Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity

InterVarsity Press
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  • 2017 Foreword INDIES Award Finalist
In an age where neither society nor the church knows what to do with gay Christians, Greg Coles tells his own story. Let's make a deal, you and me. Let's make promises to each other. I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I'll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I'll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I've whispered a thousand times since: "I'm gay." I'll show you the world through my eyes. I'll tell you what it's like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I've chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I've bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred. But I promise my story won't all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I'll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I'll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, "You are not a mistake." I'll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most brokenhearted. If you'll listen, I promise I'll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.
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About the author

Gregory Coles is a coauthor of Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal" Author Quest, a collection of short stories. Greg spent fifteen years growing up in the Muslim neighborhoods of Southeast Asia. Today he is a PhD student, part-time English instructor at Penn State University, and worship leader in his church.

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Additional Information

Publisher
InterVarsity Press
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Published on
Aug 22, 2017
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Pages
128
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ISBN
9780830890934
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Religion / Sexuality & Gender Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In this timely work—part memoir, part investigative analysis—a prize-winning writer explores the explosive and confusing intersection of faith, politics, and sexuality in Christian America.

When Jeff Chu came out to his parents as a gay man, his devout Christian mother cried. And cried. Every time she looked at him. For months. As a journalist and a believer, Chu knew that he had to get to the heart of a question that had been haunting him for years: Does Jesus really love me?

The quest to find an answer propels Chu on a remarkable cross-country journey to discover the God “forbidden to him” because of his sexuality. Surveying the breadth of the political and theological spectrum, from the most conservative viewpoints to the most liberal, he tries to distill what the diverse followers of Christ believe about homosexuality and to understand how these people who purportedly follow the same God and the same Scriptures have come to hold such a wide range of opinions. Why does Pastor A believe that God hates me, especially because of my gayness? Why does Person B believe that God loves me, gayness and all?

From Brooklyn to Nashville to California, from Westboro Baptist Church and their god hates fags protest signs to the pioneering Episcopal bishop Mary Glasspool, who proclaims a message of liberation and divine love, Chu captures spiritual snapshots of Christian America at a remarkable moment, when tensions between both sides in the culture wars have rarely been higher. Both funny and heartbreaking, perplexing and wise, Does Jesus Really Love Me? is an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual pilgrimage that reveals a portrait of a faith and a nation at odds.

The eldest daughter of the Times Square “King of Porn,” Romola Hodas recounts her chaotic childhood amid the turmoil of publically growing up as the daughter of the man who almost single-handedly built New York City’s pornography and adult entertainment empire from the 1960s to the 1980s before his spectacular and public fall from grace.

Behind the salacious headlines, Marty’s family paid a terrible price. In her shockingly honest, no-holds-barred memoir, Romola describes hanging out as a child in her father’s porn shops on 42nd Street and meeting the eclectic clientele who frequented the stores, making friends with the girls who performed live sex acts on stage, and spying on her parents’ sex orgies and crazy all-night swinger parties. Romola relates, in moving detail, how she cared for her three younger siblings when her brilliant, bipolar mother broke with reality, and how she survived verbal, physical, and emotional abuse; a year in reform school; her father’s three stints in prison; two kidnapping attempts by the mob (one while at summer fat camp); and how her baby brother, Jarrett, actually was briefly kidnapped by mobsters wanting to send Marty Hodas a clear, unambiguous message.

For all its darkness, The Princess of 42nd Street is, at its heart, an uplifting and inspirational story of how one young woman overcame incredible odds to become a successful businesswoman who now devotes her life to helping others. Raw, unflinching, and devoid of self-pity, The Princess of 42nd Street is a one-of-a-kind story.

"There are moments when I suddenly realize that I'm a nice boy from Iowa who is entirely comfortable sitting in a room of freaks."

So begins Patrick Moore's unforgettable account of life as a crystal meth addict—a "tweaker." Like a wild ride down Alice's rabbit hole with a guide who is darkly funny and heartbreakingly honest, Tweaked chronicles a twenty-year trip that stretches from Moore's lonely childhood in Iowa with his grandmother, Zelma—an alcoholic artist who, when loaded, turns frozen food into crafts projects —to the day he sits, naked, in a Los Angeles rental, hallucinating about psycho-robbers while talking to a possum he's sure is God. Along the way, there are acid trips at the V.F.W., Dexetrim study halls with his Bad Girl Posse in the seventies, teeth-grinding nights of dancing and anonymous sex in New York City's hottest eighties clubs, taking pictures of Andy Warhol, losing friends and lovers, and navigating a Byzantine underworld of cookers, users, club kids, dealers, and colorful characters as intense as the drug itself. There is Lee, the glamorous, outré bad boy with a devastating wit and a taste for danger; Tony, the tweaker who likes to remove his eyebrows; Ding-Dong, the Depends-wearing, nearly blind housemate; Hisako, the artist and squatter with an impenetrable Japanese accent and a fondness for hot plate cooking; "Mother" Judy, the tough, butch rehab counselor who takes no prisoners, and countless others on the road from crystal meth hell to eventual sobriety.

Candid, gripping, and ultimately triumphant, Tweaked is that rarest of memoirs—a tale so vivid and personal in the telling it feels like fiction, but every word is true.
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