The Cross in the Closet

The Cross in the Closet

3.9 32
by Timothy Kurek

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Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn't long before Timothy's path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and


Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn't long before Timothy's path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and overcome with questions and doubts about his religious upbringing, Timothy decided the only way to empathize and understand her pain was to walk in the shoes of very people he had been taught to shun. He decided to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life, and to see for himself how the label of gay would impact his life. In the tradition of Black Like Me, The Cross in the Closet is a story about people, a story about faith, and about one man's "abominable" quest to find Jesus in the margins.

Product Details

Green Bridge Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range:
3 Months

Meet the Author

Timothy Kurek, a Portland, Oregon based author and speaker is tackling some of the front burner issues of our day. His unrestrained style of immersion lends a uniquely empathetic perspective, engaging his audiences with empathy, humor, and refreshing candor.

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The Cross in the Closet 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 32 reviews.
RainbowBriight More than 1 year ago
As soon as I heard about this book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Tim Kurek's book, The Cross in the Closet, is a book I have been spreading the word about since I read the very first page. It is the story of how Tim went from being a Devout Christian who was very anti-gay to a fierce LGBT advocate in 12 months by simply having the courage to question his religious upbringing, and the compassion to walk in the shoes of the LGBT community -- starting with coming out to his friends and family as a gay man and forcing the straight/christian side of himself to live in the closet. Think about that for a minute -- He went undercover as a gay man, for 12 months, in the bible belt, to better understand us. In my book -- that makes him an unbelievably amazing human being. Coming out is hard, but living in the closet is worse... most of us go into the closet to protect ourselves, he went in to breakdown the walls of judgement inside himself. He purposely and willingly put himself in the same heart wrenching situations we LGBT people deal with when coming out(like the depression that follows when we are ostrasized by friends and family who don't take the news well) and was willing to deal with the consequences of his actions in order to truly understand what it is like on our side of things. He went into this with an open heart, and came out on the other side with a much better understanding of not only OUR community, but of his own within the Christian church. Reading about his inner turmoil through out the book had an amazing affect on me. A big part of me felt like I was reading a story about someone who was visiting my hometown. It pleased me greatly to know that my LGBT brothers and sisters were helping to guide Tim's heart in the right direction, but it also did something I didn't softened my heart in regards to the Christian community. For most of my life I have been aware of the invisible wall between the Christian community and the LGBT community, and even though society becomes more open to the idea of equal rights with each passing year, I have always felt that it was no thanks to the devout Christians who spend most of their time proselytizing to us rather than practicing the love for others that they preach about. Tim's book changed all that. He opened MY heart so that I was able to see that there are people out there who ARE willing to practice what they preach, people who go out of their way to understand, accept, and love those who are different from them. This book isn't about being gay or straight, christian or agnostic, its about overcoming the prejudice and innequality learned from a young age, and the freedom that comes with opening your heart to everyone.
angiamac More than 1 year ago
Tim Kurek grew up in a conservative Christian family, attended a very conservative Christian college, and held firmly to the belief that that God denounces those who are LGBTQ as an abomination. Tim was a self-described pharisee, although he hadn't realized it until a friend confided in him that her family had turned her out because she told them she was gay. Troubled by the realization that he felt inclined to preach to his friend about the sinfulness of her ways rather than offer sympathy or compassion for her pain and rejection, Tim makes the courageous decision to walk for a year in his friend's shoes by living with the label of "gay." So, as a closeted heterosexual having come out as gay to his family and friends, Tim takes up life in the gayborhood of Nashville, Tennessee in an effort to set aside his judgments, challenge his stereotypes, and get to know people he has always loathed on their turf with an open mind. The result is a fascinating account of one man's spiritual transformation from outspoken bigotry to uncondemning, heartfelt love for individuals who are made in God's image but treated as outcasts by society. Tim's honesty and openness about his struggle to let go of long-held beliefs and embrace all God's children with a love that refuses to label others makes for a fascinating read--and I dare say it will change your way of thinking by time you are done with it!
taxbarbie More than 1 year ago
My husband happened upon this book while surfing the net. He was intrigued. This book is from a small publisher and has many editing errors, but its story is so engaging you will just be glad it has been printed at all. The previous writer has written a great summary of the book. I would just add that it is one of the most powerful stories of grace that I have read in a long time. My husband and I are both recommending it to everyone we can.
