Last week a good friend had me over for dinner. He and his wife were great company, and we enjoyed chatting about all sorts of things, both funny and serious; and I came away feeling really encouraged by them. In particular, I felt really seen and loved in my journey as a single gay Christian. Occasionally you have these beautiful moments of feeling the verbal equivalent of a warm hug (since real-life hugs are off limits at the moment) where a conversation just leaves you feeling really cared for—really embraced.
Most of my readers are probably aware that I'm a passionate bassoon player. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I’ve devoted a significant portion of my lifetime to pursuing a professional career in playing the bassoon. You could even say it’s one of the most distinctive things about me. It’s not unusual for me to run in to someone I haven’t seen for years (you know, the kind of person you met that one time at a conference and have long since erased from your memory) and while we’re standing there trying to recall each other’s names, the other person confidently blurts out: “All I remember about you is you’re the guy who plays the bassoon!”
I’ve been [very] single for 25 years. Mostly it’s been a great time and I’ve written about the joys of single life in earlier posts. I will keep on saying that singleness is a good calling worth celebrating more, and when I say that I will mean it from my heart as I experientially delight in the richness and freedom of single life. But alongside all of that, I want to also talk about the hard stuff. I want to name the grief we experience in singleness, the kind of loss that might be so subtle that even we ourselves don’t see it as actual loss.
It’s been four months. Four months since we did real church in a real building with real people. All this time I’ve been looking forward to the day when things finally go back to ‘normal’ and imagining what that moment will be like.
On Monday I took the day off work and drove to the Glass House Mountains to climb this peak. Despite the relatively easy hike, the view from the top was absolutely magnificent. It was a full 360 view of a steep drop-off on all sides and stunning landscapes as far as the eye could see. … Continue reading Solitude
In my last post I talked about the idea of cultural scripts that tell us how to live and behave: what to aspire to. Cultural scripts embody the virtues a community values most highly. But what do we do when our community doesn’t value things that ought to be valued? What do we do when the cultural script we are handed is inadequate in guiding us to a life of flourishing? I think our culture needs to re-write those scripts.
“There is the ache of a dream not fulfilled. But what about the ache of a dream never dreamt? A life without hope or aspiration.” Tonight a friend shared those words with me. We were reflecting on the hopes and dreams we had for ourselves when as teenagers we came to an awareness of our sexuality. What does a young Christian teen dream for themselves when they realise they’re gay? What sort of life can we aspire to?
What does it mean to celebrate? We talk about valuing singleness and single people in the church, but is valuing something the same as celebrating it? What makes a celebration?
To continue exploring the idea of dual citizenship, I thought I’d share some stories of my experience during the same-sex marriage postal vote in 2017. This is not a feel-good post as it contains some heavy-hearted stories taken from my journal as I struggled to cope during this time.
How being a celibate, gay Christian can feel like dual citizenship. Translation exhaustion, code-switching, and the search for solidarity coupled with the joys of hearing and telling beautiful stories from another culture.