[Ed. Note — This commentary was submitted to qnotes on Sept. 27 as a comment in response to Dr. Michael Brown’s Sept. 27 commentary, “Sharing God’s goodness is never a failure.” It has been edited for clarity.]

I think a big part of Dr. Michael Brown’s problem is that he seems to think he understands this issue when he clearly does not. He has absolutely no idea what it means to grow up in this country being gay, especially in the evangelical community. So, it becomes insulting for him to even pretend he knows anything about this subject much less write a book about it.

I spent years of my life isolated and alone in this issue because of the reckless and ignorance views of those in the church. I contemplated suicide many times in my life, the first when I was 15-years-old when I realized I was gay. I spent many years after that thinking God could somehow change me. Those years were excruciatingly painful.

I am now 45-years-old and it was only about four years ago that I actually sat down with another gay person and talked about being gay and then got the help I needed. I have never been more happy and whole than I am now because I can finally just be myself and be around people that love and understand me. That includes being in a church where I do not have to hide who I am.

Yet, Brown somehow thinks that this is just about sex. Is his sexuality just a sexual act? Is that all his marriage to his wife is about? As Brown’s friend Andrew Marin once said, “Christians reduce being gay down to a sexual act and then blame them for it.” I know gay couples that have relationships that many couples in the evangelical church could learn a great deal from.

Yes, Brown does contribute to the harm of many in the gay community through his short-sighted views. Just because he is “polite” or has good intentions does not mean what he says is not damaging. When we have kids not taking their own lives because they are gay then we can sit down and have a friendly debate about this subject. Until then, Brown may want to shut up and do more listening than talking. : :