Grieving For My Gay Son

November 2009, just after Thanksgiving, my son, Austin, confided in me and his father that he was struggling with attraction to men. Austin was 1,400 miles away at college and my first inclination was to buy a one-way ticket for him back home so we could "fix" this issue in person. So began a journey that I never imagined we'd face. "Not our son," I thought, he was a Christian, serving in ministry since junior high, he had girls he was interested in and we were good—not perfect—parents.

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In Love With That Jesus Guy

I've really screwed this Christian thing up at times. In my genuine attempts to care about people, I have attempted to elevate myself to the level of the very God that I serve. Here's to self-awareness and being something different.

Historically speaking, I’m what Christians would call a “church brat.” The typical church brat would be defined as the kid who was physically in the church for inordinate amounts of time, usually as a result of a highly involved parent(s). Sometimes, partially in my case, these kids are affectionately referred to as “pastor’s kids.” However, I probably gave new definition to these somewhat cheeky terms. In fact, I embodied not only the physical qualities of this term, but also gave a new face to the solo term: brat.

My typical Sunday morning or Wednesday night involved less of actual church attendance and more of just, well... causing problems. I spent many church services talking under my breath to my friends at a volume that revealed just how unaware I was of my obnoxiousness. If I wasn’t in service, I was off seeking out my dad’s Sunday school classroom to throw dodge-balls at the window to distract him from teaching. If I was in my small group, I was probably distracting the group with side-comments aimed to get as much of a laugh as I reasonably could without being asked to leave. If the group happened to be too focused that evening, it was no challenge for me; that was nothing that a good, loud fart couldn’t solve. 

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