Single, Gay, Christian

(InterVarsity Press)


One man’s journey of identity


Author: Gregory Coles

Genre: autobiography

Reader Appeal: Ages 15 and up;


Gregory is Christian. He loves Jesus and believes that Christ came born of a virgin, was crucified, died was buried and rose on the third day. He knows Jesus will return. Gregory is also gay. My curiosity was sparked. Like Gregory I only know two kinds of gay Christians. The ones who ignore or revise what God says about homosexuality and the ones who repent, become “ex-gays”, become straight and get married. Gregory is neither, he says.


I will admit that I do not know any gay Christians. I know one or the other and the bridge between them is wide. I know Christians that despise gays. In their minds, the love of Christ does not extend to those different from themselves. I know gays that hate Christians. They are tolerant only of those that are of like mind.

Let me now introduce Gregory Coles. He does not have his foot in either of those camps. His feet are firmly planted in love for Jesus. He has chosen to be celibate.  He does not take his lifestyle lightly, he prayed to become straight and he sensed God saying no. Over and over, year after year he asked and God gave the same answer. Gregory believes this is his thorn, his cross.

Why celibacy? Gregory did not just open his bible to every mention to homosexuality highlight them and go on with life, he didn’t call his favorite pastor and ask what he thought, he didn’t even take a Facebook poll. He did what we all should do when we are desperate for an answer, when we know that our life depends on what we hear. He pursued God, through scripture, through study, through prayer and he found that the bible, that God was calling him to “self-denial through celibacy”.

I admire Gregory. He is living in a world of groups. Christians, LGBTQ, the left, the right, pick a color any color, dog lovers and cat lovers. He doesn’t fit in anywhere. And yet he has chosen this seemingly lonely path. I admire him because he was brave in telling his story. Could you or I tell our story and then take the hits? Maybe our story isn’t as interesting, but I know mine is messy at best. I admire Gregory because he went willingly to God, knowing that no matter the answer he would obey. Obedience is hard. Really hard. People will tell you that you’ll be rewarded for your obedience and that is true, but it may not be in your lifetime.

Near the end of his story Gregory writes “I don’t trust myself to judge the state of someone else’s heart. Other people’s hearts are none of my business” That is a quote I’m willing to put on a magnet and stick on my refrigerator.


Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:


• How do you answer God when he says no?

• Gregory searched the scriptures. What does this mean to you? Have you ever been surprised at what the bible says?

• Gregory believes that God called his to this life. Has God called you to something that is difficult? How do you cope when it gets difficult?



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