Natalie LaFrance Slack, so much of your experience growing up as an Evangelical feels similar to my own.

The secrecy, the patterns of deception, the internalized shame — all of that is what I grew up experiencing because of my sexuality.

Except that as a gay man, things were somewhat different.

I did not have the experience of seeing most of the men and boys in the church “sinning” like I did. Which only reinforced the shame, of course.

Oh, I’m not saying there wasn’t any same-sex behavior going on. There certainly was. It’s just that it wasn’t anywhere nearly as common as opposite-sex shenanigans.

I will never forgive the Evangelical world for injecting me with that kind of shame.

Btw, and of no real importance, Jerry Falwell Jr and I are the same age, and my father used to be a minister in the senior Falwell’s orbit.

I met Jerry Falwell Jr when we were both teenagers, and it was obvious then that he had a “rebellious” side to him, to use evengelical language.

Around his peers he was daring and a little scandalous. Around his father, he was the “perfect” Christian.

But then, I suppose he was instilled with his own necessary patterns of deception and shame.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store