while I agreed with everything that they said, I couldn’t help but think about what that meant for someone who was attracted to other people of the same sex. We all are on the road of redemption and sanctification and that does require sacrifice, but the thought of someone so in love with God that they could give up seeking a romantic relationship was almost unthinkable. It forced me to think about how much we root our happiness in our society in being in a relationship (to the point where we think that we need to ‘fix’ someone who is not in a relationship, or that being single is one of the worst things that can happen to you). But still, I thought, was it possible for someone to do that? To recognize that what God offers is far above anything that this life has to offer?

    You have shown just how much it is possible to deny yourself and follow Christ. I am praying for you, for your continued walk with the Lord. We’ve never met but your story has blessed me and encouraged me in my knowledge of who God is. I am confident that the Lord will use you for His glory and purpose in ways that you cannot even fathom right now. 🙂

    • TMZ

      Natalie, thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve heard some awesome things about Reality. I’ll have to visit some time. The homosexual struggle is indeed “unique” to struggles of anger and shame and fear, because it’s inherently relational. Doesn’t mean those other kinds of struggles are necessarily “easier,” but different, yes. You’re right though — we’re all on this road of redemption, and I take hope in that as often as I can. There’s no doubt I’ve changed and grown a ton in the last 7 years of coming out to people, culminating with my book and this blog post. And the journey’s still not done! No idea what’s still ahead on my path, but gosh I’m more excited than ever to find out what’s there.

      Thanks so much for your prayers. Means the world. I hope you’ll continue journeying with me! 🙂

      • Jeremy Adkison

        The homosexual ‘struggle’ is inherently irrational? How so? It seems to be a natural product of nature, and it doesn’t hurt anyone- except certain culture and religious communities who have built aversions to it?

        • TMZ

          Relational. Not irrational.

          • Jeremy Adkison

            Ah, I see how I misread that particular word.

            And you are wrong, though, homosexuality is unique to all the other things you deride as ‘sin’. Unlike alcoholism, unlike wife-beating, unlike abuse, stealing, thieving, etc., our natural sexual orientation doesn’t harm us, our partners, or anyone. It’s just something a particular culture and group, you were unfortunate to be raised in, hoisted on you as a ‘norm’.

            God have mercy.

  • Zack

    Please, I beg you, do not deny what God made you, you are gay and God MADE you that way. No one is perfect, so do not try to deny your “imperfections” so to speak. I know that you say that being gay is wrong in the eyes of Christ, but if you think about it, God has a plan, and no matter what, gay or not, you will always lead the life the God intended you to.

    • jeremy

      Zack i have to be honest but you are wrong to say God created hompsexuality. God is perfect and we as his creations are created perfect. God makes no mistakes. It is the curruption of the world that tells us these false lies until we eventualy belive them. You are right not to say” do not deny your imperfections” because in truth we should embrass our inperfections to Jesus’s ultimate perfection. Christ died for us sinners and has delivered us “his children” from our sinful ways. Repentance and healing from our savior is the perfect remady. Ill pray for you brother.

      • CARISSA

        We are most certainly not biologically perfect and sexual preference is a biological response. I am a scientist and strong believe in Jesus and His creation is now fallen. I would like to know if Zack thinks he was born gay and if not, then how does he think he became attracted to the same sex? This subject is extremely fascinating to me since I am both a biologist and Christian. What if God created people to be homosexuals, knowing he could bring them closer to Him through this. This may seem backwards, but this is the only reason I can come up with for why Jesus allowed Satan to inflict me with the toxic bacterial infection C. difficile, which caused me to be in and out of the hospital for six months. I needed a reality check in my life. I was not seeking Jesus before this, but I am seeking Him now. Trials are blessings in disguise. Couldn’t homosexuality be considered a trial? His creation is cursed and fallen and this may include homosexuality.

    • TMZ

      You’re right in that God indeed has a plan for my life, just as He does yours. We clearly disagree on this issue, so I won’t go on a tangent. Despite experiencing hard times because of this struggle (as anyone struggling with anything faces in life), I promise you, I’m not at all miserable. Dating a guy isn’t gonna magically erase all my problems. I am deeply loved by many, and I’m not drowning in misery. God provides even in the midst of struggle — it’s just what He does and who He is. I hope you’ll check out my book and see for yourself the redemption I’ve found through this struggle!

      • Bryon

        I find that in my case, there is a definite craving for affection from a man, which is healthy. I like you Tom, know that a sexual relationship with a man isn’t going to fulfill me the way that I really need to be fulfilled. Honestly, I don’t even find it practical or appealing, despite my attractions and pornography addiction. It is really a matter of the ideal connection I long for with a man because I want to be affirmed, respected and admired by a man for my masculinity. It is twisted into a lesser form of satisfaction when I lust, and I believe it was a pattern formed when I was very young and was molested. I don’t think this is the same process for every gay man, as I also believe some are just simply wired that way, perhaps genetically. I do however see that frequent hugs, embraces, crying on another man’s chest, wrestling, arm punches, sparring and praying by laying on of hands has fulfilled a relational component I didn’t have with my father, friends or a sibling since I was an only child. Since I have pursued these things without shame, even craving them, remembered my abuse, talked about it as well as my attractions to men, I have become more attracted to women. I don’t necessarily think this will happen to every gay man, but it can. I honestly NEVER thought it would happen for me. Thank you Tom for how you talk about having compassion for those who fall and understanding for those who choose a homosexual relationship and still love Christ. Love is love, no matter who or what they do. I do trust the Holy Spirit to sort it out in His time.

