Of my friends who I more or less only know through church or campus ministries, I have come out to about 5 or so of the closest of them. They are pretty great about it. I’ve come out to friends at my campus ministry, and I came out to the college minister at the church I went to while I was at school.
There’s no way I could be out and miserable, especially when I remember what it was to be in the closet and miserable. I take a very educational perspective on coming out and homosexuality. And it takes a LOT to hurt my feelings. I will be out in my church because I want to advocate for change. Not “believe what I believe—homosexuality is not a sin,” but “let’s welcome them here.” When the focus is on behaving like Christ and not on “which is right?” I think everything changes.
I am out to enough people that to out me at church would be a weird thing and an even weirder undertaking. I go to a church of about 20,000, and our college/young adult ministry is about 200 or so. My small group (all the same age) is about 30. When I come out, I will do so carefully, with every word being about the story and about God’s redemptive plan as I have seen it so far and as I have experienced it. When I tell people I’m gay, I take about an hour or two to talk about everything. That is crucial, I think, for preventing slanderous talk about my sexuality. Sure, they may talk about it, but at least (I hope) the way I’m going about it prevents rumors and false assumptions.
I would encourage you not to limit yourself to being a martyrous example to young people who go through the same thing you do. I would encourage you to facilitate education to those who see things differently from you, and to propose that more important than the sin (which has been spoken for) is the admonishment Christ has given us to be fully hospitable and generous in our patience and (most crucially) to view our own knowledge as folly, even though we may so firmly believe it is of God. Then, we may by grace become like children, eager to see Him for what he would be doing instead of administering the Christian dogma—what the church believes God has obliged them to do as carriers of the gospel.
This post has been in my drafts for… maybe as long as a year, I don’t know. But I decided that I don’t know how to do anything with it… and that every word after “to facilitate education" in the last paragraph is probably the coolest thing I’ve written. It’s difficult for me to write it "accusatively" though, even if it does become easier to understand what I mean, that is:
"…The admonishment that Christ has given you, Church, to be fully hospitable and generous in your patience and to view your own knowledge as folly, even though you may so firmly believe it is of God. Then, you may by grace become like children, eager to see Him for what he would be doing instead of administering your Christian dogma—which you believe God has obliged you to do as carriers of the gospel.