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Helpful Resources

Below are resources that I have found to be helpful on this weird journey of mine. I am confident you will find them to be of great benefit, too. The below list will always be a work in progress. If you have a suggestion, please contact me. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Documentary

For The Bible Tells Me So by Daniel Karslake – I am not putting this first because I love Daniel (because I do, he’s awesome) but because this documentary is maybe the first place I would refer someone who may not understand the spiritual complexity and challenges behind LGBTQ+ issues and faith. This film does a fantastic job of defining the issues, humanizing the challenges and bringing hope in and through personal stories. It is a MUST see film and will speak to just about anyone who watches.

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families — including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson — we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

I am also helping with and featured in Daniels sequel to this film called For They Know Not What They Do which is in production right now.

Theology

Making Sense Of The Bible by Adam Hamilton – Powerful book that put to words my learning and experience with the scriptures in a truly life-giving and liberating way. I was truly and deeply blessed by this book.

Denominations from evangelical to mainline continue to experience deep divisions over universal social issues. The underlying debate isn’t about a particular social issue, but instead it is about how we understand the nature of scripture and how we should interpret it. The world’s bestselling, most-read, and most-loved book is also one of the most confusing. In Making Sense of the Bible, Adam Hamilton, one of the country’s leading pastors and Christian authors, addresses the hot-button issues that plague the church and cultural debate, and answers many of the questions frequently asked by Christians and non-Christians alike.

God And The Gay Christian by Matthew Vines – Amazingly approachable and relatable book. Takes the clobber passages and un clobbers them.

The landmark book exploring what the Bible actually says—and doesn’t say—about same-sex relationships. As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to some-day share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.

Affirming Churches (will be adding more as an ongoing project.)

Reverend Terri Steed Pierce of Joy MCC Church Orlando.  – Love Rev. Terri and this church!

Metropolitan Community Churches are on a bold mission to transform hearts, lives & history. We are a movement that faithfully proclaims God’s inclusive love for all people & proudly bears witness to the holy integration of spirituality & sexuality.

Personal Stories/Memoirs

Never Not Broken – Yvette Cantu Schneider – Back in our “ex-gay” days I told her more than a few times she was one of my heroes. Now that we are both “out” she still is. This story of her heartbreaking and passionate journey toward self-acceptance is stunning.

In Never Not Broken, Yvette Cantu Schneider descends into the abyss of her own psyche after her young daughter’s leukemia diagnosis. Desperate for relief from ceaseless panic, she sees a psychotherapist who introduces her to guided imagery meditation to heal trauma. Over the course of her daughter’s 28-month treatment, Cantu Schneider encounters in meditation, animals, goddesses and other guides who show her that it is the wounded feminine within her that pushed her to find meaning and acceptance in a rigid religious structure and to become a spokesperson for controversial socio-political causes. As Cantu Schneider struggles to heal from difficult events from her childhood, the abuses and hypocrisies of religious leaders, and the effects of her own denial of the feminine divine, she discovers her true self. In the end, she finds that life’s healing power is that we are all never not broken.

 

Going Gay: My Journey from Evangelical Christian Minister to Self-acceptance, Love, Life, and Meaning by Tim Rymel – really didn’t have much of a friendship with Tim until after I came back out, but I have grown to love this guy over the past couple of years. 

Tim Rymel, an ordained evangelical minister, served as the Outreach Director for Love in Action, one of the oldest and most renowned ex-gay (reparative therapy) ministries in the world. During the 1990’s, he and the ministry staff appeared on countless television and radio shows with their message of “Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” A “success story” of the ex-gay movement, Tim’s world was shattered when his wife divorced him, and his world fell apart. In Going Gay, he shares his raw and painful journey of finding self-acceptance, and coming to terms with life and faith.

Brain Bubbles: The Personal Blog of Author Bill Prickett – Love Bill, just do. He is a kind and compassionate soul who wants people to know love and freedom in this life. You can also check out his books by clicking here.

Ex’d Out: How I Fired the Shame Committee By John Smid – John, and I also knew each other well in our ex-gay days, and I am delighted to see him for who he truly is now.

John Smid was a well known national leader and spokesperson with the message of “Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” Within these pages he describes the journey that he embarked upon after he said “God, Surprise Me!” A provocative and personal journal of how John “exited” the ex-gay world and began the process of integration into an authentic life.

A Life Of Unlearning by Anthony Venn-Brown – A poignant memoir of great courage after decades of inner turmoil within the Australian Church.

On the surface, everything looked perfect. Anthony Venn-Brown was a popular, high-profile preacher in Australia’s growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, and happily married father-of-two. Behind the scenes was a different story. Believing homosexuality made him unacceptable to God and others, a secret battle was being fought. After twenty-two years of struggle and torment, a chance meeting forced Anthony to make the toughest decision of his life. Tired of feeling torn and fragmented, he confessed and came out. Abandoned by his church and Christian friends Anthony began his life of unlearning; a lonely journey that made him who he is today.