        • Bryon

          What I meant by “love is love” is my love for a practicing homosexual. I don’t condone the behavior by biblical standards.

  • A Supporter

    Congratulations, Tom on your bravery, Even where some people imagine “being gay” to be an acceptable thing nowadays, it is still a monumental challenge to come out and subject yourself to scrutiny so that you may finally resolve that purple bedazzled inner turmoil and not feel like you are a walking time bomb. And THEN to announce that you won’t revoke your faith? Utterly exceptional. Major, MAJOR kudos, sir! As for my two cents – Being gay just is. It isn’t good or bad solely because it’s gay. If one wants to define it as a negative sexual thing, well… I honestly can think of worse things. Soooo…. there ya go. Keep on keepin’ on.

    • TMZ

      Appreciate the support! You’re right, it’s taken years of wearied journeying to amass the courage for these steps of the last 2 months. All part of the process though. The story continues! I’d be honored to have you continue journeying with me.

  • I read this post days ago, but I admit, I hesitated greatly in responding. I hesitated because the topic makes me uncomfortable. I hesitated because I was afraid I’d say the wrong thing. I hesitated because I had trepidation over the possibility that I’d be unable to show you the compassion you need, and still be true to my beliefs.

    So, with all that said, I want to apologize for taking so long. Though you are an online friend, you are my friend and my brother in Christ. It couldn’t have been easy for you to post this and admit your struggles. I think it unnecessary to “weigh in” with my theological opinions on things. (Even if I were to do that, it sounds like you and I are of a same mind on the matter.) What I want you to hear over all else is that I’ll be praying for you. Not because your sin is uglier than mine, because it isn’t. I’ll be praying for you because no one should be or feel alone. I’ll be praying that God places people in your life who will love you and encourage you and lead you biblically in all of this.

    God bless you, my friend.

    • TMZ

      Hey Kevin! I’m glad you decided to comment; I’m blessed by it. I completely understand your trepidations though. This topic is the epitome of difficult and heavy. 4 years ago at Exodus I had that first revelation to write my story for all to read someday. It took 4 long years for it to happen — first with my book in April, and now with this blog post in June. Thankfully, the last 4 years has issued tremendous personal growth — especially as it relates to relationships and being vulnerable with others. 4 years ago, I couldn’t have possibly conceived telling a couple dozen individuals about this struggle before I even wrote a word about it for “the public” to read. It’s been a journey, and now that I’m finally at this place I envisioned 4 years ago, I’m beyond thrilled for what lies ahead.

      Grateful for your friendship and support. I treasure your prayers, as you have mine in return. Much, much love, Kevin.

  • Nate Smith

    Hey brother! This is great! We have a mutual friend, Matt Cessna and told me you just finished your book! I’m pumped to get a hold of it. Blessings!

    • TMZ

      Hey Nate! Thanks for commenting. Gosh, I haven’t talked to Matt in years. I hope he’s well. That’s awesome that you found my book, and I really hope you enjoy it. Would love to hear your thoughts as you read or when you’re finished. Much love!

  • Sean

    We were all born with this defective gene; it’s called sin. We can wish it away or pray it away, but until we are in heaven with our Lord, sin will pursue us a like a predator on the trail of its prey. Before one places their faith in Christ, the ability to NOT sin, is not even an option or available to us. Once we have trusted Christ for our salvation, and have placed our faith in His redemptive work on the cross, we then have the ability to NOT SIN.

    Being saved makes us perfect in the view our Heavenly Father has of us. We are saved from the PENALTY of sin and THANK GOD for that! As we “work out our salvation”, we have choices along this path of life. A true disciple of Christ is told to “pick up his cross daily, and follow Him!” We are indeed told to deny ourselves and seek after His righteousness. As we walk this sanctification trail, we are being saved from the POWER of sin. We now have the choice and the ability to NOT sin. I am not sure we, as children of God, have wrapped our minds around that concept, that power that is given to us. That we have to choice AND the ability to NOT sin!!!! It is not until we are with our Lord that we are saved from the PRESENCE of sin and sin will no longer even be an influence in our lives. Oh how we long for that day!

    Several respondents to this blog post have hit on some key points. Some of them spot on, some of them off base. In all things, God’s Word should be our standard. Where the bible speaks, we listen and obey. We have freedom in Christ and believe me I am a FULL GRACE , Christ did it all, I contributed nothing, believer! I detest legalism with every fiber of my being. With that freedom though comes responsibility. We have the responsibility to make choices that are pleasing and glorifying to our Lord and edifying to other believers. We are told to not let our freedom in Christ jeopardize the faith of weaker believers. Accepting any sin, regardless of what it is, is not freedom; it is bondage and it denies our faith.

    We all have a propensity to sin, Christians included. We all have “something” that tempts us or is a stumbling block to us that may or may not be a problem to others. We all have a sin that seems to trip us up more often than we would like to, or care to admit. I believe it is THAT thing, THAT issue, THAT temptation or weakness, where Christ wants to show Himself strong to us… to the world! Because as He told Paul, ““My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

    Paul doesn’t want to brag about his sin, far from it. I am not sure what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was, but it bothered him. Sin should always bother us! What Paul desired to brag about was that he KNEW he was weak and he KNEW that Christ could be and wanted to be strong for him. That is what we need to brag about. Admitting that you have a Same Sex Attraction is hard for people; I am positive was hard for you Tom. Knowing that this is not God’s best and God’s norm is something everyone reading this needs to understand. That does not diminish who you are and the tendencies you have and feel. The question for you….Correction, the question for me and for everyone else is this: What are we going to do with those temptations, those feelings, those inclinations to sin when I am confronted with them?

