I am not Homosexual . . . or Heterosexual or Bisexual or Any-Other-Kind-Of-Sexual

I feel like if I were to again label myself as “gay”, I would be embracing the idea that my [broken] sexuality is a defining mark of who I am as a person.

Additionally, I’m uncomfortable with the relatively young concept of “sexual orientation.” I don’t believe the content or implications of the Scriptures support the idea that each person has a fixed, immutable set of sexual desires that they are born with. The Bible speaks about homosexual and heterosexual behavior and the desires that drive those activities, but it never implies that some people are heterosexual and some people are homosexual. Rather, I believe the Bible teaches that 1) we all possess a sexuality, and 2) that sexuality has been distorted by sin. If we are going to claim any sexual orientation, it needs to be our orientation to sin.

 

I’m often asked why I don’t use the terms “gay” or “homosexual” to describe myself—or even “bisexual” now that I’ve begun to dip my toes in the “heterosexual” dating world. If throwing quotations around these terms doesn’t insinuate strongly enough my distaste for them, let me say it plainly: I am not a fan of the prevalent language used in our society to think and talk about human sexuality. I believe it is pregnant with faulty ideas that skew a person’s self-perspective and hinder Christian growth. I refuse to submit myself to it by identifying as homosexual or heterosexual or bisexual or asexual or any-other-kind-of-sexual.

Many of my Christian brothers and sisters don’t understand this. They see no harm in using self-descriptors like gay and homosexual to convey that one is attracted to the same gender or self-descriptors like straight and heterosexual to convey that one is attracted to the opposite gender. They don’t understand why I opt to use lengthier descriptions to narrate my experience when I could simply say, “I am gay.” Sure, it takes a lot less time to say, “I am gay,” than it does to say, “I am a fallen human being who is riddled with sin and who experiences all kinds of inclinations that seek to entice me away from God’s good design, including a sinful sexual attraction toward the same gender.” The latter is a mouthful! However, I find it to be a necessary mouthful—for a couple of significant reasons.

First, I believe the sexuality language of our day flows from an ideology that gives sexuality a higher seat at the “identity table” than I think it should. These labels are not just words used to describe a person’s inclinations, preferences, or behaviors—these labels are loaded with ideas about who a person is. In our current context, someone’s sexuality largely dictates who their friends are, the bars they frequent, the country clubs they join, the bumper stickers they put on their cars, and the kind of flag they wave. Before I converted to Christianity, my attraction to men was the chief informer of my self-perspective. I didn’t see Matt Moore as just a man; I saw Matt Moore as a gay man. Every person I knew in the LGBT community viewed and described themselves in the same way. Above so many other things, we were gay.

 I feel like if I were to again label myself as “gay”, I would be embracing the idea that my [broken] sexuality is a defining mark of who I am as a person. And I don’t want to operate in a mentality in which my sexual desires have identity-shaping power in my life. I don’t want the way I perceive and put language to my experiences to be an open door through which a false identity marker can slip in and begin to overshadow my truest identity marker: my position in Jesus. I am primarily the righteousness of God in Christ—not my jacked up sexuality. When God causes an imperishable body to swallow up this sin-corrupted flesh I presently dwell in, my attraction to men will be no more. I will not carry my broken sexuality with me into glory. Therefore, I refuse to view or name it as a part of who I am today.

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