This is a part of a conversation I have been having with friend who happens to believe that homosexuality is against God’s will. After I wrote it to him I felt like it was something worth sharing with other cause I realized I had just poured my heart out to him. I would also like to note that out of respect for him these are only my words and nothing he has said.

For me I am simply told to be celibate and alone because I know I will never be attracted to women. I’m told because of that fact, I must turn my sexuality off. That is why I see it as so different. You are not being told to turn your sexuality off just channel it to a proper place. There is no option like that for me. I tried to turn it off and many people I know have as well, spending years trying to do just that only to meet with defeat. It cant be that they didn’t try hard enough or believe enough because I know people who have done some really crazy things, I’m talking extreme measures, in the name of turning it off. Do you know what the result was? For me it was that so much of my life became consumed with staying focused on not allowing my attraction that it took over. My focus was not on God anymore and I saw it happening but felt powerless to do anything because I felt to only other option to fighting my “sinful desires” was to let them roam free. All this led to was depression and separation from God. I was a mild case. I have heard of so much worse, things like people attempting to cut off their own genitals because they felt like that was the source. Where is God in this pain that is experienced by so many of God’s children? Since when was being obedient to God so painful all you want to do is die because you don’t feel like you have the strength to even lean on Christ? Why would God allow such suffering in God’s people who are only trying to be obedient?

Those are questions that are tough to answer. Those questions are why I do what I do and why I want to be a minister, so that I can help easy the pain and suffering of others. God is love not pain and suffering. I didn’t originally intend to write this much but I hope it helps you see why i am so passionate about this. It has never been about my own sexuality. I would give it up in a heartbeat if I felt that was God’s will. For me it is about the pain and suffering I see that I know God has called me to ease, and use that to bring hope and joy back to the LGBTQ people of faith and those who have wandered from their faith.

Joey Heath

Joey Heath is a 26 year old life long United Methodist. He is currently a graduate student at Wesley Theological Seminary completing his Masters in Divinity. Once an ordained pastor, Joey hopes he will be able to bring real change to the UMC on the issues of sexuality and gender identity at the broader church level, but also with individuals, so that one day the church will truly be a place that is inclusive of all people.

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