    Tom’s best line in the entire post was this. “I cannot mentally reconcile a homosexual relationship with also following Christ. Given the choice of one or the other — well, without Christ, I’m lost.”

    As we all are!

    Stay strong in the Lord Tom and a crown of righteousness awaits you!

    Praying for God’s best for you.

  • A worried observer

    I read this particular section of your blog after I saw that an overzealous evangelical family member suggested this to a gay friend of mine.I feel obligated as a human being to convey to you with the same regard and concern as your fellow “brothers and sisters” have done so before…. that you have only one life. Apparently, you have reached your first quarter. Don’t squander this precious time just because of what you consider to be a part of “God’s ideal story for humanity”. I am quite familiar with the evangelical(I presume you are protestant.) upbringing and am no stranger to it. Therefore, I can say with some authority that it is a load of (fill in the blank). I will not be praying for you (because, well, quite frankly if God supposedly already has an untenable plan for everybody, why does he need people’s prayers?), but I will be thinking about you and hoping that you truly reflect on these words. This post is negative and may be anger inducing but remember it deviates from earnest concern. I wish that all people could find ways to be happy and achieve purpose; and I hope that you find happiness, and you can find purpose that parallels who you are as a person.

    • TMZ

      Firstly, I appreciate your taking the time to read my story. But I did want to reaffirm that it is my story. The redemption I’ve found through this struggle even while not experiencing any kind of orientation change cannot be denied, and I believe it speaks volumes about the God I’m following. I don’t want to write a wall of text in response, but if you’d be willing to check out my book, I elaborate much more on those redemptive moments there. I know my decision may not be popular among certain readers that come to this page, but I just want to do my best to relay the joy I’ve found in Christ. It doesn’t mean my struggles go away or that life suddenly becomes easy, but I’m learning more and more about God’s role as an Author of story — our stories — and the more I delve into writing/reading and listening to stories, the more beauty I find in the whole process. Life is a journey with ups and downs, and I feel like mine’s only just getting started after two decades of cluelessness. Doesn’t mean those first two decades were a waste; it just means it was an integral part of the process as I now move forward.

      I hope you’ll continue journeying with me. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Much love to you.

  • Corey

    My dear brother Tom,

    I admire you for saying “yes” to God’s call for your life to share with others your personal story. I know that your life story has positively impacted so many people (including me) already and undoubtedly will continue to do so. Publishing the (wonderful, relatable) book was incredible evidence of courage, and then posting this blog entry was yet another. Apparently, when we boldly step out to answer God’s call for us, amazing things happen. Praise God that he gave you this courage. Keep being a faithful servant of Jesus. I’m always praying for you and wishing you the best in this journey. Kate and I can’t wait to hang out with you again soon in Nashville.

    See you soon,
    Corey Springer

    • TMZ

      October can’t come soon enough! I love both you guys. It’ll be great to reconnect. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement Corey! You’re awesome.

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  • Louis Tavarez

    Hey Tom. It was a huge pleasure to meet you on the Crystal Cove hike. The whole Exodus experience was so life changing for me. I enjoy reading your blog and I love to see my brothers in Christ standing up for Christ. I just disagree with you on one point. I don’t agree with the term “Gay Christian”. I am not against Christians who still live the gay lifestyle. I love churches that accept them and not condemn them, because we have to share the Gospel with everyone and not keep it from them. But I feel like that term puts you in a box. You are labeling yourself and giving yourself a “sexual identity” when our only identity should be in Christ. I’m going to include an excerpt from THE GAY DEBATE by Stanton L. Jones, which is where I got my argument from.
    “…what the Bible treats as an isolated ‘act’ to be condemned (namely, people of the same gender having sex) our society treats as a fundamental element of personal ‘identity’. In this view, [people who struggle with SSA] are not people who engaged in certain acts or who have certain inclinations. Instead, they ‘are’ homosexuals, gay people. Their sexual inclinations define their very being. If a sexual desire defines the very person, then acting on that desire is essential to personhood. If we accept this logic, then to suggest that God does not want them to engage in homosexual acts is to insult their innermost beings”
    (I used the ‘ ‘ single quotations to show a word italicized in the article)

    So yeah. Would love to hear your opinion on that. But anyway. Love you bro. I’m gonna keep reading. I’m going to buy your book but it’s going to be in a long line of books I’m waiting to read. LoL. I bought 3 books at the conference and 4 more at Barnes and Noble when I got back because I was so excited to learn about what people have to say about God’s grace. God Bless You.

    Your brother,

    Louis Tavarez

    • TMZ

      Hey Louis! It was awesome meeting you on the hike as well. Glad you found my blog and commented.

      While I don’t generally “label” myself as a “gay Christian” in real life, I did so in this post for more “technical” reasons than anything else. Like you, I choose not to be identified by my struggles versus God’s redemption. For practical purposes of blogging, however, I opted for the more concise “gay Christian” description since I am indeed attracted to other guys. Whether that makes me “gay” or “SSA” or “messed up” like all the rest of humanity means pretty much the same to me. Ultimately, I’m a Christian first, a struggler second.

      Hope that clears it up! Would love your thoughts whenever you get around to reading my book. Enjoy all the summer reading material!

      Travel well, and I hope you’ll continue journeying with me!

      • Jeremy Adkison

        Buddy, it just makes you ‘messed up’. Not ‘gay’, like proud of yourself and your identity and communities history, and not some ugly clinical term made up shaming persons. Someone who is so brainwashed into believing they are an inherently disfigured person is just, well, broken, and I don’t mean that in the self-deprecative way christians like to malign themselves.

        • TMZ

          Hey Jeremy. Indeed I am a messed up Christian, but in recent years I’m learning mere sexuality has nothing on a plethora of personal issues like fear, shame, and worthlessness. For whatever reason these things have been ingrained in me for a long time, and I’m slowly learning I’m not alone in this fight. We all have our “demons” or “skeletons” or however you’d describe it. Alas, it’s a fallen world. But praise God, there’s redemption. I’ve been so blessed to taste it these last few years especially. Trying to bask in God’s promises as often and consciously as I can.

          • Jeremy Adkison

            No, you are messed up by Christians. Taught from infancy that you were wrong, a physical abomination, or some sort of biological challenge on behalf of a infantile concept of a ‘loving’ God who makes you broken then commands you to be whole.

            You are broken- and I don’t say it with derision, but a compassion you probably think me incapable of.

          • Foo Yun Shuen Cassandra

            Hey Jeremy, this is kind of out of nowhere, seeing that your post appeared 5 months ago, but I’d just like to say something in response to your inverted commas around ‘loving’, because as much as it seems like it, there’s no inherent contradiction being just and being loving. In fact, “You are wrong, but you are loved.” is a statement so precious to me and so central to the gospel of Christianity. Because of His love for us, He aches so badly seeing us broken, that He was willing to die for us on the cross.

            Thomas, I’m incredibly blessed by your courage, your convictions and your steadfast faith. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ! And as surely as you will struggle in the years to come, you will be victorious in the light of His name and His glorious grace. Much love!!

          • Jeremy Adkison

            Cassandra, I am not broken because I’m gay, I’m not broken for loving men, and I’m not broken for dating them, marrying one, etc., neither is Thomas or anyone else on this blog. What people are broken by are archaic and harmful beliefs that a natural expression of sexual orientation is somehow a maligned curse by a ‘gracious’ and ‘loving’ God. The quotes stay, because what you proscribe as evil by no rational standard can be considered so without supplying unfalsifiable, and often ridiculous, faith based arguments.

            Thomas, do yourself a favor and go somewhere. Anywhere else. Get away from degenerate snake-oil salesmen and women and find a nice community of people who genuinely love you for who you are and not what they command you to be or not to be. Find a reasonable faith community, Christian, not Christian, I give zero shits what faith it is. Find one that doesn’t preach harm and degeneration to you, and you’ll discover that God is much bigger than you ever thought.

          • Jeremy, from your multiple comments here it’s clear that nothing I or anyone says is going to change your viewpoint on this issue. I will, however, reaffirm the very nature of that statement: it is your viewpoint, not mine. With all due respect, you do not know the many precious people in my life and why they love me. I am indeed loved and affirmed by so many and nobody is forcing me to live any certain way. Check out my “The Real Reason Why I’ve Never Dated” post for more background info, but for myriad reasons, I’m in a pretty healthy spot in life right now. Please stop assuming I’m not.

          • Bryon

            I think that in light of attraction, God sees that as neutral. A person can be heterosexual and find that they are “attracted” to someone of the same sex and want to go talk to them. There is an appealing quality about them that makes us curious and it can be quite strong. I don’t feel ashamed for noticing an attractive guy or even looking briefly. I acknowledge his attractiveness and move on to looking at other things. I believe that lusting in my mind is sinful, (which is what happens if I don’t move on) just the same as having sex outside of marriage (which is what homosexual sex is, or fornication). Being same sex attracted doesn’t make me a bad person nor do I need to be ashamed of that fact. My pornography addiction is just as bad as having sex with a man since all sin is the same, so I have no right to judge. I simply confess and move on, replacing my lustful activities with more Godly activities, relationships and intellectual pursuits. Sorry, I’m rambling because its so late. Well, I just wanted to add my two cents from my own perspective. I hope this makes sense.

    • Jeremy Adkison

      What’s the difference between a celibate homosexual and a celibate heterosexual?

      One is still gay, the other straight. Labels matter because, in this instances, it describes a fixed, immutable, natural characteristic.

  • Thanks for your boldness in stepping out and sharing your story.

    • TMZ

      Appreciate that, Bryan!

  • Noel

    I’m so proud of you brother! Unfortunately to the outside world Christianity is not accessible because of this mask we put on that we are better than everyone else. We act as though we have no worldly struggles because we’ve been magically sanctified over-night. This is far from the truth and I’m with you about taking off that mask. Of course this is not a license to sin but a license to be honest, and I appreciate you being honest about your struggle. God Bless you! Always listen to God over man.

    • TMZ

      Thanks so much for this encouragement, Noel! Means so much. I hope my story can help remove the Church’s “ancient mask,” as an Amazon reviewer so eloquently described it. Much love to you and your own struggles. Be blessed!

  • April Dean

    Thanks for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you. This was good to read and I hope to see more of this ‘real talk’ in the church… Btw, I just downloaded your book to my kindle! SO looking forward to reading it!

    • TMZ

      Appreciate this comment and the download, April! I hope the book blesses you. Would love to hear your thoughts when you finish.

  • Tom- I’m late to the party, but am now reading your post. Thanks so much for your transparency, and for letting us in on something so personal to you. So much respect.

    • TMZ

      Better late to the party than absent! Cold pizza can still be quite delectable.

