So how do I do it?
I tell them my story. When I realized I was gay in 7th grade, and how even before that I had noticed something different about myself. I tell them about how I became a Christian in 9th grade, and the many different perspectives I have had over the years. That I thought it was wrong and changeable with effort and a miracle; that it could disappear maybe, but that I wouldn’t necessarily have an attraction to women; that it wouldn’t maybe disappear, but that I might be able to be attracted to women; or that I might be able to find one woman; or that God might want me to be married and grow in that attraction; or that I might be celibate; that gay sex might be wrong, but a gay relationship not (based on strict interpretation of how homosexuality is described in Scripture); that I don’t think it’s a sin to be in a life-long monogamous commitment with an equally yoked guy. I tell them that’s where I’m at now, and I tell them how I got to this conclusion.
I tell them about why it’s difficult to be gay; I tell them about how being gay has helped me. We talk about Scripture and what Scripture does and doesn’t say. We talk about how God provides us more than Scripture to guide our lives—wisdom, prayer, the Spirit, community, the world around us. I tell them about that moment I decided to test and see what God’s will was, and that it was a result of pure desperation and dissatisfaction with battling this huge thing that no one knows you’re warring against. I tell them about what it’s like to be in the closet, and how it’s like lying and hiding. I tell them about reactions to my sexuality. I tell them about how I think my future might look.
We look at everything. I ask how they’re feeling about what they’re hearing. I get to hear their opinions on everything that’s quite complicated. And I sometimes ask where they got those opinions and how they were formed. I tell them about my desire to glorify God with my life, and that I think this is becoming a central part of God receiving glory and reaching lost people for himself through this. I talk about the church and Christians and how it hurts. I talk about loneliness and becoming a fulfilled me. I ask more questions.
And often near the end of that heart to heart, I tell them the big one - the thing that has me most broken about my sexuality. That I could be wrong. That there may be a day where God helps me realize that he had set a rule that I had been denying as bad interpretation of Scripture.