In an age where neither society nor the church knows what to do with gay Christians, Greg Coles tells his own story.
Let's make a deal, you and me. Let's make promises to each other.
I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I'll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I'll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I've whispered a thousand times since:
I'll show you the world through my eyes. I'll tell you what it's like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I've chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I've bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred.
But I promise my story won't all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I'll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I'll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, "You are not a mistake." I'll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most broken hearted.
If you'll listen, I promise I'll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.
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About the Author
Gregory Coles is a coauthor of Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Author Questa collection of short stories published by Grosset and Dunlap (Penguin Random House)and a top-five finalist in the international contest to "find the next great Dark Crystal author" for Jim Henson Company's book series set in that world.
An American author, playwright, and songwriter, Gregory spent fifteen years growing up in the Muslim neighborhoods of Bandung, Indonesia, in the shadow of a golden-domed mosque marked by a spire with a silver crescent moon. The son of two committed Christian teachers, Greg learned from a young age to look for God in the world around him. He read Shakespeare's Hamlet at age eight, learned to speak several languages, and published his first short story while still in high school. At age eighteen, he returned to the United States to pursue his education, earning a bachelor's degree in communication with emphasis in English literatureand graduating as valedictorian of his class.
Today Gregory is a PhD student and part-time English instructor at Penn State University.
Table of Contents
2. Almost Straight
3. Debating the Divine
4. What God Called Good
Interlude: A Song for the Unknowing
5. Stranger Incognito
6. To Know as I Am Known
7. Nature Abhors a Vacuum
8. Quo Vadis?
Postlude: A Letter to Myself at Age Twelve