      Appreciate the love, Stephen. You’re awesome.

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  • Jem

    Wow! That’s something! Well done. You’ll only ever hear a hetero tell you that God didn’t create gays or make gays and that you can be healed of being gay. I’ve never heard a gay person claim that and even gays who have gone thru the process of healing are still gay, but just living in either denial or strict refusal to give it any ground. I am still struggling with the issue of being gay and being Christian. I don’t expect that struggle to end except with the end of my life. I have to adjust to living with it and not letting the struggle overwhelm me. God bless you for sharing and being open about your struggle. It will help others who are struggling too.

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  • rayi

    I’m reading your book. It’s great! I’d suggest you to divide each page into two pages.I think there’s too much information in each page.

    • Appreciate the kind words! What do you mean exactly by “divide each page into two pages”? Just that I should have expanded my stories with more details? Or use less details?

  • emilie

    What a brave and honest post. Thanks for sharing your experience and journey.

  • Angela

    I don’t really know how I came across your blog, but this post truly has brought me to tears. To see how much love and security you seek in Him — it’s incredibly encouraging and inspiring; a great testament to what He has done on the cross. And I couldn’t agree with you more… we’re all just messed up people who need grace. Thank you for sharing your (ongoing) story. I pray that God would continue to bless you in many ways. x

    • Angela, I’m glad you found my blog, however you found it. Thanks for commenting and encouraging me with your words. Means the world. Much love to you.

  • Samantha

    I stumbled upon this blog whilst searching for “the girl who sings oceans”, and boy am I glad I did. Thank you for such a powerful revelation and confession of who you are and what your struggles are. I wish we could all have this much transparency and honesty!

    • Samantha, glad you somehow stumbled across my blog through the wonders of the Internet. Thanks so much for the comment and the encouragement. Such a blessing. I hope you’ll continue journeying with me!

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  • Christian, Pastor, Friend,

    Hi, Thomas, I stumbled across this and felt I should share as well. I commend some things I have read of your obedience first and foremost to Christ and understanding that without Him you are nothing. I think it is extremely important that we all understand that just because we have “natural desires that does not mean we were created that way or that it is Gods plan for your life to act on these desires. It is a sad state that the church has alienated the struggle with same sex attraction apart from the list of all the other sins. homosexuality is listed with many many other sins in the bible. I am a happily married man, yet I along with most men i know also have “natural desires” and are tempted by other women. Does this me God messed up? Does this mean I have freedom to pursue these “natural desires” surely not. These are the desires of the flesh, and we all have desires of the flesh. So I apologize that the christian community has outcast certain sins and not others. They are all the same as God sees them, ( However yes, they do have different levels of consequences. ) I encourage you to read through 1 Cor 6, as it is so encouraging about this. We must remember We were created for the Lord. Not for our selfish pleasures, He has saved us despite who we are. Our actions will show if we are grateful for this gift. James 4:4 1 John 2:15.

    Please read to the end. 1 Cor 6

    9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    That long list is who they WERE in the first church. It no longer defines them and control their life. It continues one to expand on this thought.

    Sexual Immorality

    12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do
    you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with
    her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[b] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.[c] 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

    Will be praying for you, PS: as you now, be careful about all the opinions out there. Only one opinion matters, and Its not your opinion or mine but Gods. John 14:15 : If you Love me, you will obey my commandments, What a God we serve!

  • Johanna Hall

    I want to hug your face! *tears* I have always been attracted to both. But with women only for 14 years and now single for a year. Yes it is a struggle but I know God doesn’t want me to be with women. In deep personal one on one conversations with God my Father he gently made me understand . The phrase ‘be you be true’ etc. We may be dealt a hand of cards that will be our trials in life such as homosexuality but that doesn’t mean that God wants us to live in it. Trials build and sharpen us and everyone has them. I’m so proud of you and your openness and love for God. I love you!! I am here if you ever want to talk! HugSammiches!

    • Aw, Johanna, thanks so much for your kind words. I don’t know that anyone has ever actually “hugged my face,” but it sounds quite affectionate. HugSammiches right back to you!

      • Johanna Hall

        Lol! I know for an introvert HugSammiches must sound terrifying. It took me a long time to be so openly affectionate. I used to hug more like a robot. Didn’t want anyone in my personal space. 😀

  • Luis

    I’m glad I found your blog! My friend who is reading your book said I should check it out. I too struggle with SSA. left my church when I graduated high school because I thought there was no hope. I jumped into the party scene and dating several people over the course of seven years and they were great folks but they weren’t what I was looking for. Amidst the parties, relationships and the massive amounts of alcohol I consumed I still knew that Jesus was the answer but I didn’t know how to approach him after running for so long. Fast foward from 2006 to august 2013 and I just have up, I told God I’m sick and tired of living like this. I wanted him and only him despite my feelings. Every day is still a struggle but I have a great group of guy friends that love and accept me no matter what I’m dealing with. They are my band of brothers. I’m going off to the mission field for one year this January to preach God’s love to the nations because it’s not about me and my struggles, it’s about Jesus

    • Hey Luis! Thanks for reading and commenting. And thank your friend for me too! I’m glad you could resonate with my post. I love what you said about having a “band of brothers.” It’s made such a difference having those kinds of people in my own life the last few years.

      All the best in your missions journey! Travel well.

