Hey there! Thanks for checking out my blog. My name’s Matt (he/him), and I’m a celibate gay Christian. I live in sunny Queensland, Australia, where I’m currently completing a Master of Divinity at Bible college after finishing a two-year ministry apprenticeship at City South Presbyterian Church. Before that, I played music professionally, and I continue to enjoy freelancing as a bassoonist for whatever gigs come up (which these days tends to be mostly on historic instruments like Baroque bassoon–coz I’m nerdy like that). I’m also passionate about music education and love my part-time job teaching music lessons in an amazing school environment.
Things that bring me joy include: long chats with friends, Cookies & Cream ice cream, competitive word games, musical theatre, kids ministry, running, reading, playing music/singing, cooking and eating.
Things that kill joy for me include: hot weather, licorice, team sports, getting stuck behind someone walking really slowly, horror movies, people who snore, sports cars, and dancing.
My D&D alignment is chaotic good and I’m an Enneagram 3 wing 2.
About Singled Out
This is a place for me to share some personal stories and thoughts with a particular focus on the intersection of faith and sexuality. One of the main reasons I finally decided to publish this blog (after years of writing private blog posts in my personal journal) is that I’ve become very conscious of the power of story. Narrative has a tremendous impact on how we understand the world and ourselves in it, but often the stories we most need to hear aren’t the ones that are being told. As I’ve reflected on my own story and the secrets I kept about my sexuality for so many years, I’ve realised how desperately I needed to hear stories like mine when I was young. I’ve also realised how powerful it is to share my own story: both the catharsis for me in letting it all out, but also the value for the listener who gains an insight deep into the mind of another human being that experiences the world differently to themselves. My aim for Singled Out is to create a platform for stories to be shared as a means for deepening our understanding of and empathy for other human beings.
Please bear in mind as you read this blog that the stories I share do not paint a complete picture of the person I am. They won’t even attempt to do that. For those who know me in person, please don’t think that the issues I write about here are all I care about and are the core of my identity; they’re not. But there’s a time and a place for everything, and this is my time and place for sharing thoughts on a particular topic area.
At times, sharing my story may involve sharing the overlapping stories of people in my life. In such cases, I will use random initials (not related to the person’s real name) to protect those people’s privacy. Please join me in respecting their privacy by not playing the role of detective if you think one of the stories sounds like someone you know!
Finally, why the name “Singled Out?” The title struck me as a play on words which works at least four different ways, all of them of personal significance to me while also relevant to the subject matter of this blog:
- The “Single” part of “Singled Out” relates to my experience of long-term singleness as a celibate gay Christian. Often it feels as though celibacy and singleness are the more complicated parts of my life and the hardest for people to understand, both Christian and non-Christian. This blog exists in part to shed some light onto these parts of my life and help readers understand more about the experience of long-term singleness with all its ups and downs.
- The “Out” part of “Singled Out” relates to my experience of sexual orientation and my desire to bring this part of my life into the light: to ‘come out.’ Like most gay people, I’ve spent much of my life in hiding for fear of how people would treat me if they knew I was attracted to guys. Fear and shame is no way to live, especially for the Christian for whom ‘there is now no condemnation’ and whose reality is that ‘perfect love casts out fear.’ This blog is a reflection of my resolve to live more openly and break down the secrets that once made me afraid to be known by others.
- “Singled Out” is a phrase that resonates with me as a gay person who has spent most of my life feeling uniquely set apart from the people around me. Being openly gay in an evangelical church makes me something of a unicorn, and being a celibate Christian in the LQBTIQ+ population makes me a minority within a minority. I’m starting to feel more like I belong, but the sense of being different still lingers–and I think that’s a beautiful part of the story that I want to share here.
- Finally, “Singled Out” is also a beautiful description of how God has specially chosen his people as adopted sons and daughters to be loved and held for eternity. At the core of my identity is my relationship to my heavenly father who says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Ephesians 1:3-5
I’d love to hear from you! Don’t be a stranger. Please feel free to drop a comment and let me know your thoughts, or share some stories of your own. As you do this, please keep the following in mind:
- Speak to others the same way you would want them to speak to you: with respect, love, and sensitivity.
- Stay on topic by responding to actual content published here.
- Remember that on the other end of what you write is a real person with real feelings. Sometimes challenging conversations are appropriate, but please only say things the way you would say them in person. If it’s hard to convey the appropriate amount of sensitivity and compassion through written text, consider refraining from commenting at all.
- If people have replied to your comment, please don’t delete it later. This helps keep us accountable for what we say. If someone has changed your mind and you no longer agree with your original comment, then acknowledge this in your replies. What we want to avoid is people posting provocative comments, getting called out for it, and then erasing any trace of the discussion as a way of shirking responsibility. If you’re not sure you’re confident enough to stand by the comment, don’t post it.
- Anonymous commenting is allowed here because I understand that many of the issues being discussed are quite personal, and some people will want to engage in conversations without risking their privacy. Please respect each other’s privacy and don’t abuse the anonymity.
I reserve the right to delete any comments submitted to the blog. Some examples of what may be deemed inappropriate include:
- Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the post topic.
- Comments including profanity.
- Comments containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading or libelous language.
- Comments that attack an individual directly.
- Comments that harass other posters.
This comments policy is subject to change at my discretion. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me here.