Why a new blog?

I was tempted to title this post “Why a duck?” but I was afraid most people wouldn’t get the Marx Brothers reference. (If you would have, you get a hundred bonus points. Bonus points can be redeemed for prizes at your local Chuck E. Cheese. Or not.)

Some of the reasons for this new blog will become clearer over the coming weeks, and I’m not going to spoil everything in the first post. (Actually, I’m not allowed to spoil everything yet. I’ll explain as soon as I can.) But for now, I can tell you that there are two primary reasons I’m starting this blog.

Reason #1: Justin is not GCN

It’s been ten years since I founded The Gay Christian Network (GCN), a nonprofit organization serving LGBT Christians and those who love them. Today, our online community has nearly 20,000 members, but ten years ago, there were just a dozen or so of us, all seeking support after having felt abandoned by our churches and Christian friends. Back then, GCN was just an internet hobby of mine. Now it’s my full-time job.

I love my work with GCN now as much as I ever did. I hope to continue doing that work for a long time to come. But I’ve come to realize that it’s important for me to have a public identity separate from GCN’s.

When we talk about issues relating to LGBT Christians, there are a lot of complexities involved: ex-gay ministries, theological disagreements, sexual ethics, and the like. I think we need to be able to explore these topics, but I often can’t explore them in my role as GCN’s executive director without risking upsetting someone or making it appear as if the organization is taking a stand when it’s really just my personal opinion.

On this blog, then, we can feel free to explore topics that might not belong on GCN’s website, and I will be more open to expressing my personal opinion on things that I might not express in the same way in my GCN role. Everything I say on this blog is my personal opinion. Unless I indicate otherwise, nothing I say here is a reflection of the organization; it reflects only me.

Not to worry; I won’t be using this space to say things that I think would be likely to cause any problems for the organization. It’s just that it’s helpful to have a separate space where I can make it clear that I’m expressing my own opinion and not speaking for anyone else.

Reason #2: Big projects ahead

The other major reason for this blog is that I’m getting ready to embark on a couple of very interesting projects, and I thought it would be cool to have a space where I could share those journeys with you.

For instance, in a week and a half, I’ll be speaking at the first in a series of 40 events at 20 different universities, designed to help improve the nature of the conversation between gays and Christians. My plan is to post photos and stories from those events here, as well as to tell you about the interesting conversations I have on the road and the evidence I see of changed lives.

Then there’s this other secret, super cool project… but if you want those details, you’ll have to subscribe and wait for the announcement.

So welcome to the new blog. What do you think of the idea? Share your thoughts in the comments.