  • johndubya

    As another commenter described, I also stumbled upon this article after finding your website by searching for “hillsong who sings oceans.” Amazing how the web works! 🙂 I just want to say I am proud to call you a brother in Christ who calls sin what it is and struggles against it. If only every Christian could recognize their struggle, whatever it may be, and pursue righteousness in Christ. I have had to deal through my own personal struggles in lust, albeit not specifically with SSA, but sexual struggles all the same. Like you, I don’t claim I was “born with” these lusts and therefore should just grab hold of them and run with them; rather, it is my sinful nature that God wants brought under His control. May we have strength and boldness as we run this race!

    • Thanks for stopping by, John! Appreciate all the kind words. I love how the web works, too. 🙂

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  • Bryon

    I just want to say how utterly amazing and admirable it is that you respond to all of these comments Tom. This is very time consuming and it shows how you care about each person and you seem so sincere at communicating your truth and love. There are many people who won’t get you but the one’s who need to will benefit the most. I am one of them and I’m grateful to have found a kindred spirit. I am so encouraged to know that there is someone out there who is similar in so many ways to my life experience and has found Christ as savior in every hurt and struggle. I too know the sweet freedom and joy of understanding the blessing of needing Christ in my brokenness and counting that as a blessing, just as Paul did. It took such a long time for me to come around to seeing things HIS way, but I see correctly more often than not now. I still deal with the pain of loneliness, fear of rejection, a desire to isolate and anxiety, but when I reach out, let my heart be softened and risk vulnerability with the right people, I not only find healing and redemption for myself, but others find it in my experience too. It would be so awesome to meet you someday. Do you do any public speaking? I go to a church that would benefit so much from your testimony and book. We frequently have guest speakers and my church is a “safe” church for those who struggle. We speak the truth in love and do not turn anyone away.

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Bryon. I always love hearing from new readers. Touched to see my blog has resonated with you! I’ve been fortunate to meet many of my readers on my #RunningTo road trip, and it’d be awesome to cross paths with you someday. I’ve not done any “official” public speaking yet, but it’s something I’m soon gearing toward. If you think there’s a legitimate route toward doing so at your church, email me some info or connect me with the right person and we could go from there.

      Much love to you, brother. Glad you found my little niche on the Web.

  • Sarah

    Hi Thomas, just like Samantha, I came across your blog after searching for ‘the girl who sings oceans’ haha. You have made a good blog promo tactic (if it was intentional) I applaud you in your honesty and struggle and willingness to follow Christ. As a straight woman, I cannot say that I fully understand the hardship that you experience. I work with a lot of atheists gay people at my work and they some of the most kind and gentle people I have met. Yet I was not sure how to breach the topic of homosexuality and Christianity to them without offending them or compromising the gospel. I am going to check out your blog more in the next few weeks to see what your thoughts are. I am praying for you as you work out your own cross before the Saviour…..

    • I’m glad you found my blog, Sarah! It’s always fun to hear from people who stumble across my little niche on the Web. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I hope my stories and insights bless you!

      And hopefully you discovered the identity of that amazing Oceans singer as well. 🙂

  • Michael

    God bless you for your authentic pursuit of goodness, truth, and beauty, Thomas, and God bless all who read this post. I have only stumbled across a couple of your articles so far, but your journey seems characterized by nothing less than heroic virtue in the face of obstacles, chronicled in the migratory fashion of Jack Kerouac, nonetheless!

    From time to time, I have grappled with deep-seated homosexual tendencies, particularly in the form of a strong narcissistic conflict. From childhood through adolescence to young adulthood, these episodes would usually beset me during periods of acute distress, depression, and overall dissatisfaction with my current situation. I consider this affliction the “thorn in my side, an angel of Satan, to buffet me, lest I become proud,” to paraphrase Saint Paul.

    Nevertheless, God has blessed me with a natural attraction to women far outweighing any in-turning of my affective life. Unfortunately, these impulses have also been an occasion of sin, when sought out for their own sake.

    If it is the Lord’s will, I will become a husband and father, or I will remain celibate to labor for his Kingdom. Regardless of the state of life to which I am eventually called, the reception of the sacraments of Confession and Communion has been instrumental in my integrated development. Healthy friendships with members of both genders along with a routine of work, prayer, play, and study have all contributed to my formation as a gentleman.

    Ironically, perhaps, I take consolation from the Romantic poet, Lord Byron. A notoriously promiscuous bisexual, he paradoxically dismissed atheism in favor of Catholicism. While I do not believe he ever practiced it himself (though he brought up his daughter in it), he called Catholicism the most human religion of all, since one could speak to Christ Himself through the priest in Confession and receive Christ physically as well as spiritually in Communion.

    In any event, there are some materials I would like to share with you and with all who visit your site that have assisted in my growth in holiness.

    First, here is a document written by a late priest of blessed memory, Father John Harvey, who founded Courage for those struggling with SSA: http://www.kofc.org/un/en/resources/cis/cis385.pdf.

    His description of the experiences of others helped me to contextualize my own in light of theirs. His reflections are the fruit of life-long ministry to homosexual persons.

    Second, here is a documentary, The Third Way, about remaining chaste in spite of one’s inclinations otherwise:

    Third, here is a poem penned by a gay Christian, Lionel Pigot Johnson. It resonates, regardless of one’s orientation:

    The Dark Angel

    DARK Angel, with thine aching lust
    To rid the world of penitence:
    Malicious Angel, who still dost
    My soul such subtile violence!

    Because of thee, no thought, no thing,
    Abides for me undesecrate:
    Dark Angel, ever on the wing,
    Who never reachest me too late!

