Church & Kissing boys

I have been stuck on how to write this blog for over a year. The title was the easy part “Church & Kissing Boys” it was the obvious choice, but what was I going to say? Do I talk about faith and LGBT+ issues or read the church for filth (which to be honest wouldn’t be hard), but that’s not what I want this to be about. After sitting on this for a while I realized the best thing I can do is talk about my personal journey with my faith and queer identity.

Photo by Molly Hoffman

I’ve been a regular church goer since I was in middle school believing in a calling that didn’t exist beyond the four walls I called “church”. I spent eight years on my knees in tears praying for God to change me. battling with my identity because I was made to believe my attraction to guys was wrong. Because of that I committed entirely to the “church” spending hours after school helping with anything and everything I could, from building sets for holiday productions to cleaning toilets, but there wasn’t anything I could do to feel close enough to God that my “gayness” would disappear.

When I was 22 I decided to move away from home (Tampa, FL) to the midwest for a job helping a small church get their youth group off the ground. I was already working in full-time ministry at the time and the song Oceans, by Hillsong UNITED had just come out so taking bold steps for my faith was the obvious choice.

Photo by Molly Hoffman

A couple years later I was leading worship at a church now called Hillsong KC. There was one Sunday morning I was set to lead worship for all of the services at their main campus. I was torn because I didn’t feel worthy enough to lead people knowing I was gay. Before I took the stage I prayed – pleaded with God to change me because my heart couldn’t stand not being authentic and true to myself. After I prayed I took the stage and had one of the most powerful moments leading worship, so much so I was stopped by multiple people telling me they had never seen me lead with such authority and passion. The difference between this moment and the moments before was, while I was on stage I realized I was exactly who and where I was meant to be. I realized my being gay wasn’t going against anything but what others believed. If I was truly in the wrong I don’t believe God would have used me at the capacity he did and still does.

Photo by Molly Hoffman

For so long my faith was dependent on the people around me. It wasn’t until I came out and took a step back from the church that I realized my faith is mine alone and who God is to me is different than who God is to you and anyone else. Something I’ve learned is, you can’t the the humanity out of the church, and humanity isn’t perfect. I can’t say I figured everything out because I’m still learning and growing but the one thing I know is I’m happier than I have ever been and met someone that makes me one happy mister.