Coming Out: Why Jesus Delights in LGBT+ Stories

 

Coming Out: Why Jesus Delights in Your LGBT+ Story

We are the people who hide. The ones who slouch our way through Bible studies and small groups. The ones who cling to Christian respectability and mask our stories beneath a facade of normalcy.

We are the people who, rejected by the church, hide again in the queer community, deflecting questions about our personal lives, evading talk about our faith, lest we be rejected here too. Alone once again.

We are the stories that challenge the status quo in every battle of the culture wars. The POWS of every camp. We are the ones with nowhere to stay and nowhere to go. So we hide. We make peace with our prisons to survive.

But it’s in that place that the voice of the Father calls to us, “saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out.’” (Isa. 49:9). Come out, he cries. Step into my light.

Scripture Delights in Real People with Real Stories

“In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages, saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’” – Isa. 49:8-9

We are the children of a God who delights in real people with real stories. No masks. We follow in the footsteps of liars like Jacob and traitors like Peter. Kings like David, the “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) who committed adultery as well as murder and downright failed as a father.

Such are the stories of God’s people. We follow in a great tradition of heroes painted in all their inglorious reality. Who wants to read about a perfect King David? It’s in the raw reality of his story that we find hope for ourselves and inspiration that, despite our faults, we too can find God.

So it’s no surprise that we follow a Savior who comes out himself through a genealogy of adultery, harlotry, and an extra-marital affair. He introduces himself as a “Nazarene” to people who think Nazareth is a “ghetto” and persists in associating with the most undesirable members of society.

Our own Savior was not ashamed to be seen and known as an outcast.

To Follow Jesus Is to Walk in the Light

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” – Luke 8:16-17

When the light of Jesus shines in our lives, it shines through the cracks and the holes. It shines through the very same things that the world calls “broken,” exposing our wrongness to showcase his righteousness. Indeed, when the light of Jesus shines in our lives, it means opening ourselves to be known.

Thus, when we hide what the world deems “wrong,” only showcasing what the world deems “right,” we inadvertently hide the Gospel from the world. We hide Jesus beneath a veil of respectability. And a perfect story leaves no room for a savior.

If Christ is the light, then we are the prism. Our jagged angles make the colors. If you dislike a particular color, you can only hide it by obstructing the light. So too with Jesus. When we hide a part of our story, we obstruct the very light of our Savior.

Coming Out and Living Exposed

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” – Matt. 10:26-27

In the Kingdom of God, the tales worth telling are the ones that tell everything. God operates in the realm of exposure. True stories make him known. Not the fake ones.

So what part of your story are you hiding this month? In what ways do you hide Jesus by hiding yourself? What would it look like for you to stand in the light? What would it look like for Jesus to be fully known because you are fully known?

Jesus called his followers a “city on a hill” (Matt. 5:14). We were never meant to hide. So tell your story, and tell it loud. Tell the parts that people love and the parts that people hate. Come out into the light. For it’s through your story that Jesus shines.


If you’ve gone through the coming out journey, I’d love to hear your story. What was it like for you? Was it easier than you expected? Harder?

If you haven’t come out, I’d love to hear your story too. Not everyone actually CAN come out for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is related to safety. Only you can decide if and when you’re ready. What sort of things would make it more feasible for you? What needs to change?


6 thoughts on “Coming Out: Why Jesus Delights in LGBT+ Stories

  1. daria Reply

    I am a single, celibate Christian attracted to both genders. I live in a country (Australia) where LGBTI issues have been especially contentious lately and attend an evangelical church that holds to a traditional sexual ethic. I thought I could never come out as bisexual at church and so panicked when a few months ago my church announced a 12 week sermon series on gender, sexuality, marriage and singleness because I was scared of what would happen if I let the truth slip.

    Spurred on graciousness and thoughtfulness of the preaching, how empathetically a question I anonymously submitted about bisexuality for a post-sermon Q&A was answered and the sensibleness of discussions at my bible study, I slowly started telling people the truth. By now at least 15 people from church (including 4 pastors) plus a few Christian friends from elsewhere know. I’d feared so many things but none of my fears came true. I haven’t received the slightest bit of condemnation or any insensitive comments at all from anyone at church. People have been so willing engage my experience with listening, empathy, encouragement and really good questions. A couple of people I’ve told have opened up about their own sexuality related challenges.The past 2 months since I came out have certainly been challenging and kinda surreal, but also deeply beautiful. I wouldn’t have ever dared to believe that coming out could go so well, let alone that this would be the likely outcome. To be loved so very well after living in fear of what would happen if people found out has been humbling and deeply healing. It feels like a huge spiritual and emotional weight has been lifted. I wish all queer people got to be loved like this.

    1. Bridget Eileen Reply

      How encouraging and inspiring to hear about your experience! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Jen Thorne Reply

    Here is my story. I grew up in a secular home that was in chaos most of the time. There was no bible, prayer, or God unless my father was using God’s name in vain. Even though my younger life in my family was in chaos I rejected the connection with my mother and modeled myself after my father. EVen today, when my sisters and I get together, we often laugh just how much like dad I am.

    I entered the LBGQT+ scene in my 2nd year of college and came out to my family shortly there after. It was in my early 20’s that I met Jesus and gave my life to Him. I have never looked back. At the same time I also entered what was to be my last same sex relationship. We lived as if we were married and followed the Lord.

    During that time the Lord did something unexpected. He touched me in two major areas of life. He showed me that I was lovable as created, including my femininity. I had rejected my femininity my entire life up to this point believing that this is what made me vulnerable and the object of some mans lust. So I denied it and made myself as strong as possible.

    The 2nd thing Jesus touched in me was my fear of rejection. This was something that I could not see. Something that I lived in that colored all my interpersonal interactions. The only way to somewhat overcome this was with drugs and alcohol. That was never fully effective or complete which led to more of the same. Jesus removed my fear of rejection and told me to now be different. It was scary but Jesus pointed out to me that I had a living example of how to live differently from my lover. Jesus would prod me daily to choose to walk in connection, in small ways, vs in fear.

    After growing in both areas and becoming more of the woman that He intended me to be He called me to choose Him or the LBGQT+ life. I chose Him. Like Peter said, “Lord you have the very words of life, where would I go?”

    It took almost two decades for the Lord to more fully transform my life from a broken style of human relating, The journey was long, tiring, and at times I failed. When I failed Jesus was always there to help me recover as I repented, confessed, and was forgiven. It was through those missteps that I often learned where my brokenness still needed to be addressed.

    I’ve been married to my husband today for over 30 years. The Lord has blessed us with 5 children. Today I no longer struggle with being inappropriate attracted to women. I have a wonderful ring of women who love me authentically and our relationships glorify God.

    1. Bridget Eileen Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story! It is amazing to hear how God has worked in and through your life and experiences!

  3. LM the Aspien Reply

    Very inspiring! I don’t think sin should be flaunted, but this mindset has been twisted to pressure members of the church to hide all their troubles (or anything that might trouble someone else) and pretend to be perfect. I enjoyed reading your perspective!

    1. Bridget Eileen Reply

      So true. There are no perfect people in the church of God. Only a perfect Savior! Sin should never be flaunted. But the Gospel which redeems our brokenness — now that is worth flaunting every single day for the rest of eternity! We share our stories to flaunt the Gospel.

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