    When music sounds, then changest thou
    Its silvery to a sultry fire:
    Nor will thine envious heart allow
    Delight untortured by desire.

    Through thee, the gracious Muses turn,
    To Furies, O mine Enemy!
    And all the things of beauty burn
    With flames of evil ecstasy.

    Because of thee, the land of dreams
    Becomes a gathering place of fears:
    Until tormented slumber seems
    One vehemence of useless tears.

    When sunlight glows upon the flowers,
    Or ripples down the dancing sea:
    Thou, with thy troop of passionate powers,
    Beleaguerest, bewilderest, me.

    Within the breath of autumn woods,
    Within the winter silences:
    Thy venomous spirit stirs and broods,
    O Master of impieties!

    The ardour of red flame is thine,
    And thine the steely soul of ice:
    Thou poisonest the fair design
    Of nature, with unfair device.

    Apples of ashes, golden bright;
    Waters of bitterness, how sweet!
    O banquet of a foul delight,
    Prepared by thee, dark Paraclete!

    Thou art the whisper in the gloom,
    The hinting tone, the haunting laugh:
    Thou art the adorner of my tomb,
    The minstrel of mine epitaph.

    I fight thee, in the Holy Name!
    Yet, what thou dost, is what God saith:
    Tempter! should I escape thy flame,
    Thou wilt have helped my soul from Death:

    The second Death, that never dies,
    That cannot die, when time is dead:
    Live Death, wherein the lost soul cries,
    Eternally uncomforted.

    Dark Angel, with thine aching lust!
    Of two defeats, of two despairs:
    Less dread, a change to drifting dust,
    Than thine eternity of cares.

    Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not so,
    Dark Angel! triumph over me:
    Lonely, unto the Lone I go;
    Divine, to the Divinity.

    Finally, a prayer that has helped me is simply, “Jesus, BE my strength.”

    Thank you for your writings. Keep up the good work!

    • Michael

      I forget to mention this in my original post, but on the aesthetic and ethical levels, praying the Rosary regularly also enables me to orient my life in light of the Scriptures, and to pour all of myself into the Heart of Christ. Mary is the Mother of all humanity by virtue of her Motherhood of God, and she will help the soul who desires it to grow in purity, peace, joy, and love.

    • Appreciate all your encouragement and feedback, Michael! Always refreshing to hear from fellow soldiers in this fight. Wishing you all the very best as another brother!

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  • Grace

    Thank you so much for your transparency–I am not gay, but I am a sexually struggling Christian. Thank you so much for this reminder that our God triumphs over and through our hearts, and that my God is worth all temporary sacrifices.

    • Appreciate your stopping by, Grace! Clinging to that same hope that God is worth any of life’s strivings and sacrifices. BLESSINGS.

  • Onice

    1 Corinthians 6: 9-10:
    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    For all the people that are struggling with this sin: I want you to know that The Lord can change you, you just have to ask Him.

    Hebrew 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

    I’m spreading the word, not hate.

  • ancapian

    duuude, i want to encourage you that you’re not a “christian *insert sin*” Jesus says you have been perfected in christ! (heb 10:14). the only way we overcome is by the blood of the lamb, the word of his testimony, and loving not our own life even unto death! …and the only way we receive this is thru faith! WE HAVE BEEN MADE PERFECT, so what happens when something tries to rise up against this perfection/truth? WE RUN TO JESUS, so the devil is resisted and he flees! this is the same answer for EVERY PROBLEM! the battle’s over, enjoy life with faith 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4jSjQyE8Ag

  • In my search for “the girl who sang oceans”, I stumbled on this blog. Your writing embodies what Christianity is about that is Simplicity and Honesty. It tells us that it’s okay to rid ourselves of the mask we wear to conceal our struggles. Thanks Thomas.

  • Hoss

    I’m not much of a commenter when it comes to blogs and such but very much felt led to. God has blessed you with great wisdom and understanding about His Word, despite what the world would demand you think about your SSA. It’s my prayer that God grant you the desires of your heart in relation to a wife and kids someday, but if He chooses not to, may He give you peace and steadfastness as you continue live for Him and not yourself.

    Your brother in the Lord

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement, Hoss! I’m glad you found my blog and commented here today. Such a blessing. Wishing you all the best, my fellow brother! I hope you’ll follow my continuing journey.

  • G David Cooper

    Like Samantha, I stumbled on your blog as well. It’s interesting how God leads us. I, of course, grew up in the deep south where there is no such thing as a “Gay Christian,” especially in Pentecostal circles. But as I have grown in Christ and began to really understand the concept of grace, I also began to realize the “Gay Christian” is no different from the “Addict Christian” or any “Christian” who struggles with any sin. I keep putting “Christian” in quotations because the title is so loosely used by so many people who don’t fully understand what a struggle is. To struggle against something implies a resistance to a temptation. So many don’t resist, they simply give in to the temptation because it’s easier. Better to just rely on grace than to strive to live as God desires for us to live. We ALL struggle with something in our lives. What separates the true believer from the rest is the struggle. Even Paul struggled with something, though the Bible does not go into detail. We are simply left with the understanding that even while we are made new in Christ and are dying to the old man, the battle we fight against those old ways, feelings, desires is very real and a daily thing. I die daily. But our identity in Christ cannot incorporate the sinful nature of the flesh. Either I am gay, or I am a Christian. Either I am a sinner, or I am a child of God. Either I am an addict or I am free. So, while I applaud your confession and your testimony, and I fully understand your stance (as such you are able to minister to others who perhaps share your struggle), don’t let your identity be found in your flesh nature. Share your testimony, but don’t let your struggle become how you see yourself. God does not see you as gay, he does not see me as a thief or a liar or a porn-addict. These are the things that identify the old man, the man he saved us from, not the new. When I was born in the flesh, I was born into sin and into the nature of sin. When I was “born again” I was born in the spirit with the divine nature of the spirit. While my testimony can speak of my struggles against the old man, my identity can only be found in the new man, the Godly man. My goal for this post is not to sound cruel or judgmental, because I firmly believe from what I have read your intentions and your heart are pure and your desire is to please God. I just encourage you to think beyond the labels we so easily assign to ourselves and begin to see the label that God has for you to wear. Son. Child of the King. Victorious. Overcomer. These are the labels of one who’s victory comes from the Lord.

