Hiding My Same-Sex Attraction – Part 1

Hiding My Same-Sex Attraction – Part 1

Openness and transparency are markers of a healthy Christian community. Honesty about one’s struggles and needs leads us to reach out to Christ and others for the help we need. But this is harder for believers who live with same-sex attraction.

One would think that with a growing acceptance of gays and lesbians becoming more visible in the culture there would be a corresponding acceptance within the church of Christians who follow God’s word on sexuality and who live with same-sex attraction.

But at Harvest USA we continue to see this issue remain hidden in the church. That means there are lots of brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction whose lives remain shrouded in secrecy. They don’t want to disclose their struggle because of the possible consequences of doing so.

The most obvious reason for staying silent is the fear of rejection. The most intense fear is the fear of rejection from your friends (and yes, I know many who have friendships lasting for years and, sadly, they have never opened up about this to them).

Will my friends think any different of me? Will I be treated with distrust? Will I understand their responses? Will they understand me? How might this news radically change the level of friendship I already have? I want more, but I’m deadly afraid to lose what I’ve got.

I already feel alone and different; I don’t want to feel this anymore.

But the fear is greater than the hope that they might finally be known, and loved, for who they are. So in staying hidden, there remains a part of them that never sees the light of day.

Then there is the fear of gossip. You don’t need everyone knowing this about you, but you fear that it will leak out and spread. Keeping secrets and confidences for a long time is a hard thing to do. If everybody knows this about you, then you’ll dread living in a fishbowl. You are certainly not ready for that.

Then there is the fear of hearing opinions that are inaccurate about same-sex attraction, putting you on the spot, needing to explain again and again.

The desire to keep quiet may seem valid—and feel like the only safe option—but continuing to do so keeps you from growing in your faith. Holding onto a secret from others is also a failure to trust God.

And then there is the fear that, if you stumble and fall into sexual sin, then you know there will be some (many?) who think that sexual sin is the worst kind of offense for a Christian. (And if that’s the kind of church you’re in, there are other gospel-believing churches where that is not the case, and you should seek them out.)

But even if you are in a church that sees sexual struggles and sin as being essentially no different than other faith struggles, these are some legitimate concerns that can keep you from opening up.

But let’s talk for a minute about one other thing that’s hurting you by keeping silent. Not sharing keeps you isolated and feeling alone, which is how you feel almost all the time. The desire to keep quiet may seem valid—and feel like the only safe option—but continuing to do so keeps you from growing in your faith. Holding onto a secret from others is also a failure to trust God.

One of the most beautiful aspects of the cross of Christ is that although it is marked with suffering and shame, it also swallowed up death. In other words, Christ’s death puts to death our sins and fears.  We are now given the power to face our fears and struggles and seek help from God and others. And in seeking help from others, we are, in fact, seeking help from God.

The person struggling with same-sex attraction can freely share what God has done, even if there is fear of rejection. I know it’s hard to do this. I get it. I’ve mentioned some of the dangers and difficulties.

And in remaining silent, the church won’t grow. Because how you live your life in the body of Christ affects others.

But when you remain hidden, you won’t grow as you could grow; you won’t experience trust and joy in Christ as you could.

And in remaining silent, the church won’t grow. Because how you live your life in the body of Christ affects others.

My hope is that if you are a same-sex attracted struggler, that you would ask God for the grace to share your struggles with a few others in your church. Start small. To be increasingly honest about who you are. And that in doing so, you will be surprised. Surprised that there will be many who will receive you and love you just as you are, and in accepting you, will love you enough to keep showing you Jesus, and walking with you every step of the way towards him.


To see Desmond talk more about this issue, click on Desmond’s video blog, Hiding My Same-Sex Attraction—Part 1. These short videos can be used as discussion starters in small group settings, mentoring relationships, men’s and women’s groups, etc.
Desmond Frick
About The Author
Desmond Frick serves as part of the men's ministry staff at Harvest USA. He focuses on serving men struggling with same-sex attraction (SSA). He co-leads an SSA support group, conducts one-on-one discipleship. He regularly speaks at churches around the country. Desmond has worked with those with addictions and those struggling with SSA for the past eight years. He has a BA in fine arts from Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland. Desmond does art in his free time. Originally from South Africa, he currently lives in North Philadelphia.

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