Masks
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Many gay Christian men wonder whether they should come out of the closet or continue to quietly hide behind the mask and appear like everyone else.

What if they knew? Would they accept me? Would I still have friends? I’m tired of hiding this part of who I really am.  Wearing this mask is driving me crazy.

Almost everyone wears a mask of some kind; those that don’t can be a real pain.

A few months ago another two couples joined us for dinner. The older couple were definitely old school. They appeared stern and unbending. The younger couple seemed to accept both the good and the bad that life had offered them over the years.

Since gay marriages was such a hotly debated topic at the time it was no surprise that it entered the dinner conversation. I asked the guests, “If someone from the church told you that they were gay, would it make any difference to your feelings about them?”

The replies surprised me. The older dyed-in-the wool guy spoke first. No, it wouldn’t make any difference to him. His wife agreed. The younger lady and her husband both said that it would make a difference in their relationship and they would not want to be told.

Would it be fair to this couple for a person to out himself?  I think not.  There are things that even the best of friends don’t discuss.  And you can’t unring a bell.

The late Pierre Trudeau, when Prime Minister of Canada, commented to reporters, “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”

When we close the bathroom door, or bedroom door, or our lips, we are not hiding behind a mask; we are just being sensitive to the feelings of others.

Some things are personal, and are no one’s business, so we can put the “What if they knew?” speculations to rest. Most people are far more concerned about their ingrown toe nail than about your aching  backor your sexual orientation.

Ralph


Comments

Masks — 8 Comments

  1. I have a question. So do you think that a Christian should never tell anyone of their struggle with SSA? Or is this post saying just to be careful who you tell? I am just confused as to what the message is. Should I always wear my mask and never tell anyone I have this heavy burden? I dont plan to tell everyone I know that I struggle with this but I have been thinking of finally telling a couple people in my life of my struggle thats why I am wondering. I am hoping they will take it more serious than a back-ache or ingrown toenail as I am hoping they will be their when I am feeling down to support and pray for me. Do you think it would just be a burden on them for me to tell them?

    • Ralph will speak for himself, but he originally wrote the gist of this post in reply someone who wrote, “I’m tired of hiding all my life behind a mask.” This Christian leader was tempted to let everyone know about his homosexual orientation so he could stop wondering “what if they knew,” even though he was being faithful to his wife and not involved in gay activities.

      It seems to me that Ralph’s post is a reality check to remind us that certain social conventions make good sense. Just like straight people don’t share all their private thoughts with everyone, it’s not necessary for same-sex-attracted/ gay Christians to share their private struggles with the world at large.

      I see Ralph’s post as an antidote to the gay propaganda that it’s necessary to “come out” in order to be honest – that not “coming out” is “living a lie.” Sharing with trusted Christian friends is another matter, and I’ll leave that for Ralph to address.

  2. If I read your post correctly, you are looking for someone who takes you seriously and can give you courage when you are down. “Never” is a word that I try to avoid. I am saying that a person should be careful who he tells. Your friends may be the kind of support you need. On the other hand, it may be more than they can handle. Would it make your friendship stronger or would it drive a wedge between you and your closest friend?

    Before you mention your orientation, it may be well to bring homosexuality up in a discussion to see what they know and how they feel. (When I did that with my friends, it became obvious who wouldn’t appreciate such a confidence.)

    If the burden you carry seems too heavy, there are professional people who are bound by their profession to not divulge personal issues. And of course there are lists like GLOWFriends where there are other men who have also carried this heavy burden. You may also want to explore the posts on our main GLOW site from the “!Static Site!” menu.

  3. I thought the same thing when I officially came out to one of my best friends. He said that God loves me the same as he did before I realized my sexual orientation as gay, and that nothing has changed. I want to talk to all homosexual Christians who are in the closet and are afraid of facing discrimination, like me I haven’t told my family yet for that reason. BUT!!! you MUST be careful about who you tell, don’t tell anyone who you know or think is not fine with homosexuality. Come out to those who will support you, and pray that God helps you, because He was there for me when I came out, and was tired of keeping this a secret. I am very thankful that God helped me make the right decisions when it came to these experiences, and may He be there to help all of you too 🙂

    • I’m glad you have a good friend who accepts you in spite of of your sexual orientation.

      I think Ralph wrote the message to suggest that wearing “masks” is a normal part of life. We don’t tell everyone all that we think. It wouldn’t even be good manners. Most folks don’t need to know. But sometimes we need to tell someone.

      Does that make sense to you?

  4. … also i want to add you don’t be prideful about being homosexual, and i live near San Fran. I’m all ways hearing about pride and protests on this stuff. Please, if you are a good Christian, be humble about it, don’t go acting like you are any more special than a straight person… that’s not being humble, sure its okay to disagree with the discrimination that Fundamentalists might have against you, as it is wrong and NOT how Christ told us to love. Please enrich yourselves in God’s word and do things His way, and you will be blessed.

  5. If a trusted friend can’t handle you coming out to them as a homosexual/committed Christian who takes God at His word by His grace, then that just shows you how poor of a friend he/she was all along. So far, the friends I’ve told have been nothing but edifying and supportive. That being said, I’m still terrified to come out to my non-Christian family since my dad and brother used to make gay jokes quite frequently and I’m worried they wouldn’t even let me finish my explanation of commitment to Christ and that I wouldn’t pursue a gay relationship.

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