Jaywood85 More than 1 year ago
As a gay man who had to come to terms with the closet, this book resonates with me on many levels. Obviously, Tim's perspective is limited, but I found his personal transformation to be very close to what I experienced in my coming out journey a year ago as well as the homophobia that I held within myself. The previous reviews are exceptional, so I won't go into much more detail-- I do want to highlight a few poignant moments I didn't see mentioned here that illustrates Tim's growing acceptance. One example is when Tim interacts with a trans woman and hears her stories of sexual abuse at the hands of her father. He cries and comforts her, but doesn't judge her like he may have before the experiment. The second is when he is confronted by the folks at the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. He calls WBC and after a strained conversation is invited by Shirley Roper Phelps to talk with them about their beliefs, but upon arriving he is told to leave or they will call the cops. The church members call him horrible names, but he returns love instead of hate towards them. There were some problems that I had (editing errors), but overall it was a very honest, emotional and convicting piece of literature!
rmccort More than 1 year ago
Tim has written a book which is both interesting and thought-provoking (and no, the two do not always go together). While it can be argued that his use of deception to immerse himself into what he refers to as the "gayborhood" is questionable, the resulting experience is one that was very enlightening for him. His writing style is conversational and draws the reader along with him as he tackles a year of challenging situations and emotional vulnerability. What he has to say will change you for the better whether you agree with his conclusions or not. I found his story to resonate deeply with my own faith journey and the way that God has been changing and shaping my beliefs. As 1 Corinthians 13 says: Faith, hope and love are what matter, and the greatest of these is love. Buy this book, read it, and look for ways to love more deeply.
jp-Mpls More than 1 year ago
I read a really good book this week: The Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek Similar to "Black like me", (white guy tries to experience what it's like to be black), Tim is a straight Christian guy who decided to live as a gay man for a year. Sounds far fetched? Maybe impossible? I think he pulled it off incredibly well. Most of the story line is about this straight Christian guy dealing with his questions about what he had been taught regarding homosexuals, and the things he learned during his year as a gay man. He does not directly address theology around homosexuality. His theological foundation is simply love. God's love. Add to that his growing conviction that his attitude about and toward gays is not expressing the heart of God. You gotta love someone who takes drastic measures to confront something in themselves they don't like. You might not agree with his methods or his conclusions, but it's hard to deny that he has somehow touched the heart of God. Courageous, powerful, touching, challenging. Read it and decide for yourself. I think you'll like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i read this book from an agnostic, mama to a 16 year old son, happily engaged, mixed race, lesbian perspective. i felt like i needed to better understand where all the conservative christian right's vehemence toward people like me comes from. hearing about what you learned, of the growth in your heart, the transformation of your spirit...gave me so much more than i was expecting. your book offered me more of a window to allow me to feel more love & less judgment toward people that have always seemed so mean & hurtfull to very core of who i am. Thank you again & i hope you keep writing books from such a place of love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much, I lent it to a friend, who passed it on after she read it. It is a well written account of Tim's year of living as a gay man in Nashville, and the trials and tribulations of his experiences.
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I could not put this down. Amazing journey.
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A story about grace, love, acceptance and forgiveness. He had to have lived this to have the insight he did. I only wish the right people would read it. I lead a support group for men who have / are coming out. This will be a must read for everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book shows a young man's journey to find out how society treats a person differently when you identify as gay. By his own admission his experience is limited. However by going into the closet and supressing and hiding his heterosexuality. He may be the first straight man who has come anywhere close to understanding what it is like to be gay and in the closet. Overall great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read a great example of learning to live out the greatest commandment! Awesome book!!
Shaless More than 1 year ago
This book takes readers on very beautiful journey in one man's attempt to understand his hatred of homosexuality. Kurek's writing allows the reader to enter a deep part of his psyche and to experience the events that led up to his wonderfully articulated findings. Kurek's constant challenging of himself and his beliefs throughout this book creates a touching and vivid experience. If you're interested in gay life, rights, and struggles (mostly regarding Christianity) read this book! If you're not, you can still enjoy a capturing book, still read it.
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