Interview With a Same-Sex Attracted “Unicorn” – Part 2

Hearing From Someone Who Shouldn't Exist.

This is part 2 of an interview with someone who shouldn’t exist: a “unicorn”, as far as secular culture is concerned. 

You see, “Jenna” is same-sex attracted, but has decided not to act on her attraction, nor define herself by it. 

You can read Part 1 here. 

Photo Courtesy

Photo Courtesy

Akos: You’ve told a number of people now about your same-sex attraction. How did that go?

Jenna: At first, they were the scariest and weirdest conversations I’ve ever had. But after the initial four or five people knew, all of them had the same advice for me: pray about it, and you need to tell somebody else. At first, I was like: That’s so stupid. I can’t tell anybody else. Don’t you get that this was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done?

But they said: In order for you to be able to live your life, it has to be done. So I eventually wrote a letter explaining things that had happened in the past, and  where I’m at now.

Akos: So what sort of responses did you get, as you told more people?

Jenna: I sent my first batch of letters by email to three people. The next day I got emails back from each of them. And all three of them said: ‘I’m so proud of you. You’re so brave’. And I’m just sitting there, thinking I couldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for God. I felt a little uncomfortable with all the praise they heaped my way. But the response was so overwhelmingly positive. Not what I was expecting.

Akos: What response were you expecting?

Jenna: The end of my world.

Akos: What you mentioned earlier [in part 1 of this interview]?

Jenna: The ripping apart of everything I held dear. But looking back now, I think that’s ridiculous: how could I possibly think that could have happened?

Akos: I wonder if those fears aren’t completely unfounded? I wonder if the church is in a better place now to care for same-sex attracted Christians than, say, 30 years ago…

Anyway, what have been some helpful things Christians have said/done after you told them about your same-sex attraction?

Jenna:  Individual Christians have responded in different ways, but the majority have been good and helpful. The first thing I needed to hear was along the lines of: this doesn’t change the way I see you. Thank you for sharing. I still love you. They are the most important things at the time that I needed to hear: that I’m still loved and accepted.

Akos: What are some perhaps good-intentioned, but unhelpful responses from Christians?

Jenna: At first, I was very thankful for people advising different literature: articles, talks, and books I should go check out. But after I had told more people, people would be coming to me, telling me to go watch this online, or talk to that person, and that became very overwhelming. I understand the good intentions behind it:  they’re not quite sure how to react, or what to say, so they’ll point to other people who’ve had a similar experience to me.

But it’s not helpful, because I’m not coming to them for answers or advice, or for them to “fix it” (they can’t fix it); I’m coming to them because it’s something  I struggle with, and I don’t want it to be left in the dark anymore.

Akos: There may be people reading this interview, who are Christian and same-sex attracted, but haven’t told anyone. What advice would you give them?

Jenna: Find an older, more mature Christian that you trust, and tell them. It will be awkward, and the hardest thing they ever do. But the benefits will be phenomenal.    

Akos: There will also be non-Christians reading this. And as you know, we live in a culture where same-sex desire is celebrated as a good thing. When you told non-Christian friends about your same-sex desires, what were their responses?

Jenna:   First of all confusion. Like: ‘So you’re not a Christian anymore?’ Which really made no sense. Of course I’m still a Christian: I can have these desires, and still be a Christian.

Another response was: ‘That’s awesome! You’ve finally figured it out! You can go out and have a relationship now!.

Akos: So in non-Christian eyes you were boxed in as someone who can’t be Christian for merely having same-sex desires. And having same-sex desires meant you had to act on them because it’s key to your identity?

Jenna: Yes.

Akos: Being same-sex attracted yet determined not to act on those desires is pretty confusing for a lot of non-Christians in our culture today. What might you say to someone reading this, to help them better understand where you’re coming from?

Jenna: I’m not looking for my [same-sex] desires to be fulfilled because I know that God is real, and I know that I’m going to heaven, and I’ve been forgiven of my sins. It’s a very strange concept, I’ll admit.

Then add on top of that, not acting on same-sex desires is completely counter-cultural.  But I’m not going to act on those desires because I’m putting God first. And it’s hard: it’s unbelievably hard, and there are days I don’t want to, but nothing is ever going to  change my mind.

Akos: Is there anything else that Christians can do to support people like yourself: same-sex attracted, yet wanting to live a godly, faithful life?

Jenna: Let me say there’s a stereotype that Churches don’t accept same-sex attracted people at all. But I feel more accepted by my church than I do by society.

Akos: Is that because society would look at you, and think you’re weird for not wanting to act on your same-sex desires?

Jenna: That’s right. When my non-Christian friends found out that I was same-sex attracted, they could not comprehend why I would not act on this desire.

Akos: Have you any desire to connect with the LGBTI community, say on your campus?

Jenna: None whatsoever. Because for starters, it wouldn’t be helpful for me: I’ve made this decision not to act on my same-sex desires, so if I was to surround myself with people who are acting on these desires, and celebrating our [sexual] brokenness, it would put me in a position of temptation.

It would put me in a position where I had to choose between my acting on my feelings, or serving God.

Akos: Is there anything else that you’d like to say about your journey, and where you’re at?

Jenna: Once I realised this is what I struggle with, I could only see four options for my life:

Firstly, deny God, and go out and try and be happy as best I can. I did that, and it just didn’t work. It had terrible, terrible consequences.

Secondly, deny that my same-sex attraction was there. And keep up the facade that I had it all together as a Christian, but leaving this in the dark. And that didn’t work.

Thirdly, as drastic as it sounds, it was to deny my life, to kill myself, because I didn’t feel I could live with these feelings. This didn’t work, obviously, and it’s not a viable option.

Fourthly, not follow my feelings of same-sex attraction, but  follow God. To bring it out into the open, and say: I do struggle with these feelings of same-sex attraction, but I’m not going to act on them. This is the option that works.

Akos: Jenna, I’m so thankful for the way God is working in you. Thanks for helping Christians and non-Christians better understand what’s it like to be a same-sex attracted Christian.

Leave a Reply

3 thoughts on “Interview With a Same-Sex Attracted “Unicorn” – Part 2

  1. Romans 8:35-38New Living Translation (NLT)

    35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

    38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

  2. Don’t you dare tell me you don’t identify through your sexual orientation Mr Akos. You have husband and father written quite clearly on your about me section. Clearly you do – something heterosexuals take the ability to do for granted. And it’s insulting to think every openly gay person is defined by their sexuality. One person who’s same sex attracted doesn’t connect with the LGBT community – So what. You haven’t the right to hold this as a standard for everyone as that would openly be robbing people of the freedom conservatives claim to love so much. Or are we only free to be conservative christians now

    • Hi Julia,

      I’m not sure what you mean by ‘You haven’t the right to hold this as a standard for everyone as that would openly be robbing people of the freedom conservatives claim to love so much’.

      I don’t expect non-Christian LGBTI people to hold to that standard…what makes you think I do expect that?