Grady Smith: The guy who’s gay but not acting on it

At first, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I know what it’s like to struggle with a devotion to the faith and religion in which you were raised when you are a gay person whose religion condemns homosexuality. Even today, I find it difficult to reconcile the safe, life-affirming comfort of the church in which I grew up and served as an altar boy with the Bible-quoting God-fearing zealots who would have me stoned for loving my husband. That’s not an easy thing to go through, but I did it because I knew that what I was doing was not sinful. There is no sin in loving another person, even if he happens to be the same sex as me. And there is no sin in expressing that love. But before I start eviscerating what you may not have seen, take a few minutes to hear Grady Smith, a self-proclaimed gay Christian, explain his choices:

My first feeling upon listening to you, Grady Smith, was one of profound sadness and pity. How lonely to give up your desires, to give up your love, to give up and give in to the antiquated and archaic rules of a civilization long-ago ruined. How pathetic to even entertain the notion of entering into a marriage with a woman to raise children knowing full-well you are a gay man who will never feel the same excitement or attraction to a woman. (That’s sort of how being gay works, Mr. Smith.) Above all, how terrifying and joyless to live in constant suppression of what was admittedly a natural, God-given desire for the same sex.

After a few moments, however, my feelings turned to anger. This is the same exact theory that drives the notion of “Love the sinner, Hate the sin” – a sentiment that you so easily dismiss, only to stand behind in action. The problem isn’t with Christianity, or your belief system, but in the limited interpretation of the Bible that, if you are going to read and follow so strictly, should also have you drastically revising your view of shellfish, slavery, and stonings. The rigid thinking you want so badly to decry is the very thinking you are espousing for yourself.

Mr. Smith, that “huge suffocating culture of shame that covers anything that even touches the word gay” which you reference and rightfully condemn comes from Christians like yourself, who choose to perpetuate the shame by proposing and living out a life that is forced, unnatural, and goes against the very grain of how they were born. The guy who’s gay but not acting on it… that is a definite conundrum, and there’s not much room for true happiness there. You may not want my pity, but you have it.

After gritting my teeth and almost talking back to the computer screen (something I never, ever do), my anger subsided, and the freedom to do what Grady Smith is doing – to talk about his conflict – is something I will always defend. Here’s a guy who is going to put his life and his journey out there, not unlike the certain someone typing away here, and although I still cannot bring myself to respect Mr. Smith, I can honor the process. And in so doing, I can also say that Mr. Smith is full of shit.

If you really want to change the culture of this whole beast, Mr. Smith, then start by thinking of that one young gay boy who sits alone and terrified that his nature should never be acted on, that he should never kiss the man of his dreams, that he should never become what it was his destiny to become. Think of that lonely gay kid who feels, based on your example, that he should never be who he was born to be, and that he should never find love or, worse, act on it. Think of the many horrific ways in which that might warp a young gay person into the very perversion you are trying so desperately to excise. That’s the real abomination at work here.

Grady, I hope that one day you are able to stop fighting who you are. God did make you in His own image. Why would you want to suppress all that it encompasses?

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