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee – I have known Justin for a very long time, and his book has helped many Christians across a broad spectrum of belief.

As a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed “God Boy” by his peers, he knew that he was called to a life in the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: He also knew that he was gay. In this groundbreaking book, Lee recalls the events–his coming out to his parents, his experiences with the “ex-gay” movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible–that led him, eventually, to self-acceptance.

My Exodus: From Fear to Grace by Alan Chambers – Alan has been a friend of mine since 1995. His take is a bit different but his story is encouraging, and heart is loving.

In sharing his own story of being a committed believer who struggled with same sex attraction early in his life, author, husband, and father Alan Chambers will help you understand the issues from the inside. And as the former president of the largest ex-gay ministry, Alan knows all the arguments, the concerns, the scriptures, and the heartaches.

LGBT COUNSELORS, THERAPISTS, CENTERS, AND RESOURCES

The Trevor ProjectAfter Michael’s suicide, I somehow ended up talking to their top leadership. And even though I was then still the EVP of Exodus, they were incredibly gracious (direct, but kind) with me. Love them, and they do important work.

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

Zebra Coalitiona phenomenal organization, helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth in the Orlando area.

The Coalition assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability.

The Center – an amazing and iconic organization here in Orlando. Their leadership was well known for a long time but shown brightly in their incredible response to the Pulse Tragedy.

To promote and empower the GLBT Community and its allies through information, education, advocacy and support.

James Guay, LMFT – I have always enjoyed watching and learning from James online. He has a heart of gold, very knowledgeable and full of practical wisdom.

Anxiety, perfectionism, depression, addictions, loneliness, & relationship issues are common reasons for beginning therapy. In psychotherapy, you can discover the causes of your angst and find relief. Your life changes when you open yourself up to love, transformation and the present moment.

Thank you, Tim Rymel for passing along these additional links:

Find a Psychologist

Find a Therapist

Find additional Mental Health Resources

Locate your local LGBT Center

Resources for Parents

Just Because He Breathes

Rob and Linda Robertson share their heart-wrenching story of learning what love really means when you have a gay child. If you see nothing else, you’ll want to watch and listen to their story. 

Freed Hearts Ministries

Mom, Susan Cottrell, talks about loving your LGBT children without giving up your faith. She is the author of several books, including “Mom, I’m Gay,” and True Colors – Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You.  She writes a regular blog for Patheos, and is a popular speaker at churches, schools and other organizations.

PFLAG

Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays offers support for everyone, regardless of beliefs. There are hundreds of chapters around the country. Click on the link above to find one near you.

Social & Political Topics

The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs (Book) – This personally impacted me very deeply. I recommend it for all gay men and those who love us. Amazing book.

Today’s gay man enjoys unprecedented, hard-won social acceptance. Despite this victory, however, serious problems still exist. Substance abuse, depression, suicide, and sex addiction among gay men are at an all-time high, causing many to ask, “Are we really better off?” Drawing on contemporary research, psychologist Alan Downs’s own struggle with shame and anger, and stories from his patients, The Velvet Rage passionately describes the stages of a gay man’s journey out of shame and offers practical and inspired strategies to stop the cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior. Updated to reflect the effects of the many recent social, cultural, and political changes, The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that has already changed the public discourse on gay culture and helped shape the identity of an entire generation of gay men.

No Hope: Why I Left The GOP And You Should Too by Jimmy LaSalvia (Book) – Love this guy and his incredible courage to live his truth and speak it for others to glean wisdom from.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How the GOP Is Out of Touch with Americans Today and Why More Voters Should Consider “No Party”

No Hope is for disaffected conservatives and moderates as well as liberals who are fed up with the political party system. Forty-three percent of Americans now identify as Independents. Many of them are right of center and used to be Republicans.

Focus Group Radio with Tim Bennett and John Nash – Love this podcast. It helped me when I first came back out because it was great to gain insight of LGBTQ+ professionals, is informative, and quite entertaining.

The Focus Group with Tim Bennett and John Nash can be heard every Saturday on multiple platforms. Go to www.focusgroupradio.com to select your platform of choice. Tim and John take an entertaining look at the out side of business. As satellite radio’s first show dedicated to the business world of advertising and marketing, Tim and John offer up their point of view with sharp wit and fluid banter, now across mulitple platforms. Please Enjoy!

Human Rights Campaign (HRC), GLAAD,  and Equality Florida are organizations on the social/political front that I won’t hesitate to recommend. They are powerful organization do what they say they are going to do and are able to get it done.

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