This page is a supplement to my video about why Bible arguments won’t change Christians minds about LGBTQ people. If you haven’t seen that video yet, you can check it out here.
In the video, I talked about the power of vulnerable personal stories to change people’s attitudes. Here are a few places you can find those stories:
1. Through My Eyes
Through My Eyes features intertwined clips from more than two dozen young gay Christians, and the result is incredibly moving. The film is very carefully structured to address the spectrum of misconceptions I discussed in my “changing minds” video, one at a time—first we hear about these young Christians’ faith, then about when they realized they were gay, then their failed attempts to change, then about their struggles, how other Christians responded, and their hopes for the future. I’ve seen very conservative Christians end up in tears after seeing this film in their churches.
2. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
This book is probably the thing I’m most famous for, and it seems appropriate to mention it here. I wrote it specifically to be the kind of book you could give a conservative Christian parent or pastor to walk them through things and help them understand. It’s got a lot of my personal story in it, but it also shares other people’s stories along the way to help illustrate all the relevant points. Unlike Through My Eyes, Torn does eventually get to the Bible passages as well. It’s available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats.
3. Affirming: A Memoir of Faith, Sexuality, and Staying in the Church by Sally Gary
My friend Sally Gary has a vulnerable new book about her own journey, growing up in the deeply conservative Churches of Christ denomination, realizing she was gay, and holding out for celibacy for many years before finally having her own mind changed about what the Bible says. You can get it from Amazon and other booksellers.
4. Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians by Austen Hartke
Unfortunately, there still aren’t that many places to find compelling, deeply Christian stories of transgender people, but thankfully, one option is Austen Hartke’s book, which not only includes a number of different people’s stories but also explains common terminology and concepts relating to gender identity and trans Christians’ experiences. Find it here.
5. Your own story
Don’t forget about your own story! If you are LGBTQ yourself, you have your own stories of realizing you were different, any attempts you made to change, and any struggles you’ve faced along the path of coming to terms with yourself. If you’re not LGBTQ but know someone who is, you still have a story—your own personal story of learning about LGBTQ experience from others and the events in your life that made you care enough to want to change people’s hearts in the church.
As you check out some of the other stories above, think about what it might be like to tell your story in a similar fashion, because you have the power to change minds with your own story as well!
Oh, and for good measure, here’s a video of my own story, as I’ve told it over the years: