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Gay Restorationist, who last year began blogging about what it’s like to be a gay man in a Church of Christ (FYI, it sucks), asks his readers to imagine themselves conducting an interview with three characters. In his words:

  1. If you were going to interview a gay Christian or, more specifically, a gay Christian in a Church of Christ, what questions would you ask her or him?
  2. If you were going to interview the Christian parent of a gay child, what would you ask her or him?
  3. If you were going to interview an ‘ex-gay’, what questions would you ask her or him?

Several curious souls have already left their queries in his comments; they are all very serious, and understandably so since, after all, each scenario suggests big conflict on the battlefields of faith and sexuality and love and morality and legality and honor and parenthood. I don’t begrudge them their solemnity, but because of it, I won’t submit my questions there, lest I undercut the intended tone, or make a fool of myself—both of which I am more than capable. I offer mine here in trust that GR is a silent reader, or that someone who is and who knows him will tell him so he can come and collect. So in effort not to repeat the interviews of others….

To the gay Church of Christ Christian:

  • Is weekly immolation on Sundays enough for you, or do you find ways to cut yourself more often?
  • Want to get a beer?
  • What’s your charge for a haircut?
  • Want to visit the UCC with me next week?
  • Isn’t it about time you found a more rewarding way to read the Bible than to divide it up into commands (laws), examples (legal cases), and necessary inferences (more laws)?
  • Don’t you know there’s good people in other traditions, too?

To the gay Church of Christ Christian’s Church of Christ parents (Two sets):

  • Didn’t you tell me you had a son? Where’s your pictures of him? Why? Is he a good stylist, and if so, can I have his number? Can I have it anyway? Why are you looking at me like that? Would I like to be what?
  • Didn’t you say you had a son? Still in the Church of Christ?! Haven’t you encouraged him to go to the UCC? Don’t you care about his faith? Isn’t it a little late to be such sticklers for the letter? By the way, is he a good stylist?

To the Christian ex-gay:

  • Does Will & Grace make you laugh, or cry?
  • When you stopped being gay, did you also stop being a stylist?

And so on, pretty much along those lines. Any one of which would make for an interview I’d want to read, but I wouldn’t want to read all three together—that would be tiresome.



Note that after I remembered we only have about three readers, I went and gave GR a link myself.


I told you when I cut your hair to style it exactly like I showed you. Stop trying to be creative with it; you’re only messing things up.



I deserved that. :)

well, greg likes to boast he did it his way…but we all know…we know he cribs!

there are other’s, still in this vein…because i am not a deep person and i avoid being this at all costs. plus, i like trading in stereotypes.

don’t you find the robes of the episcopal church more appealing to your aesthetic sensibilities?

what about the incense used in some catholic ceremonies?

do you like a nice orthodox (greek or russian, since they seem to have the bushiest) beard or the clean shaven face of the roman catholic?

because your people (or is your prefered nomenclature team?) has such heightened aesthetic sensibilities…don’t you find that the stamps-baxter, three song and an impromptu, poorly phrased prayer, filled with cliches from two centuries ago just a smidgeling boring?

have you read Wild at Heart?

i’ll stop now.

i do have serious ones to ask…but they will need to brood a little more. been too busy getting that article ready to submit and preping classes and sitting through eternal faculty meetings.

in a more serious vein…

what’s it like to have the entire “brotherhood” obssess about whether or not you’ve “done it” recently?

i know, i should post this question on his site…

That last question’s really good. Except for you, dear reader, I can’t imagine how nerve-wracking it’d be to have any third party obsessing about my sex life, much less several thousand. It does put celebrities in context—which may in a way be relieving…

That is to say, GR, you are just like Tom Cruise Brangelina Orlando Bloom.

I guess the only way in which it bothers me is that it reminds me I have no sex life. Cripes, it’s Friday night and I’m commenting on a blog about Hermits.

Orlando Bloom. Pshaw. I prefer to be thought of as a pre-adulterous Jude Law.

But I kid. You’re right: People have no trouble asking me when was the last time I had sex, if I’ve ever had sex with a woman, if I plan on having sex soon, ad infinitum. It’s annoying, to say the very least.

I want everyone to know me primarily by my sexual and religious preferences.

SR, you might have a point if GR managed to go about his everyday life introducing himself: “Hi! My name’s Gay! Gay Restorationist! What’s yours?” But something makes me doubt the name on his mailbox looks anything like the handle on his blog.

As for Orlando v. Jude?—I agree. I see Orlando on the calendars, and I wonder, what is this thing with him? Is it the chummy, “I’m named after Disneyworld!” name? Is it the pinchy nose? But now way could Legolas hold a candle to the sex robot in AI.

SR…I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy…

so beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly…

J, I bet a chianti it was Wild at Heart that got SR out of his hole. But cowboy?

I always wished it were easy to grow a beard like an Orthodox Jew, but I think it requires no trimming for years upon years upon years. Speaking of which, are you playing Jesus again in the passion?

i had to laugh at greg’s incredulity on the possibility of a “third party obsessing” about his sex life. somehow he seems to have repressed his grandchildless mother’s frantic query last may: “DO YOU GUYS HAVE SEX?!”

Yeah, but moms always obsess about their kids having sex Um, I mean, there’s degrees of familiarity, you know?

Oh, who am I kidding? I did forget about that. How I wish I could forget it forever…

in my office this morning, and freud just called. he said he was interested in greg’s “forgetting” about his mom’s inquiry. he needs an example for some concept he’s working on called “repression.”

I think it’s a good time to redirect this conversation to GR’s dream of opening his own salon?

Greg, my dear:

Please, Beverly Hills is so 1990. You’ll find my Salon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the home of couture-obsessed hipsters and snobbish artists with oh-so-fabulous hairstyles.

undoubtedly SR has read Wild at Heart…

and, undoutedly SR is a nice cowboy, as well…

but we will never know the truth until SR comes out of the closet. (takes off the cyber-veil, so to speak)

Straight Restorationist –
I’ve spent the morning trying to decide whether your comment deserves a response. I must admit that I was a smidge angry when I first read it, but in light of the levity of this post, I hate to get bitchy.

Let me just say this: I call myself “Gay Restorationist” (and not something lame like “Greg”) online because (1) I am trying to maintain some anonymity to protect the feelings of my family and to prevent unnecessary conflict with my Church, and (2) because I primarily write about a niche issue, namely the problems facing gays and lesbians within Churches of Christ.

I don’t know, it made sense at the time. I also considered calling myself Bea Arthur, but I thought that seemed a bit obvious.

You say I don’t have a point unless GR introduces himself this way “in everyday life.”

Let’s put it this way. GR’s online friends know him primarily by those attributes. This post isn’t about his thoughts on the cruicifixion, is it? When GR is referenced in these cirlces, it’s always about his sexuality.

And in his everyday life, we do know this: he is annoyed because people are always asking about his sex life. Why are they doing that unless he’s primarily known for his retarded insistence in making sure everyone is clear on his sexual preference?

I don’t know about you, but people at church don’t ask me about my sex life, at least not like that, and not often.

Thus, I do have a point.

By the way, remy, I like how my “cyper-veil” seems to frustrate you, but GR’s doesn’t.

Can I just submit for the record that this article is really, really, really worth reading for all those who wish to move beyond contemporary identity politics?

As to other things said, at the moment I’ll refrain from adding, except for this: so far as insistence is concerned, so far as I’ve ever seen, I’m the only person I know who’s scaled the heights to retardedness. That someone would use the phrase “retarded insistence” and not include me in it is really very insulting.

And, GR, what do you think about the crucifixion? Feel free to ruminate on that before you answer; meanwhile, Bea Arthur has a Web site?!?

there are different ways of being pseudonymous.

gay restorationist in his name and postings (plus he explains this on his website) is open and honest in his name and his post.

neither your name nor your post is either.

i haven’t asked GR what he thought about pat’s response to his query…but pat, who i doubt agrees with GR, was both open and honest in his/her response.

and now, i’ve gotta go punch down my french bread dough.

again, like the kwame article…i’m reading it and plan to comment.

maybe now that i am actually going to send off the article i will actual comment and post on things

SR, I’ve thought about what you've said. I’ve decided your (belabored) point, such as it is, isn’t especially good and isn’t particularly honest, and all you’ve said of it and yourself reveals a (willful?) misunderstanding on your part.

In Michael Cunningham’s 1992 essay (Sorry no link. Mother Jones’s archives only go back to 1993) about Queer Nation, a short-lived activist group that would stage edgy protests, Cunningham interviews a hockey fan in the midst of a kiss-in protest at a hockey game. The fan complained that he didn’t care whether “they” were gay, but that he didn’t want to see them “flaunt” their gayness in the open like that. To which Cunningham asked, Really, what kind of complaint is that? What does it mean to “flaunt” homosexuality—or for that matter, sexuality? How is kissing at a hockey game different from, say, the picture at right Straight couple, holding hands in terms of “flaunted” sexuality? I remember a lanky boy with a pleasant smile who used to sit on the concrete outside the Benson Auditorium and lean into the lap of his long-haired girlfriend—“flaunted” sexuality if I’ve ever seen it. The point is that for that lanky boy as much as for a gay couple holding hands on the street, sexuality—showing affection, loving someone else—is human. It is what we all do. It is normal. I’m sorry that you don’t understand that. And just in case you don’t understand my position on all of this, in solidarity I too chant, loudly, Queer Nation’s slogan: We’re queer, We’re here, get used to it.

If you do understand it, then I regret that you refuse to acknowledge why someone who is asked on a more-than-is-comfortable basis when was the last time he had sex might feel it necessary to address that question and others like it publicly and full-on in such a way that is focused yet also protects those he loves. Pseudonyms have been used in similar ways for millennia. His handle is honorable, and his name, when or if he chooses to reveal it online, will likewise be so.

Gay Restorationist, to his credit, is more gracious and less confrontational than I. Because of that, I highly recommend that you go to his site and engage him honestly and openly with your questions. That's what his blog is for.

This blog is for honesty and openness, too (with some necessary limits). For that reason, I must confess that I hope GR will come back so I’ll have someone I can talk to about skin care and TomKat, because Chris and Jeremy too often aren’t girly enough for me.

My point is belabored?

A note about the article from the NYT linked above, which I suggested was a cure-all for identity politics.

It’s not.

Moreover, issues of discrimination occuring in Western societies in general operate on different registers from ones in Western churches. For the CoC alone, for example, witness the several conversations today over at kendallball.net (see ACU Welcomes Gays, and Asides)


oops, i mean churches of Christ….

geez!, i tell ya…first one thing…and then they start changing our name.

wow. were you working on that one all week, or did it just occur to you?

i swear, disciples can be so touchy sometimes...

it just came to me…like a bolt…like inspiration…i think it’s plenary

Sitting in your office, and God himself strikes you back of the head: no one, NO ONE has mentioned the Capital! The Capital! Oh, the grapheme must be corrected!

it’s not rocket science, btw.

it’s just plain, literal scripture

none of this proper name, denominationalism

what is more, the harmony of the interpreters testifies to the fact that it is "churches" and not "Churches." it is a thing of beauty so many translations, over so many years agreeing with one another. i think we can confidently say, based on the unity of translations that darby, young and the hebrew translations are all heretical.

Now you’re just showing off.