    • Appreciate your encouragement and testimony, brother. Thanks for your reminders of truth and victory. Many blessings!

  • Don Rubottom

    Awesome perspective. Thanks. If the rest of us were as honest about our fallenness (as if there is qualitative diversity in fallenness) we might act more understanding and encouraging. Keep loving the One Who loves you best!

    • Thanks Don! You rock. Indeed, we are fallen; there is no “worst” among us. Grace saves us all equally.

  • missusshives

    Hi there, just like many others- I’m here because of your “Oceans” reference. Saw them in concert last night and it was soooo awesome. Then I read this post and am going to read your book now. I am so amazed and grateful for the fact that you’re standing up and being open about your struggle. I have wrestled with how to love those whose struggles differ from my own and I have been seriously judgmental and have lacked empathy and I have failed Christ’s mandate all too often. I love that part in “Blue Like Jazz” where he talks about confessing to nonbelievers- and I have been confessing to all my world- and self-following friends that I have not been an accurate representation of who Jesus is. I pray that Jesus will continue to show me how to love others with no-holds-barred, if you will. It helps that I’m finally getting to truly Know Him as He is instead of just thinking I know Him and making things up, if you get what I mean.

    Sorry- I’m rambling. Anyway, I wanted to ask- apart from the stigma (which I understand is a huge, awful and restricting reason)- why aren’t there more victorious Christians who struggle with homosexuality standing up and telling their story? (And if there are, please tell me about them, I would love to hear more stories and learn more).

    I have longed to understand homosexuality- it is confusing to me and I admit- uncomfortable for me to talk about – plus – wouldn’t you say that it’s human nature to fear what we don’t understand? So I guess I’m trying to say that reading a little of your story has helped shine a light, taken away fear and has really personalized this issue- and therefore helped me not to judge- and I wish there were more people like you to stand against the lies that the media and Hollywood would have us believe and to instead speak truth- and victory- concerning this type of struggle.

    (I reread this message several times and if I have said anything offensive to you or used an incorrect term, please forgive me 🙁

  • Aryabanana

    Hello, I am sure just like a few people i stumbles upon your blog while checking out who taya smith is, as i love her in touch the sky and didn’t know the sang oceans. I am glad i did. I am a christian who loves christ with all my heart, I am also straight, 26 years old and never been in a relationship. But I also suffer from depression and that can be a struggle to have people say to me how can you have depression when you are a christian, or give it to God to sort it, I rely on him more than anything in this world.
    I realise I am rambling, i happen to be quite prone to that so i will get to the point, I pray that you have the continued strength to deal with what you are going through and to have the unshakable peace of christ when people become negative, which undoubtably they will.
    I have always felt so uncomfortable whenever there was a sermon about homosexuality and how it is a choice, have switched churches because of it despite not being gay myself, I just don’t see why people especially christians are so negative to this. You shouldn’t even have to ‘come out’ I certainly didn’t sit my parents down and let them know that I am straight so why is someone attracted to the same sex required to do so?
    God loves you and us and i really thank you for being so open and having the strength to share this, I know there are people out there who are also christians and it can be such a struggle to accept yourself for who God made you to be when everyone around you is saying it’s wrong, Im sure HE certainly didn’t make a mistake!
    I edited this to add that I understand the cure thing its utterly ridiculous. I mean i can’t suddenly become gay so why would I expect someone to become ‘straight’? I read about your desire to find a wife with kids, I am a woman myself and i guess I’m one of the few who would just support the person God has blessed me with if that is something they struggle with, just as i hope they would support me with my depression and incredibly low self esteem. I dontpersonally know anyone who has same sex attractions but married to the opposite sex but i have seen videos of couples with it with even kids which is so awesome, and i know you can have it too. Just like God is working with me in my struggles of self-worth, i know he is working with you in this as well.
    God bless you and praying for you to continue having that strength and growing in your faith with Christ.

  • Jerry. All due respect…you know nothing about me. Despite my same-sex attractions, I have no desire to wed a man or “partner” with him, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve been healthiest and happiest when in strong community with other men. Brotherhood. I’m too independent for marriage with either sex, though I’m completely open to marriage with a woman as time passes.

    Don’t tell me there’s a 99% chance I’m gonna do this or do that when you and I have never even met. Enough already.

  • Lily

    Jesus loves you exactly as you are. Loving another person, being attracted to them, is no sin. Bless you.

  • hey! dude!

    helllo mark, how blessed i was to read this page! i am a street preacher who wants nothing more thsn to bring the love of God to town! i am going to be doing some openair preaching at the 2017 brighton pride event here in the UK. is there a particular thread form the Bible that you wish you could see and hear being preached at a gathering such as this? steve

  • You are precious and beloved.